Graphics cards are becoming the new in-thing for smugglers and scalpers. In particular, the Nvidia CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor) is a popular target. TVB News highlights the severity of the situation with a report that some 300 CMP 30HX graphics cards were seized by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department.
The story sounds like something from a movie. Chinese authorities spotted a suspicious fishing boat anchored outside Hong Kong International Airport. The smugglers were loading boxes into a speedboat at two in the morning. The men, when detected, dived into the speedboat, and sped to mainland waters. One high-speed boat chase later, the gang got away. However, the authorities managed to capture the owner of the fishing boat.
The goods confiscated by the police included the usual things like exotic foods and some tech products, such as gadgets and smartphones. The most surprising part of the seize was some 300 graphics cards. The complete haul was valued at around HK$2 million/$257,000 in American.
The graphics cards do not have any branding or stickers indicating their source of origin. Given the lack of display outputs, the graphics cards are definitely CMP cards. These cards have a black and grey cooler with two attached cooling fans. The price for the CMPs is something of a mystery, but they are selling for up to $723 on some markets.
The Nvidia CMP cards are not even suited for Ethereum mining, with the estimated 26 MH/s hash rate. However, the current graphics cards shortage is likely affecting crypto miners as much as it is affecting gamers. Even a contraband 30HX is cheaper than buying one from Nvidia, making the investment worth it in the end.
With even major corporations getting in on buying graphics cards – such as the $30 million Hut 8 Mining Corp spent on Nvidia graphics cards, there’s no telling when the pain will be over for PC gamers who just want raytracing in Minecraft.