NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3060M Mobility GPU has been repurposed into a desktop-grade graphics card for the PC market. This is one of many Ampere Mobility GPUs built for a completely different segment of the market but due to a GPU shortage earlier this year, it was integrated into a desktop graphics card and now we have the first tests.
Tested: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M Mobility GPU in a desktop graphics card?
Readers may remember during the shortage of a graphics card when the situation with the acquisition of components for creating graphics cards was difficult, and prices were unreasonably high due to the lack of enough stock on the shelves. Some Chinese OEMs have considered using mobile GPUs as an alternative to desktop graphics cards. When the GPU shortage hit the hardest, Chinese OEMs came up with the idea to sell Portable GPUs as desktop models. One of these graphics cards was recently reviewed by BullsLab Jay YouTube Channelshowing the performance of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M variant.
As mentioned above, this unique graphics card is a laptop-based graphics processing unit (GPU) into a desktop graphics card. There is only 6GB of GDDR6 memory available instead of the typical 12GB we see in a GeForce RTX 3060. Interestingly, the CUDA core count has been upgraded from the 3,584-core desktop variant to 3,840 CUDA cores. The TDP on the mobile desktop GPU is 115W, while the full desktop variant requires 170W. During the review, the review sample used by the BullLab Jay was locked at 80W. Surprisingly, the card works like a desktop graphics card and is much better than the 105W laptop series.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M laptop graphics chip and the graphics card that uses a laptop GPU for a desktop card share the same name, GN20-E3.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M hybrid graphics card is not designed for desktop gaming but for cryptocurrency mining. The reason is that LHR has no limitations but still offers nearly exact memory specifications for Ethereum mining. But now that mining is largely useless on these cards, they are entering the used market segment.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series hybrid cards are a Frankenstein’s beast of graphics cards, so there are no GPU manufacturer-generated drivers, which means they require custom drivers. The specific driver, version 512.12, is incredibly older. Due to NVIDIA’s lack of official support, the cards are believed to have been manufactured illegally. Confusingly, it appears that NVIDIA has no interest in stopping the sale of any of these cards, which are in reasonably high demand on Chinese retailer websites.
The video is interesting because it allows the audience to see the performance of these mixed cards. It’s too bad the cards weren’t outside the China market, where they could have helped with the crisis, even just a little bit. But it’s good that the GPU shortage is over. There was also the RTX 3070M graphics card that we talked about a few months ago here.
In the review, BullLab Jay showed that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M desktop graphics card is identical to the laptop variant, even with the difference between TDP levels. Clock speeds are higher, between 100 to 300MHz, and depend on the processes taking place in the system at the moment. The desktop GPU delivers excellent heat dissipation and perfect cooling that dwarfs the laptop versions.
As for gaming performance, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M graphics card has already managed to deliver better performance than the desktop variant. This is due to the fact that it provides a higher base number.
Here are the 3DMark scores tabulated from the review:
These NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series hybrid graphics cards are not recommended for regular use with lack of official support and possibly questionable warranty cases. But it is interesting to see a laptop GPU in a desktop card, reminiscent of DIY projects found on the Internet.
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