The graphics card market is wild, struggling with memory manufacturing shortages, a rampant cryptocurrency market, and scalpers, making it incredibly difficult for regular gamers to get their hands on the new hardware.
Nvidia is addressing the issue by artificially limiting the output of the RTX 3060 if it senses use as a cryptocurrency miner, cutting the card’s performance by approximately 50 percent.
Nvidia Reveals Cryptocurrency Mining Processors
Confused? Why would Nvidia purposefully restrict sales of its hardware to a specific demographic?
Alongside the news of GPU restrictions, Nvidia is launching a new GPU range known as “CPM,” which stands for Cryptocurrency Mining Processors.
On the official Nvidia CMP page, the cards are described as a “Dedicated GPU for Professional Mining,” featuring optimized hardware with better cooling, dedicated architecture, and a power scale increasing with size.
Nvidia will release four CPM GPUs at first: 30HX, 40HX, 50HX, and 90HX. Furthermore, Nvidia states that the CPM range “don’t do graphics” and won’t have a display output, meaning they have one specific purpose.
Although not much else is known about the CPM range, Nvidia did confirm that its existing authorized partners would sell the new hardware. So, in the near future, expect dedicated crypto mining GPUs from Asus, EVGA, Colorful, Gigabyte, MSI, Palit, and PC Partner.
Back to the “regular” Nvidia RTX 3060 GPUs.
Nvidia’s latest 30-series GPUs’ budget option will automatically reduce its output by 50 percent if it detects an Ethereum mining algorithm running. The detection and restriction process’s success remains to be seen, as the RTX 3060 GPUs don’t officially arrive on the market for another two weeks, after being first unveiled at CES 2021.
Nvidia doesn’t foresee any production issues for the new crypto mining cards, as many are RTX 30-series rejects found in the manufacturing process. Instead of wasting the cards, Nvidia is repurposing them. To that end, the CPM range shouldn’t affect manufacturing for the Nvidia RTX 3060 or any of the other GPUs, for that matter.
Will Nvidia Restrict the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080?
There is no information regarding any cryptocurrency mining restrictions on the more powerful Nvidia RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 GPUs, which have already launched. It is feasible that Nvidia could release a firmware update to introduce this functionality to the existing cards, but it does seem unlikely.
Rather, Nvidia is more likely to continue pursuing the CPM range as an alternative product for cryptocurrency mining operations in the hope that it eases some pressure on the frantic GPU for gamers.