Due to the recent US sanctions on China, a lot of things have started to change, including the prices of the GeForce RTX 4090 in the US.
Nvidia will no longer be allowed to sell this graphics card in China, so existing GeForce RTX 4090 stocks in the country are being modified into AI accelerators and then sold for a profit.
According to a Chinese insider report, new companies are being formed with the sole purpose of dismantling GeForce RTX 4090 cards and turning them into hardware designed for AI workloads.
This process in China is now working at scale using a massive stock of GeForce RTX 4090 already available in the country.
The process starts with dismantling high-end GeForce RTX 4090 cards and removing the most expensive components from the cards. These expensive components are then used on entirely new boards with a blower-style cooler.
Chinese companies are picking blower-style coolers due to their effectiveness in multi-GPU environments, previously seen in designated crypto-mining farms. However, it would be more appropriate to call them AI farms now.
The AI-centered repurposed blower-style GeForce RTX 4090 cards are then put through a rigorous testing regiment in the facilities where they can observe Furmark, 3DMark, and a variety of AI apps being run on them.
Following a final inspection, these GPUs are packed and shipped to AI businesses in China.
Without the actual GPUs or memory chips, these Chinese vendors offer the remaining parts, such as coolers and empty boards, to users looking for inexpensive cooler upgrades or professionals in need of replacement components.
The current Ban in China is limited to a select few cards from Nvidia, including A100, A800, H100, H800, L40, L40S, and RTX 4090. While a ban like this would indeed hit Nvidia directly, its competitors are more likely to benefit from it in the coming years.
AMD, for one, has said it sees an opportunity to develop an artificial intelligence chip specifically for the Chinese market that would meet US export restrictions.
Malik Usman is student of Computer Science focused on using his knowledge to produce detailed and informative articles covering the latest findings from the tech industry. His expertise allows him to cover subjects like processors, graphics cards, and more. In addition to the latest hardware, Malik can be found writing about the gaming industry from time to time. He is fond of games like God of War, and his work has been mentioned on websites like Whatculture, VG247, IGN, and Eurogamer.