GameFlip

Seems Like Nvidia is Making a Video Card Especially for Mining

8 Jun
2017

There is some information circulating around in the last couple of days that Nvidia is making a video card specifically designed for mining as well as some speculations that AMD is doing the same as well. While are know for a fact that this is true for Nvidia, we are having some doubts about AMD doing it with all the AMD GPU shortages we are seeing lately and the news they can continue for the next few months. With the lack of AMD GPUs on the market the miners started buying Nvidia GPUs, so very soon we are most likely going to see cards such as the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 getting harder to find on the market. Higher-end GPUs are probably going to have better availability for now, but who knows if miners will move on to these as well if there are not other options available.

We know that Nvidia is focused on gamers and not as much interested in mining and miners like AMD for example, so they do not want to have availability issues of their GPUs just like it has happened with AMD now just because of the miners. So they have apparently figured a solution to the problem – just make a GPU intended for mining and miners and sell that to miners instead of their gaming-centered products. The card that they are building is an NVIDIA Pascal GP106-100 GPU that comes with no video output connectors, passive cooler (still needs airflow for proper cooling) and much shorter warranty – just 3 months. The idea is to have a more affordable price wise option for miners that can be used only for mining (hence no video outputs) and that could make it even more interesting alternative. The crypto mining GPU from Nvidia is apparently based around the consumer GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps model and the price should be cheaper than that of the consumer model.

The information that we are seeing about the GP106-100 mining GPUs mentions some numbers regarding mining performance, the following numbers are for 8x of these GPUs: 200 MHS for ETH, 2500 Sol/s for ZEC, 4400 H/s for XMR. These numbers translate to about 25 MHs for Ethereum, 312.5 Sol/s for ZCash and 550 H/s for Monero and only the ETH number seems surprisingly high considering what we’ve seen in our recent test of the GTX 1060 9Gbps. So while the GPU might be essentially the same as on the consumer GTX 1060, there could be some differences in the video memory… maybe 256-bit memory bus or optimized memory timings intended for better performance. With a sub $200 USD prices these mining oriented GPUs could be interesting, but the 90-day warranty period could be a bit of a setback.

We’ve left the not so great news for last. The Nvidia GP106-100 mining GPUs will not be available on the regular market to the regular users apparently, they are going to be sold only in large volume to big customers such as cloud mining companies like Genesis Mining and/or other big private mining operations. So the whole thing should not make any difference to smaller home miners as they are most likely not going to be able to get their hands on the hardware anyway. That is of course prone to changing at some point if the crypto mining business continues to grow and forms a larger part of the revenue for companies like Nvidia, so that they could actually form a separate business unit to handle it. For now however the company does not seem to think that they should change their focus from gamers and gaming and mining is more like creating issues for them than helping… something that cannot be said is the same from AMD’s point of view where the market for their Polaris-based GPUs goes mostly in the hands of miners.



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6 Responses to Seems Like Nvidia is Making a Video Card Especially for Mining

Some dude

June 9th, 2017 at 02:51

So once again we’ll see mining become centralized because companies won’t sell specialty hardware like this to average consumers. It’s essential that mining be something that everyone can do in order to truly keep the tech decentralized and out of the control of men with greedy agendas that just end up ruining the experience. Just look at the crap storm that is bitcoin (core devs and /r/bitcoin), and Bitmain. Satoshi would be rolling in his grave.

Bensam123

June 9th, 2017 at 08:33

I’m almost 100% positive the 480/580 shortages are being caused by mining. Last time we saw prolonged $7 revenue per card was years ago and it doesn’t stay that way for long… as long as supply of GPUs keeps up. Right now market price inflation is outstripping the supply of cards to pummel the prices down and it’ll probably stay that way till either the price of BTC decrease or the supply of cards increases, it’s a balanced market.

That being said, I’m not sure why AMD and Nvidia haven’t done this sooner. AMD has to be making a silly amount of GPU sales based solely on mining hardware. They really lucked out when they won the Ethereum mining performance cup and while they don’t need to make a chip exclusively for mining, there are definitely some things that can pretty easily do to increase revenue for miners. Such as tweaking memory timings, bus, faster memory in general, more robust VRMs and board design for sustained GPU mining.

Card manufacturers can also do some of this but they choose not to as it requires expertise (the only ones that seem to venture from stock board design is EVGA and Asus). It’s another niche a small card maker could make a substantial amount of money in. Cryptos aren’t disappearing, they’re going to exist in one form or another for quite some time.

That brings me to the next point that I don’t think Nvidia is actually designing these cards. I’m going to wager these are designed by a board maker, as the tweaks aren’t all that interesting or deep (at least from what you’re describing in the article). I’m pretty sure this is a card manufacturer who is doing this. Partially as it’s just simple cost saving things like ‘no fan’ and ESPECIALLY ‘limited warranty’. That strikes me the most as a board partner that’s doing that, not Nvidia. as far as increased Ethereum mining performance, that could be accomplishable by a board partner as well with memory tweaks.

We’ll probably see a new OEM pop out that’s doing this. There is already a couple new board vendors with crappy looking cards that are showing up at lower prices.

QuintLeo

June 15th, 2017 at 03:56

A mining card based on the 1060 is somewhat of a joke – miners don’t generally have any interest in that LOW end of a card – though if they get the price down far enough it might generate a LITTLE interest.
The large farms IN PARTICULAR aren’t going to be interested in that low-end of a card due to the lack of performance and lack of density such a card would have.

The intent to “only sell to large farms” though is short-sighted stupidity, *IF* that is actually the case.

phobos

June 16th, 2017 at 18:22

But from what i understand the worst thing about the consumer 1060 is the memory bandwidth and not the actual GPU, so tweaking that could yield large improvements for mining. For large mining farms hash/watt is far more important than anything else while i for example don’t pay extra for electricity and could plug in whatever has the maximum hashrate, irregardless of any efficiency. Small gains in efficiency equate to much bigger profits for large farms than for any home miner.

phobos

June 16th, 2017 at 18:25

PS: Also with a low warranty like that they can probably squeeze out all kinds of extra performance, since for the purposes of mining, cards don’t really need to last for years. A cheap buying price also means that miners can upgrade often for newer cards to keep up with changes, further reducing the need for long-term viability. I don’t think it’s shortsighted at all.

Yoshita

December 10th, 2017 at 14:30

Satoshi is Chinese.

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