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NVIDIA prepares GPUs for Ethereum miners and limits the mining power of its "classic" GeForce

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Written by Guillaume
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1614186055*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
This article is an automatic translation

A beginning of answer to the important shortage that the graphic card sector has been experiencing for several months now?

Cryptocurrencies are many and varied, and not all of them involve the same "production" / transaction methods. While Bitcoin is more likely to be created by specific devices - ASICs - the second most important currency - Ethereum - is still largely mined via traditional graphics cards, or even gaming laptops equipped with rather muscular graphics cards. The phenomenon is clearly not new and has already caused significant shortages at the launch of the GeForce RTX 2000 Series.

However, the shortages at that time have nothing to do with what we know today. It's quite simple, it's almost impossible to find any stock of graphics cards at any retailer: as soon as a product is received, it's shipped directly, while many orders are still pending. This is due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted production and supply chains, but also caused an unprecedented demand for computer components.

Finally, crypto-currency mining, supported by record prices, has added to the shortage, creating tensions between the public interested in Ethereum mining and those who prefer graphics cards for more "traditional" uses, such as video games. NVIDIA has just announced what can be seen as the beginning of an answer: it has indeed unveiled the Cryptocurrency Mining Processor or CMP range, GPUs that the American has designed specifically for mining. They are for example without video outputs, which reduces - a little - the costs and improves the airflow.

At the same time, through new drivers, NVIDIA has the idea to limit the performance of its "real" graphics cards in mining. Thus, the little new one - the GeForce RTX 3060 - will be the first to inaugurate this software limitation of performance: the driver recognizes the use that is made of the card and limits its potential. NVIDIA refers specifically to the hash capacity in Ethereum mining: a value reduced by 50% according to the company.