Published in Graphics

Daft tech smuggler caught at customs

by on28 March 2024

We don't think you did your sums correctly on this one

In what's surely one of the daftest capers on record, a chap was nabbed trying to ferry 44 AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics cards into China.

According to  Toms Hardware the smuggler's scheme was to brazenly stride through the airport's front gates, toting boxes brimming with GPUs, hoping the Chinese authorities would greet him with cheers for importing contraband tech.

Per the Tom's exposé, the 44 cards were destined for a spruce-up and resale, aiming for a tidy profit. It's a bit of a puzzle how much dosh one could rake in from graphics cards that are seven years old, second-hand, and likely worn to the nub. Plus, the 8GB of VRAM on these old bangers is hardly up to snuff for AI model tinkering.

To be fair, despite being an old GPU released in 2018, the AMD Radeon RX 580 is one of the sought-after cards in specific markets, such as China. However, smuggling just a single RTX 4090 might be a lucrative jaunt these days. Word on the street is its price has gone through the roof since Uncle Sam put the kibosh on Nvidia flogging any more stateside, as part of a sweeping clampdown on beefy data centre GPUs.

The report's peppered with snaps of the customs bods flaunting their seizure, as is the done thing in China.

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