NVIDIA Nerfs Ethereum Hash Rate & Launches CMP Dedicated Mining Hardware – AnandTech9 min read


In order to at least use a fig leaf to gamers, in the previous certain graphics board partners started producing mining-only graphics cards. These had no graphical outputs, making them nearly impossible for video gaming use cases, but it filtered off a few of the mining market into purchasing those rather than taking stock far from racks for players. This was a bad band-aid, and now NVIDIA has gone one step further to different mining from video gaming.

The current launch of brand-new cards paired with record highs in the cryptocurrency market has actually led to a renewal of the mining community, who as of just recently could make ~$ 15 per RTX 3090 graphics card. The knock on result is less cards available for gamers looking to develop new systems, leading to empty shelves and causing prices to surge for the handful of cards that ever make it to merchants.

NVIDIAs announcement today is two-fold: firstly attending to the upcoming launch of the RTX 3060 graphics on February 25th, and secondly announcing a new series of devoted mining hardware.

RTX 3060: Halving the Mining Rate

Among the essential chauffeurs as to why the new graphics cards are being sold is because they are so great at doing the mining operations for various cryptocurrencies (namely for Ethereum and other obtained coins) and earning the users a form of return on their purchase. Mining requires hardware and software application, and its the software application side that NVIDIA is tackling with this first announcement.

Update: NVIDIA has also validated that efficiency restrictions will be embracing their Linux drivers along with their Windows drivers. The addition of Linux motorists is exceptionally essential, as many committed miners are believed to be using Linux rather than Windows.

For the upcoming RTX 3060, the software application drivers for this graphics card will instantly restrict cryptocoin hashing rates to half– making how much they can make specifically cut in half. The software application chauffeurs will do this by spotting the math coming through the pipeline and restricting access to the hardware for those operations. At this point were not sure if its a cut in frequency that the chauffeurs will trigger or just limiting the operations to half of the hardware, but either method NVIDIA is hoping this will detract professional miners from buying these cards if the return on them is cut in half.

No strategies are being revealed for cards currently in the market, maybe because the chauffeurs for those cards already enable a full-rate compute solution, and those can merely keep older drivers set up.

NVIDIA CMP: Dedicated Mining Silicon for Ethereum

In the exact same way that crypto cards without video outputs were pressing into the market for balance, NVIDIA is going an action further and getting rid of the video outputs from the silicon entirely. There are other prospective optimizations that could be produced power and efficiency, but at this moment NVIDIA is simply stating as graphics-less silicon. This could be a mix of tailored new silicon, or merely silicon already produced that had flaws in the video output pipeline.

The brand-new NVIDIA CMP HX dedicated mining cards will come in four variants as much as 320 W, and from authorized partners including ASUS, Colorful, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit, and PC Partner. These cards (along with chauffeurs) are also set to be designed such that more of these cards can be made it possible for in a single system.

NVIDIA CMP HX Mining Hardware

Whats interesting here is that these states arent that fantastic. Here is a breakdown of what NVIDIAs cards do today, and you can see why:.


Memory Size.
6 GB.
8 GB.
10 GB.
10 GB.

Eth Hash Rate *.
26 MH/s.
36 MH/s.
45 MH/s.
86 MH/s.

Hash Rate.

RTX 3080.
98 MH/s.
224 W.


NVIDIA Hardware Hash Rates.

RTX 3090.
121 MH/s.
290 W.

* NVIDIA Measured to DAG and Epoch 394.

Reference Connectors.
2 x 8-pin.
2 x 8-pin.

Rated Power.
125 W.
185 W.
250 W.
320 W.

86 MH/s.
320 W.

RTX 2080 Ti.
49 MH/s.
240 W.

RTX 3070.
62 MH/s.
117 W.

RTX 3060 Ti.
60 MH/s.
120 W.

45 MH/s.
250 W.

36 MH/s.
185 W.

26 MH/s.
125 W.

The only method these new CMP HX mining add-in cards make financial sense is if they are truly inexpensive, around $600 for the 90HX, otherwise the retail video gaming GPUs appear to be a lot more efficient.

NVIDIA isnt offering any more information on when these mining add-in cards will be provided, aside from Q1 for the slower ones and Q2 for the faster ones. No word on rates, nor on circulation approaches– theres an opportunity here that these cards will just be offered by suppliers direct to expert mining outlets. By the pallet. Note that this doesnt stop the high demand for power materials. That market is likewise feeling the impacts.

HX Data from NVIDIARTX Data from Minerstat.

Analysis: Will This Work?

Long as Ethereum is running over $1000 or so, miners can make a tidy profit utilizing video cards for mining– and thus miners value the hardware more than players. As a result, the issue at hand will not really go away up until either mining stops being lucrative, either by Ethereums price coming down or the market being flooded with cards (and thereby increasing the trouble level).

