Razer SoftMiner Announced – Will Use Your GPU’s Idle Processing Power and Reward You for It, Sort of
Razer SoftMiner is new software dedicated to using your GPU's idle processing power. According to Razer, SoftMiner runs silently in the background to solve blockchain-based puzzles. Participating users are then rewarded with Razer Silver (which is not a cryptocurrency, but a loyalty rewards program) depending on the amount of time SoftMiner has been running, and the processing power of their PCs.
Razer SoftMiner is currently in beta and supports up to 5,000 users per week. It can be downloaded and installed through Razer Central, alongside Razer Synapse and Razer Cortex.
Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan said in a statement provided via press release:
Razer’s software and services are integral parts of our gamer-centric ecosystem and complete our gaming lifestyle promise to our fans. Today’s extensive updates send a signal to the 50 million-strong base of registered users on our software platform that we are committed to enhancing their experience within the Razer suite of products, from the humble mouse and keyboard to next-generation cutting-edge apps.
No other gaming company or brand today has such an extensive system for enabling gamers get the most out of their games and gaming lifestyle. Razer Gold remains one of the most rewarding ways you can buy games and make in-app purchases, and combined with the return of Paid to Play on Razer Cortex and the new SoftMiner app, Razer is truly the only gamer-centric ecosystem that gives accelerated rewards to gamers for simply doing what they love – playing games.
However, upon closer evaluation, it doesn't look like a great proposition for the time being. First of all, the official FAQ page says you can expect to accrue roughly 500 Razer Silver in a day with the proper setup (that is to say, with a powerful enough PC), but that doesn't seem a fair amount.
Let's take Torchlight as an example. The great but now rather old (it launched in 2009) action RPG developed by Runic Games is currently priced 21,000 Razer Silver, translating to 42 days of Razer SoftMiner usage. But if you want to get something more recent this way, such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider for example, the price skyrockets to 98,000 Razer Silver points. That equates to 196 days of running the Razer SoftMiner software on your PC, which by the way Razer admits it will slow down your system (as expected).
Razer SoftMiner uses a substantial amount of your GPU power to ensure you get the highest Razer Silver yield possible. Hence, when the application is running, your PC will likely run slower than its usual speed.
There aren't even many games to pick from, anyway, particularly compared to the similar Games From Space software we covered in May. That could obviously change over time. More worryingly, your Razer Silver balance will only be valid for twelve months after it has been earned. You'll have to spend it before that date, even if you haven't quite gotten to your prize. And Razer Silver cannot be transferred or exchanged for cash in any way.
With such a long list of caveats, recommending Razer SoftMiner seems hard right now.