As spotted by hardware sleuth Komachi_Ensaka, Nvidia's flagship CMP 170HX cryptocurrency mining GPU has gone up for purchase overseas. Vipera, a retailer in Dubai, reportedly has up 238 units in stock and is selling the CMP 170HX for a whopping $4,300.
Nvidia had launched the Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) lineup in an attempt to divert cryptocurrency miners' attention away from its Ampere-based GeForce graphics cards. We later learned that Nvidia was repurposing Turing silicon for these CMP GPUs. The CMP 170HX, on the other hand, leverages the GA100 silicon, the same brobdingnagian die that powers the expensive A100 data center GPU. Once again, it's just Nvidia's smart way of recycling defective GA100 dies into something lucrative.
The GA100 silicon inside the CMP 170HX only has 70 enabled SMs, amounting to 4,480 CUDA cores whereas the A100 has the full-fledged die at 108 SMs or 6,912 CUDA cores. The CMP 170HX delivers up to 164 MHps of Ethereum mining performance. It only requires a PCIe 4.0 x4 connection to hit its performance target. The GPU also wields 8GB of HBM2e memory across a 4,096-bit memory interface. The CMP 170HX has a 250W TDP and is more than happy to feed off a single 8-pin PCIe power connector.
The CMP 170HX has previously smiled for the camera, but this is the first time that a retailer is publicly selling it. Komachi_Ensaka also unearthed a Yahoo auction over in Japan where the current bid for the CMP 170HX is at 600,000 yen ($5,285). The GPU features a standard, dual-slot design with passive cooling. The silver metallic shroud looks pretty sleek and if it wasn't for the small Nvidia and CMP 170HX logos, you wouldn't know where the GPU came from.
Being a GPU that's tailored to professional cryptocurrency mining, the CMP 170HX lacks display outputs. In fact, user feedback revealed that the GPU comes with a locked vBIOS so overclocking or undervolting are off the table. Due to the nature of cryptocurrency mining, GPUs that are designed for that purpose typically don't come with a generous warranty. For example, Gigabyte backs its CMP 30HX with a limited three-month warranty. According to Vipera, the CMP 170HX has a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Agreed. However, this is the path to put an end to miners using gaming GPUs over the long term.
Conspicuously absent from this article is the hash rate of the 170HX. Rumor has it that the hash rate of the CMP 170 is 164MH/s, which would be quite a large jump from a RTX 3090 or RX6900XT.
Ultimately AMD and Intel will need to introduce their own lines of miner cards with a higher hash rate than the top end gaming GPU. It creates a product-line wall of separation between miner and gamer.
Part of the reason consumer video cards are so successful in mining is because of their relative affordability, granted by the low prices of sharing with the gaming GPU architecture.
So to create something different would require a different line, or use something from the server line.
When it comes to Ethereum memory bandwidth is king. So it would need HBMx technology to make it faster. That means high price. Most will continue to ignore "mining optimized" cards and just use the consumer cards.
The best we can hope is to alleviate the problem a little with intel joining and more GPUs production, but that's about it. It will never be again like it was some years ago, pricing included...