Nvidia New Crypto CMP 170HX Mining Monster Spotted

legcramp

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Based on A100 accelerator, not gaming card!

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/n...ild-with-164-mhps-ethereum-mining-performance

Reports on Nvidia aiming to repurpose its A100 compute accelerator as a Crypto Mining Processor accelerator surfaced as early as March of this year. The intermediate radio silence has now been broken, with purported photographs and screenshots of a repurposed A100 surfacing as a rebranded CMP 170HX. There's plenty to chew over, but as this isn't an officially announced product, take the details with a bit of salt.


Photographs from the GA100-based Nvidia CMP 170HX (Image credit: Codefordl via Videocardz)

Photographs from the GA100-based Nvidia CMP 170HX (Image credit: Codefordl via Videocardz)
While initial reports pointed towards a CMP 220HX branding with performance in the range of 215 MH/s for Ethereum mining, the final result delivered by the CMP 170HX is slightly less impressive, with the tested card delivering around 165 MH/s in a 250W envelope. It is still extremely impressive compared to the CMP 50HX accelerator that falls in the same 250 W envelope, though; that card can only output 45 MH/s — less than a third of the CMP 170HX's performance. Thus, Nvidia seems to still have some headroom for an eventual 220HX release - at least judging from these specifications on offer in the 170HX.

The CMP 170HX is likely made via defective, harvested chips that didn't make it into the company's A100 - a beast of a card with 40 or 80 GB of HBM2e memory and packing a grand total of 6,980 enabled CUDA cores (84% of the in-silicon CUDA cores in the GA100 chip design).

Being a cryptocurrency mining-oriented card, Nvidia cut everything that wasn't strictly necessary for typical mining workloads. Besides the aforementioned headless design, the CMP170HX features only 4,480 CUDA cores (54% of GA100's design cores). Its HBM2e memory has been reduced to the bare minimum for Ethereum mining, with 8 GB HMB2e across two 4 GB stacks, delivering a maximum of 1,493 GB/s of bandwidth across its 4096-bit bus. Nvidia even slaughtered the PCIe bus on this card - the link is limited to PCIe 1.1 x4 (!), thus offering only 250 MB/s bandwidth across the PCIe bus (for reference, modern graphics cards with PCIe 4.0 x16 achieve 32 GB/s across the bus). However, mining workloads aren't dependant on the bus speed for performance - while most other applications users might want to use these cards for (like, say, actual ML and typical HPC workloads) will thus be rendered virtually impossible to process at a high enough throughput to make it worthwhile.

These alterations allow Nvidia to sell this card solely for cryptocurrency mining, at a premium, while keeping institutions, data centers and even tech-savy prosumers focused on the company's A-series offerings, also at a premium. GPU-Z screenshots of the card, which has "170hx" added to cover whatever name has been assigned to the card in the identifier string, identify it with the 20C2 Device ID. The card was running on Nvidia's 471.41 driver version and core clocks are set at an 1140 MHz base and 1410 MHz boost. This is likely in the sweet spot for performance and power consumption for this particular accelerator since memory speeds, not core speeds, are the defining factor in cryptocurrency mining performance. This also enables a fully passive design since in-memory processing is less heat-intensive than in-core processing.

CMP is Nvidia's crypto-specific accelerator lineup, built to take some of the strain off the company's gaming-oriented GeForce lineup by streamlining the cards' design and extracting the bits and pieces that aren't required for crypto mining operations, such as the display outputs. All of Nvidia's CMP lineup, including the CMP 30HX, 40HX, 50HX and 90HX (with relative performance scaling with the product numerals), are headless.

Now there's one more tool to attract miners towards these graphics cards instead of our general GeForce graphics cards. Even with Nvidia's Lite Hash Rate performance limitation, these cards still present interesting venues for mining income. However, don't expect these CMP 170HX to be scooped up in droves by mainstream miners: While its pricing isn't currently known, the GA100 die inside is expensive for Nvidia to produce. However, it will definitely be an appealing solution to larger-scale mining operations — it does qualify as one of the most efficient and higher-performing mining solutions in a single card currently available in the market.
 

arnemetis

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Dead in the water unless they do something better than even lhr cards. Let's say it has 3090 levels of mining performance, it needs to be cheaper than a 3090. Let's say it performs like two 3090s in one card, it can't be much more than two 3090s because card density isn't that huge of a concern to most operations that would consider these. Based on the way they are wording it, I suspect these will be priced efficiency wise worse than a 3080 ti. Yeah the article says 164MH but who knows what it will actually be once it gets out into the world. At that rate I think $2,500 is about the top it should be.
 

legcramp

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It smokes the RTX 3090 if the numbers are true. 3090 is about 120MH/s at around 290w at the wall, this is supposedly 165MH/s at 250w, so probably similar at the wall.
 

arnemetis

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It smokes the RTX 3090 if the numbers are true. 3090 is about 120MH/s at around 290w at the wall, this is supposedly 165MH/s at 250w, so probably similar at the wall.
It sure does, I started typing that up before I checked the article again for the numbers, sorry. So yeah, my price range seems reasonable, but it will probably end up being like 6k.
 

