A Korean TechTuber has shared photo that is said to show the bare PCB of a desktop graphics card that features an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 mobile GPU. BullsLab Jay says that the PCB shot, centered on the GPU and 6GB worth of memory ICs, shared some interesting comments on this unofficial silicon mish-mash.
According to the TechTuber, those who get their hands on one of these RTX 3060 Mobile add-in-cards for desktop PCs will have to rely on a “custom driver.” BullsLab Jay clarified by stating that Nvidia’s “official drivers [are] not recognized.”
When we reported upon spotting piles of these mixed-up GPUs being sold on the internet in China back in March, we mentioned that they were very likely to be cryptomining GPUs. In brief, the GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile never featured Nvidia’s Light Hash Rate (LHR) cryptocurrency mining limiter, so these unofficial hybrids were quite popular. Reports suggested there were similarly cobbled together RTX 3070 mobile GPUs on desktop cards too.
With the cards meant for cryptomining, the reliance on a custom driver wouldn’t be much of a bother. However, those with any intention of gaming, (and avoiding drivers of unknown provenance, which is just good security practice) may be upset that they won’t get regular updates and optimized drivers for games.
The TechTuber also had some insight into the performance of the RTX 3060 mobile / desktop cards. We aren’t sure if this is first hand knowledge but he says that users of these unofficial designs should expect much the same performance as one would get in a laptop – with the bonus of better cooling and a 10W higher power budget. The GPU power budget was one of the big factors holding back the RTX 30 mobile series, though the GPUs were cut back in other ways too (CUDA cores, memory etc).
Last but not least, what looks like the collapse of cryptomining is flooding the market with used GPUs. Some of the used crypto cards will likely be experiencing ‘wear’ issues – which could be a trivial fan replacement or re-paste, or something more serious. If we get these mobile / desktop cards thrown onto used marketplaces, with dodgy specification misreporting BIOS files and so on, it means buyers have to be extra vigilant to avoid getting ripped off.