In a shocking move, MSI Russia has has reduced the warranty period for 18 graphics cards, as reported by PC Gamer (opens in new tab). MSI typically offers a 36-month warranty on graphics cards; however, the brand will only back the affected models for six months now.
MSI Russia shared the news on the company's warranty webpage (opens in new tab) but didn't share its exact reasoning. The list includes AMD Polaris and Navi cards, as well as Nvidia's Turing and latest Ampere products representing some of the best graphics cards for gaming.
|Graphics Card||Ethereum Hash Rate (MH/s)*||Architecture||GPU|
|Radeon RX 570 Miner 8G||31.31||GCN 4.0||Polaris 20|
|Radeon RX 580 Miner 8G||32.74||GCN 4.0||Polaris 20|
|Radeon RX 5500 XT Miner||25.06||RDNA||Navi 14|
|Radeon RX 5600 XT Miner||37.68||RDNA||Navi 10|
|Radeon RX 5700 Miner||50.99||RDNA||Navi 10|
|Radeon RX 5700 XT Miner||54.28||RDNA||Navi 10|
|GeForce RTX 2060 Super Gaming X RU||37.74||Turing||TU106|
|GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z RU||37.74||Turing||TU106|
|GeForce RTX 2060 Super Ventus OC RU||37.74||Turing||TU106|
|GeForce RTX 2060 Ventus OC RU||37.74||Turing||TU106|
|GeForce RTX 2060 Ventus XS OC RU||37.74||Turing||TU106|
|GeForce GTX 1660 Ventus XS OC RU||21.44||Turing||TU116|
|GeForce GTX 1660 Super Ventus XS OC RU||26.64||Turing||TU116|
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ventus 2X OC RU||48.00||Ampere||GA106|
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Ventus 2X OC RU||60.21||Ampere||GA104|
|GeForce RTX 3070 Ventus 3X OC RU||61.79||Ampere||GA104|
|GeForce RTX 3080 Ventus 3X 10G OC RU||97.88||Ampere||GA102|
|GeForce RTX 3090 Ventus 3X OC RU||121.16||Ampere||GA102|
*Data from Minerstat
MSI Russia didn't point to cryptocurrency mining, but it still comes to mind as a potential driver for the drop in warranty, especially considering the first six models are obviously tailored towards cryptocurrency miners, such as the famed Radeon RX 580 Miner.
It's a bit surprising to see Ampere cards on MSI's list, since the Ampere SKUs are GeForce gaming graphics cards. But cryptocurrency miners have repurposed Ampere, such as the GeForce RTX 3060 for mining activities.
Mining cryptocurrency takes a heavy toll on graphics cards, since mining farms operate 24/7. Graphics cards used for mining are more likely to suffer a premature death, which is particularly problematic given today's graphics card shortage. Graphics card vendors aren't eager to replace these cards, and, in fact, many vendors explicitly state that cryptocurrency mining isn't covered under their warranty.
Nvidia's answer to crytocurrency mining was to introduce the Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) product line. However, CMP options aren't very appealing to casual miners, considering their price tag and warranty. Although Nvidia never acknowledged it, many CMP devices are using rewarmed Turing silicon. For example, the CMP 30HX performs similarly to the GeForce GTX 1660 Super in mining Ethereum. We've seen the CMP 30HX on the market with a price tag as high as $723 with warranty periods up to three months. It's easy to see why miners would avoid the CMP lineup since the GeForce counterparts are often cheaper and feature longer warranties.
If the rumor about Nvidia giving its Ampere silicon an overhaul is accurate, graphics card vendors won't have to resort to shortening warranty periods to protect their GeForce products from mining. The chipmaker is reportedly reinforcing its anti-mining algorithm on the new Ampere dies, so that mining performance is gimped straight out of the box.
This shouldn't affect shoppers outside of Russia, but we've reached out to MSI to see if the company can shed any more light and if we could see similar action in other countries.