New high-end graphics cards are even harder to find than a polar bear in Panama. Fake online sales and other scams are rife, as with any in-demand item, so buyers venturing into the secondary market on sites like Craigslist and eBay should be cautious. According to graphics card maker EVGA, the market is about to get even more confusing: The company reports that a shipment of its GeForce graphics cards was stolen from a truck in Southern California a week ago.
EVGA says the cards were lifted somewhere between San Francisco and its distribution center. While the company declined to say how many cards were stolen, it does say that they were all from the Nvidia RTX 3000 series, with retail prices between $ 330 and $ 1960 USD. Going through the official EVGA online store, that means everything from the entry-level RTX 3060 to the top-of-the-line RTX 3090 KNGPN card, with 24GB of video memory and a 360 integrated liquid cooling system. Mm, it was stolen. It’s a hollywood heist, yeah the Fast and Furious The band were still interested in consumer electronics rather than going into space, they would no doubt have graduated from DVD players to graphics cards by now.
Since 3000 series graphics cards easily cost two to three times their retail value on the aftermarket, thieves could have gotten away with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of “hot” cards, possibly more. Cards sold through secondary markets would be difficult to track; there would be no problem installing and using them on a standard desktop PC. The only way buyers would be informed that their card was stolen would be if they attempted to register it with EVGA, at which point service (including warranty replacements) could be declined. EVGA is asking anyone with knowledge of the theft to contact them at stopRTX30theft@evga.com.
The EVGA representative who announced the theft did not say the company would alert police if customers attempt to register a stolen card, but did remind readers that buying, receiving or hiding stolen property is a criminal offense, both at the federal and federal level. in the State of California. Reading between the lines: Those who unknowingly register a stolen card may find themselves in the middle of an investigation. And of course your expensive new GPU could be confiscated as evidence.
Stolen Nvidia cards are almost certainly making their way to the secondary market listings as you read this; some may already be on eBay. To avoid buying a hot card (in the purely figurative sense), stick with vetted retailers with full return policies. If you must purchase a graphics card from a secondary market, make sure the seller has original proof of purchase and transfers it to you at checkout. That is good advice even if you are not buying an item that is popular on the black market.
Michael is a former graphic designer who has been building and tweaking desktops for longer than he would like to admit. His interests include folk music, soccer, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.