New reports suggest that graphics card manufacturer Nvidia might be about to release a series of graphics cards targeted specifically at cryptocurrency miners, leading to hopes that these might reduce demand for their gaming GPUs and bring to an end the remarkable levels of price inflation seen in recent months.
According to the reports (which come via Cypto Mining Blog), the new cards will be based on the same architecture as the GTX 1080 Ti, Titan X and Titan XP. One of these, manufactured by Inno3D, will feature 3,200 CUDA cores and a base close speed of 1582MHz.
However, unlike traditional gaming GPUs, these cards will not feature any video outputs, making them useless for gaming purposes.
As the price of Bitcoin continues to remain high, so too has the price of graphics cards, as limited supply has been snapped up by cryptocurrency miners hoping to use their PCs to process transactions in return for the valuable virtual currencies.
Although CPUs can also be used for this process, the design of these GPUs makes them a much more efficient choice. When it comes to cryptocurrency mining, efficiency is everything.
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GPUs for Bitcoin Mining: An end to GPU price inflation?
The hope is that by producing GPUs tailored to the needs of cryptocurrency miners, the demand on gaming GPUs can be reduced – and prices can return to normal.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of reasons why people are speculating that this might not be the case.
For one thing, miners often purchase GPUs knowing that they’ll retain a lot of their resale value thanks to the PC gamers that’ll happily snap them up second-hand. However, with no video outputs, mining GPUs don’t have the same benefits going for them.
Secondly, with the global video memory shortage (which both gaming and mining GPUs rely on) continuing, the supply of cards is unlikely to rise dramatically any time soon.
Still, it’s good to see Nvidia at least making some efforts to tackle the problem so that we can get back to enjoying PC gaming at a reasonable price once more.
Earlier this year, it recommended that trading partners limited GPU sales per customer to ensure availability, and last year AMD offered discounts to gamers buying GPUs bundled with monitors (a deal which would be useless to cryptocurrency miners).
Nvidia has refused to comment on whether these rumours are accurate. When contacted, a spokesperson from the company said, “We don’t comment on rumours or un-announced products.”
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What do you think it’s going to take for the price of GPUs to come down to reasonable levels once more? Get in touch @TrustedReviews.