Related Reading.

Which is why the second aspect of NVIDIAs strategy– presenting a line of dedicated mining cards– is more likely to have a long lasting effect. Despite the fact that it most likely will not assist with either the supply of consumer video cards nor the high demand for them, it a minimum of will assist NVIDIA handle the number of cards are used to customers versus miners.

The current launch of brand-new cards combined with record highs in the cryptocurrency market has led to a rebirth of the mining neighborhood, who as of recently could earn ~$ 15 per RTX 3090 graphics card. The knock on effect is less cards available for gamers looking to develop new systems, leading to empty shelves and causing costs to surge for the handful of cards that ever make it to merchants.

As an aside, this is likewise why NVIDIA cant do anything about the existing RTX video cards currently on the marketplace. Even if NVIDIA puts Ethereum throttling code into future motorists, miners can simply use the existing drivers. In other words, NVIDIA cant put the genie back into the bottle; they can just try to keep anymore genies from getting out.

Which isnt to state that the driver throttling method wont work. There is an extremely real opportunity its not going to work for very long, particularly with miners so economically inspired to work-around it. Complicating matters, NVIDIA has actually been delivering mobile RTX 3060 hardware and drivers considering that late January as part of the RTX 30 series for laptops, so chauffeur hackers already have a beginning point for “clean” GA106 code.

I wont try to ascribe excessive to NVIDIAs particular motivations here, however at the end of the day NVIDIA has actually built an empire on extremely strictly specified market segmentation, so siphoning off miners into their own classification plays to NVIDIAs strengths. Together with more particular control over item allocations, mining-only cards enables NVIDIA to price those cards as the marketplace will bear, all without interfering with the consumer market. And, possibly most notably NVIDIA, mining-only cards will not boomerang back into the used video card market once the bubble does pop. The resulting crypto-hangover from the last time that occurred considerably injured NVIDIA (and AMD), so theyre going to aspire to avoid it.

Making customer GeForce cards less palatable to miners is definitely going to be the most crucial step of this, though its regrettably also the hardest to carry out on. Spotting Ethereum is easy enough, however because the block is being done at the chauffeur level, its likewise very vulnerable to being covered out. Miners just need to hack one chauffeur, and after that every RTX 3060 card from here-on out can be used for mining by utilizing that driver. NVIDIA is essentially implementing driver-based DRM, which traditionally has actually not exercised all that well over the long-run.

When it comes to customers wanting to get a video card for gaming functions, todays announcement is most likely a little bit of a wash. It certainly doesnt hurt that NVIDIA is attempting to improve control over the marketplace and drive miners far from customer video cards; its just not most likely to stop them totally given the revenues at hand. Put another way, I do not realistically expect that the RTX 3060 will be any more available than NVIDIAs other RTX cards; however I will give NVIDIA some credit for trying with todays statement. If absolutely nothing else, today is an initial step towards a long-lasting service for what might end up being a long-lasting issue.

Will miners purchase mining-only cards? The ability to offload secondhand cards into the arms of gamers is a considerable part of the monetary calculus for miners, due to the fact that it implies their hardware investment does not end up being worthless overnight. On the other hand, given how difficult it is to get any video cards right now, even a mining-only card is better than absolutely nothing if you want to begin mining for profit today.

In the interim, the finest NVIDIA can do is to try to keep miners from nabbing up customer video cards, which is what todays statement concentrates on. Theres every reason to believe that miners will end up with the bulk of GPUs– this is market forces at work; miners pay more– however if NVIDIA can at least guarantee that the fastest video card in stock at Newegg is much better than a GT 1030, then thats a huge improvement over where things stand today.

NVIDIAs actions come as Ethereum mining has essentially broken the retail market for GPUs for the last few months– and rather possibly will keep it broken for months to come. And while offering every last GPU they can make is barely a bad thing for NVIDIA in the short-term, in the long term a broken market risks hurting NVIDIAs brand and consumer customer base, never mind the hazard of all of those mining cards boomeranging back as soon as the bubble pops (again). All of which raises an extremely crucial concern: will this work?

Along with more specific control over item allotments, mining-only cards permits NVIDIA to price those cards as the market will bear, all without interrupting the consumer market. And, perhaps most notably NVIDIA, mining-only cards wont boomerang back into the utilized video card market once the bubble does pop. On the other hand, given how hard it is to get any video cards right now, even a mining-only card is better than absolutely nothing if you desire to begin mining for revenue today.

Ultimately, presenting mining-only cards is likely to be the more effective half of NVIDIAs statement today. Its clear that the mining market isnt going away whenever soon, and till it does, its in NVIDIAs own interests to try to manage it so that it does not continue to damage the customer video card market.

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