You may have noticed that it’s kind of hard to find any new graphics card as of late, since supplies are limited for a whole variety of reasons. For the launch of its upcoming RTX 3060 GPU, which might prove to be a relatively affordable and capable upgrade for many, NVIDIA is going to try and do something about the shortage – by crippling the card’s suitability for cryptominers.
RTX 3060 software drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent.[…]
To address the specific needs of Ethereum mining, we’re announcing the NVIDIA CMP, or, Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, product line for professional mining.
CMP products — which don’t do graphics — are sold through authorized partners and optimized for the best mining performance and efficiency. They don’t meet the specifications required of a GeForce GPU and, thus, don’t impact the availability of GeForce GPUs to gamers.
It’s a good first step, I guess, but I feel the market is so starved at the moment this will be a drop in the ocean.
I am among those who are extremely annoyed at what’s happening with the GPU market. IMHO crypto currencies had a long list of cons even before this GPU mess. But now the crypto currency industry is actively displacing regular consumers, AI applications, medical applications, autonomous robots, etc. The stupid thing about throwing more and more hardware at crypto currencies is that are coded to automatically respond by increasing difficulty, thereby completely offsetting the new computational value of additional hardware, which wastes more power for no net gain.
Just think if all the crypto miners could have a gentleman’s agreement in place, they could make the same “coins” and profits using a fraction of the hardware and energy. All the GPUs they’ve been wasting could go back into the market. The cryptocurrencies would be no worse off. It obviously isn’t possible because the miners are all competing as opponents, but it’s just a shame that the world has to tolerate their waste while being deprived of high end technology.
It seems nvidia is under intense pressure to do *something*. Heuristics that halve performance…I can’t see any way this could go wrong. /sarcasm.
Is this going to be better than 3070-3090? If not, the miners are just going to continue to buy those cards.
Also, the problem with ethereum in particular is that they intentionally try to avoid specialized hardware. – in the past this meant specialized ASIC solutions, but in the future either ethereum or other crypto currencies might take the same stance for nvidia CMP by deliberately making nvidia’s specialized hardware useless and once again favor consumer GPUs. From their perspective, doing crypto on consumer GPUs is good.
I don’t know just how specialized Nvidia CMP is going to be, but the community might respond by changing the currency in order to keep standard GPU mining profitable. So I’m skeptical that the crypto miners will be on board. Even assuming they agree with nvidia CMP, how many resources is nvidia going to need to divert to build these crypto specialty cards? Give that they can’t meet demand today, how is adding a new sku going to help?
I don’t think this is really going to work until supply catches up to demand, but as long as crypto profits are increasing the demand is near limitless.