Nvidia’s powerful new mining GPU spotted – could this be good news for gamers?

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Nvidia’s powerful GPU for crypto-miners which was leaked a few months back would seem to be real, with pics of the purported product now turning up on Twitter.

The graphics card in question is the CMP 170HX, which is a beast of a GPU by the look of things, and apparently passively cooled, with images and info shared on Twitter by hardware leaker HXL.

This latest in Nvidia’s line of CMP (dedicated mining card) products supposedly runs with the GA100 GPU, the same graphics chip that Team Green’s A100 compute GPU is built around (a seriously powerful card aimed at the likes of heavy data crunching and AI applications).

It’ll supposedly be capable of attaining a hash rate of 164MH/s for Ethereum mining, which to give you some perspective, compares with around the 130MH/s mark for an RTX 3090 (which draws 350W of power, compared to 250W for the CMP 170HX, so efficiency is much better with the mining card as you’d expect).

As this is a mining card, it doesn’t have a video output, because crypto-miners will not need to connect this GPU to a monitor, of course – it’s purely for the purpose of mining. A giant graphics chip like this being passively cooled, meaning it doesn’t have any fans, is an interesting move too, but then people building super-heavyweight mining rigs based on this GPU will doubtless be sufficiently prepared to be running some kind of advanced cooling setup anyway.

As detailed by the previous leak in June, the specs of the CMP 170HX peg it with 4,480 CUDA cores and boost to 1.4GHz, with 8GB of HBM2e (very speedy) video memory on-board, and a memory bandwidth of 1.5TB/s. Keep your salt handy with all this, as ever, though.

Analysis: Will this really help availability of Nvidia’s gaming GPUs?

It certainly can’t hurt to have another dedicated GPU for miners, and a very powerful option for those serious about their crypto-mining endeavors. Theoretically, this should help to keep high-end gaming graphics cards out of the hands of miners, then. In short, every mining card bought is potentially another gaming card available for the real target audience of GeForce GPUs (namely gamers).

That said, in reality, how much of an impact the CMP 170HX will have when it’s launched – well, if it’s launched, as we still can’t take this leak as concrete confirmation, although the spilled materials certainly look convincing – is debatable.

We mustn’t forget that part of the attraction of getting a high-end gaming card for crypto usage is that particularly now they’re so in demand, the resale value of the GPU will be strong – far more so than with a mining card. So once done with the graphics card, the miner can recoup some – or maybe even a good deal – of their initial investment.

Furthermore, while it’s true that newer RTX 3000 series graphics cards have a hash rate limiter, workarounds are already partly circumventing this, and thus even these LHR (Light Hash Rate) gaming GPUs are becoming more tempting propositions for miners.

We can still keep our fingers crossed that the CMP 170HX has a positive impact in terms of easing stock issues of GeForce RTX 3000 GPUs, though.

Via PC Gamer

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).