Repurposed NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M graphics card tested, mobile desktop GPU that performs better than the desktop variant


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The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M mobile GPU has been repurposed as a desktop-grade graphics card for the PC market. This is one of many mobile Ampere GPUs that was designed for a completely different market segment, but due to GPU shortages, it was merged with a desktop graphics card earlier this year and we now have our first benchmarks.

Tested: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M mobile GPU in a desktop graphics card?

Readers can remember the days of graphics card shortages, when the situation was difficult to obtain components for building video cards, and prices were insanely high due to lack of stock on the shelves. Some Chinese OEMs have considered laptop GPUs as a replacement for desktop graphics cards. When the GPU shortage hit hardest, Chinese OEMs came up with the idea of ​​selling laptop GPUs as desktop models. One such card was recently reviewed by YouTube channel BullsLab Jay showing the performance of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M variant.

As stated above, this unique graphics card is a laptop GPU in a desktop graphics card. Only 6GB of GDDR6 memory is available instead of the typical 12GB we would see on the GeForce RTX 3060. Interestingly, the CUDA core count has been increased from 3584 desktop variant cores to 3840 CUDA cores. The TDP of a mobile desktop GPU is 115W, while a fully functional desktop variant would require 170W. At the time of review, the test sample used by BullLab Jay was locked at 80 watts. Surprisingly, the card performs like a desktop graphics card and is much better than the 105W laptop series.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M graphics chip for laptops and the graphics card that uses the laptop GPU for the desktop card share the same name, GN20-E3.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M hybrid desktop graphics card was not built for gaming, but for cryptocurrency mining. The reason is that there is no LHR limit, but still offers close to exact memory specifications for Ethereum mining. But now that mining on these cards is practically useless, they are entering the used market segment.

These NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series hybrid cards are the Frankenstein monster among graphics cards, so the GPU company does not create drivers, which means that they require special drivers. The specific driver, release 512.12, is incredibly old. It is assumed that due to the lack of official support from NVIDIA, the cards were made illegally. Oddly enough, NVIDIA doesn’t seem to be showing any interest in stopping sales of any of these cards, which are in high demand on Chinese retailers’ websites.

The video is interesting in that it allows the public to see how these hybrid cards work. It’s a pity that the cards never made it out of the Chinese market, as they could have helped a little with the crisis. But it’s good that the shortage of GPUs is over. There was also an RTX 3070M graphics card that we talked about here a few months ago.

BullLab Jay’s review shows that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M desktop graphics card is identical to its laptop version, even with the difference between TDP levels. Clock frequencies are higher, from 100 to 300 MHz, and depend on the processes taking place in the system at the moment. Desktop GPU provides superior heat dissipation and perfect cooling performance compared to laptop versions.

In terms of gaming performance, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060M graphics card was indeed able to offer better performance than the desktop variant. This is because it offers more cores.

Below are the 3DMark results from the review:

These NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series hybrid graphics cards are not recommended for regular use due to lack of official support and possible questionable warranty situations. But it’s 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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