Gaming GPUs Are So Plentiful Again They're Being Turned Into Sad Keychains

amd polaris key fob hero
An Alibaba trader in China is selling AMD Radeon RX 580 GPUs as key fobs with tech-appeal. This is a sad story in some ways, but as graphics cards like the RX 580 (particularly those packing 8GB) are still serviceable, we reckon these key fob GPUs are surely made from salvaged and faulty or completely broken graphics cards.

amd polaris key fob front and back
AMD Polaris GPU-Turned-Keychain

It wasn’t all that long ago that becoming an owner of a flagship AMD Polaris graphics card would have furnished some PC gamers with a satisfied grin. It may sound like an exaggeration, but many of those lucky enough to buy into GPUs like the Radeon RX 480 and RX 580 before the crazy crypto era began (2016 / 2017) could happily sit back and ignore multiple new GPU generations – as long as they didn’t foster ambitions far beyond 1440p. Remember, these cards launched from $199 and $229, respectively, but would scale to silly used-prices at the height of the Bitcoin and Ethereum bubbles.

Graphics cards prices have become somewhat more realistic in 2023, and this is particularly true with older-generation and used graphics cards. Moreover, a lot of graphics cards that have been used and abused down the in digital mines are now scrap, so it is good that they can be repurposed in some way rather than occupying a landfill.

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Twitter tech hound Olrak brought these trinkets to light and shared the source page where you can read more about the ‘product.’ The seller is in no way ‘scalping’ his audience, even though these fey fobs seem to be selling as quick as they can be made. They are pretty reasonably priced at CN¥33.80, which converts to just $5.

For the money, a buyer gets what looks like a trimmed rectangular section of an RX 580 PCB featuring the shiny AMD Polaris GPU. It is flanked by two memory ICs on one side and the Radeon Graphics logo on the other. One corner has a hole for attaching a key ring. After looking at various RX 580 PCBs and looking at the machine translated text of the listing, it appears that these products are not precisely cut from graphics cards, but the PCB package that has a GPU and two VRAM chips are mounted to a stylized blue plate. We have not seen any manufactured PCBs with ‘RADEON GRAPHICS’ silk-screened logos, like the above pictured products.

nvidia gpu keychain

The seller has sold eight of these AMD Polaris trinkets so far and will resume this cottage business after some school / college exams. We note that the production run isn’t going to be limited to the venerable Radeon RX 580. The seller has already shared pictures of an NVIDIA GPU key fob (GeForce 9500 GT, see above) and its flip side features anime-style art and a few extra Elixir VRAM chips.