The surge in cryptocurrencies in recent months, especially with the start of 2021, has certainly catapulted the crypto into the mainstream. While traders are buying and selling trying to calculate how much this or that currency has grown and large mutual funds are predicting that Bitcoin (BTC) will soon hit $ 100,000 per coin, big things are happening in the crypto mining space too.
Miners in the largest pool, F2Pool, have reportedly contributed to the recent drop in BTC price and then its subsequent rebound, while individual miners from the US and France even heat homes with their machines over the winter. Indeed, this suggests that Bitcoin is one of the industry’s lifelines, particularly with 2021 promising a year full of new crypto mining products, especially graphics cards.
AMD on site
At the end of 2020, several new products were expected from the two largest GPU card manufacturers, Nvidia and AMD, and their delivery did not take long. During the annual CES technology conference in early January, manufacturers did not unveil the final versions of their GPU cards, but confirmed that they will hit store shelves very soon.
Users will be interested in the AMD Radeon RX 6700 and RX 6700 XT cards, which are designed to replace the Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT cards. This new series is interesting because, according to some experts, the RX 6700 can outperform its competitor and undisputed leader among miners, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti.
The new card supports up to 12 GB GDDR6 memory, a powerful cooling system – like the GeForce RTX 3070 – a 192-bit memory bus and 96 MB Infinity cache memory. An important factor in the popularity of the card will be its price. As it is reportedly cheaper to produce than the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, the retail price is expected to be lower.
Then why can the RX 6700 be a success? Before buying a GPU card, miners check the cards’ viability – but this is where AMD has problems. Of the 10 most profitable cards, almost all positions are occupied by Nvidia products. Of course, there’s the AMD Radeon VII, which is very good, but when it comes to cards that are in the mid-range of $ 400 to $ 500, AMD isn’t in a strong position. Because of this, the RX 6700 series can potentially become a contender for the top five graphics cards of 2021.
A special product from Nvidia
What about Nvidia? Unfortunately, the company hasn’t released a launch plan for a new card yet, possibly because the RTX 3000 series has just come out and is breaking all records in demand, resulting in a card shortage. Even before the New Year, the new RTX 3080, 3070, 3060 Ti and 3090 were hard to find, even at several times their retail prices. The company admitted that this issue is unlikely to be resolved until April or May.
The RTX 3000 series is so popular because they are the most profitable cards for mining. By some estimates, a GeForce RTX 3080 card can sell for $ 6 to $ 9 a day in mining Ether (ETH), and investments can pay for itself in just two to six months – not bad for today’s network complexity.
But the manufacturer can get out of the crisis in a relatively simple way: make cards specifically for miners, thus reducing demand for the RTX 3000 series and ending the battle between gamers and miners.
Recently, Nvidia’s CFO said the manufacturer could resume production of the crypto-mining series of processors if miners’ demand continues to rise. At the moment, the decision about their manufacture is not yet known, which is understandable given that the previous generation of such cards was not widely used in 2017-2018 and the manufacturer fears another failure.
However, at the time, Nvidia presented special equipment for mining quite late, when many were already mining on readily available maps. Additionally, the timing was poor as the wave of interest in crypto subsided and the market entered a prolonged bearish period. If Nvidia does a quick job this time and manages to release the cards within the next six months, those cards may still come out as long as there is an ongoing shortage for the RTX 3000 series.
While Nvidia is cautious about announcing its own new mining cards, other manufacturers are starting to produce mining graphics cards based on the Nvidia architecture. MSI recently registered several products with the Eurasian Economic Commission – the main regulator of the Eurasian Economic Union which consists of Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan – including the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Miner 8G and 8G OC GPU cards are special designed for mining.
Of course, this registration doesn’t necessarily mean the company will release these products, and there is no possible launch date known, but this move clearly means that some manufacturers are interested in meeting the needs of miners and are determined to go a long way too publish specific solutions.
Player versus miners
The fact is that while there is no dedicated up-to-date equipment for mining, all users are buying the same latest cards that work well in both scenarios. For gamers, the main indicator of the quality of a card is the frame rate per second achieved when playing the latest game with the maximum video settings.
The new Nvidia RTX 3090, which achieves 152.7 fps, is currently the leader among gamers. A more popular card is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 with 142.1 fps, which costs about 700 US dollars and is working on the improved amp architecture. The only problem is that this card is as hard to find as a Sony Playstation 5.
Gamers shouldn’t be discouraged, however, as there are signs that manufacturers are generally moving to categorizing equipment into mining and gaming. Nvidia announced that the GeForce RTX 3060 will be on sale in February and will come with 12GB of GDDR6 video memory.
These cards are only issued by Nvidia partner companies. Zotac from Hong Kong has already presented two versions of the cards. The main thing that gamers should please is that they are not powerful enough for mining and are only suitable for gaming.
There is no consensus
It seems that unfortunately miners should be on the lookout for a GPU available in the market in the near future and stop running into gold by purchasing the latest and greatest products. Ilya Goldberg, managing partner of Ecos-M, which operates a cloud mining center, said 2021 is likely to pass without major shocks to the mining industry:
“As far as we know, the major global hardware vendors haven’t bought many chips this year. Most likely, the new equipment will be released in spring / summer 2022. Hence, we expect the network’s hash rate will not spike much this year and profitability will be good for miners. “
In any case, there is no need to despair as hardware manufacturers are obviously taking steps to meet the demand of all consumers – miners and gamers – which means that they are slowly but surely looking to realize the power and demand of mining and deliver products for the Industry.