Another instance of a Nvidia GPUs Unofficial is now on sale, and while it’s a good deal on the surface, you should think twice before buying such a card.
This time, we are talking about an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 TiM. If the name doesn’t sound familiar to you, that’s because it’s not a real desktop graphics card; instead, it’s a mobile card altered to fit a desktop PC.
This unusual RTX 3070 TiM graphics card appeared for sale on AliExpress. Made by 51Risc, a smaller GPU manufacturer, the GPU is definitely a desktop model, but inside the casing, you’ll find the mobile version of Nvidia’s official RTX 3070 Ti laptop.
While the name is the same, it should come as no surprise that the laptop card offers significantly worse specs than its desktop counterpart. The RTX 3070 TiM, as revealed by the vendor, houses Nvidia’s GA104 (GN20-E) chip, while the desktop RTX 3070 Ti is equipped with the full GA104-400 GPU. Let’s compare the specs between the two cards.
The “legitimate” RTX 3070 Ti desktop comes with 6,144 CUDA cores and a clock speed ranging between 1,580MHz and 1,770MHz, as well as 8GB of 19GT/s GDDR6X memory. The mobile version has 5,888 CUDA cores, a boost clock of up to 1,485MHz, and 8GB of 14 GT/s GDDR6 memory.
The RTX 3070 TiM, on the other hand, doesn’t exactly copy the mobile card’s specs, but it’s pretty close with 5,888 CUDA cores, a maximum clock speed of 1,410MHz, and 8GB of 17.5GT/s memory. It is very close to the RTX 3060 Ti (desktop) in terms of specs, with a lower clock speed and slightly higher TDP.
Now, that’s the advantage of this card over the real RTX 3070 Ti: It has a significantly lower TDP than the real thing, with the 3070 Ti having a TDP of 290 watts, while the altered mobile card only reaches 220 watts; the RTX 3060 Ti tops out at 200W.
The seller attached a test from Geek3D Furmark, which shows that the card never went above 64 degrees Celsius, so temperatures are under control and it saves 70 watts compared to the desktop model. It is priced around $340 compared to roughly what you’ll need to spend on an RTX 3060 Ti, which can be treated as the equivalent of this GPU. 51Risc also offers free shipping from China to the United States, so that might sound like a good deal, but there’s a catch.
To use this card, you will need to use mobile drivers even if the card is installed on a desktop. VideoCardz he also notes that you’ll have to rely on third-party software for the GPU, as Nvidia obviously doesn’t support the RTX 3070 TiM in any way. It’s not an official card, and that comes with downsides, including a limited warranty and no hope that Nvidia will help should any issues arise.
We’ve seen some of these “Frankensteined” graphics cards before, but we would never recommend them in our ranking of the best GPUs. Misleadingly named, these types of cards still work and work well enough most of the time, but you can usually get a better deal just by buying an official GPU.
In the case of the RTX 3070 TiM, you can get an RTX 3060 Ti and avoid the hassle of dealing with unofficial software. On the other hand, prices may vary; the 3070 TiM may be cheaper in your area than the 3060 Ti.