The Chinese division of Galax, one of Nvidia's GPU partners, just turned 20 years old and is launching two new RTX 4090 cards to celebrate. One of the models is limited to 50 units and comes with a carbon fiber shroud (via Videocardz). This special edition RTX 4090 — one of the best graphics cards — is a first when it comes to graphics cards, but not for its carbon fiber material.
Galax's 20th Anniversary RTX 4090 features three fans, one of which sits on the backplate side à la the RTX 4090 Founder's Edition. There are two variants of this 4090: a white model and a limited-edition black model, which uses carbon fiber on the two-fan side. Although Galax is only making 50 of the black carbon fiber cards, they'll be sold for only slightly more than the non-limited edition white 4090.
You might think that this is the first GPU to use carbon fiber, but it actually isn't. MSI's RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z from 2019 used carbon fiber all over, and EVGA sold a carbon fiber shroud for RTX 20-series FTW3 cards that users could buy separately. It's worth noting here that using carbon fiber like this is purely for style and doesn't actually benefit cooling performance.
Although Galax's new 4090 cards aren't the first GPUs to feature carbon fiber, they are the first to use an HDMI retimer. This piece of technology ensures signal integrity over a long HDMI cable, and while it's present in consoles such as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, it's never been used for a desktop graphics card. So, feel free to put your PC in one room and hook it up to a TV in another.
If you're wanting to pick up one of Galax's special edition RTX 4090 cards but don't live in China, you might be out of luck. Both variants are going to be sold exclusively on Chinese retailers like JD.com and WeChat, since they celebrate Galax China specifically and not the brand as a whole. Still, it's possible that some will make their way out of the country, though they probably won't be cheap.
This may also be a last hurrah for the RTX 4090 in China, as U.S. export controls go into effect next week that will prevent further AD102 GPUs from going to the country. Perhaps that's another reason for the limited edition status of these Galax models.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Matthew Connatser is a freelancing writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes articles about CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, and computers in general.