GPU Review: Low Profile & Single Slot RTX A2000 8GB / 3050Ti 8GB from TaoBao

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Shrink Ray Wielder
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While browsing for interesting SFF hardware on TaoBao, I found a company manufacturing some Low Profile Single Slot RTX A2000 8GB / 3050Ti 8GB GPUs - but before you shout "Hurray!", there's a few catches...

1) they use the mobile (laptop) A2000/3050Ti variants with 8GB GDDR6
2) officially, those cards should not exist, so you need modded drivers (requires Baidu Cloud account)
3) the cards won't work on Desktop Intel platforms >11th Gen, all AMD and Intel Mobile CPUs should work fine
4) the fan on those cards is not temperature controlled but goes always full throttle
5) you can't adjust clock speeds or voltages via Afterburner - no OC or UV

-----------------------
EDIT:

1) Alternative driver can be downloaded via Github, easier to install and supports OC / UV
2) 3050Ti is out of stock, but the A2000 is more or less the same, choose "8GB" here

-----------------------

1705132433613.png

but now, here's my short review...

what's in the box? the A2000 (mobile), additional FH bracket, two spare fans (LOL?!)

the card has one HDMI and one DP output, same like the RX6400

20240113_102217_resized.jpg

build quality is very solid!

20240113_102307_resized.jpg

now getting the card to work is not too difficult but far from "Plug&Play"

Windows knows that it is an NVIDIA card, but installing the official NVIDIA drivers will fail... first of all, the manufacture is not an official NVIDIA partner and secondly the Mobile Chip was not intended to run on a Desktop Card...

Screenshot 2024-01-13 110401.jpg

fortunately, the manufacturer is very friendly and can speak English. He was very helpful to guide me through the steps required...

so first of all, we need the modded driver which can be downloaded here: Baidu Net Disk

1705133833076.png

after downloading, we need to restart Windows and disable "Driver Signature Checking" (check Google how to)

1705134068527.png

now we can run Setup and Windows will detect that the driver has been tampered with, but we can choose to install the driver anyways (if we want to)...

Screenshot 2024-01-13 114415.jpg

Setup should now complete without errors and we can see the A2000 is detected correctly...

Screenshot 2024-01-13 150900.jpg

if you like to update the drivers now, you can use the official ones from NVIDIA, but need to modify one *.inf file first...

I can share a step-by-step guide if needed, or you can check out the manufacturers video instruction...

1705134540330.png

last but not least, time for a benchmark:

Screenshot 2024-01-13 151443.jpg

The card scores about 5500 Timespy GPU points and consumes around 60W - IMHO not too bad!
For comparison, the Desktop A2000 with my Single Slot Cooler Mod scores about 6300 points at 70W

Final thoughts:

The manufacturer sells the A2000 & RTX3050Ti Mobile Cards for around 200,- EUR (plus shipping), both are almost identical. The A2000 has higher memory clock speed, the 3050Ti higher GPU clock speed - but overall performance is very similar. If you are OK with the catches that come with those cards, it's the fastest Single Slot and Low Profile GPUs you can buy right now. Personally, I'm OK with the modded driver and I really like what they did here, except for the noisy fan without any temperature control - that's a NOGO!

If you are going to buy one of those cards, you should consider to replace the fan and control it via a motherboard header, or get one of those fan speed control modules.
 
Last edited:

rcodi

SFF Gamer
Aug 5, 2017
176
165
FrankenDriver claims to support the mobile A2000, have you tried it? Would be much more convenient and probably reliable than the baidu cloud download of suspect origin although they paywall the latest drivers.
 

hereforthefeast

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 25, 2019
131
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Amazing investigative work thank you! Performance is almost 160% compared to the 3500 TimeSpy score from the GTX 1650 GDDR6 single slot.

I had seen the listing on jd.com but now that it’s on taobao I have a way of purchasing.

Can Baidu Net be used in the US? I’m getting an error on mobile browser.
 
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Shrink Ray Wielder
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FrankenDriver claims to support the mobile A2000, have you tried it? Would be much more convenient and probably reliable than the baidu cloud download of suspect origin although they paywall the latest drivers.

I have compared his inf file with the one from the A2000m manufacturer - the Hardware IDs do not match with this card:

1705164597731.png

I'll check tomorrow if I can get it running after changing the IDs

From what I can see, this guy basically does the same config and inf file mods to the drivers which the manufacturer does where I bought the card from. So yeah, it would be more convenient to download but not really more reliable. If you have enough patience, you could also mod the latest drivers yourself like @LukeD showed in his thread...

Can Baidu Net be used in the US? I’m getting an error on mobile browser.

should be possible, but you need an account and the Baidu Cloud App on PC.
 
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rcodi

SFF Gamer
Aug 5, 2017
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I have compared his inf file with the one from the A2000m manufacturer - the Hardware IDs do not match with this card:

View attachment 3060

I'll check tomorrow if I can get it running after changing the IDs

From what I can see, this guy basically does the same config and inf file mods to the drivers which the manufacturer does where I bought the card from. So yeah, it would be more convenient to download but not really more reliable. If you have enough patience, you could also mod the latest drivers yourself like @LukeD showed in his thread...



should be possible, but you need an account and the Baidu Cloud App on PC.
I meant reliable in terms of the seller disappearing when they run out of dies or the cards are no longer profitable and stops providing updates. I wonder if they will take a request for this ID to be added to the FrankenDriver. I would hate to have to do it manually after every update using that method but I'm still extremely tempted by these mobile GPU cards.

