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NVIDIA CMP 170HX Mining Card Tested, Based on GA100 GPU SKU

NVIDIA's Crypto Mining (CMP) series of graphics cards are made to work only for one purpose: mining cryptocurrency coins. Hence, their functionality is somewhat limited, and they can not be used for gaming as regular GPUs can. Today, Linus Tech Tips got ahold of NVIDIA's CMP 170HX mining card, which is not listed on the company website. According to the source, the card runs on NVIDIA's GA100-105F GPU, a version based on the regular GA100 SXM design used in data-center applications. Unlike its bigger brother, the GA100-105F SKU is a cut-down design with 4480 CUDA cores and 8 GB of HBM2E memory. The complete design has 6912 cores and 40/80 GB HBM2E memory configurations.

As far as the reason for choosing 8 GB HBM2E memory goes, we know that the Ethereum DAG file is under 5 GB, so the 8 GB memory buffer is sufficient for mining any coin out there. It is powered by an 8-pin CPU power connector and draws about 250 Watts of power. It can be adjusted to 200 Watts while retaining the 165 MH/s hash rate for Ethereum. This reference design is manufactured by NVIDIA and has no active cooling, as it is meant to be cooled in high-density server racks. Only a colossal heatsink is attached, meaning that the cooling needs to come from a third party. As far as pricing is concerned, Linus managed to get this card for $5000, making it a costly mining option.
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NVIDIA Crypto Mining Processor 170HX Card Spotted with 164 MH/s Hash Rate

NVIDIA announced the first four Crypto Mining Processor (CMP) cards earlier this year with performance ranging from 26 MH/s to 86 MH/s. These cards were all based on existing Turing/Ampere silicon and featured board partner-designed cooling systems. NVIDIA appears to have introduced a new flagship model with the passively-cooled 170HX that is based on the NVIDIA A100 accelerator which features a GA100 GPU.

This new model is the first mining card to be designed by NVIDIA and features 4480 CUDA cores paired with 8 GB of HBM2E memory which are both considerably less than what is found in other GA100 based products. NVIDIA has also purposively limited the PCIe interface to Gen 1 x4 to ensure the card cannot be used for tasks outside of cryptocurrency mining. The 170HX has a TDP of 250 W and runs at a base clock of 1140 MHz with a locked-down BIOS that does not allow memory overclocking resulting in a hash rate of 164 MH/s when using the Etash algorithm.

MSI Launches CMP 50HX MINER with 3584 CUDA Cores

MSI has recently launched the first NVIDIA Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) 50HX model with the MSI CMP 50HX MINER. The CMP 50HX is the third card in the CMP lineup above the CMP 30HX and CMP 40HX and a step below the flagship as of yet unreleased CMP 90HX. The CMP 50HX was expected to feature nearly identical specifications to the RTX 2080 Ti due to the similar reported mining performance and the fact that 30HX and 40HX models were derived from consumer cards. MSI has revealed that the CMP 50HX does use the TU102 but with only 3584 CUDA core compared to the 4352 cores found with the RTX 2080 Ti, the 50HX also features less memory with only 10 GB GDDR6. These core and memory reductions do come with a small power requirement reduction from 250 W to 225 W however dual 8-pin power connectors are still required. The MSI CMP 50HX card features a blower cooler design with a small plastic window and no display outputs.

NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti, 3060 LHR Tested in Cryptomining Workloads

Expreview have tested one of the latest RTX 3060 graphics cards of the LHR (Lite Hash Rate) nature, so as to discern exactly how cryptomining limited these LHR cards are in practice - and whether or not there are performance differences for non-mining related workloads such as gaming. The results are satisfying: the new RTX 3060 Lite Hash Rate puts out around 21 MH/s at 119 W - and it does so from the beginning of the workload, which didn't happen prior, when NVIDIA's solution was a poorly implemented driver check instead of a new device ID (it started at 40 MH/s and then decreased until it hit the LHR ceiling). The RTX 3060 also didn't show any performance difference compared to previous, non-LHR cards in gaming benchmarks, which might put some prospective buyers at ease.

