According to rumors, Nvidia is switching from making RTX 4090 GPUs to Hopper H100 GPUs. The fact that most shops’ RTX 4090 stockpiles have been exhausted, despite the card’s costly pricing, shouldn’t come as a surprise because it shows that demand is outpacing supply. However, suppose a recent claim is correct. In that case, there may be even fewer AD102 GPUs on the market because Nvidia is shifting production to the H100 enterprise GPUs based on the more lucrative Hopper architecture.
When searching for the RTX 4090 on Newegg, all that comes up are the depressingly familiar “Out of Stock” warnings prevalent at the height of the graphics card crisis. The current Lovelace flagship has a hefty MSRP of $1,499. Despite this, those looking for the top of the best find it to be a compelling option due to its exceptional raw performance.
MyDrivers asserts that Nvidia’s directive to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) to switch some production from the AD102 GPU, which powers the RTX 4090, to the Hopper H100 GPUs compute processors, could make the RTX 4090 more scarce. Since both employ the same 4N node, moving production shouldn’t present too many difficulties for TSMC.
Why would Nvidia make such a decision? Much of it probably boils down to money, as it does with many other things. The Hopper H100 GPUs costs more than $30,000 and has 80GB of HBM3 memory, 16,896 FP32 CUDA cores, 528 Tensor cores, and a 5,120-bit bus that can compete with the RTX 4090 despite having huge margins. H100-based devices can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and businesses frequently purchase them in bulk for exascale machines and server farms means a more robust bottom line for Nvidia.
Most likely, Nvidia requires the extra funds. Due to the decline in gaming revenue and weaker consumer demand brought on by soaring inflation, it had a terrible second quarter. The “unlaunching” of the RTX 4080 12GB will also cost it a lot of money, mainly because team green is paying for most of the costs incurred by AIB partners who must rebox and rebrand the card.
However, the US government may inflict the most significant financial blow on Nvidia. US regulators recently ordered Nvidia and AMD to stop selling their powerful GPUs with an AI focus to China, which is likely to cost the former business up to $400 million.
As with all unconfirmed reports, use caution when interpreting this one. But given that the RTX 4080 16GB and the renamed AD104-based “RTX 4080 12GB” cards are on the way to assist satisfy some of the demand, Nvidia may decide that relocating the manufacture of the AD102 is the best course of action.
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