As if it wasn’t already tough enough to source high-end microprocessors and GPUs heading into the end of 2020 and early 2021, the cryptocurrency market once again started booming. The rise in value for Ethereum led to a run on existing GPU supply by mining farms and others looking to cash in on the value spike in cryptocurrency. Video cards that were already in extremely short supply are no longer even making it to retailers but rather being diverted to crypto miners. NVIDIA’s attempt to alleviate the supply issue for its gaming customers comes in the form of a new line of crypto mining processors (CMP).
The NVIDIA CMP lineup offers miners headless GPUs that are purpose-built for mining. These cards have no video output functionality. The idea behind this design is to ensure that gamers buying secondhand GPUs after the mining craze subsides don’t end up with cards that were overworked in crypto mining farms. The first model has now been photographed. The Gigabyte CMP 30HX will come with 6GB of GDDR6 memory and is capable of 26 MH/s in Ethereum mining. The 125W TDP card is as effective at mining as an RTX 3060 once its anti-mining algorithm is active.
NVIDIA touted its plan to offer gaming GPUs that would detect mining software and limit efficiency last month. Going forward, the GPU giant will offer this feature on their new releases to deter mining operations from snapping up all the GPUs intended for gaming markets. The Gigabyte CMP 30HX will sit in the lower-end of NVIDIA’s CMP lineup. There will be cards with 30HX, 40HX, 50HX, and 90HX designations with the number representing a rough approximation of their Ethereum hash rate capability. The higher-end CMP cards are expected to be on the market in the second half of 2021.
Earlier this week, it was reported that AMD is also prepping a lineup of headless graphics cards intended for the mining market. AMD’s own RX 6000 series gaming GPUs have been just as hard to find as NVIDIA’s parts since their launch late last year. The continuing global chip famine is still wreaking havoc across multiple industries and is preventing gamers from buying GPUs and next-gen consoles. Hopefully, these new mining-specific parts can alleviate supply issues before everyone gives up on trying to play video games and opts to go outside (the horror!).