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Nvidia Reportedly Transforming A100 Into a Mining GPU, With a 210 MH/s Hash Rate

Nvidia A100
Nvidia A100 (Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia's A100 accelerator, which is based on the GA100 silicon, might not be hitting the sales numbers the company hoped for--or perhaps the company just thinks there's room for bigger sales in a different market. Hardware leaker kopite7kimi, who has a solid track record with Ampere leaks, broke the news that Nvidia is allegedly turning the A100 into a cryptocurrency powerhouse.

Obviously, the Ampere graphics card will launch under Nvidia's Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) series that's purposely built for professional mining, so you won't have to worry about Nvidia's anti-mining hash rate tomfoolery. Although kopite7kimi didn't share performance numbers, he claimed that it'll be "a mining monster," and we don't doubt his assertion, considering the A100's impressive specifications.

I_Leak_VN, another hardware leaker, is pretty confident that the A100 will debut as the CMP 220HX, with a whopping hash rate up to 210 MH/s. Since CMP is built for Ethereum, we assume that figure corresponds to the device's performance in mining Ethereum. If the number is accurate, the 220HX would deliver up to two times higher Ethereum performance than a GeForce RTX 3090, which is one of the fastest mining graphics cards on the market.

The A100 PCIe ticks all the right boxes for a cryptocurrency mining part, which may explain why Nvidia is reportedly making the 220HX in its image. For starters, the accelerator features a dual-slot design and passive cooling, so miners won't have to worry about heat. More importantly, the A100 PCIe is rated for 250W, so it should also help keep electricity bills under control.

Nvidia CMP 220HX Specifications

Model30HX40HX50HX90HX220HX*
Ethereum Hash Rate26 MH/s36 MH/s45 MH/s86 MH/s210 MH/s
Rated Power125W185W250W320W?
Power Connectors1 x 8-pin1 x 8-pin2 x 8-pin2 x 8-pin?
Memory Size6GB8GB10GB10GB?
Starting AvailabilityQ1Q1 Q2Q2?

*Specifications are unconfirmed.

Ethereum is addicted to memory bandwidth, and that's where the A100 arguably excels the most. We're uncertain just how close the 220HX will be to the A100, but even a fraction of the A100 should turn the 220HX into an Ethereum-crunching beast. Our take is that Nvidia is likely salvaging defective GA100 dies and turning them into profits by selling through the 220HX to cryptocurrency miners.

The A100 PCIe is equipped with 40GB of HBM2e memory, which operates at 2.4 Gbps across a 5,120-bit memory interface. If we do the math, the maximum theoretical memory bandwidth works out to 1,555 GBps. However, it would be naive to think the 220HX would come with that much memory since Ethereum has no use for that much. Nvidia will likely chop off some of the memory to make the graphics card more attractive in regards to pricing.

The retail price for the A100 in its PCIe format is well over $10,000. According to the I_Leak_VN, the 220HX could land around the $3,000 range. For comparison, a quartette of GeForce RTX 3060 with the help of some $6 HDMI dummy plugs can collectively put up a 192 MH/s on Ethereum. We know you basically have to visit fantasy to find a GeForce RTX 3060 at Nvidia's $329 MSRP, but in a perfect world, a four-way GeForce RTX 3060 setup will only set you back $1,316, and with some tinkering, could probably catch up to the 220HX's rumored Ethereum performance. But the 220HX makes a lot of sense for professional mining farms, where you can get the same performance with a single unit instead of four.

The pricing for Nvidia's CMP HX offerings remains a mystery, although we've seen a CMP 30HX land overseas for $723. It'll be interesting to see if the $3,000 price tag sticks with the 220HX. Obviously, mining farms won't be buying just one, so Nvidia may also be tempted to offer a juicy discount for bulk orders. Let's not forget that between $100 to $300 million of the chipmaker's Q4 2021 revenue was thanks to sales to cryptominers, so it's obviously a very lucrative business.

  • ezst036
    This will do much to make miners question video card purchases. This is more great news.

    Hopefully AMD follows suit and makes mining cards more powerful than any of its video cards in the mining context.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Ethereum can use extra VRAM: more RAM across more memory channels means you can have multiple copies of the DAG to run concurrent ETH shaders without them trampling over each other much, especially when you factor in the amount of time the GPU will be wasting waiting for memory rows to open/close and the memory bank interleaving to let other shaders do useful work on on other banks during that time on a memory channel that would otherwise be idle.
    Reply
  • gargoylenest
    ezst036 said:
    This will do much to make miners question video card purchases. This is more great news.

    Hopefully AMD follows suit and makes mining cards more powerful than any of its video cards in the mining context.

    I dont think so; maybe for small scale miners, but the problem is those building huge mining facilities that will buy everything they can get their hands on, going directly to distributer paying extra to have thousands of cards; these are the problems, they are never satisfied.
    Reply
  • evdjj3j
    ezst036 said:
    This will do much to make miners question video card purchases. This is more great news.

    Hopefully AMD follows suit and makes mining cards more powerful than any of its video cards in the mining context.

    Why would it, GPUs will still be able to mine profitably? As long as they are profitable they will be in high demand.
    Reply
  • ezst036
    gargoylenest said:
    I dont think so; maybe for small scale miners, but the problem is those building huge mining facilities that will buy everything they can get their hands on, going directly to distributer paying extra to have thousands of cards; these are the problems, they are never satisfied.

    The issue is what they can't get their hands on. There is no current supply of video cards. So a miner is going to buy miner cards due to simple availability.

    This will restore sanity to the market as the products get refined. Two or three generations down the road and this problem won't ever happen.
    Reply
  • exploding_psu
    I like the design of the card, simple and angular. Not that I'm going to buy one though.
    Reply
  • GenericUser
    ezst036 said:
    The issue is what they can't get their hands on. There is no current supply of video cards. So a miner is going to buy miner cards due to simple availability.

    This will restore sanity to the market as the products get refined. Two or three generations down the road and this problem won't ever happen.

    Miners will buy whatever they can get a hold of, and whatever does the job well enough for the money they've spent. So they will buy these cards, sure, but they will also continue to keep buying gaming cards as they trickle into availability. Having a dedicated card like this just gives them one more option to choose from, albeit a more tailored one.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    exploding_psu said:
    I like the design of the card, simple and angular. Not that I'm going to buy one though.
    Of course not. The A100 is not a video card and won't function as one. With no active cooling, it wouldn't even work in a standard desktop case unless you have some insane airflow blowing through it.

    If Nvidia intends to sell this at only $3000, how are they going to cripple it to make it unattractive to customers that currently have to drop $10k for an A100?
    Reply
  • King_V
    evdjj3j said:
    Why would it, GPUs will still be able to mine profitably? As long as they are profitable they will be in high demand.
    Maybe to prevent long term future problems - that is, if they sell mining-specific cards, then when cryptocurrency crashes, there's less of a flood of cheap used GPUs cutting into sales of new GPUs.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    King_V said:
    Maybe to prevent long term future problems - that is, if they sell mining-specific cards, then when cryptocurrency crashes, there's less of a flood of cheap used GPUs cutting into sales of new GPUs.
    And more junk ending up in landfills sooner from lack of a secondary market.
    Reply