GeForce RTX 4090 might not be banned in China as the U.S. immediately halts AI GPU sales

Updated U.S. restrictions on GPU hardware for AI are now in effect, but the good news for PC gamers in China is that the GeForce RTX 4090 looks to be okay.

2 minutes & read time

Recently, the U.S. government updated its list of graphics hardware that is effectively banned from being exported or sold to China without a government license, including many of NVIDIA's most popular AI GPUs like the A100, A800, H100, and H800.

With this latest news, prices for the GeForce RTX 4090 should start to fall in the region.

With this latest news, prices for the GeForce RTX 4090 should start to fall in the region.

A new filing from NVIDIA outlines that the new ban is "effective immediately," meaning that sales and exports for these GPUs have been shown a bright red light.

Bad news for AI in the region, but good news for PC gamers? As previously reported, the ban was about restricting hardware sales for GPUs and hardware exceeding a certain performance threshold - which, in a testament to its raw power, included the GeForce RTX 4090. The most powerful gaming GPU on the planet was on the cusp of being banned in one of the biggest PC gaming markets in the world.

This led to pricing for the card in the region doubling and tripling, with global prices also impacted by the ban. According to NVIDIA's filing, it sounds like the GeForce RTX 4090 is exempt from the new restrictions as the ruling now states that it covers products "designed or marketed for data centers."

The GeForce RTX 4090 might be a Generative AI beast thanks to recent driver updates. Still, its main purpose is to push games like Cyberpunk 2077, Alan Wake II, and Portal with RTX to new heights with 4K visuals, real-time path-traced lighting, DLSS 3.5 rendering, and Frame Generation.

The irony is that some of the GeForce RTX 4090's power comes from AI, so these new restrictions (sans GeForce RTX 4090) outline that AI for anything other than PC gaming in China is bad. Hopefully, this means pricing in the region for the GeForce RTX 4090 drops to more reasonable levels in the coming days/weeks.

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GIGABYTE GV-N4090AERO OC-24GD GeForce RTX 4090 AERO OC 24G Graphics Card

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* Prices last scanned on 11/28/2023 at 6:01 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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