Nvidia could create new cryptomining-specific graphics cards

midian182

Posts: 6,417   +56
Staff member
TL;DR: The situation with the RTX 3000 graphics cards is dire. Not only are we dealing with their general lack of availability, but there's also the recent tax on Chinese imports pushing prices up. Into this mix is the skyrocketing value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, creating mode demand. But Nvidia is contemplating a plan that could address the latter issue: Ampere-based cryptomining cards.

Fears that RTX 3000 shortages are set to become even worse arrived a few weeks ago when Bitcoin hit $40,000. Compounding the problems is the 25 percent tax on graphics cards imported from China—mobos and GPUs had been granted exemption from import taxes in September, but that expired without renewal at the end of last year. The situation has led to EVGA, Zotac, and Asus raising their card prices.

While gamers appreciate the RTX 3000 line's ability to offer excellent performance at a lower price, it also makes them appealing to those building mining rigs. It's a situation we've seen before: back in 2017, soaring crypto values saw graphics card prices go through the roof as demand far outweighed supply.

However, Nvidia could have a plan up its sleeve. Speaking at the 19th Annual J.P. Morgan Tech/Auto Forum Conference (via SeekingAlpha), Colette Kress, the company's chief financial officer, said: "If crypto demand begins or if we see a meaningful amount, we can also use that opportunity to restart the CMP product line to address ongoing mining demand."

CMP is a reference to Nvidia's mining-specific GPUs that lack display outputs, which are unnecessary for mining. Introducing them could help get more RTX 3000 products to gamers, but Nvidia says it needs to see evidence of demand from miners first.

"We don't have visibility on how much of the GeForce RTX 30-series end demand comes from mining," said Kress. "So, we don't believe it's a big part of our business today. Gaming demand is very strong, and we think that's larger than our current supply."

We've already seen one crypto rig (above) featuring a massive 78 RTX 3080 cards (via Techarp). Assuming the owner paid $1,199 for each one, the rig would have cost $93,522, but will have paid for itself in around 9 - 10 months.

AMD expects more of its cards to arrive on the company's website this quarter for their MSRP. Nvidia, meanwhile, warns that supply will be "lean" until April.

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Kosmoz

Posts: 71   +138
"We don't have visibility on how much of the GeForce RTX 30-series end demand comes from mining,"
Bull****!

"So, we don't believe it's a big part of our business today. Gaming demand is very strong, and we think that's larger than our current supply."
Gaming demand is very strong and it's larger than your current supply nvidia, because you also sold cards worth of at least $170mil to miners already.

I don't believe a word out of nvidia's mouth. Just lies and PR BS to cover their greed.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,688   +1,938
Staff member
Gaming demand is very strong and it's larger than your current supply nvidia, because you also sold cards worth of at least $170mil to miners already.
Nvidia's Q1 FY2021 revenue in their gaming sector was $1.3 billion - if that figure you've given is genuine, then mining accounts for 13% of that. Their total revenue for that quarter was $3 billion, so it's even less significant as an overall thing. It's not hard to see why Nvidia aren't all that interested in mining.

Their gaming sector covers discrete graphics cards, laptop GPUs, and SoCs; dGPU sales is the largest portion of that. While Nvidia may have some idea as to how many 3000 series are being sold for mining, they won't have an exact figure - to do so would require sales information from retailers and AIB vendors, as well as their own.

It's easy to point the finger of blame at AMD and Nvidia, but the owner of the mining rig in the above news article purchased all those cards somehow. He claims that they weren't bought via "the regular retail supply chain", which means he got them directly from the relevant AIB vendor (in this, it's Gainward).

If his claims are correct, then Gainward are just as greedy as any other large corporation - they were clearly happy to sell him 78 RTX 3080s, after all.
 

bviktor

Posts: 330   +594
Resell value is an extremely important part of the equation on profitability. Mining is about money. If you're done with it, you can sell it to a gamer for a couple hundred bucks each. If it's a miner GPU, you can wipe your @ss with it. That's why "miner GPUs" never made any sense, and never will.

