NVIDIA has finally conceded to the overwhelming mining demand facing the GPU market right now and launched a lineup of dedicated cryptocurrency mining GPUs (can we even call them that considering they have no display port?) called CMP. This is short for Cryptocurrency Mining Processor While AIBs have previously rolled out mining variants of GPUs without display ports, this is the first time we are seeing an official product launch straight from NVIDIA itself. It is accompanied by an action that will likely be very controversial: software limiting the hash rate of NVIDIA's RTX 3060 GPU (which will be launching on the 25th) to just 50% of its actual rate.
NVIDIA launches Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) series and halves RTX 3060 hash rate
Before we go any further, NVIDIA is announcing a total of 4 CMP (GPUs?) out of which two, the NVIDIA CMP 30HX and 40HX will launch in Q1 and CMP 50HX and 90HX will launch in Q2. At this moment it is unclear which HX correlates to which GeForce GPU although you can make some decent guesses using the memory size (which correlates to bus width and can give away the rough model number) we can also use the hash rate and TDP to arrive at similar conclusions. With hash rates of up to 86 MH/s (and these are likely unoptimized considering NVIDIA always underpromises and over-delivers), it is clear that the company has plans to ensure a full lineup.
Here is the thing though, the RTX 3070 for example has a hash rate between 50-60 MH/s. None of the CMPs in the table match this rate. I have a suspicion [caution: educated speculation] that what we are looking at also contains lower binned dies of the GeForce models with slightly lower core counts. This would allow NVIDIA to retarget some of those wasted dies more efficiently.
Designed for professional mining operations
NVIDIA CMP allows a fully open, airflow-optimized bracket and is configured to allow a greater number of GPUs to be controlled by one CPU.
Optimized for best mining performance
NVIDIA GPU architecture allows you to mine more efficiently and recoup your mining investment faster.
Available from authorized partners
Available from authorized partners, including ASUS, Colorful, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit, and PC Partner.
It is also unclear at this point how their decision to halve RTX 3060 mining rate will be received. Some would argue that if you are buying the hardware, you reserve the right to use it to its full potential. Another obvious problem could be the fact that software blocks are usually overcome quite easily when the wider internet puts its mind to it.
The only person this software block actually stops from mining is the retail miner. Gamers that want to put their GPU to mine part-time won't be able to. While mining operations continue to enjoy full use. Distribution of mining resources just got more unequal. 😀
— Usman Pirzada (@usmanpirzada) February 18, 2021
We have even seen AMD GPUs get bios flashed to their higher-end siblings so this would be child's play for an enthusiastic coder unless NVIDIA took hardware-based steps to mitigate this. Since a full GeForce GPU offers resale value - which is part of the ROI - a multi-million USD mining operation would likely have enough resources to bypass this block. In other words, this restriction would likely only impact the retail miner and disallow actual gamers from recouping some costs by putting their GPU to mine part-time.
Here is the full press release about NVIDIA CMP series:
We are gamers, through and through. Yet NVIDIA GPUs are programmable. And users are constantly discovering new applications for them, from weather simulation and gene sequencing to deep learning and robotics. Mining cryptocurrency is one of them.
With the launch of GeForce RTX 3060 on Feb. 25, we’re taking an important step to help ensure GeForce GPUs end up in the hands of gamers.
RTX 3060 software drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent.
To address the specific needs of Ethereum mining, we’re announcing the NVIDIA CMP, or, Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, product line for professional mining. CMP products — which don’t do graphics — are sold through authorized partners and optimized for the best mining performance and efficiency. CMP lacks display outputs, enabling improved airflow while mining so they can be more densely packed. CMPs also have a lower peak core voltage and frequency, which improves mining power efficiency.
Tell us what you think of NVIDIA CMP: