This morning, Nvidia introduced that it could artificially scale back the efficiency of its upcoming $329 GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card in relation to one particular job: Ethereum cryptocurrency mining. As bizarre as that information may sound, it was music to the ears of some avid gamers — who’ve been making an attempt and failing to get their fingers on graphics playing cards for months as a result of 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 The Verge (in no unsure phrases) that it received’t nerf current GPUs. “We usually are 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 instead for these miners, would imply that avid gamers may really be capable of purchase an RTX 3060 in consequence. 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 world semiconductor scarcity happening, .

Nvidia’s new Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP). Image: Nvidia

But Nvidia strongly suggests the brand new CMPs received’t influence the flexibility to provide GeForce gaming playing 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 electronic 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 one hundred pc operational resulting from occasional manufacturing defects, and promote them as slower or much less feature-filled components as a substitute — the assertion actually sounds one thing like that.
But it is also that they’re completely different altogether. The shot you see above of Nvidia’s CMP appears to be like nothing just like the format 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. Perhaps the CMP is solely a GPU design that hasn’t publicly been revealed.

If so, it’s vaguely doable that Nvidia has a stockpile of older chips it’s placing to make use of. The firm’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. But with out figuring out what the CMP really is, your guess is pretty much as good as ours.
Lastly, you is perhaps questioning: why solely nerf Ethereum mining, when different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have additionally seen unbelievable positive aspects? Here’s Nvidia’s full reply:
Ethereum has the very best international mining yield for any GPU-mineable coin in the mean time and thus is probably going the primary demand driver for GPUs in mining. Other algorithms don’t contribute considerably to GPU demand and this can not change rapidly resulting from community results inside a given cryptocurrency. The fee 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 purchase than earlier GPUs when it launches February twenty fifth 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.