Up For Debate - Should Nvidia release Crypto mining GPUs? And would it even help?

Written by Chad Norton on Sat, Jan 23, 2021 4:00 PM

The RTX 30 series graphics cards have been tough to get at the moment, not the least bit due to shortages in manufacturing components and increased prices due to tariffs and logistical costs. Arguably one of the biggest reasons why no one can snatch up one of the new cards is because cryptocurrency miners are buying dozens at a time.

Right now there is a boom going on in the crypto mining market, as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin keep going up in price and the new GPUs offering massive performance per watt increases, the new RTX 30 series and RX 6000 series are extremely desirable.

Speaking at a recent conference, Colette Kress, the executive vice president and chief financial officer at Nvidia, said that the company may restart production of their crypto mining-specific GPUs (called CMPs) in order to combat the craze. This would hopefully open up the gaming-specific graphics cards to the general market.

We’ve already seen the start of it this week as MSI is readying some mining-specific RTX 3060 Ti GPUs, and so we thought about expanding on this topic with the usual Up For Debate.

However, would this even be a good idea? And would it actually even help? Crypto mining-specific cards feature no video outputs, something miners don’t need in their rigs. And so that opens up a new hardware for miners to focus on buying, whilst standard gamers can focus on getting their own gaming cards.

But then on the other hand, if those crypto mining GPUs go out of stock as well then miners will just start buying up the gaming ones anyway again. In fact, you could even argue that miners would buy the gaming variants anyway in hopes that they could sell the GPU afterwards for some amount of money at least - something that many of you mentioned in the article about MSI this week. But would anyone even buy a GPU after it was used for mining?

Additionally, when asked whether you think this will help GPU stock at all, a whopping 85 of you voted for “No - Not at all”, followed by only 30 votes for “Yes - A little” and a measly 8 votes for “Yes - A lot”.

So what do you think? Would it be a good idea for Nvidia to release crypto mining-specific RTX 30 graphics cards? Would it help the gaming segment? Or would it not make a difference? And what do you think could help alleviate the situation? Let's debate!

 

Should Nvidia restart their crypto mining GPU production?

Would it help the gaming market? Or make no difference?

Would you buy a second hand mining GPU? Even for a cheap price?

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15:52 Feb-05-2021

Cheaper GPU boards without video output for miners, this would keep basically the same line of production.
Or some kind of dedicated cheaper GPUs for mining.

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12:24 Feb-02-2021

It doesn't matter if there are crypto-miners GPUs. Even if we say that miners only buy these cards, I'd guess that Nvidia would use the same dies and as soon as they have to buy/produce more than usual, it would increase prices for the miner AND gamer cards.

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10:11 Jan-24-2021

nvidia should implement a hardware level block that prevents the mining software from working for a least a year after the gpu's initial release date. crypto-currency is hurting gamers everywhere, instead of prices being at msrp they are being inflated do to the lack of supply, and this lack of supply has come from the massive gpu farms being built by people that don't have a money limit, and its only going to get worse if something isn't done.

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11:59 Jan-24-2021

And with that effectively forbid the gpu from functioning.

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12:19 Jan-24-2021

Well, Nvidia is a company wanting to make as much money as possible, why would they block miners from buying their products?


Besides that, what are you saying is basically impossible, it would for one require a complete rework of how applications communicate with the gpu and block any low level instruction methods.

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12:43 Jan-24-2021

And then you just write the mining software to work with the reworked architecture.
Mining requires computational instructions and a lot of bandwidth, so there is no real way to block it.


And yes nvidia and amd don't care who they sell their gpus to until there is negative pr or and other sort of repercussions.

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15:29 Jan-24-2021

what I was thinking was more of a progressive approach. the gpu would detect the mining software and refuse to be utilized by it
this wouldn't be a foolproof solution but its not like its impossible to do.

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15:51 Jan-24-2021

Then they'll just crack it.

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12:58 Jan-25-2021

yeah but by the time they do it would be in the hands of more people who would be able to afford it, also if it was bios level it would be harder to crack because they would have to flash the gpu bios with a cracked bios that could brick the gpu.

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19:34 Jan-25-2021

I doubt there would be some crazy encyption, that would reduce the general performance of the GPU.

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15:39 Jan-24-2021

the idea is to get the gpu's into the peoples hands that can only afford them at msrp and not those who could buy them at inflated prices, ideally at least. In a perfect world this wouldn't be a problem but in reality its harder done then said.

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15:21 Jan-24-2021

It's extremely unlikely to happen.

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01:19 Jan-24-2021

People dont seem to not understand that all of the chips still come off the same limited wafers so how does that change anything exacly?

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12:22 Jan-24-2021

The only thing this does is stopping miners from dumping their old mining gpu's on the second hand gaming gpu market which is what happened after the 2018 crypto crash. If miners flood the market with cheap gpu's less people will buy new gpu's.

