Rows of latest-model laptops, highly sought after by the gaming community, have been spotted in China being used to mine cryptocurrency.
In tweets posted on Wednesday, images show a room filled with “several hundred” gaming laptops said to be kitted out with Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics processing units (GPUs). WCCTech, a computer and gaming publication, said the laptops shown in the tweets come from the Chinese manufacturer Hasse and are being used to mine crypto using the in-demand Nvidia cards.
Like something from a gamer’s nightmare, some laptops appear to be stripped of their housing to offer optimal cooling for the hard-at-work GPUs.
High-end GPUs are preferred by cryptocurrency miners because of the cards’ greater processing power for crunching the mathematical tasks needed for mining. While bitcoin mining requires specialized processors called ASICs, cryptocurrencies like Ethereum’s ether can still be mined on GPUs.
Gamers desire such top-of-the-range cards, too, however, because they provide a boost to graphics performance and are generally the easiest component in a computer to upgrade in order to to keep up with the latest gaming titles.
Typically, tech retailers and distributors place buy limits on the number of highly sought after products in order to distribute evenly. The tweets indicate a deal may have been struck between either retailer, distributor or laptop manufacturer and the mining entity for a bulk order, per WCCTech’s report.
The entry-level laptops retail for $999 while the high-end models are expected to hit shelves for a recommended retail price of $1,999, according to the report. If the images and video are indeed authentic, the value of the newly established mining operation could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars at high street prices.
Nvidia recently said it could potentially restart production of dedicated GPUs for cryptocurrency miners, if demand is there. However, it played down the possibility that miners are eating into its general inventory, saying gamers were outstripping its supplies.