Nvidia says it won’t nerf the Ethereum mining performance of existing GPUs

This morning, Nvidia introduced that it would artificially reduce the performance of its upcoming $329 GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card on the subject of one particular job: Ethereum cryptocurrency mining. As bizarre as that information would possibly sound, it was music to the ears of some avid gamers — who’ve been trying and failing to get their hands on graphics cards for months because of the nice GPU scarcity, and blaming miners for a part of that.

You could be questioning: what does this imply for different GPUs? Nvidia isn’t speaking about its plans for future graphics card simply but, however the firm tells The Verge (in no unsure phrases) that it received’t nerf current GPUs. “We aren’t limiting the efficiency of GPUs already bought,” says a spokesperson.

I used to be additionally a bit skeptical that the corporate’s new batch of Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) playing cards, marketed instead for these miners, would imply that avid gamers would possibly truly be capable to purchase an RTX 3060 because of this. If Nvidia’s diverting its already restricted manufacturing capability of GPUs in the direction of CMPs, doesn’t that imply fewer gaming GPUs to start with? There’s a global semiconductor shortage going on, you recognize.

Nvidia’s new Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP).
Picture: Nvidia

However Nvidia strongly suggests the brand new CMPs received’t influence the power to provide GeForce gaming playing cards in any respect. “The chips used for CMP couldn’t meet the specs of GeForce and don’t influence total GeForce capability or availability,” replied a spokesperson by electronic mail.

Whereas Nvidia wouldn’t affirm that it’s speaking about binning — the method by which chipmakers like Intel, AMD, Nvidia and others take chips that aren’t 100% operational on account of occasional manufacturing defects, and promote them as slower or much less feature-filled elements as a substitute — the assertion definitely sounds one thing like that.

But it surely may be that they’re totally different altogether. The shot you see above of Nvidia’s CMP appears nothing like the layout of Nvidia’s GA102 used within the Ampere-based RTX 3080 and 3090, or the GA104 used within the RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti. It doesn’t look a lot like Nvidia’s previous-gen Turing desktop chips, both. Maybe the CMP is solely a GPU design that hasn’t publicly been revealed.

In that case, it’s vaguely attainable that Nvidia has a stockpile of older chips it’s placing to make use of. The corporate’s bringing back the GTX 1050 Ti from 2016, in any case, and it’s uncertain that Nvidia converted one of many RTX 30-series factories simply to make that occur. However with out understanding what the CMP truly is, your guess is pretty much as good as ours.

Lastly, you could be questioning: why solely nerf Ethereum mining, when different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have additionally seen unimaginable beneficial properties? Right here’s Nvidia’s full reply:

Ethereum has the very best world mining yield for any GPU-mineable coin for the time being and thus is probably going the principle demand driver for GPUs in mining. Different algorithms don’t contribute considerably to GPU demand and this can’t change shortly on account of community results inside a given cryptocurrency. The speed limiter applies to something that makes use of Dagger Hashimoto or Ethash-like algorithms.

We’re trying ahead to seeing whether or not Nvidia could make the $329 GeForce RTX 3060 any simpler to purchase than earlier GPUs when it launches February 25th at 12PM ET. After months of around-the-clock searching, I lastly managed to nab a 3060 Ti a pair weeks again — right here’s hoping you received’t must go that far.

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