According to the U.S. government, the GeForce RTX 4090 was effectively banned in China because it's too powerful to sell in the region. With the export restriction in place, it's been a wild couple of weeks for the world's most powerful gaming GPU. Global prices are increasing, global shortages, and RTX 4090s are being repurposed with blower fans and upsold as AI GPUs.
This brings us to new reports indicating that NVIDIA is preparing a special edition of GeForce RTX 4090D for the region in 2024 that will comply with the new regulations and export restrictions. D as in the Year of the Dragon, but also D as in a lower tier and cut-down GeForce RTX 4090 that will reduce its overall Total Processing Performance (TPP) rating to fall within the new guidelines for GPUs sold to China.
According to new info from industry insider MEGAsizeGPU over on X, the China-exclusive GeForce RTX 4090D will make use of the AD102-250 GPU - a GPU chip that hasn't been seen across the GeForce RTX 40 Series line-up.
- Read more: GeForce RTX 4090 is no longer available in China as NVIDIA removes the GPU from its website
- Read more: New GeForce RTX 4090 'AI' cards with blower-style coolers pop up in China
- Read more: China gets the D with new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 D that complies with US export restrictions
For reference, the current flagship GeForce RTX 4090 uses AD102-300, while the GeForce RTX 4080 uses AD103-300. From this, we can speculate that the CUDA Core count will sit somewhere between the 9728 of the RTX 4080 and the 16384 of the RTX 4090. NVIDIA will tune the GeForce RTX 4090D to perform at the absolute limit between "banned GPU" and "safe to sell GPU."
There's a lot of room between the GeForce RTX 4080 and GeForce RTX 4090 to play with, even when you factor in the GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER's rumored 10240 CUDA Cores. It'll be interesting to see what changes NVIDIA makes regarding VRAM (odds are it will feature the same 24GB GDDR6X configuration as the main RTX 4090), clock speeds, and power draw. And then there's overclocking, which must be factored in to ensure performance doesn't pass an exact threshold.
Reports indicate that NVIDIA plans to sell this new GeForce RTX 4090D at the same price as the current GeForce RTX 4090, so whatever cutbacks are made - they can't be too drastic.