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NVIDIA to tackle GPU shortages by launching new dedicated mining cards and slashing GeForce RTX 3060 hash rate

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (Image credit: NVIDIA)

What you need to know

  • NVIDIA to launch new cards with a Crypto Mining Processor (CMP) for "professional mining".
  • Drivers will be updated to lower the hash rate on specific gaming GPUs, namely the GeForce RTX 3060.
  • GeForce RTX 3060 is expected to launch on February 25 with CMP cards to follow in Q1 and beyond.

NVIDIA has been hearing the cries from the PC build and gaming communities who have been trying to purchase the best graphics card money can buy for years. The company is looking to help tackle the current crisis of supply and demand by attacking the crypto miners from two fronts.

Firstly, NVIDIA plans to roll out new cards with a dedicated Crypto Mining Processor (opens in new tab) (CMP), which can be utilized by professional miners to handle proof of work in cryptocurrency. Secondly, the company will be limiting the hash rate of the GeForce RTX 3060 GPUs so they're less desirable.

The goal is to have the GeForce RTX 3060 launch on February 25 and be in the hands of gamers alone. How the updated drivers will tackle miners is by detecting specific attributes of Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithms. The hash rate cut could be up to 50%, which would severely hamper performance (and subsequently profit).

But it's not all bad news for the mining community. The new NVIDIA CMP will not do anything related to graphics, so they will be specifically designed for cryptocurrency mining. These cards will lack any display output, and come rocking a lower peak core voltage and frequency to aid overall efficiency.

Hash rate26MH/s36MH/s45MH/s86MH/s
Connectors1x 8-pin1x 8-pin2x 8-pin2x 8-pin

Hash rate is based on DAG and algorithm in use in Epoch 394.

The CMP cards will be available through NVIDIA partners. Whether these measures will have any impact on the supply and demand issue with GPUs are yet to be seen, especially given how popular the new GeForce 30-series GPUs are with miners.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • If they really cared they would limit ALL the cards and release special CMP ones. Limiting their weakest card is just trying make themselves look good.
  • Little point when the rest of the 30 Series is already out there. Hindsight is always a thing, all they can do now is move forward. At least there's a plan in place.
  • I agree there's little point. Honestly, This won't be a drop in the bucket to get more cards in gamers hands. It's not a bad idea, but save it for the 40 series cards. A miner is going to go out and get a 3080/3090 anyways which is exactly what gamers want.
  • I thought the main problem with GPU availability was scalpers. Haven't heard much at all about miners this time round.
  • It's both. The hash rates on the new 30 series cards are pretty good, same on the AMD front.
  • Perhaps gamers should buy the mining cards so they mine themselves to be able to afford the scalper prices which is the real problem. Essentially Nvidia wouldn't be doing anything to address the problem by doing this, it's not going to keep miners from buying gaming GPUs, they will just buy out both. They should be finding ways to keep the stock of GPUs from being bought out by bots and scalpers. All they are doing is finding ways to make more money, not get gaming cards in gamers hands. Another way may be to make some firmware block on gaming GPUs that cripple the cards when mining as opposed to gaming.
  • They already have a way to keep cards away from scalpers: charge the market-clearing price themselves. Anything else is just rearranging deck chairs.
  • That won't keep the cards out of the hands of Bitcoin miners, who are not the most rational people. It will certainly keep them out of the hands of actual gamers. Besides, especially if the supply issues are Covid related and therefore temporary, price gouging by the OEM is a bad signal to their core consumers!
  • Updating drivers isn't compulsory so that idea won't work
  • What's to stop anybody from going back to download older drivers or just not updating drivers? I update manually all the time and keep the 3 most recent versions downloaded in case of a driver issue I can roll back.. seems more like "eh, well we tried"
  • I guess a 3080 still isn't in my near future. :(