There is some information circulating around in the last couple of days that Nvidia is making a video card specifically designed for mining as well as some speculations that AMD is doing the same as well. While are know for a fact that this is true for Nvidia, we are having some doubts about AMD doing it with all the AMD GPU shortages we are seeing lately and the news they can continue for the next few months. With the lack of AMD GPUs on the market the miners started buying Nvidia GPUs, so very soon we are most likely going to see cards such as the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 getting harder to find on the market. Higher-end GPUs are probably going to have better availability for now, but who knows if miners will move on to these as well if there are not other options available.
We know that Nvidia is focused on gamers and not as much interested in mining and miners like AMD for example, so they do not want to have availability issues of their GPUs just like it has happened with AMD now just because of the miners. So they have apparently figured a solution to the problem – just make a GPU intended for mining and miners and sell that to miners instead of their gaming-centered products. The card that they are building is an NVIDIA Pascal GP106-100 GPU that comes with no video output connectors, passive cooler (still needs airflow for proper cooling) and much shorter warranty – just 3 months. The idea is to have a more affordable price wise option for miners that can be used only for mining (hence no video outputs) and that could make it even more interesting alternative. The crypto mining GPU from Nvidia is apparently based around the consumer GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps model and the price should be cheaper than that of the consumer model.
The information that we are seeing about the GP106-100 mining GPUs mentions some numbers regarding mining performance, the following numbers are for 8x of these GPUs: 200 MHS for ETH, 2500 Sol/s for ZEC, 4400 H/s for XMR. These numbers translate to about 25 MHs for Ethereum, 312.5 Sol/s for ZCash and 550 H/s for Monero and only the ETH number seems surprisingly high considering what we’ve seen in our recent test of the GTX 1060 9Gbps. So while the GPU might be essentially the same as on the consumer GTX 1060, there could be some differences in the video memory… maybe 256-bit memory bus or optimized memory timings intended for better performance. With a sub $200 USD prices these mining oriented GPUs could be interesting, but the 90-day warranty period could be a bit of a setback.
We’ve left the not so great news for last. The Nvidia GP106-100 mining GPUs will not be available on the regular market to the regular users apparently, they are going to be sold only in large volume to big customers such as cloud mining companies like Genesis Mining and/or other big private mining operations. So the whole thing should not make any difference to smaller home miners as they are most likely not going to be able to get their hands on the hardware anyway. That is of course prone to changing at some point if the crypto mining business continues to grow and forms a larger part of the revenue for companies like Nvidia, so that they could actually form a separate business unit to handle it. For now however the company does not seem to think that they should change their focus from gamers and gaming and mining is more like creating issues for them than helping… something that cannot be said is the same from AMD’s point of view where the market for their Polaris-based GPUs goes mostly in the hands of miners.