Chip manufacturing giant Nvidia has increased measures to ensure GPU cards get into the hands of gamers, rather than cryptocurrency miners. It’s a change that is expected to bring further price increases for GPU rigs, even beyond those brought on by the global chip shortage. In this article, we’ll explain Nvidia’s hashrate restrictions, consider older GPU models, and discuss our recommended alternative: the Nvidia CMP HX Series.
Significant spikes in the price of Bitcoin in 2021 have increased demand for crypto mining equipment, leading miners to buy out entire supply chains of Nvidia GeForce cards, depriving gamers of essential tools for their trade. To level the playing field between their two major customer segments, Nvidia is drawing clearer lines between gaming and crypto mining equipment.
New Releases to Limit Hashrate
Nvidia has implemented anti-mining hardware flags in their stock that will halve the hashrate for Ethereum mining on several leading models. Products released after May 2021 from the GeForce RTX 3080, 3070 and 3060 Ti graphics card lines will feature a “Low Hash Rate” (LHR) sticker, indicating their unsuitability for crypto mining.
This is Nvidia’s second successive deterrent attempt, following a failed one in February with their RTX 3060. The GPU was meant to halve the effectiveness of Ethereum mining rates, a move claimed by the company to be “unhackable”. However, a developer-specific beta firmware driver released soon after easily unlocked the GPUs full mining capabilities, making the item a hot option for mining once again.
This past misfire breeds doubt on the upcoming limiter’s ability to withstand hackers. This will remain unknown until the products’ release; in the meantime, miners can utilize the limited mining-specific cards offered by Nvidia.
The company's dedicated line for crypto mining, Nvidia CMP HX, offers GPUs. The spot prices on in-stock cards will likely cost 25-75% more than the pre-order price due to a limited available quantity. If the going rate today is $28-$30/MHz, expect these cards to sell for $35-$38/MHz when they arrive in August.
What About Older Models?
Graphics cards released before the introduction of the hashrate limiter are currently out of stock everywhere. Any online retailers with availability that are selling these cards are likely referring to old batches from 2020, still left in a warehouse. Wattum still maintains an inventory of the Nvidia 2070 cards, which remain profitable in addition to being cheaper per MHz.
Both new and old generation card models are of high quality; their functionality in this case is dependent upon your specific needs or preferences. As neither generation is still in production, their resale value holds steady and will only continue to go up as Ethereum (ETH) prices rise, whether they are new or used.
Savvy miners want to purchase hardware that can be resold for the same price or more than you bought it. In the next 3-5 years, if Ethereum (ETH) is trading at $10,000 as projected, mining hardware bought today may appreciate in value, adding to the mining profits earned during those years.
The Best Nvidia Card for Crypto Mining
Should you prefer to purchase cards that will outlast 2 years, alternative models such as Nvidia’s CMP 90HX rig are a notable contender. While they do carry a higher retail price than those designed for gaming, they hold 10GB of memory which will remain functional for your next 3-5 years of GPU mining. Specifically designed for crypto mining, the 90HX uses 25% more power than the 50HX, yet they yield double the cryptocurrency. A slightly higher investment now projects to earn a significantly higher profit throughout the lifetime of the machine.
Since its launch earlier this year, the CMP series has already gained immense popularity. In March, one buyer alone submitted an order worth $30 million, with the units intended primarily for mining on “alternative blockchain networks”.
The 90HX, which is comparable to the 3070 - 3080 RTX GPU mining rig, is our top choice for GPU mining and is currently available in limited quantities. Purchasing now gives you maximum time to profit from rising ETH prices and an increased coin yield before prices increase as demand rises.