The GeForce RTX 4090 is banned from sale in China thanks to new U.S. Government restrictions imposed to curb the country's advances in AI. And since that news dropped, it's been a roller coaster ride for the world's most powerful gaming GPU - with global prices increasing dramatically and rumors that NVIDIA plans to launch a China-exclusive GeForce RTX 4090D in January 2024. The Year of the Dragon, hence the 'D'.
The RTX 4090D uses the AD102-300 GPU, a cutdown version of the AD102-250 GPU in the existing GeForce RTX 4090 that will adhere to the new restrictions imposed on AI hardware exported to the region. The latest info from well-known NVIDIA leaker MEGAsizeGPU over on X/Twitter claims that the GeForce RTX 4090D will feature the same Boost Clock speed as the existing RTX 4090 (2520 MHz) but a higher Base Clock speed (2280 MHz).
Additional info from other sources claims that the RTX 4090D will also feature the same 24GB of GDDR6X memory, though further details like memory speeds and TDP are still being finalized. It's believed that NVIDIA will lower the CUDA Core count to fall within the restrictions that measure AI performance.
The current situation is a little more fluid than NVIDIA simply shipping cutdown versions of its existing hardware to China, as US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has some very bold words. "We cannot let China get these chips, period," Gina said. "We're going to deny them our most cutting-edge technology."
- Read more: NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4090D for the Chinese market will use cut down AD102-250 GPU
- Read more: NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang: we will adhere 'perfectly' to latest US rules on AI GPUs into China
- Read more: NVIDIA warned: redesign a GPU for AI for China, US government will stop them the next day
Gina added that if companies like NVIDIA redesign hardware to fall within new guidelines and regulations, the U.S. will also crack down on those. What does this mean for the GeForce RTX 4090D launch? Well, it's expected that the 4090D will be fine as a gaming GPU. US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is most likely talking about NVIDIA's redesigned AI hardware for the region, like the H20.
Still, with the remaining RTX 4090 stock in China being repurposed and sold as AI hardware, it will also come under fire if the RTX 4090D is close enough performance-wise.