AMD won’t nerf its GPUs to put off cryptocurrency miners – unlike Nvidia

AMD fatturato record
(Image credit: marketwatch)

You may have noticed that getting hold of a new GPU is rather difficult of late, and part of that is due to cryptocurrency miners snapping up huge amounts of stock, but AMD has confirmed it won’t be following in Nvidia’s footsteps by limiting the mining capabilities of its new cards.

When Nvidia announced it had added an Ethereum mining limiter in its new RTX 3060 graphics card in a bid to stop it being snapped up by miners, and leaving PC gamers in the lurch, all eyes turned to AMD to see if it would do something similar.

However, in call to journalists ahead of the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT launch, Nish Neelalojanan, a product manager at AMD, put paid to any notion. “We will not be blocking any workload, not just mining for that matter,” he confirmed, as reported by PC Gamer.

Hard to get

In some ways, AMD’s decision to not implement any limits on its GPUs for cryptocurrency mining makes sense. After all, if you buy a GPU, you should be allowed to use it any way you want, so in that respect, AMD’s position could be seen as more consumer-friendly.

The fact that AMD provides open-source drivers also affects just how much control the company would have on how people used its GPUs.

However, it does mean that when the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT goes on sale it will likely be snapped up by a lot of cryptocurrency miners, like other AMD GPUs, and that could mean PC gamers once again struggle to get hold of a unit.

In that case, maybe doing something similar to Nvidia would have given gamers a bit more of a fighting chance. However, even with the limit in place, the RTX 3060 went out of stock incredibly quickly.

It didn’t help that Nvidia also ‘accidently’ released a driver that disabled the hash rate limiter, proving that cryptocurrency miners could get around the limit it placed with relative ease.

Still, Neelalojanan was keen to stress that the focus of the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT, as with its other Radeon GPUs, is gaming first and foremost. “All our optimisation, as always, is going to be gaming first, and we've optimised everything for gaming. Clearly gamers are going to reap a ton of benefit from this, and it's not going to be ideal for mining workload.”

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter too much to AMD who buys its graphics cards – it’ll get the money either way. PC gamers desperate to get a new GPU, however, may disagree.

If you’d like help getting a new GPU, check out our guide on where to buy AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.