I also don't quite understand how reallocating factory lines to mining cards (I.e. taking lines away from gaming cards) will speed up the production of gaming cards.
 

bviktor

Posts: 330   +594
Bull****!


Gaming demand is very strong and it's larger than your current supply nvidia, because you also sold cards worth of at least $170mil to miners already.

I don't believe a word out of nvidia's mouth. Just lies and PR BS to cover their greed.
Triggered much? How exactly is NV supposed to track which GPU is used for what? It's not like you have a form to fill upon purchase. Even if you had to, you could just say anything you want. It doesn't need a permit or something. The GPU doesn't call home every minute either, like "Hey Jensen, atm I'm mining DOGE on full throttle, brb".
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,280   +907
We have to just wait it out. Crypto will fall again and when it does there will be loads of second hand cards hitting the market.

I hope they don’t make these though, I don’t really see how it will help, it will just save Nvidia some cash on display connectors.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 164   +191
Perhaps they should focus on stabilizing their supply chain for actual GPUs and not cater specifically to anything mining related. Nvidia has already announced there is no 3080Ti and possibly no Super versions of the 3080/3070 cards coming out, they can't support more cards with their limited supply.

Miners will still snag up any card to do their GPU mining. Any card without a display output would be even more worthless to them because they couldn't dump the cards on a secondary market to resell....unless some other miner wants old hardware without a display port. Miners like having the 3080/3070 cards and so on...mine with them, dump them on the secondary market months/years down the road and recoup a little extra cash.

It doesn't help when you have distributors and Nvidia themselves (possibly even AIB manufacturers), keeping and selling cards on the backend directly to folks looking for mass quantities. We all know it happens. Places that got in the new consoles, there were a few local businesses where I know someone working or know someone that knows someone working those stores and they'd hold back some of the PS and Xbox consoles for friends/family or to buy themselves in a large quantity so they could scalp them. It's no different with the GPUs or new phones or whatever other hot new electronic that's just hit the shelves.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,322   +4,578
Perhaps they should focus on stabilizing their supply chain for actual GPUs and not cater specifically to anything mining related. Nvidia has already announced there is no 3080Ti and possibly no Super versions of the 3080/3070 cards coming out, they can't support more cards with their limited supply.

Miners will still snag up any card to do their GPU mining. Any card without a display output would be even more worthless to them because they couldn't dump the cards on a secondary market to resell....unless some other miner wants old hardware without a display port. Miners like having the 3080/3070 cards and so on...mine with them, dump them on the secondary market months/years down the road and recoup a little extra cash.

It doesn't help when you have distributors and Nvidia themselves (possibly even AIB manufacturers), keeping and selling cards on the backend directly to folks looking for mass quantities. We all know it happens. Places that got in the new consoles, there were a few local businesses where I know someone working or know someone that knows someone working those stores and they'd hold back some of the PS and Xbox consoles for friends/family or to buy themselves in a large quantity so they could scalp them. It's no different with the GPUs or new phones or whatever other hot new electronic that's just hit the shelves.

All Good points.

The way I see it, the only way to stop this insanity is to purposefully include crippling elements to ensure mining won't work with certain cards. I'm sure gamers would appreciate that. Thing is, these companies build cards to sell to the highest bidder and they don't care.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,225   +1,959
I fail to see how offering *Ampere* based mining cards would help with supply as it‘s the same GPU built on the same node.

If they offered Turing based mining cards that should help. But if there is indeed a substrate shortage, even that would be of limited help.

I wish Crypto miners would favor AMD cards
Been there, done that.

 

neeyik

Posts: 1,688   +1,938
Staff member
The way I see it, the only way to stop this insanity is to purposefully include crippling elements to ensure mining won't work with certain cards.
GPU mining software typically just uses OpenCL, and there's hardly any Nvidia-specific extensions involved. Such programs are just running C-like code on a GPU, so there's nothing easily identifiable that can be used to prevent them from running.

The actual problem is just one of manufacturing scale. A single 300mm wafer is only able to yield around 80 dies, and these will then fit across a range of bins for voltage, clocks, temperatures, and component functionality. Each bin must provide a supply for 4 primary lines (the 3070, 3080, 3090 and A6000) and then again for variants within those lines (e.g. high clock, low temp bins for the top-end 3080s).

