NVIDIA’s repurposed GeForce RTX 4090 “AI” GPUs for the Chinese market have been pictured in detail showing us how these gaming cards are getting a new life to serve the bigger and lucrative markets after the recent ban.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 AI Blower GPUs Pictured: Gaming Cards Repurposed For The Chinese AI Segment
A few days ago, we reported how several Chinese factories had popped up out of nowhere with just one task, to dismantle and convert NVIDIA’s flagship gaming GPU, the GeForce RTX 4090, into an AI solution for the Chinese domestic market. This was done to facilitate the Chinese AI segment which faces a complete ban of NVIDIA’s AI GPUs due to the latest US policies.
Even the GeForce RTX 4090 is technically banned but prior to the restrictions, a large pool of RTX 4090s had been stockpiled by Chinese customers and now these chips are being used specifically to power the country’s AI needs.
So coming to the product itself, there are many that are being rolled out by different Chinese factories but the one spotted by I_Leak_VN is particularly interesting since it tries to retain a “FE” or Founders Edition look with a stylish shroud on the front and even comes with a backplate.
The GPU itself is cooled by a dual-slot heatsink which includes a blower-style cooler. The graphics card has a large exhaust vent on the back with the standard four display outputs which include three DP 1.4 & a single HDMI 2.1 port. The 16-pin power connector is featured on the front of the PCB which is not a traditional spot where you’d find the plug on a standard RTX 4090.
To make such cards, these factories are dismantling entire PCBs, removing the GPUs & the GDDR6X memory, and fusing them on brand new PCBs that are designed in accordance with the requirements of AI customers. You can also see that there are several packages weighing up to 8.8 KG (Gross Weight) and housing at least five of these NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 AI graphics cards. We can count at least 20 boxes in the picture so that’s 100 GPUs headed to an AI customer.
There are thousands of such cards being shipped to AI companies who no longer have access to the true AI GPUs but it looks like the GeForce RTX 4090 is serving their needs just fine. It remains to be seen how long can Chinese companies rely on RTX 4090s as they are eventually going to run out of such cards and would have to look into alternatives. China already has a list of alternatives devised for its AI needs but it is unlikely if they are of the same caliber as NVIDIA’s offerings.