Thursday, February 18th 2021

NVIDIA Announces New CMP Series Specifically Designed for Cryptocurrency Mining; Caps Mining Performance on RTX 3060

This is a big one: NVIDIA has officially announced a new family of products specifically designed to satiate the demand coming from cryptocurrency mining workloads and farms. At the same time, the company has announced that the RTX 3060 launch driver will include software limitations for cryptocurrency mining workloads specifically correlated with Ethereum mining, essentially halving the maximum theoretical hashrate that could be achieved from a purely hardware perspective. The new family of products, termed CMP (Crypto Mining Processor) series, will see its products under the HX branding, and will be available in four different tiers: 30HX, 40HX, 50HX and 90HX. These products will not have any display outputs, and therefore are not applicable for gaming scenarios.

NVIDIA's stance here is that their new product will bring some justice in the overall distribution of its GeForce graphics cards, which are marketed and meant for gaming workloads. The new cryptocurrency-geared series will be distributed by NVIDIA authorized partners in the form of ASUS, Colorful, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit, and PC Partner (more may be added down the line). There is currently no information on what silicon actually powers these graphics cards; and of course, the success of this enterprise depends on A) the driver restrictions not being limited to the RTX 3060 graphics card - it isn't clear from NVIDIA's press release if other RTX 30-series graphics cards will see the same performance cap. Even if NVIDIA did release those drivers, however, cryptocurrency miners would just opt to, well, not update them. So it is possible that NVIDIA will release a revision of the RTX 3090, RTX 3080, RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti with silicon enhancements that will only work with the latest GeForce drivers - after allowing the channels to move all of their existing, cryptocurrency-enabled stock.
The other factor is, of course, pricing: miners will always look after the best price/performance ratio, even more so than gamers; and as such, the scenario can be imagined that were NVIDIA to add a tax to these products' based on their cryptocurrency mining nature, miners would still opt for GeForce products. The 30HX and 40HX will be made available in 1Q of this year, while the more powerful 50HX and 90HX will only hit retail come 2Q. NVIDIA finally did decide to take the matter into their own hands, in a move that not only accompanies their general "we're for the gamers" stance with more than words, while simultaneously insulating themselves from lawsuits targeting any possible inclusion of mining sales under their gaming division financials. I'll allow myself some emotion now: finally!

The NVIDIA Press Release follows:
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.

Halving Hash Rate
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.

That only makes sense. Our GeForce RTX GPUs introduce cutting-edge technologies — such as RTX real-time ray-tracing, DLSS AI-accelerated image upscaling technology, Reflex super-fast response rendering for the best system latency, and many more — tailored to meet the needs of gamers and those who create digital experiences.

To address the specific needs of Ethereum mining, we're announcing the NVIDIA CMP, or, Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, product line for professional mining.

CMP products — which don't do graphics — are sold through authorized partners and optimized for the best mining performance and efficiency. They don't meet the specifications required of a GeForce GPU and, thus, don't impact the availability of GeForce GPUs to gamers.

For instance, CMP lacks display outputs, enabling improved airflow while mining so they can be more densely packed. CMPs also have a lower peak core voltage and frequency, which improves mining power efficiency.

Creating tailored products for customers with specific needs delivers the best value for customers. With CMP, we can help miners build the most efficient data centers while preserving GeForce RTX GPUs for gamers.
Sources: Thanks BTA for the inputs!, NVIDIA
Add your own comment

118 Comments on NVIDIA Announces New CMP Series Specifically Designed for Cryptocurrency Mining; Caps Mining Performance on RTX 3060

#51
TheinsanegamerN
Night
I don't see this move from Nvidia working out for gamers in mind. There are 2 possibilities:
1. Cards getting bought by a hoard of scalpers
2. Drivers getting modded on day one, making the GPU perform the same as the mining version
There's no way Nvidia will have enough GPUs to feed all the miners. Also the 3060 will do less work than a 3070, 3080 or 3090.
If they really want to help gamers, they'll try to make the new lineup less effective at mining on the hardware level, and I believe this is possible, but unlikely due to bigger costs of design and production.
Nvidia doesnt have enough productiona s is, I think the only way this could help would be if these mining GPUs are trash dies that would otherwise never be used in anything. That could be the case, and if the defect rate is as high as rumored then these could make some kind of dent.

