Finding an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070—or pretty much any other modern graphics card—has seemed impossible throughout 2021, especially for anyone looking to buy a new GPU at MSRP. Of course, we already knew that cryptocurrency miners were partly responsible for those problems, but a walkthrough of a full-time mining operation makes the sheer number of graphics cards devoted to mining clearer than ever.
The walkthrough in question was shared by self-described "Full Time Crypto Miner, 4-year crypto veteran, Macro investor," and "Advocator of all things Crypto, Guns, and Freedom" Jaxson Davidson by way of a Twitter video posted on Tuesday. Here's the video showing just one of the four buildings Davidson has devoted to his operation:
Here’s is look inside building 1/4 of my mining farm. Almost all 3070s in this building. My new building will be all 170hx cards. Hoping to have it finished by EOY. #ETH #RVN #Mining pic.twitter.com/ZSgYBgCwKLDecember 15, 2021
For anyone who's been looking for an RTX 3070—one of the best graphics cards for gaming in 2021—Davidson's video might feel like pouring salt in a wound. We suggest applying a metaphorical salve by watching this video of police steamrolling $1.6 million in mining equipment. Or, if you're the "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" type, take solace in knowing Davidson is moving on from RTX 3070s (though we spotted quite a few AMD Radeon reference cards in the video as well).
Looking at the video, there are six rows of mining rigs, most seeming to have 10-12 racks, each rack with four stacks of eight GPUs. Do the math and that's somewhere in the vicinity of 2,000 graphics cards. With four locations, Davidson may have as many as 8,000 GPUs, all toiling away in the mines. Of course, that many GPUs is only a fraction of the market, but there are many more Davidsons out there.
"I have been buying from a number of small businesses around the county," Davidson said in response to a question about how he was able to buy so many RTX 3070s amid the ongoing GPU shortage. "But I was able to secure a deal directly with Nvidia for 170hx cards. Going forward I will just be building rigs with those."
Davidson was referring to a member of the Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) lineup Nvidia introduced in February to appease gamers and miners alike. The CMP 170HX is a GA100-equipped mining GPU with 4,480 CUDA cores that are capable of hitting 165 MHps of Ethereum mining performance with a 250W TDP. But that power comes at a cost—a Dubai retailer listed the CMP 170HX at $4,300 in October. How much will Nvidia charge people like Davidson, though? That's the question we'd like answered.
Anyway, a significant number of RTX 3070s appear to call a mining farm in Utah devoted to Ethereum and Ravencoin home. But at least Davidson is looking to move on to mining-focused GPUs instead of using consumer-grade cards moving forward. And, hey, at least the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade will eventually remove one of the more lucrative cryptocurrencies from the mining market. Right?