Also leaked was the said RTX 3080 Ti mining score. Since this card is only coming out now, a way to differentiate it from existing stock is unneeded. But even if the RTX 3080 Ti doesn't carry the LHR suffix as does the RTX 3060 and eventually the 3070 and 3080 upon their re-release to the wild, it does pack in the same mining performance limiter. And the card was tested to deliver some 58 MH/s at a 199 W board power. One should be cautious about expecting swift prices back on the market, as miners shift their focus towards the RTX cards already in the second-hand market or the new CMP cards; one can only be hopeful that the actual gaming market is already well-furnished with cards enough that scalpers aren't able to contend with the (ideal?) overflow of stock on LHR cards.

MSI Launches Two CMP 30HX MINER Series Cards

MSI has recently announced two new CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor) 30HX MINER Series cards the MSI CMP 30HX MINER, and MSI CMP 30HX MINER XS. These new cards borrow the coolers from the ARMOR series and VENTUS XS respectively, MSI is one of the first manufacturers to offer multiple versions of a CMP card so it will be interesting to see the differences in performance and pricing given the two cards feature identical specifications. The two cards both feature the TU116-100 GPU with 1408 cores and a base clock of 1530 MHz along with a boost clock of 1785 MHz and 6 GB GDDR6 memory. The cards also lack any display outputs as per all CMP cards and pricing or availability information is not available.

GALAX First NVIDIA Partner to Showcase LHR Graphics Cards, Settling Expectations

GALAX has now become the first NVIDIA partner from whom some details on how NVIDIA's push to limit the mining hash rates on their graphics cards will turn out. The new GALAX graphics cards in question are the already-released, unicorn-like RTX 3070 and RTX 3080. The GALAX packaging doesn't seem to have any differences compared to their original launch packaging for these graphics cards, though; however, the product pages for these respective products do have an additional [FG] compared to the original releases. This seems to be in-line with NVIDIA's decision not to differentiate between LHR and non-LHR cards at a packaging level, so as to reduce desirability for miners to just keep gobbling up remaining supply for the non-LHR graphics cards still in the channel.

As we already knew before, the LHR graphics cards feature an NVIDIA-designed solution that identifies the workload you're putting your card through and artificially halves its performance for Ethereum mining workloads. Of course, NVIDIA would prefer to have miners buying their mining-specific CMP (Crypto Mining Processor) cards and free up demand from their gaming-oriented RTX cards, effectively feeding two very distinct markets. It remains to be seen whether this new NVIDIA hashrate limitation survives more than a few days compared to their latest attempt at such a solution.

NVIDIA Silently Relaunching RTX 30-series with "Lite Hash Rate" Silicon Edition

Remember that story regarding NVIDIA relaunching a new RTX 3060 SKU that actually does limit the hash rate for Ethereum mining workloads? Well, not only has it been cemented, but it also has been expanded. Reports are coming in that all but confirm that NVIDIA is on its way to provide its partners with updated silicon that should put mining performance of their RTX 30-series cards into a less palatable price-performance territory for would-be miners. That, in turn, should bring them closer to NVIDIA's CMP (Crypto Mining Processor) cards instead - and as wanted by both the company and consumers.

According to the sources, the new graphics cards will be indistinguishable from those that are still in transit or in stock (all two of them worldwide, of course). NVIDIA is internally describing the revised silicon as "Lite Hash Rate", and that is the message they communicate with AIBs. Apparently, the new "Lite Hash Rate" graphics cards will range throughout the entirety of NVIDIA's already-released RTX 30-series portfolio, from the ill-fated RTX 3060 up to the RTX 3080 Ti - the only absent graphics card is the RTX 3090, apparently, which could mean that NVIDIA is confident enough on that graphics card's cost being too high to be attractive to miners - especially when you consider how much more they are going for above the MSRP that was half-heartedly slapped on it. The new chips carry an update to their SKU identification - the GA102-200 chip that powers the RTX 3080 is being revised to GA102-202, as will all other chips made "lite" in this way. Expect the new cards to start hitting retail come June.

