Cryptocurrency is enjoying another surge in value and general interest. People are now trying to find out how to buy Dogecoin and are searching for the best cryptocurrency exchanges to get in on the action, but this demand has also driven crypto mining hardware through the roof.
Nvidia RTX 30-series GPUs are some of the most impacted products resulting in considerable frustration for gamers as supplies were already limited. Well, it looks like Nvidia's latest releases may finally offer some relief for both sides (via AnandTech).
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Nvidia RTX 3060
Now diehard gamers may scoff at the RTX 3060, but it may offer the blueprint for a longer-term solution to this problem. The change that Nvidia is making isn't at the hardware level, but rather, to the software drivers. The rate at which the RTX 3060 will be able to mine cryptocurrency will be halved, dramatically changing the value proposition for crypto mining.
It's too late for Nvidia to retroactively do this for the higher-end GPUs as miners would simply use the pre-existing drivers, but if this proves successful, it may be the solution for the next generation GPUs.
Nvidia CMP HX GPUs
The second part of the equation is the introduction of a new set of dedicated mining cards. The Nvidia CMP HX will be available in four different configurations ranging from 125W output to 320W. These GPUs drop the video outputs at the silicon level as that isn't necessary for crypto mining.
While you would assume these four GPUs would roughly map out to the 3060, 3070, 3080 and 3090, unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case. The top-end 90HX is much less efficient than either the 3090 or even the 3080. The other three models all come in below the previous generation RTX 2080 Ti, with only the 125W 30HX delivering slightly superior efficiency.
The big question on these GPUs will be pricing. If they are drastically undercutting the cost of the traditional 30-series GPUs, the chips could be appealing to crypto miners. Nvidia hasn't given any pricing details yet. The announcement simply indicated that these GPUs will be available through Asus, Colorful, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit, and PC Partner.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.