When it comes to buying a graphics card for our PC, we need to consider our budget and the intended use. From there, it’s time to see which GPU is the best for us to purchase, and if we have a very high budget, the RTX 4090 is the top choice. Imagine buying an RTX 4090 on Amazon only for it not to work and then sending it to a repair shop where it is deemed irreparable after discovering it’s a fake.
Most people with gaming PCs are content with a mid-range GPU, even from a few years ago, as it’s still enough to play most games without too many issues. Thanks to upscaling technologies like AMD FSR, NVIDIA DLSS, and Intel XeSS, it’s possible to play with more FPS without major sacrifices in quality. However, some players want more and seek high performance with the best graphics and resolution.
A user brought in an ROG Strix RTX 4090 for repair, but it’s not what it seems
Despite their high price, the RTX 4090 GPUs have sold quite well due to their excellent performance. Many enthusiast gamers want high FPS at 4K resolution, where this graphics card stands out above the rest. Nevertheless, the RTX 4090s have not had a great reputation precisely because they have ended up damaged. We already know the story of the 12VHPWR adapters and connectors of the RTX 4090 that, even after all this time, continue to cause issues. YouTuber northwestrepair is used to receiving damaged GPUs with various issues, as he repairs them.
Upon seeing a damaged ASUS ROG Strix RTX 4090 with a burned connector from a client, he had an idea of how to fix it. However, when opening the card, he was surprised. Not only did the graphics card have several damaged components, but the chip was from an RTX 4090 Mobile, or the laptop version.
The fake RTX 4090 from Amazon uses an RTX 4090 Mobile chip and an RTX 4080 PCB
The chip of this fake Amazon RTX 4090 has been compared with a genuine RTX 4090 chip, and the difference is enormous. The RTX 4090 Mobile performs approximately like a desktop RTX 4070 Ti. This is normal, as laptop graphics cards are more limited, with reduced frequencies and power consumption compared to desktop versions. This fake RTX 4090 is a Frankenstein GPU, using an RTX 4080 desktop PCB and a laptop RTX 4090 die.
Given that even the chip is damaged, it’s impossible to make it work. In fact, despite northwestrepair’s extensive experience, he has informed the client that the GPU is irreparable. According to the client, the GPU came from an Amazon returns pallet, and it was just bad luck. Although the exterior looked like a high-end ROG Strix, the internals told a different story.
The takeaway is to be careful with refurbished items on Amazon, as some RTX 4090s are being sold with RTX 4080 PCBs and laptop GPUs.