NVIDIA dialing down its top-tier graphics cards to discourage crypto-mining
If you are invested in the gaming or the crypto world, a graphics card needs no introduction. And Nvidia has got the best of them. These graphics cards help cryptocurrency miners calculate hashes faster and earn big tokens on any blockchain that has a proof of work consensus mechanism. If none of this makes sense, read this guide. Back to Nvidia, the company has announced that it will reduce the hash rate for its top of the line graphics cards to make them less desirable for crypto-mining.
The mad crypto rush, coupled with the global semi conductor shortage, has made it very difficult gamers to purchase graphics cards. Miners often buy them in bulk, even on rates over and above the MSRP. To keep catering to the gaming community- which Nvidia says its products are made for- the company is halving the hash rate for Ethereum on ‘new’ GeForce RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti graphics cards.
But how would the buyer know?
Nvidia has taken care of this. The products will be labelled with a “Lite Hash Rate” or “LHR” identifier. The identifier would also be there on product listings.
Is crypto-mining the only concern?
Apparently not. Nvidia GPUs are programmable- any person can tune them for their use. Since the units are compute intensive, they are also used for weather simulation, deep learning and robotics. Enhanced demand for all these tasks meant that they were off the shelves pretty fast. The gamers were not able to get their hands on them.
Also, graphics cards use a lot of energy. Crypto-mining, training an AI uses a bunch of them, leaving behind a large carbon footprint.
Earlier in February, Nvidia had undertaken a similar course of action for the GeForce RTX 3060 cards.
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