ASUS CMP 40HX Mining Card Tested, Allegedly Priced at 699 USD

The upcoming ASUS CMP 40HX mining card has been tested and appears to offer mining speeds of up to 43.77 MH/s which is significantly higher than the 36 MH/s advertised by NVIDIA. The ASUS CMP 40HX cards were working in a power-optimized cluster and likely had memory clock speeds adjusted to achieve the 21% increase in hash speeds. The NVIDIA CMP 40HX is based on the TU106-100 GPU and was expected to launch in the first quarter but this release has been delayed with board partners still testing. The ASUS CMP 40HX will reportedly launch for 699 USD while the ASUS CMP 30HX launch price will be reduced from 799 USD to 599 USD.
ASUS CMP 30HX ASUS CMP 40HX Mining Performance

ASUS CMP 30HX Mining Card Spotted with RGB Lighting

We saw Gigabyte release the first NVIDIA CMP (Crypto Mining Processor) 30HX card last week, ASUS has now revealed their version of the card with RGB lighting. The ASUS CMP30HX-6G features the same design as the ASUS GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER DUAL EVO minus the display connectors. The card features a 2.7 slot design with a dual-fan cooling solution which appears to be the most common design for these cards. The clock speeds and memory configuration are identical to that of Gigabyte's which are both the same as the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER on which the CMP 30HX is based on. The ASUS CMP 30HX will reportedly launch in May with a MSRP of 799 USD which is similar to other rumors.

A Sign of the Times: Hong Kong Authorities Dismantle Smuggling Operation... Which Included 300 NVIDIA CMP Cards

A sign of the times indeed, when secretive, smuggling boats add NVIDIA CMP graphics cards to their cargo instead of other illegal goods. That's what just happened in Hong Kong, where authorities with the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department seized a smuggling fishing boat that was unsuspectingly (or maybe not so unsuspectingly) anchored just outside the Hong Kong International Airport. While some of the smuggled goods were par of the course for the authorities - exotic foods and high-value, low-footprint technological gadgets such as smartphones and tablets - the smugglers were also carrying 300 unmarked NVIDIA CMP 30HX GPUs.

That they were unmarked means they were deviated from the assembly lines before they were actually processed for final packaging, and thus we're now looking at definite proof of shipments being deviated from their intended destinations - which means this happens not only for CMP cards, but also for consumer-grade RTX 30-series. Another day at the office of post-COVID, production shortages, and mining boom, as it relates to computer hardware pieces.

NVIDIA Could Reuse Ampere GA100 GPU for CMP HX Cryptomining Series

When NVIDIA introduced its Ampere family of graphics cards, the GPU lineup's first product was the A100 GPU. While not being a GPU used for gaming, the model is designed with compute-heavy workloads in mind. Even NVIDIA says that "NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU delivers unprecedented acceleration at every scale to power the world's highest-performing elastic data centers for AI, data analytics, and HPC." However, it seems like the GA100 SKU, the base of the A100 GPU, could be used for another task that requires heavy computation and could benefit very much from the sheer core count that the biggest Ampere SKU offers.

According to a known leaker @kopite7kimi (Twitter), NVIDIA could repurpose the GA100 GPU SKU and launch it as a part of the CMP HX crypto mining series of graphics cards. As a reminder, the CMP series is specifically designed for the sole purpose of mining cryptocurrency, and CMP products have no video outputs. According to Kopite, the repurposed GPU SKU could be a "mining monster", which is not too hard to believe given the huge core count the SKU has and the fact that it was made for heavy computation workloads. While we do not the exact specifications of the rumored CMP HX SKU, you can check out the A100 GPU specifications here.
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