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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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ETH Mining: Lower VRAM GPUs to be Rendered Unprofitable in Time

Hold on to your ETH hats: you will still be able to cash in on the ETH mining craze for a while. However, you should look towards your 3 GB and 4 GB graphics cards with a slight distrust, for reasons that you should know, anyway, since you have surely studied your mining cryptocurrency of choice. Examples are the GTX 1060 3 GB, or one of those shiny new 4 GB RX 480 / RX 580 which are going at ridiculously premium prices right now. And as a side note, don't you love the mechanisms of pricing and demand?

The problem here stems from ETH's own design for its current PoW (Proof of Work) implementation (which is what allows you to mine the currency at all.) In a bid to make ETH mining unwieldy for the specialized silicon that brought Bitcoin difficulty through the roof, ETH implements a large size data set for your GPU to work with as you mine, which is stored in your GPU's memory (through the DAG, which stands for Directed Acyclic Graph). This is one of the essential differences between Bitcoin mining and Ethereum mining, in that Ethereum mining was designed to be memory-intensive, so as to prevent usage of ASICs and other specialized hardware. As a side-note, this also helps (at least theoretically) in ETH's decentralization, which Bitcoin sees more at risk because of the inherent centralization that results from the higher hardware costs associated with its mining.
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