The software tricks will be circumvented immediately, this is just a PR move on nvidias part. The issue with designing mining resistant cards is the GPGPU hardware used there is not just for mining. Games use it too, and if you design a GPU to limit performance for mining it could very well torpedo gaming performance in any engine or game that uses that tech. We went through that once with nvidia's FX series and its 24 bit registers, and it was an utter disaster. Especially since I believe it's all those extra FP cores nvidia put in to do raytracing that mining is currently taking advantage of.
Posted on Reply
#52
RedelZaVedno
Huang is a mastermind. Sell overpriced 3070/3080(TI)/3090 big dies to miners, so every gamer will have to settle for small 276 mm² GA106 die... That way 3060 will be available to gamers BUT at a heavily inflated price due to super high gamer's demand, making profit margins skyrocket while still preserving Nvidia's public image as a gamers first company. Such a brilliant PR move. Prepare for xx60 class being 600 bucks GPU as a new normal and media will still praise Nvidia's move. Huang wins, gamers lose again :)
Posted on Reply
#53
bug
TheinsanegamerN
I havent tried it, but apparently as of may 2020 it was still possible:

windowsreport.com/driver-signature-enforcement-windows-10/

It seems to require you to activate it at every boot, which isnt really an issue for miners since they dont reboot often and it only has to be done once to install the driver, and it can be automated for obscure drivers that cost $$$$$ to replace, and miners can take advantage of that too.
Yes, it seems the option is still there: docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/devtest/bcdedit--set#verification-settings
Posted on Reply
#54
Chomiq
I voted "Yay, finally!" but there should be a fourth option "Too little, too late" and I'd pick that instead if I could.
Posted on Reply
#55
ppn
I still don't quite understand how can they run the card on older driver, or what good is it disabling the signature when the card is seen as simply Unknown hardware in windows device manager. 3060 class is 2070 replacement, for upgraders this move is best suited for 3070Ti, and this is yet to come hopefully, i was going to wait for the super anyway, or the GA103 if it ever existed.
Posted on Reply
#56
xorbe
Imagine a silent update of RTX 3060 Ti / 3070 / 3080 that only works with the new drivers ...
Posted on Reply
#57
RedelZaVedno
xorbe
Imagine a silent update of RTX 3060 Ti / 3070 / 3080 that only works with the new drivers ...
It doesn't really matter. Mining farms have grown to multi billion businesses by now. They can easily afford devs that will rewrite GPUs bioses and drivers. The only thing Nvidia can do to prevent it is to lower shading units & limit vram capacity to 4 gigs, but this would also kill gaming performance. There is no way out of mining craze until ETH price crashes.
Posted on Reply
#59
Mad_foxx1983
Question: dont many crypto miners run custom Vbioses and Drivers anyways??
Posted on Reply
#60
RedelZaVedno
Mad_foxx1983
Question: dont many crypto miners run custom Vbioses and Drivers anyways??
Yes, all big miners rewrite/optimize bioses&drivers. That's why this news is nothing but a good PR from Ngreedia. Miners are already happily farming with not yet released 3060s bought for 700$ a piece in Pakistan.
Posted on Reply
#61
Sir Alex Ice
Next to 0 resell value, nobody in its right mind would ever buy them.
Posted on Reply
#62
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Dristun
They're just carving out another product line out of the silicon they've already ordered. I'm happy to be wrong on this but me thinks nothing will change drastically because of this move.
Yes, but this could allow them to use previously unusable silicon that would otherwise sit in the scrap bin. It is my understanding that memory bandwidth is not really important for mining(memory amount is to a point, but not bandwidth). So they could have some GA102 chips that have perfectly working sharders, but half of the memory controllers are bad. That would normally lead to the chip going in the scrap pile. But instead it could be repurposed onto a mining card, it would only have a 192-bit memory bus, but that wouldn't really matter to mining AFAIK.
Posted on Reply
#63
efikkan
I do wonder if the "crypto mining" detection can be circumvented (I would expect within minutes), and more importantly if it can hurt non-mining applications, like indie-games falsely detected as "mining". :(
fynxer
Can bet that MASSIVE EFFORT will be put in to hacking the Nvidia driver for the RTX 3060.

As long as the hashrate lock is software only and not in the actual GPU it will be fixed one way or the other.
Or they can just use any Ampere-compatible driver from before the RTX 3060 launch… :rolleyes:


This sounds like just a PR move to me.
Posted on Reply
#64
xorbe
This will only last so long, as apparently eth difficultly has gone up 25% in the last month, and there's an asic on the way. This will kill gpu mining profitability. A repeat of bitcoin.
Posted on Reply
#65
rusTORK
ZOTAC GeForce RTX 3060 Twin Edge OC already was tested in Mining. It's drop hash rate to 50% with old driver (for RTX 3070).

