NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3060M Mobility GPU has been repurposed into a desktop-grade graphics card for the PC market. This is one of the many mobility Ampere GPUs that was designed for an entirely different market segment but due to GPU shortages earlier this year, it had been fused within 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 graphics card shortage when the situation with obtaining components to create graphics cards was difficult, and prices were insanely high due to not enough stock on the shelves. Some Chinese OEMs looked at utilizing laptop GPUs as a replacement for desktop graphics cards. When the GPU shortage hit the hardest, Chinese OEMs came up with the idea to sell laptop GPUs as desktop models. One such graphics card was recently reviewed by the YouTube channel BullsLab Jay, showing the performance of a variant NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M.
As stated above, this unique graphics card is a laptop-based GPU in a desktop graphics card. There is only 6 GB of GDDR6 memory available instead of the typical 12 GB we would see on the GeForce RTX 3060. Interestingly, the CUDA core count is upgraded from a desktop variant’s core count of 3584 cores to 3840 CUDA cores. The TDP on the mobile-based desktop GPU is 115W, whereas the full desktop variant would demand 170W. During the review, the review sample used by BullLab Jay is locked at 80W. Surprisingly, the card performs 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 the desktop card share the same name, the GN20-E3.
The hybrid desktop NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M graphics card was not built for gaming but crypto mining. The reason is the lack of an LHR limitation but still offering close to the exact memory specifications for Ethereum mining. But now that mining is pretty much useless on these cards, they are entering the used market segment.
These hybrid NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series cards are a Frankenstein monster of graphics cards, so there are no drivers created by the company manufacturing the GPUs, meaning they require custom drivers. The specific driver, the 512.12 release, is incredibly older. Due to NVIDIA’s lack of official support, it is speculated that the cards were manufactured illegally. Confusingly, NVIDIA appears not to show any interest in stopping the sale of any of these cards, which have a reasonably great demand on Chinese retailer websites.
The video is interesting because it allows the public to see how these hybrid cards performed. It is too bad that the cards never made it outside China’s marketplace, as they could have assisted with the crisis, even just a little. But it’s a good thing that GPU shortages are over. There was also the RTX 3070M graphics card which we talked about a few months ago here.
In the review, BullLab Jay shows that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M desktop graphics card is identical to its laptop variant, even with the variation between TDP levels. Clock speeds are higher, between 100 to 300 MHz, and are dependent on the processes happening in the system at the moment. The desktop GPU offers excellent heat dissipation and ideal cooling that dwarfs laptop versions.
As for gaming performance, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M graphics card actually managed to offer better performance than the desktop variant. This is due to the fact that it offers a higher core count.
Below are 3DMark scores tabulated from the review:
These hybrid NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards are not recommended for regular use with a lack of official support and possibly questionable warranty situations. But, it is interesting to see a laptop GPU in a desktop card, reminiscent of DIY projects found on the Internet.
News Sources: BullsLab Jay, VideoCardz
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