One of the critical points in this period of high demand for graphics cards is that some of them are purchased by professional users who want to expand cryptocurrencies. The recent launch of new cards combined with record highs in the cryptocurrency market has led to a rebirth of the mining community, which could recently earn ~ $ 15 per RTX 3090 graphics card. These professional miners buy graphics cards after the pallet load, sometimes they pass dealers and go directly to distributors, as they can guarantee a complete shipping sale at once. The bank on the effect is fewer cards available to players who want to build new systems, leading to empty shelves and causing prices to rise for a handful of cards that ever make it to dealers.
To at least offer a fig leaf to gamers, former graphics card partners began producing graphics-only for mining. These had no graphical outputs, making them almost impossible for game use, but it filtered out some of the mining market to buy them instead of taking stock from the shelves for players. This was a bad patch, and now NVIDIA has gone a step further to separate mining from gaming.
RTX 3060: Halving mining operations
One of the key drivers for why the new graphics cards are sold is because they are so good at doing mining operations for different cryptocurrencies (namely for Ethereum and other derivative coins) and earning users a great return on their purchase. Mining requires hardware and software, and this is the software page NVIDIA tackles with this first announcement.
For the upcoming RTX 3060, the software drivers for this graphics card will automatically halve cryptocurrency hashing rates – making them how much they can earn specifically halved. The software drivers will do this by detecting the math coming through the pipeline and restricting access to the hardware for these operations. At this point, we are not sure if there is a cut in the frequency that drivers will cause or only limit operations to half of the hardware, but anyway NVIDIA hopes that this will detract from professional miners from buying these cards if the return on them is halved.
No one is announcing plans for cards currently on the market, perhaps because the drivers for these cards already allow a full-rate computing solution, and they can simply keep older drivers installed.
NVIDIA CMP: Dedicated Mining Silicon for Ethereum
In the same way as ‘crypto cards’ without video outputs pushed into the market for balance, NVIDIA goes a step further and removes the video outputs completely from the silicon. There are other potential optimizations that can be made for power and performance, but at this point NVIDIA simply states as graphics-free silicon. This can be a mixture of adapted new silicon, or simply produced silicon that already has defects in the video output pipeline.
The new NVIDIA CMP HX dedicated mining cards come in four variants up to 320 W, and from authorized partners, including ASUS, Colorful, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit and PC Partner. These cards (along with drivers) are also set to be designed so that several of these cards can be activated in a single system.
|NVIDIA CMP HX Mining Hardware|
|Eth Hash-rate *||26 MH / s||36 MH / s||45 MH / s||86 MH / s|
|Nominal effect||125 W.||185 W.||250 W.||320 W.|
|Reference contacts||8-pin||8-pin||2 x 8-pins||2 x 8-pins|
|Memory size||6 GB||8 GB||10 GB||10 GB|
|* NVIDIA measured to DAY and era 394|
What is interesting here is that these states are not so good. Here’s an overview of what NVIDIA cards do today, and you can see why:
|NVIDIA Hardware Hash Prices|
MH / s / W
|RTX 3090||121 MH / s||290 W.||0.42|
|RTX 3080||98 MH / s||224 W.||0.44|
|90HX||86 MH / s||320 W.||0.27|
|RTX 3070||62 MH / s||117 W.||0.53|
|RTX 3060 Ti||60 MH / s||120 W.||0.50|
|RTX 2080 Ti||49 MH / s||240 W.||0.20|
|50HX||45 MH / s||250 W.||0.18|
|40HX||36 MH / s||185 W.||0.19|
|30HX||26 MH / s||125 W.||0.21|
|HX data from NVIDIA
RTX Data from Minerstat
The only way these new CMP HX recovery cards make economic sense is if they are very cheap, around $ 600 for 90HX, otherwise the gaming GPUs seem to be much more efficient.
NVIDIA does not provide more information on when these mining recovery cards will be available, except for Q1 for the slower ones and Q2 for the faster ones. No word on prices or distribution methods – here is a chance that these cards are only sold by distributors directly to professional mining. At the pallet. Note that this does not stop the high demand for power supplies. That market also feels the effect.