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NVIDIA building a dedicated mining graphics card

Photo of: Joseph Stone
by Joseph Stone

The graphics card maker wants to reserve its GeForce products for gamers rather than the cryptocurrency mining Ethereum. Nvidia does not neglect this industry however and announces a dedicated processor.

GPUs, the graphics processors, find applications in various fields. It was already the case in the supercomputer sector. However, the cryptocurrency mining industry is now also interested in the capabilities of GPUs.

The development of the use of its GeForce range by Ethereum miners is however not to Nvidia’s liking. Why not? Because this demand penalizes its main market, namely that of gamers.

“We are players, to the end of our fingernails,” Nvidia says in a blog post. And the manufacturer thus reminds us that it has designed its GeForce graphics processors for this category of customers.

This customer base is demanding more GPUs. In this context, Nvidia is adopting a strategy that is radical, to say the least. On the occasion of the February 25th release of a new card, the GeForce RTX 3060, the manufacturer will limit the use of mining.

Nvidia thus wishes to make sure that its products will be reserved to the players. And how to control the uses? Quite simply by limiting the computing power of its graphics cards for mining applications.

The company announces that the RTX 3060 drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum mining algorithm. And in case of detection, the software will automatically limit the hash rate by about 50%.

Nvidia’s objective is clearly to make its GPUs less efficient for mining and therefore less attractive for this industry. An attack in good standing? On the contrary, argues the manufacturer. This decision “makes sense”.

The features of GeForce RTX are designed to meet the needs of gamers. Is Ethereum mining effectively excluded from Nvidia’s product applications? No, the manufacturer does not close the door. Indeed, it announces a new range specifically designed for mining.

From now on, NVIDIA CMP, or Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, will be the range of products for professional mining. No graphics here, and therefore no output for video display. These processors “do not meet the specifications required of a GeForce GPU and therefore do not impact the availability of GeForce GPUs for gamers. ยป

“Creating custom products for customers with specific needs allows us to offer the best value for money to our customers. With CMP, we can help miners build the most efficient data centers while preserving GeForce RTX GPUs for gamers,” explains Nvidia.