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With Nvidia's graphics card prices at an all-time high due to the recent popularity of cryptocurrency mining, the company is clearly looking for ways to reduce strain on the consumer market whenever it can... that is, if a recent EULA change is anything to go by.
Though early criticism of the change suggested Nvidia was attempting to push consumers into purchasing their much more expensive Tesla GPUs, the opposite appears to be true. Nvidia will now be preventing larger data centers from using consumer-grade GeForce and Titan GPUs in their operations, instead suggesting they use the previously-mentioned Tesla cards.
It's worth noting, however, that this change is not completely set in stone. Nvidia may still allow data centers to use GeForce or Titan cards on a case-by-case basis. "We expect that, working together with [our user base], we will be able to resolve any customer concerns," an Nvidia spokesperson said. The spokesperson further noted that data center customers can simply contact the company if they wish to seek an exception to this new rule.
Nvidia explained the reasoning behind this change in a statement to CNBC:
"GeForce and TITAN GPUs were never designed for data center deployments with the complex hardware, software, and thermal requirements for 24x7 operation, where there are often multi-stack racks. To clarify this, we recently added a provision to our GeForce-specific EULA to discourage potential misuse of our GeForce and TITAN products in demanding, large-scale enterprise environments.
NVIDIA addresses the unique mechanical, physical, management, functional, reliability, and availability needs of servers with our Tesla products, which include a three-year warranty covering data center workloads, NVIDIA enterprise support, guaranteed continuity of supply and extended SKU life expectancy for data center components. This has been communicated to the market since the Tesla products were first released.
We recognize that researchers often adapt GeForce and TITAN products for non-commercial uses or other research uses that do not operate at data center scale. NVIDIA does not intend to prohibit such uses."
Interestingly, this licensing agreement change doesn't institute any restrictions against large-scale cryptocurrency mining operations.
Though this could be positive news for consumers itching to get their hands on the latest GeForce or Titan cards, it's currently unclear how or when Nvidia plans to enforce these new rules.