This morning, Nvidia introduced that it could artificially cut back the performance of its upcoming $329 GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card in terms of one particular process: Ethereum cryptocurrency mining. As bizarre as that information may sound, it was music to the ears of some avid gamers — who’ve been trying and failing to get their fingers on graphics cards for months because of the nice GPU scarcity, and blaming miners for a part of that.
You is perhaps 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 Tech by Android (in no unsure phrases) that it won’t nerf existing GPUs. “We aren’t limiting the performance of GPUs already offered,” says a spokesperson.
I used to be also a bit skeptical that the corporate’s new batch of Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) cards, marketed in its place for these miners, would imply that avid gamers may really be capable of buy an RTX 3060 in consequence. If Nvidia’s diverting its already restricted manufacturing capability of GPUs towards CMPs, doesn’t that imply fewer gaming GPUs to start with? There’s a world semiconductor scarcity occurring, .
However Nvidia strongly suggests the brand new CMPs won’t influence the power to provide GeForce gaming 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 e-mail.
While 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 p.c operational as a consequence of occasional manufacturing defects, and promote them as slower or much less feature-filled components as an alternative — the assertion certainly sounds one thing like that.
However it may be that they’re different altogether. The shot you see above of Nvidia’s CMP appears nothing just like the structure 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 very similar to Nvidia’s previous-gen Turing desktop chips, both. Maybe the CMP is just a GPU design that hasn’t publicly been revealed.
If so, it’s vaguely attainable that Nvidia has a stockpile of older chips it’s placing to make use of. The corporate’s bringing again 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 realizing what the CMP really is, your guess is as good as ours.
Lastly, you is perhaps questioning: why solely nerf Ethereum mining, when different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have also seen unbelievable features? Right here’s Nvidia’s full reply:
Ethereum has the best world mining yield for any GPU-mineable coin in the intervening time 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 not change shortly as a consequence 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 buy than earlier GPUs when it launches February 25th at 12PM ET. After months of around-the-clock hunting, I lastly managed to nab a 3060 Ti a pair weeks again — right here’s hoping you won’t must go that far.