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We're Pretty Sure This Crypto Mining Farm Is Where All the RTX 3070s Went

Gamer
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

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:

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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?

Nathaniel Mott
Nathaniel Mott

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • Makaveli
    Damn I would hope these guys have security at these buildings. There are plenty of angry people that cannot buy videocards because of dudes like this.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Don't say nothing.
    Just look - probably better if you don't look, if you'll just feed salt - and move on.
    Reply
  • auser2070
    This shows that there is monkey business going on with graphics cards manufacturers. The only way to force them to lower price to ban cryptocurrency outright (Normally I don’t support the government intervening but in this case it is necessary). Look at China ever since they banned it the price of getting a graphics cards became cheaper (that is if you are directly buying it in China).
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    I never advocate vigilantism, violence, or mob mentality.

    But I wouldn't weep if their warehouses burnt down and left him in TREMENDOUS debt because insurance won't cover the loss.

    I seriously doubt these miners would be insured properly for such a loss. That much power and hardware cost requires a tremendous amount of under writing (sign off by investigators/engineers) to verify the power delivery and fire suppression systems are deemed as adequate. Heck, your home owners policy can be void for using the wrong kind of ethernet/electrical cabling (plenum rated) in your walls even if it wasn't the source of the fire.

    People looking for free money are always looking for shortcuts which will cost them more money in the end. (Not paying for proper insurance and installations)
    Reply
  • thepersonwithaface45
    Whelp, after reading this I downloaded the crypto.com app and bought $250 worth of RAVEN. Seems like a smart buy.
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    auser2070 said:
    This shows that there is monkey business going on with graphics cards manufacturers. The only way to force them to lower price to ban cryptocurrency outright (Normally I don’t support the government intervening but in this case it is necessary). Look at China ever since they banned it the price of getting a graphics cards became cheaper (that is if you are directly buying it in China).

    While this is true, and LOATHE crypto miners for a variety of reasons, high GPU demand will lead to companies investing in more mfg plants to increase production. But cost will sadly always be elevated to the point to keep supply = demand - 1% (Harley Davidson's formula for making sure price on cycles stays high). Free market rules sadly. And as GPUs aren't a necessity in life it is what it is.

    Now if you can prove vital production capacity is damaging national security (by economic means: IE Car mfg's can't get supply capacity because of excess GPU production. Another case could be environmental damage. Another case might be undermining the tax base, or being used by money laundering operations, or terrorist nations) then you might have a case for outlawing crypto.
    Reply
  • zipspyder
    Makaveli said:
    Damn I would hope these guys have security at these buildings. There are plenty of angry people that cannot buy videocards because of dudes like this.

    Would not hurt my feelings at all if it was raided or broken into...
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    zipspyder said:
    Would not hurt my feelings at all if it was raided or broken into...

    lol I think many share that sentiment

    auser2070 said:
    This shows that there is monkey business going on with graphics cards manufacturers. The only way to force them to lower price to ban cryptocurrency outright (Normally I don’t support the government intervening but in this case it is necessary). Look at China ever since they banned it the price of getting a graphics cards became cheaper (that is if you are directly buying it in China).

    At the end of the day it always comes down to money. If a guy walks in off the street and says I want to buy 1 million dollars worth of GPU. They will cater to them over retail buyers. One situation you get the money up front over waiting for retails supplies to go down and your money slowly coming. These are companies after all with shareholders and profits margins. Alot of gamers are getting a reality check and seeing they are actually at the bottom of the totem pole.
    Reply
  • Zerk2012
    I think the title is very misleading.

    I don't think any company has released the number they have actually manufactured.

    Fairly simple open a account with each manufacturer, order 5000 from each and tell them to fill the order as availability allows, when you get all the cards you need cancel the rest of the order.

    Edit or you could scalp the rest of the cards you receive to make more money.
    Reply
  • Brian28
    Why would "police steamrolling $1.6 million in mining equipment" be a salve when they could have distributed those GPUs to thousands of gamers instead of crushing them to bits. Of course doing that without feeding the scalpers and miners (again) might be tricky.
    Reply