Detailed images of NVIDIA’s reimagined GeForce RTX 4090 “AI” GPUs for the Chinese market have surfaced, revealing how these gaming cards are being revitalized to cater to larger and more lucrative markets following a recent ban.
Recently, there were reports about the sudden emergence of numerous Chinese factories dedicated to a singular purpose: disassembling and transforming NVIDIA’s flagship gaming GPU, the GeForce RTX 4090, into an AI solution tailored for the domestic Chinese market. This initiative was driven by the necessity to support the Chinese AI sector, which encountered a comprehensive ban on NVIDIA’s AI GPUs following the latest US policies.
Although the GeForce RTX 4090 is technically under a ban, a substantial number of these GPUs had been stocked by Chinese customers before the restrictions. Currently, these chips are being harnessed exclusively to meet the AI requirements of the country.
Regarding the product itself, various Chinese factories are introducing their versions, but the one highlighted by I_Leak_VN stands out. It makes an effort to maintain a “FE” or Founders Edition aesthetic, featuring a stylish front shroud and a backplate.
The GPU is cooled by a dual-slot heatsink with a blower-style cooler. On the back, there’s a substantial exhaust vent alongside the standard four display outputs – three DP 1.4 and a single HDMI 2.1 port. Notably, the 16-pin power connector is positioned on the front of the PCB, a departure from the conventional location for such plugs on a standard RTX 4090.
These factories are crafting these cards by disassembling complete PCBs, extracting the GPUs and GDDR6X memory, and integrating them onto freshly designed PCBs tailored to the specifications of AI clients. Notably, there are multiple packages, each weighing up to 8.8 KG (Gross Weight), accommodating a minimum of five NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 AI graphics cards. In the image, there are at least 20 boxes, indicating a shipment of 100 GPUs destined for an AI customer.
Numerous cards of this kind are being dispatched to AI companies that no longer have access to authentic AI GPUs. Despite the constraints, the GeForce RTX 4090 appears to meet their requirements adequately. The sustainability of Chinese companies relying on RTX 4090s is uncertain, as the supply of such cards is finite. Eventually, they may need to explore alternatives, and although China has outlined a set of alternatives for its AI requirements, it remains questionable whether they match the caliber of NVIDIA’s offerings.