NVIDIA is crippling the crypto-mining capabilities of some GPUs
As cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum become more and more mainstream, there is growing interest in not only investing in crypto, but also mining for it. It is increasingly popular for the "spare" processor power of GPUs to be put to this very use, but NVIDIA is clamping down.
The graphics card maker is deliberating limiting the mining capabilities of its latest GeForce RTX 3060 GPUs, saying "GeForce is made for gaming". But it is not all bad news for fans of crypto-mining; the company is also launching a new NVIDIA CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor) line.
The move comes as NVIDIA tries to ensure that its latest cards end up in the hands of gamers who can use them to enjoy the latest titles. The upcoming GeForce RTX 3060 will have its Ethereum mining capabilities slashed in half with the hope that people who are interested in crypto-mining will investigate the new CMP range.
This new crypto-focused line will be through authorized partners and optimized for the best mining performance and efficiency. NVIDIA explains that: "They don't meet the specifications required of a GeForce GPU and, thus, don't impact the availability of GeForce GPUs to gamers".
In a blog post about the change, the company says:
We are gamers, through and through. We obsess about new gaming features, new architectures, new games and tech. We designed GeForce GPUs for gamers, and gamers are clamoring for more.
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.