Black Market GeForce RTX 4090 GPUs Plucked From Prebuilts Are Going Gangbusters In China

4090 stylized shot
Gamers in the US will readily remember the chaos that the cryptocurrency boom caused on their wallets. With similar disappearing availability, the AI boom and ensuing bans in China are causing similar issues with NVIDIA's most powerful GPUs, and notably the GeForce RTX 40 series.

A person in Taiwan supposedly bought 20 prebuilt PCs that have the much-in-demand GeForce RTX 4090. Typically, prebuilt systems may cost more than it will be worth just for the GPU, but this is a special case. The GeForce RTX 4090 has been in high demand for AI in China, with buyers using all means necessary to acquire this GPU. 

Through the shadowy murkiness of the black market, these adventurous sellers are getting these banned-in-China products into prohibited areas. Buyers in China seem to be more than willing to acquire these sought-after GPUs, even if it means losing warranty and other official support. It does not appear to be a complex acquisition process for buyers, with a relatively speedy turnaround time. 

This news may come as a slight surprise to US buyers, who have been experiencing a frigid GPU market the last year with much less demand. Recently released GeForce RTX Super GPUs have pleased some gamers who were waiting, but have not ignited a ton of excitement in the market.


With the GeForce RTX 4090 highly desirable due to its top-notch gaming performance and AI capabilities, maneuvers such as using prebuilt PCs to fill the void run rampant. Sellers also appear to still be profitable, even with the extra steps baked-in. The primary driver for this demand is only accelerated by the US Government ban on exports to China of the more powerful AI GPUs. 

While AI buyers in China still prefer the more powerful data center GPUs, the GeForce RTX 4090 is a secondary choice to help keep up with demand. NVIDIA has tried to introduce cut-down models such as the GeForce 4090D in China, but apparently that has not proven sufficient. 

Enterprising buyers will scoop up these consumer GeForce RTX 4090 GPUs, and often modify their coolers so they can work well in a data center environment. This appears to be a growing trend, as the recent MyDrivers content shows us the ever-desirable GeForce RTX 4090 will make sellers get creative.