Do you have any plans or ideas for the fan noise? Is the temperature sensor exposed so it can be used with Fan Control?
 

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Shrink Ray Wielder
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I meant reliable in terms of the seller disappearing when they run out of dies or the cards are no longer profitable and stops providing updates. I wonder if they will take a request for this ID to be added to the FrankenDriver. I would hate to have to do it manually after every update using that method but I'm still extremely tempted by these mobile GPU cards.

Do you have any plans or ideas for the fan noise? Is the temperature sensor exposed so it can be used with Fan Control?

You only need the driver from the manufacturer once (guess for the modded config files) after that you can download the latest drivers from Nvidia. Then you only need to change one Hardware ID before updating to the new driver. Takes less than a minute. I prepare a short instruction tomorrow when I have time.

The card has only DC output for the fan, no PWM speed control. Temperatures are reported like on any GPU. So you can use Rem00 FanControl with a fan connected to your motherboard or get one of those small DC fan control modules with thermal probe (thats my plan).
 

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Shrink Ray Wielder
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I tested the FrankenDriver today @rcodi

1705203458605.png

Setup went through without issues. It seems he added his own GPU classes instead of changing the existing ones 😅
Screenshot 2024-01-14 105416.jpg

I also tested OC / UV with his driver and it seems to work fine! As long as you stay below 60W TDP/TGP the card will run without issues, anything above 60W and it will crash...

Screenshot 2024-01-14 112813.jpg

Timespy GPU score increased by about 200 points with the slight OC...

Screenshot 2024-01-14 113351.jpg
 

rcodi

SFF Gamer
Aug 5, 2017
176
165
Very cool! I like how it’s even recognized as Frankenstein now, looks like they do good work or at least know what they’re doing. Thanks for the updates and thorough testing.
 

jujudk

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 1, 2017
123
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Yup, saw it yesterday, i thought minisforum was producing this gpu

If they could assist distribution of such GPU, like, it makes the ms01 perfect, i just wish we had a bit more vram with the 4060m
 

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Shrink Ray Wielder
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so here is the little mod to get the fan temperature controlled ...

this is the smallest, adjustable DC (not PWM) fan controller I could find:

1705564486981.png


this module let's you adjust the fan speed, based on the temperature at the small probe...

1705564869562.png

the actual mod is pretty easy: just put the small module between fan and DC output and fix it somewhere on the GPU

20240118_140927 (Groß).jpg

the probe can be fittet between the heatsink fins together with some TIM...

20240118_140911 (Groß).jpg

now you can run some benchmarks and adjust the fan speed according to your liking via the small potentiometer on the module
 

b_force

Average Stuffer
May 28, 2019
73
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Really cool find!

Not 100% sure is 200 euro is worth it, but at least it gives more options! :)
Btw, don't the modded drivers create issues with certain anti-cheat software on Steam and the like?
 

jujudk

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 1, 2017
123
90
Yeah that's a big concern, i mean in the MS01 it becomes a perfect pc with say an rtx 4060 mobile ...

Hopefully minisforum will distribute those directly as well
 

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Shrink Ray Wielder
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short update: I made a custom cooler for the card, because the original one did not work well for my 2.7L MoDT build (the fan was sitting right above the PSU)

for my new cooler I used a 55mm 5V DELTA blower (NS55B06) and 12V to 5V step down module - the fan can be controlled via "FanControl" software

20240123_111612_resized (Groß).jpg

for the heatsink I used a 3mm copper plate, 138C solder paste and some copper fins from TaoBao - you can find them for example here (link)

I have attached the drawing of the copper plate to this post - if someone needs it

20240125_123135_resized (Groß).jpg

now this should work better:

20240126_143600_resized (Groß).jpg

some testing results:

Screenshot 2024-01-26 074657.jpg

Screenshot 2024-01-26 080733.jpg

PS: the manufacturer told me they are also working on a new cooler for their cards - this time with blower fan at the rear end, so that it can actually be used in small PCs like the Minisforum MS01 and Lenovo Tiny
 

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b_force

Average Stuffer
May 28, 2019
73
28
Pretty cool little one slot card this way!

I am almost curious if this heatsink also works on RX6400 cards.

The mounting looks very similar.
 

Ceros_X

King of Cable Management
Mar 8, 2016
748
660
short update: I made a custom cooler for the card, because the original one did not work well for my 2.7L MoDT build (the fan was sitting right above the PSU)

for my new cooler I used a 55mm 5V DELTA blower (NS55B06) and 12V to 5V step down module - the fan can be controlled via "FanControl" software

View attachment 3134

for the heatsink I used a 3mm copper plate, 138C solder paste and some copper fins from TaoBao - you can find them for example here (link)

I have attached the drawing of the copper plate to this post - if someone needs it

View attachment 3135

now this should work better:

View attachment 3136

some testing results:

View attachment 3132

View attachment 3133

PS: the manufacturer told me they are also working on a new cooler for their cards - this time with blower fan at the rear end, so that it can actually be used in small PCs like the Minisforum MS01 and Lenovo Tiny
Just wanted to say this is awesome - keep up the small work! I, too, saw the MS-01 and wished there were better options, these are pretty rad.
 
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