Cryptominers bulk buying RTX 3000 laptops in China to mine Ethereum

RTX 3000-Series Laptops Mining Etherium
(Image credit: 神鱼BTCer)
Audio player loading…

With the price of Ethereum (opens in new tab) tripling in as many months, cryptominers in China are finding it profitable to buy up new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000-series laptops to mine for the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency.

Several pictures of brand new RTX 3000-series laptops are shown to be hard at work grinding out Ethereum, according to a post (opens in new tab) by user BTCer on the Chinese social media site Weibo.

After tripling in value just since last November, there is a cryptorush on Ethereum right now, which – paired with the limited stock availability of RTX 3000 desktop cards normally used in cryptomining (opens in new tab) – makes new RTX 3000 mobile GPUs a profitable option for miners.

That also means that availability is that much more limited for anyone hoping to get a new RTX 3000 laptop like the Gigabyte Aero 17 (2021) (opens in new tab) or the Alienware m17 (2021) (opens in new tab), at least in China. So far, there haven’t been many reports of laptop shortages broadly speaking, but with desktop RTX 3060 Ti (opens in new tab), RTX 3070 (opens in new tab), RTX 3080 (opens in new tab), and RTX 3090 (opens in new tab) supply still falling far short of demand, it may only be a matter of time before laptop availability starts feeling the pinch.

Cryptomining likely to bite into RTX 3000 laptop supply 

The RTX 3000 laptop market might face some pressure in China, but good news: it’s unlikely to be as bad as the desktop GPU market. As Videocardz (opens in new tab) points out, an RTX 3070 laptop isn't exactly cheap, and the profitability of mining Ethereum on dozens of brand new Ampere (opens in new tab) laptops is largely a function of the soaring price of the cryptocurrency.

That would make mining on a laptop much more sensitive to price fluctuations that cheaper desktop GPUs might be better able to absorb. An RTX 3070 laptop can cost three times what a desktop card would cost you – and it wouldn't be as powerful, so you wouldn't be able to make as much profit mining cryptocurrency.

That is, of course, if you can find an RTX 3070 desktop card. This is easier to do in China, where many of Nvidia's production partners are located. There's more opportunity to simply buy the cards directly from the factory in bulk, but it's still a challenge there, too.

Hopefully, this means that there won't be a run on RTX 3000-series laptops outside of China. That said, if cryptocurrency prices continue to soar, laptop availability is likely to crash harder than a digital currency selloff.

John Loeffler
Computing Editor

John (He/Him) is the US Computing Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 


Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.


You can find him online on Twitter at @thisdotjohn


Currently playing: The Last Stand: Aftermath, Cartel Tycoon