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21:34 Jan-23-2021

nVidia definitely should split graphic card architectures between mining/production optimized and gaming optimized. But they won't do that, they had gaming architecture and went for more compute oriented architecture optimal for work and mining, because they didn't want to miss out on mining revenue this time. So they won't do that. Plus even if they did, this wouldn't fix all of the issues.

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21:36 Jan-23-2021

For example if everything is coming from same Samsung 8nm fabs, those can produce just so many GPUs, so it wouldn't allow them to produce more, they would just purpose cut current supply and split it between mining and gaming. So there would be just less gaming cards. So I doubt there would be benefit, two lines would need to exist independently and come from different fabs.

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21:39 Jan-23-2021

And it is just easier for nVidia to have one line and sell it to everyone for maximum profits. So no difference. As for ex-mining cards, if price is right I would happily buy one, provided miner took good care of it and it wasn't overheating or something. I mean it is not like gaming cards are wear and tear free. Plus thermal cycling does leave some gaming unque wear on gaming cards too.

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22:31 Jan-23-2021

Your post basically hit the nail on the head.

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12:00 Jan-24-2021

Impossible as mining just requires raw computational performance and bandwidth.

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12:26 Jan-24-2021

Now they could start making ASICs, that are much better than the gpus, but as long as e gpus are profitable, miners will keep buying them

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21:04 Jan-23-2021

Can't hurt...

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18:29 Jan-23-2021

It wouldn't work at all. People buy GPUs to mine on and then they can make even more money by reselling them when they get newer GPUs. You can't do the same with mining specific GPUs.

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19:40 Jan-23-2021

If memory servers, Linus managed to get the 1660 mining GPU to game.
Let's see if I can find the video.


Found it
link


Grated there is no guarantee that it will be possible this time around....

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20:39 Jan-23-2021

isnt it equal to 1060 6gb acutally? p106=1060 in the video i just watched it

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22:23 Jan-23-2021

From a performance perspective, pretty much.
This TechPowerUp article also says the very same thing.
link

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21:28 Jan-23-2021

Yes, I know about the video, but the card still doesn't have the same value as a normal 1060. It also requires a driver that bypasses stuff and it's just too much of a pain for the average user. It's just a bad buy for a miner as there's no real differences and you lose a lot of resale value too.

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22:20 Jan-23-2021

If the miner wants to flip the GPU later on, then yes it's absolutely a bad buy.

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09:47 Jan-24-2021

The majority people that mine would want to do that. I remember people having it as a selling point for mining in the past. However, Nvidia definitely dropped it with mining ones they released in the past, because it should've been a lot better for mining to make it a good buy.

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10:13 Jan-24-2021

The mining gpus were regular gpus without output ports.

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10:49 Jan-24-2021

Yeah, which made the resale value terrible

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12:45 Jan-24-2021

GP106 stands for Geforce Pascal 106 and it's the codename for the chip used in the gtx 1060, GP104 is the chip in the gtx 1080 and gp102 is the chip in the gtx 1080ti.


For ampere it's GA102,104,106.

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17:40 Jan-23-2021

Well they already released mining GPUs in the past it wasn't a success as there was stock that left after it was no longer profitable to use them so no, or maybe. Let all the mining GPUs be on the free market and let the Gaming GPUs be sold only through Nvidia or something, IDK. Miners would still buy them as well.


And higher volume doesn't mean much, miners would just buy even more.

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17:42 Jan-23-2021

Freedom is great as long as you aren't screwing over other people, and in this case the free market and online market as a whole needs to be somehow controlled, but then again GPUs aren't a necessity. That's a toughphy. We need a brand new market system I guess. Can't think of one myself.

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19:53 Jan-23-2021

Interesting thought...


The current GPU supply and demand debacle is ridiculous. Heard that some RX580 are being sold for $600 USD, so you're not wrong.

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10:12 Jan-24-2021

Ouch and I got a rx 570 a few months ago for 50$ XD

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15:13 Jan-24-2021

Did you get the 4GB or 8GB version?

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15:53 Jan-24-2021

4gb, not that it matters, the 8gb is for crossfire. Polaris doesn't have good enough delta color compression and bandwidth isn't enough

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21:59 Jan-24-2021

If you're gaming at 1080p, the RX570 will suffice for 60 FPS gaming in most AAA games (possibly even 3 years from now)


P.S.
Provided your profile is correct and you're using the 1060, you could sell the 570 for a nice profit (if you feel like it).

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19:43 Jan-25-2021

it wasn't for me, it was for my brother.

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01:30 Jan-26-2021

Aha

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16:45 Jan-23-2021

Since Nvidia released a mining GPU before, can't we just look at the before and after numbers and compare the availability?

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Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
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