So one wafer might only product each GPUs for 10 standard RTX 3080 cards, which means Samsung is having to process thousands of wafers every month to meet expectations. If the likes of TSMC are struggling to hit production levels on N7 for Zen 3 chiplets (and they're tiny in comparison to the GA102), then Samsung will be really struggling.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 727   +565
Resell value is an extremely important part of the equation on profitability. Mining is about money. If you're done with it, you can sell it to a gamer for a couple hundred bucks each. If it's a miner GPU, you can wipe your @ss with it. That's why "miner GPUs" never made any sense, and never will.

I also don't quite understand how reallocating factory lines to mining cards (I.e. taking lines away from gaming cards) will speed up the production of gaming cards.
I was thinking the same thing!
 

paul1122

Posts: 47   +33
I know nothing about mining, so laugh if you must. Why can't miners daisy-chain xbox's or ps5's to mine? They are cheaper than gpu's aren't they? Not enough power? AMD chips?
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 164   +191
I know nothing about mining, so laugh if you must. Why can't miners daisy-chain xbox's or ps5's to mine? They are cheaper than gpu's aren't they? Not enough power? AMD chips?
I know some research folks and such used to daisy chain PS3 for increased computing power....one that I thought was damn impressive was with the Airforce - they chained almost 1,800 PS3s as part of a super computer called "Condor Cluster".

I'm not sure how well a console would function as a mining tool.....never thought about it nor looked into it.
 
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Peter Farkas

Posts: 509   +365
Resell value is an extremely important part of the equation on profitability. Mining is about money. If you're done with it, you can sell it to a gamer for a couple hundred bucks each. If it's a miner GPU, you can wipe your @ss with it. That's why "miner GPUs" never made any sense, and never will.

I also don't quite understand how reallocating factory lines to mining cards (I.e. taking lines away from gaming cards) will speed up the production of gaming cards.
I totally agree! This was my first thought as well.
3060Ti at MSRP will pay back its price in 3 months mining Eth. With real prices today it is mor like around 5+ months.
Add the resell value into the equation and your break even point will be 1-2months. Losing that money makes no sense if you are building a mining rig.
That is why I agree with above.
Nvidia PR is just bullshitting the gamers to calm down, but there won’t be any remedy for their pain, until manufacturing capacity is increased significantly.
 

Peter Farkas

Posts: 509   +365
So a miner (or scalper) wants 78 3080s and he gets 78 of them. I want one and can't get one.
He is dealing with distributors, or in this case with the vendor itself (Gainward).
If you have access like him and a need for 78 pieces you can get it.
If you just want 1 like many of us you can’t get anything.
 

OortCloud

Posts: 523   +369
What an environmental catastrophe bitcoin mining is becoming. It needs to be outlawed.
We have enough challenges trying to cut our energy output without inventing completely artificial mining. It's madness.
 
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Peter Farkas

Posts: 509   +365
What an environmental catastrophe bitcoin mining is becoming. It needs to be outlawed.
We have enough challenges trying to cut our energy output without inventing completely artificial mining. It's madness.
That is true indeed. Though in this case we are not talking about bitcoin but more likely Ethereum. Bitcoin mining with GPUs does not worth it since ASIC miners have risen.
I assume Ethereum 2 will solve this problem as it will be the end of mining Eth (I don't yet understand how, I just saw this on Reddit). Though there are other altcoins to be mined with GPUs, so something else might take its place.
 
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terzaerian

Posts: 472   +604
What an environmental catastrophe bitcoin mining is becoming. It needs to be outlawed.
We have enough challenges trying to cut our energy output without inventing completely artificial mining. It's madness.
"What an environmental catastrophe PC gaming is becoming. It needs to be outlawed. We have enough challenges trying to cut our energy output without inventing inefficient, power-consuming gaming machines. It's madness."

Of all the arguments I hate, hate, hate against crypto it's this. Environmental gaia-botherers are the scum of the earth that can't see past their noses on this issue. If I had to pick between spending eternity with a crypto miner or an environmentalist I'd pick the former in half a heartbeat.
 
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