The latest news from Nvidia are quite interesting for both crypto miners and gamers, as apparently the company is taking drastic measures to make gaming GPUs available to gamers. With the upcoming launch of the new GeForce RTX 3060 video cards on February 25th the company wants to make sure that the new graphics adapters will be available to gamers and will not be purchased in bulk by crypto miners. The video drivers for the RTX 3060 GPUs are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and will limit the hashrate, or cryptocurrency mining performance, by around 50 percent. So, essentially you will be getting half the hashrate you normally would if the card is running at full performance. For mining the expected hashrate for RTX 3060 was in the range of 40-45 MH/s for Ethereum stock and with overclocked memory, so with the drivers cutting that in half you will be getting only 20-22.5 MH/s making the high priced RTX 3060 GPUs unattractive for miners, or that is what Nvidia believes will happen with this active action hey are taking.
Here come the Nvidia CMP HX Dedicated Crypto Mining GPUs as a solution to the problem, or at least what the green company thinks they have figured out. Nvidia will try to offer separate products dedicated for crypto mining and more specifically for Ethereum (ETC) mining for the crypto miners. The NVIDIA CMP, or, Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, product line for professional mining which does not do graphics (no video outputs) and thus should not impact the availability of GeForce GPUs to gamers.
Nvidia has announced 4 products in their new CMP dedicated crypto mining GPUs with two available in Q1 this year and the other two scheduled for Q2 this year. The Nvidia CMP 30HX mining GPU should be capable of 26 MH/s at 125W power usage and will come with 6GB and the Nvidia CMP 40HX will provide 36 MH/s at 185W of power usage and will come with 8GB video memory. These are the first two models planned for the first quarter of the year, the second quarter is for Nvidia CMP 50HX with 45 MH/s at 250W and 10GB VRAM and Nvidia CMP 90HX with 86 MH/s at 320W and 10GB VRAM.
These initially announced specifications for the mining GPUs are probably not going to be as interesting as Nvidia expects them to be, unless they do come at a significantly lower price compared to what the GeForce RTX GPUs currently cost. For reference an RTX 3060 Ti or RTX 3070 currently does 60 MH/s with 120-140W of power usage when optimized and at stock 200-220W they do 50+ MH/s. This essentially makes 30HX, 40HX and 50HX not really attractive unless they come much cheaper, so only the 90HX seems more interesting out of the four cards that should be based on the RTX 3080 and should be with GDDR6X memory unlike the rest of the CMP line. RTX 3080 is really hard to find currently, but it is no wonder considering the fact that it does about 95 MH/s with 240W of power usage when properly optimized, so again much better than the listed official specs of 90HX. Nvidia RTX 3090 optimized can manage to deliver about 120 MH/s with about 300W of power usage.
We’ll have to wait and see what comes on the market and what will be the prices and availability of the new CPM product line from Nvidia in order to get a better idea if the company made a good decision or something half-though and late like they did with the mining series back in 2017. It is quite possible that they did not thing everything well enough this time either, but let us not get ahead of the things and wait to see what the actual products will be and if Nvidia just set them at conservative settings and they will be capable of further optimizations or their performance will not be as attractive as desktop GPUs and people will continue to prefer them instead of dedicated mining products. The warranty period is also an important factor here, so the idea is to see normal warranty, not just 3- or 6-months warranty like the last time…