Posted on Reply
#66
mouacyk
xorbe
This will only last so long, as apparently eth difficultly has gone up 25% in the last month, and there's an asic on the way. This will kill gpu mining profitability. A repeat of bitcoin.
Also ETH is phasing into proof-of-stake, so only one miner is needed to confirm a transaction instead of several competing to do so.
Posted on Reply
#67
agentnathan009
Legacy-ZA
*sigh*

So tired of this "debate", No, it's not enough, thank you, if it's good for you, sweet, but it's not enough for me and others. I don't like texture pop-ins, stutters etc. I mod games and I don't want a game that will launch within the year to give me those problems because of an 8GB VRAM limit.

It was great when the GTX1000 series launched, they were pushing it with the RTX2000 series and with the RTX3000 series this was a slap-in-the-face, I don't care what or who wants to defend that position.
*sigh*

So tired of misinformed individuals such as yourself. Did you forget about compression algorithms that reduce memory needed?

"For several generations now, NVIDIA GPUs have had a lossless memory compression technique that reduces memory bandwidth requirements. In a nutshell, the GPU will look for repeating pixels in textures and, instead of storing every single repeated pixel, it will store just "repeat blue, 4x4 block". Similarly, if the colors of neighboring pixels are similar, it will store how to calculate the next pixel's color from the previous pixel's color using a handful of bits instead of the full 32-bit RGB color value. The key to improving this algorithm is to find a pattern in textures that are used in games, and then add dedicated circuitry to the chip to enable compression and decompression of this one specific pattern. I wouldn't be surprised if NVIDIA used machine learning to optimize their collection of such recognized patterns by feeding it all textures in all games ever created, which is an extensive task with the potential to yield fantastic results almost immediately.

Effectively, color compression means less data to write to, and transfer from VRAM to the L2 cache. This reduced traffic propagates down the line with fewer data transfers between clients, including the aforementioned game texture, and the memory framebuffer. With Turing, NVIDIA has developed the 5th generation of the color compression technique which improves the compression ratio by over 25% relative to the Pascal microarchitecture, which in turn already had a 20% improvement over Maxwell for further context."

www.techpowerup.com/review/nvidia-geforce-turing-geforce-rtx-architecture/4.html#:~:text=For%20several%20generations%20now%2C%20NVIDIA,repeat%20blue%2C%204x4%20block%22.
Posted on Reply
#68
TheoneandonlyMrK
Legacy-ZA
If we don't see them @ the $330 MSRP, I don't give a damn nVidia, also you needed these limitations on the hardware level, driver limitations can always be removed/bypassed by someone smart enough. The damage has been done, we just moved within the 6th month of the launch of these products. Now I guess you will start throwing your next RTX4000 lineup in our faces while people paid through their asses just to get a little gaming card that won't even last till RTX5000, **** YOU!
How the heck can Anyone make hardware that's good to game on and not run crypto algorithms that are specifically designed to use just that?!.
Not happening, they did that they're called ASICS, the cryptos adjusted to use new graphics cards again, rinse repeat.
They'll code round such.
Posted on Reply
#69
silentbogo
Those are some really underwhelming numbers for brand-new mining-specific SKUs.... Looks like in addition to 1050Ti they've decided to start a full-blown Pascal reunion tour with rebranded P102/104/106 on the way.
Just yesterday I was rebuilding a small farm for my client. Re-flashed his old P104s to 8GB, did some maintenance, and each one gets around 34MH/s stock at toasty ~160W (power rating is vague, but still in a 150-175W ballpark, just like 40HX). After some tweaking got 37-38MH/s at >120W. 30HX looks like a lost P106-100 twin brother. etc. etc. etc.
That's definitely not a preventive measure to scalping/mining deficit, even if gimping RTX 30-series is taken into consideration. Plus, there's a question of price. I doubt it'll be the same as 4 years ago.
Posted on Reply
#71
Fluffmeister
Nvidia must already be printing money at this point, miners will just gobble these up too.
Posted on Reply
#72
Omeliel
I am very curious about what all those guys who have about 50 -60 Nvidia GPUs on rigs what are they gonna do? Sad very sad.
Posted on Reply
#73
xtreemchaos
its all smoke n mirrors guys its all part of the plan to get every drop of blood thay can swezz outa us. "oh the pain" :) it will be 2031 and ill be still rocking my 1080 before i pay through the nose.
Posted on Reply
#74
AusWolf
On the one hand, I'm overjoyed that nvidia finally decided to separate gaming and mining product lines. Now there only needs to be an incentive for miners to buy these instead of regular GeForce cards, and that's where my other eye cries: with an artificial software limitation, miners will put effort into bypassing these limitations (or will just install older drivers) instead of choosing a miner card. Shame.
Posted on Reply
#75
Anymal
Raevenlord, typo in title on facebook.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment