Finding an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 in China has become dramatically more difficult and more costly, seemingly overnight. Yesterday, we reported on the latest round of US government restrictions making the RTX 4090 too powerful for export to China. We mused over the possibility of short supplies and pricing action. Today, VideoCardz surveyed numerous Chinese online retailers and found stocks of RTX 4090 cards had either evaporated or were marked up to double their launch price levels.
The latest US export rules regarding exports of high-performance processors cover Nvidia’s AD102 GPU, as found in one of the best graphics cards available today – the GeForce RTX 4090. Its bandwidth and compute power both exceed arbitrary limits set by the US. Thus, from Nov 16 when these new controls are applied, the most premium GPU pick for Chinese gamers will probably be the RTX 4080.
Though the export controls aren’t yet in effect – there's nearly a month left – retailers have been quick to benefit from consumer fears of scarcity. Videocardz shared five Chinese eTailer screenshots and reports that most popular retailers are completely out of stock of RX 4090s. Nvidia’s own store selling Founders Edition cards has no RTX 4090 listings, says VideoCardz.
Retailers with stock remaining are commonly charging double the RTX 4090 launch price in China. There are even reports of some outlets pitching these flagship consumer GPUs at quadruple the launch price.
Yesterday we were wondering about how China-based Nvidia partners like Colorful would service worldwide customers wanting an Nvidia flagship graphics card. Unlike companies such as Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI, Colorful has no out-of-China manufacturing facilities. Zotac may face a similar problem.
Perhaps the answer for Chinese PC enthusiasts and companies like Colorful and Zotac will be delivered by Nvidia with a GPU design that outclasses the RTX 4080 but which will limbo under the US sanctions with regard to memory and processing. Crafting custom GPUs for the Chinese isn't a wholly new idea; we saw it most recently with AMD’s Golden Rabbit Edition cards. The performance restrictions might make a modified RTX 4090 for the China market more like those LHR cards from the days of crypto-hysteria.
Earlier in the week we observed GeForce RTX 4090 prices were creeping up in the US. We saw that prices of AIB partner RTX 4090 cards had increased by $50 over the past month, with similar increases in Europe. It is difficult to predict what will happen with pricing in the future, but supplies of RTX 4090 cards elsewhere could improve with China out of the picture.
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Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.
These sanctions will kill US companies slowly in my opinion. This gen, it could be just RTX 4090 for now, but by next gen when the flagship cards get more powerful, I wonder if they will also block mid range cards. Furthermore, the number of sanctions nations keeps increasing, so the market in which the likes of Nvidia can sell will keep shrinking.Reply
The 4090 doesn't meet the requirements to be banned as detailed on page 199:Reply
"Note 2 to 3A090: 3A090 does not apply to items that are not designed or marketed for use
in datacenters and do not have a ‘total processing performance’ of 4800 or more. For integrated
circuits that are not designed or marketed for use in datacenters and that have a ‘total processing
performance’ of 4800 or more, see license exception NAC."
If anything it requires a license but it is not banned like the data center cards.
Every article on the net is putting out incorrect information causing panic buying when the real story is that Nvidia is causing a artificial shortage of 4090s, there are cards from AIBs that haven't been restocked since release!
The article is wrong, they didn't ban the 4090 like they did the data center cards, they are restricted and require a special license.watzupken said:These sanctions will kill US companies slowly in my opinion. This gen, it could be just RTX 4090 for now, but by next gen when the flagship cards get more powerful, I wonder if they will also block mid range cards. Furthermore, the number of sanctions nations keeps increasing, so the market in which the likes of Nvidia can sell will keep shrinking.