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 activity: 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 may 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 present GPUs. “We’re not limiting the efficiency of GPUs already offered,” 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 in its place for these miners, would imply that avid gamers would possibly truly be capable of purchase an RTX 3060 consequently. If Nvidia’s diverting its already restricted manufacturing capability of GPUs in direction of CMPs, doesn’t that imply fewer gaming GPUs to start with? There’s a global semiconductor shortage going on, .
However Nvidia strongly suggests the brand new CMPs received’t affect 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 affect total GeForce capability or availability,” replied a spokesperson by e-mail.
Whereas Nvidia wouldn’t verify that it’s speaking about binning — the method by which chipmakers like Intel, AMD, Nvidia and others take chips that aren’t 100 % operational because of occasional manufacturing defects, and promote them as slower or much less feature-filled elements as an alternative — the assertion definitely sounds one thing like that.
Nevertheless it is also that they’re completely different altogether. The shot you see above of Nvidia’s CMP seems 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 realizing what the CMP truly is, your guess is pretty much as good as ours.
Lastly, you may be questioning: why solely nerf Ethereum mining, when different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have additionally seen unimaginable positive factors? Right here’s Nvidia’s full reply:
Ethereum has the best international 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 because 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 wanting 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.