desktop devices with laptops. What’s going on? / Hebrew

desktop devices with laptops. What’s going on? / Hebrew

Over the past few months, China has stepped up production of hybrid graphics cards. As mentioned in the title, the graphics adapters are desktop, but the chip is laptop. What kind of video cards are these and how do they differ from ordinary ones? Details – under the cat.

A mixture of a bulldog and a rhinoceros

Immediately, several techno media pointed to a new trend — the sale of video cards intended for installation in desktop PCs, but equipped with chips for mobile devices instead of conventional ones. Of course, we are not talking about budget systems, otherwise there would be no point in producing “hybrids”. The Chinese, for example, started selling relatively inexpensive GeForce 4000 video cards. Apparently, these are analogs of 4080 and 4090, but, as they say, there is a nuance.

The main thing is their price. Buyers of electronic devices always hope to make a profitable purchase by purchasing some top device at the price of a younger model. And so here — it seems that modern video cards are sold very cheaply.

As it turned out, the box opens simply – the video card may be working, but the chip is not desktop, but mobile. At the same time, the graphics adapter can be any in the sense of any manufacturer, including MSI, Asus, Gigabyte and others.

The problem is that such graphics adapters will never achieve the results that are shown by real “adult” models designed for desktop devices. And the relatively low price turns out to be too high, if we take into account the same nuance that was discussed above.

Is it possible to separate the grain from the chaff?

Yes, but in our case only when the “weighing” is removed, i.e. cooling. If you buy such a system, it is naturally photographed with all the accessories, so that it will not be possible to distinguish a fake from an original. The user may not even suspect anything, since the card looks no different from the original.

But if you remove the cooling system, then you can reach the graphics processor marking, and you can see that this is the laptop version of the chip – with the letter “M”. For example, 4090M or 4080M. Marking is also different. If we talk about the mobile version, then the AD104 processor is used there, but if we talk about desktop cards without “nuance”, then these are AD103 and AD102 chips.

In addition, the description most often indicates the number of CUDA cores, and in desktop cards with a normal graphics processor their number is always higher than in cards with a laptop chip.

How does it threaten the user?

In general, nothing like that, except disappointment from wasted money. Yes, a hybrid video card can be 40% less productive than the real original. For example, the 4070 has a power rating of 285 W, and the mobile version of the 4080M chip has 175 W. The difference is simply striking.

If we talk about the price, the buyer, of course, saves. Yes, a hybrid video card costs about $600, while the original is asking for almost twice as much. This may already be a sign of not quite fair play on the part of the seller. Of course, miracles do happen, but mostly on New Year’s Day, and this definitely does not apply to video cards.

If you buy such a card and something happens to it, the manufacturer is unlikely to accept it under warranty. If only because the manufacturers, if we are talking about officials, do not have such cards. So you can stay near a broken trough without a map and without money. And the card itself may simply not “pull” a very resource-demanding game, so the user will not get pleasure, but only be upset.

Not just video cards

So, in pursuit of profit, the Chinese are not only engaged in modifications of video cards, they implement other plans.
According to a number of foreign media, small Chinese companies recycle e-waste and extract, for example, SSD chips from old, discarded SSDs or smartphones/tablets. There are even well-known companies engaged in this – for example, Phison and Huirong. Here’s a photo of a drive assembled mostly from scrap smartphone components.

In general, this is not bad, provided that the components are tested. And if in Korea, perhaps chip test equipment is available and in use. In China, not all small companies have systems for such a test, and they cost a lot of money. That’s why you’re lucky here — you can buy an inexpensive SSD that will work for years, or you can buy a drive that will fail in just a couple of days or won’t initialize at all.

The Chinese also solder smaller chips, down to the smallest SMD components such as capacitors, resistors and others. Every year, China recycles more and more e-waste, which brings many companies a good income.

So the situation is twofold. On the one hand, it is good that electronic waste and components from the secondary market are processed. On the other hand, now you can’t be sure that when you buy a new DDR4 memory stick or SSD, they will really turn out to be new, with the appropriate service life.

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