Upcoming ban of GeForce RTX 4090 exports to China is affecting prices everywhere

midian182

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In a nutshell: The US government's upcoming ban of RTX 4090 exports to China is not only playing havoc with prices and availability of the card in the Asian nation but has also resulted in problems closer to home. Prices for the card on US retail sites have increased while finding one in stock isn't as easy as it used to be.

The rumored changes to US sanctions on tech exports proved accurate this week when the Department Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) updated its list of export controls on semiconductor manufacturing items and advanced chips to China and other countries.

The RTX 4090's bandwidth and compute power means that, under the new rules, the card will be prohibited from being exported to China, along with the A800 and H800 that Nvidia had created specifically for the Chinese market, in 30 days of the new rules being announced.

VideoCardz reports that the move has resulted in RTX 4090 cards in China doubling or quadrupling in price, while many stores have removed listings for the card, including Nvidia's own Founders Edition.

PC Gamer notes that the impact is being felt in the US, too. The RTX 4090 is out of stock on the Nvidia store, while the cheapest one on Newegg is the $1,699 Zotac Gaming model followed by a $1,729 MSI card, with several listings out of stock. Amazon's cheapest RTX 4090 is also $1,699. It was only a few days ago that these cards could be found for their MSRP - or even lower when looking back over the last few months.

While it's only the RTX 4090 that's being affected, the news comes amid concerns that Nvidia's focus on its lucrative AI/datacenter products could result in its gaming line becoming less of a priority, leading to the bad old days of the pandemic/chip shortage/crypto-craze when prices and availability of graphics cards were ridiculously bad.

The good news is that such a scenario seems unlikely to happen. Prices and availability of other cards have remained stable and the RTX 4090 situation will probably return to normal in a month once the China ban is implemented, after which time there's no point in people buying the flagships with the purpose of exporting them to the country. The only real issue could be a lack of RTX 4090s in next week's Black Friday sale.

In other Nvidia news, rumors (emphasis on that word) are circulating that the company is preparing to release several Super variants of current RTX 4000-series cards. One of these, the RTX 4070 Super, is said to pack 16GB of VRAM and be based on the AD103 GPU.

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I think this ban will likely result in the CCP increasing funding to domestic alternatives which will then flood the market and displace western brands.
 
I think this ban will likely result in the CCP increasing funding to domestic alternatives which will then flood the market and displace western brands.
Can they replace A800, H800 or RTX 4090 with anything they have domestically? I seriously doubt, this ban was meant to hurt China and I think it really does that well.
 
Can they replace A800, H800 or RTX 4090 with anything they have domestically? I seriously doubt, this ban was meant to hurt China and I think it really does that well.

It does hurt in the short term but longer term implications are unclear.

The domestically produced MTT S80 is roughly equivalent in power to the 1660.
 
I think this ban will likely result in the CCP increasing funding to domestic alternatives which will then flood the market and displace western brands.
China can't manufacture chips as small as the other fabs and cannot buy the lithography equipment to make them. They will have to develop their own lithography equipment and then make chips. There is only one company in the world that can make them so China probably has close to a decade before they can compete with what the rest of the world has access to now.
 
So by having the demand of the cards effectively shrink to like 60-70% of what it just was due to the ban, it should mean that now there's an over-supply and under-demand of this card...This is the exact kind of market forces economists have taught us should lead to a decrease in price, not an increase.

Anybody care to take a stab at it? Let's be generous and say that Nvidia foresaw this coming with enough anticipation several months ago and reduced their production rates to control the supply, if this is still happening does it means that they just never cared about any other market but China?

Otherwise in what world does it makes sense that demand going away means an increase in price, unless Nvidia themselves or all of the distributors (Though I'd suspect more about Nvidia) are just price-fixing which need I remind you, it's a felony?

Or the most likely scenario is that the news and headlines really love to go 100% Orientalist about a pricing behavior that probably had 0% to do with the China ban and 100% to do with the fact that Nvidia will just be switching most of their consumer allocation to Enterprise products? In fact we just saw news that Nvidia was releasing TensorRT-LLM for Windows so the market demand has increased enough to make up for and even surpass the demand they had in China, on top of Nvidia probably knowing people could use the 4090 for TensorRT-LLM decided now it's the perfect time to just make it less attractive to ML enthusiasts and push them into enterprise cards instead by again, intentionally constraining supply almost at the same time they made the former TensorRT-LLM announcement?

Just speculation on my part but it certainly makes more sense than 'We can't sell these cards we made to China, this means prices would go up since that's how the free market works right?'
 
So by having the demand of the cards effectively shrink to like 60-70% of what it just was due to the ban, it should mean that now there's an over-supply and under-demand of this card...This is the exact kind of market forces economists have taught us should lead to a decrease in price, not an increase.
There's a very easy explanation for this. nVidia is purposely reducing orders for the chips to decrease availability. (They announced this a while back.) They figure if people were willing to pay ridiculous prices during the GPU shortage then why not just keep prices that high forever?

