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Nvidia is releasing a slower RTX 4090 in China to comply with US sanctions

Nvidia is releasing a slower RTX 4090 in China to comply with US sanctions

Nvidia is launching a graphics card specifically for China to comply with US export controls. In a product page on the Chinese version of Nvidia's website, the chip maker has introduced the RTX 4090D: a GPU that is less powerful than the flagship RTX 4090 sold elsewhere.

The RTX 4090D has fewer CUDA cores than its RTX 4090 counterpart, which is 14,592 versus 16,384. It also has a slightly lower power draw, at 425W instead of 450W. Although most other specifications are the same between the two versions of the chips, the RTX 4090D is still "5% slower in gaming and creation," Nvidia spokesperson Benjamin Berrando said in an email statement to The Verge.

Nvidia launched the GPU after the US tightened export restrictions on high-end chips sent to China. The new restrictions not only prevent Nvidia from selling the less-powerful H800 and A800 AI GPUs developed for the Chinese market, but they also prevent the company from selling the RTX 4090 in the country.

“The GeForce RTX 4090 D is designed to be fully compliant with U.S. government export controls,” Berrando said. He said the company "engaged extensively with the US government" while developing the chip.

The RTX 4090D will be available in China starting in January for ¥12,999 (~$1,836 USD). Its release could help ease the surging demand for powerful graphics cards in China, which has reportedly led to some factories in the country dismantling and reusing the banned RTX 4090 for AI.

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