The GeForce RTX 3070 Ti wasted no time in assaulting the upper echelons of our GPU benchmarks hierarchy. Is it one of the best graphics cards? Probably, if you can find one in stock (it goes on sale June 10). But how does it fare as a cryptocurrency mining solution? Not too well, assuming you're hoping to mine Ethereum. Other coins may still be viable, however.
Nvidia's crackdown on Ethereum mining came in the shape of its improved anti-mining limiter. The algorithm works as intended and immediately gimps the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti's hash rate from around 80 MH/s down to 40 MH/s as soon as the Ethereum workload kicks in. The performance is basically on the same level as Nvidia's CMP 50HX unit, so it makes little sense for cryptocurrency miners to purchase the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti — that is, unless someone cracks Nvidia's anti-mining mechanism.
The limiter only singles out the Ethash and Dagger-Hashimoto algorithms, meaning that the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti can still mine other cryptocurrencies without hiccups. Our tests have shown that the Ampere graphics card remains a very adept miner for Ravencoin (KAWPOW) and Conflux (Octopus), and other algorithms like CuckooCycle may also show potential.
That means the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti isn't a complete waste of silicon for cryptocurrency mining. It'll just require more time to recover the initial investment.
The GeForce RTX 3070 Ti can currently do about $3.25 per day in profits for the right coin, but only about $2.25 per day for Ethereum. If the Ethereum anti-mining limiter didn't exist, it would basically double that to $4.50 per day. The cryptocurrency market is, of course, extremely volatile. A month ago, potential profits would have been roughly double what we're now seeing.
At current rates, we estimate an ROI around the six month mark. That's if we lived in another reality where there's no graphics cards shortage, and the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti was actually available for $599. However, in the real world, the graphics card will likely sell for two to three times Nvidia's MSRP, at least on places like eBay. If you can find one for less, consider yourself lucky.
The bottom line is that the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti will not be one of the best mining GPUs. Hopefully, that means there will be more cards for gamers, though we suspect optimistic miners will still try to pick some up in hopes of finding a workaround for the mining limiter. Then again, mining profits have generally plummeted over the past month, so the big mining farms may hold off on expansion while they wait for the next mining wave to hit.