The big picture: At least one cryptocurrency mining company is interested in Nvidia's CMP cards -- Hut 8 Mining Corp. recently placed a $30 million order that will start shipping in May. In particular, the Nvidia CMP 40HX performance might whet the appetite of miners who currently have to jump through additional hoops to make use of something like the Nvidia RTX 3060.
When Nvidia revealed that it would once again launch a CMP line of silicon explicitly made for mining purposes, the listed specifications were a little underwhelming, as are the three months of warranty offered with some AIB cards based on the Nvidia CMP 30HX chip. However, the die shot accompanying the announcement seemed to suggest the company had created custom silicon this time around, rather than taking subpar consumer chips from the production lines to turn them into cryptocurrency mining processors.
According to an Asus photo of internal testing on one of these cards (spotted by Videocardz), Nvidia's AIB partners might be able to squeeze more performance out of them. In the case of the CMP 40HX, the listed hash rate for Ethereum mining algorithms is 36 MH per second, but Asus got that to over 43 MH per second, which is a healthy 20 percent increase over the advertised performance.
Asus likely achieved this speed by optimizing the memory clock and timings since Ethereum mining algorithms are sensitive to memory bandwidth and latency while benefitting little from a higher core clock. In fact, lowering the clock can improve power efficiency to a certain degree, which is why the Asus CMP 40HX cards you see in the screenshot above can achieve a power consumption of 134-135, which is lower than the TDP of 185 watts.
One reason to be excited by these results is that they roughly match the hash rates obtained with an Nvidia RTX 3060 when using a leaked driver that can bypass the company's mining limiter. Hopefully, this will lead to miners purchasing more CMP 40HX cards instead, which are said to retail at around $699, while the CMP 30HX will retail for $599. Either way, Nvidia says it will make at least $150 million on orders of CMP cards placed during the first quarter of this year.