When people started boycotting the insane prices and stopped buying these overpriced cards nVidia responded by lowering supply instead of lowering prices. This way the cards are scarce and the people who really want them will pay the exorbitant asking price and the rest can go screw themselves. It's their way of making sure that sky high prices are here to stay.

At this point nVidia doesn't even care all that much about the GPU market since they're making huge profits with AI hardware and have shifted their focus towards that sector.
 
There's a very easy explanation for this. nVidia is purposely reducing orders for the chips to decrease availability. (They announced this a while back.) They figure if people were willing to pay ridiculous prices during the GPU shortage then why not just keep prices that high forever?

When people started boycotting the insane prices and stopped buying these overpriced cards nVidia responded by lowering supply instead of lowering prices. This way the cards are scarce and the people who really want them will pay the exorbitant asking price and the rest can go screw themselves. It's their way of making sure that sky high prices are here to stay.

At this point nVidia doesn't even care all that much about the GPU market since they're making huge profits with AI hardware and have shifted their focus towards that sector.
Let’s agree that what you said is true. NVDA is not the only GPU maker. Look at AMD, you can buy a card from them for less. Sometimes much less. Why not buy an AMD card? In the past, I considered AMD less of an option for gaming, because I had too many problems with it, but it’s 2023 now and the Red team is greatly improved.

Yes, NVDA does have some control over pricing in the market, but not as much as many people think. We, as consumers have control too … we can delay our purchase, we can buy AMD or even Intel, we can even buy used. Delaying our purchase has the greatest effect on their earnings. With the economy slowing because of high interest rates, demand is likely way down.

Vote with your money.
 
So by having the demand of the cards effectively shrink to like 60-70% of what it just was due to the ban, it should mean that now there's an over-supply and under-demand of this card...This is the exact kind of market forces economists have taught us should lead to a decrease in price, not an increase.

Anybody care to take a stab at it? Let's be generous and say that Nvidia foresaw this coming with enough anticipation several months ago and reduced their production rates to control the supply, if this is still happening does it means that they just never cared about any other market but China?

Otherwise in what world does it makes sense that demand going away means an increase in price, unless Nvidia themselves or all of the distributors (Though I'd suspect more about Nvidia) are just price-fixing which need I remind you, it's a felony?

Or the most likely scenario is that the news and headlines really love to go 100% Orientalist about a pricing behavior that probably had 0% to do with the China ban and 100% to do with the fact that Nvidia will just be switching most of their consumer allocation to Enterprise products? In fact we just saw news that Nvidia was releasing TensorRT-LLM for Windows so the market demand has increased enough to make up for and even surpass the demand they had in China, on top of Nvidia probably knowing people could use the 4090 for TensorRT-LLM decided now it's the perfect time to just make it less attractive to ML enthusiasts and push them into enterprise cards instead by again, intentionally constraining supply almost at the same time they made the former TensorRT-LLM announcement?

Just speculation on my part but it certainly makes more sense than 'We can't sell these cards we made to China, this means prices would go up since that's how the free market works right?'

The ban isn’t in place yet. It starts in 30 days I think. What you’re seeing is prices going up from high demand due to people rushing to buy 4090’s “before” the ban.
 
So by having the demand of the cards effectively shrink to like 60-70% of what it just was due to the ban, it should mean that now there's an over-supply and under-demand of this card...This is the exact kind of market forces economists have taught us should lead to a decrease in price, not an increase.

Anybody care to take a stab at it? Let's be generous and say that Nvidia foresaw this coming with enough anticipation several months ago and reduced their production rates to control the supply, if this is still happening does it means that they just never cared about any other market but China?

Otherwise in what world does it makes sense that demand going away means an increase in price, unless Nvidia themselves or all of the distributors (Though I'd suspect more about Nvidia) are just price-fixing which need I remind you, it's a felony?

Or the most likely scenario is that the news and headlines really love to go 100% Orientalist about a pricing behavior that probably had 0% to do with the China ban and 100% to do with the fact that Nvidia will just be switching most of their consumer allocation to Enterprise products? In fact we just saw news that Nvidia was releasing TensorRT-LLM for Windows so the market demand has increased enough to make up for and even surpass the demand they had in China, on top of Nvidia probably knowing people could use the 4090 for TensorRT-LLM decided now it's the perfect time to just make it less attractive to ML enthusiasts and push them into enterprise cards instead by again, intentionally constraining supply almost at the same time they made the former TensorRT-LLM announcement?

Just speculation on my part but it certainly makes more sense than 'We can't sell these cards we made to China, this means prices would go up since that's how the free market works right?'

Yes I was confused as well about this. The ban of certain GPUs exported to China shouldn't make the price of them go up in the USA. Rather it should increase supply domestically. The reason for the price increase is not the ban, but nvidia and maybe scalpers who want to sell to China in the black market ?
 
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