RPGWiZaRD

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I think this is the best strategy in order to make crypto miners stop buying up all graphics card stock is to optimize the CMP cards to bring even better hashrate vs power consumption than the normal cards. As long as CMP cards will be WORSE at doing they will recieve a "meh" attention, at least there's some point to them existing if they are bringing good hash rates. Still in the long run as long as there's chip shortages in the end it won't really matter that much as they'll probably just produce more of these CMP cards to meet demand at which there will be less LHR graphics card stock eitherway. Will be interesting to see how they price these, like previous posters wrote, less than 3090 would be cool but knowing how Nvidia and capitalism operates seems highly unlikely...
 

kirbyrj

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It sure does, I started typing that up before I checked the article again for the numbers, sorry. So yeah, my price range seems reasonable, but it will probably end up being like 6k.

Honestly, I think it will be higher. We're talking about Nvidia here.
 

noko

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DOA unless super cheap. Bitmain E9, if ever really released, with 3gh/s, will be the better choice for the big mining farms.
 

sleepeeg3

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I think this is the best strategy in order to make crypto miners stop buying up all graphics card stock is to optimize the CMP cards to bring even better hashrate vs power consumption than the normal cards.
What is their incentive? Prices go up, gamers have to pay more, more profit for them.
 

THRESHIN

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So what if these mineing cards turn out to be better than gaming cards for the miners...but then gamers figure out how to hack them and play games with them. Then all the gamers can buy the mining cards so miners can't buy them. Dude .......
 

arnemetis

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So what if these mineing cards turn out to be better than gaming cards for the miners...but then gamers figure out how to hack them and play games with them. Then all the gamers can buy the mining cards so miners can't buy them. Dude .......
Not likely, these cards will typically not have video outputs. Yes I know there's that Linus article, but if you read this article the card is so otherwise cut down it won't make sense.
 

defaultluser

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So what if these mineing cards turn out to be better than gaming cards for the miners...but then gamers figure out how to hack them and play games with them. Then all the gamers can buy the mining cards so miners can't buy them. Dude .......

It's already been done, with titan v but it turns out that gamers are not willing to drop that kind of cash for unoptimizdd gaming drivers
https://hothardware.com/reviews/nvidia-titan-v-volta-gv100-gpu-review

The price gap between this and the 3090 is a lot closer this time, but you will still be paying twice as much for no optimization of gaming
 
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Viper16

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So what if these mineing cards turn out to be better than gaming cards for the miners...but then gamers figure out how to hack them and play games with them. Then all the gamers can buy the mining cards so miners can't buy them. Dude .......
It will likely just be the other way around...hacked lhr gpu's and mining cards for cryptominers...make sense, especially if the demand is greater than the supply of the mining cards.
 

xenium

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So what if these mineing cards turn out to be better than gaming cards for the miners...but then gamers figure out how to hack them and play games with them. Then all the gamers can buy the mining cards so miners can't buy them. Dude .......
Very unlikely, unless someone can edit and re-sign the bios to unlock the pcie bus limit, then patch/hack the drivers to route the video output through the igpu (or another gpu?). Good luck on either of those. Linus did a video on this exact scenario though a while back with a P106-100. The difference is that the older pascal mining cards (like the p106-100) were "only" limited to pcie x4, which still has a relatively usable amount of bandwidth for rendering, gaming, and other compute applications (not just mining).

It looks like nvidia learned from this and these newer CMP mining cards are gimped further to pcie x1 speeds. Even if you could somehow use them for gaming and get a video output from them, that x1 bandwidth speed would be quite a bottleneck for most applications outside of mining (which requires a negligible amount of pcie bandwidth).

Not to mention as well, the CMP cards have a hilarious price point in comparison to their gaming equivalents. I know someone that got a quote for the CMP 30HX cards (basically 1660 supers). It was basically twice the msrp of a 1660 super. So, they went and bought a pallet of 1660 supers and other gaming cards instead, for cheaper. If nvidia really wanted to incentivize the cards for miners, they would price them accordingly (they arent).
 
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Lakados

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This ampere mining card is in stock. Grab it while you can! Yeah right. Ooops it is ONLY $4300 each (before taxes/shipping). 🤪
Better hash and lower power than a 3090, even at the minor cost increase over a 3090 still pays for itself in a few months.
Now that China has very few large scale mining operations and they’ve mostly all loved to the US I’m not surprised to see them piping up into the retail channels on this side.
 

kirbyrj

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Better hash and lower power than a 3090, even at the minor cost increase over a 3090 still pays for itself in a few months.
Now that China has very few large scale mining operations and they’ve mostly all loved to the US I’m not surprised to see them piping up into the retail channels on this side.

More than a few months. At 170MH/s and 250W, you're looking at ~$12/day so a ~350 day ROI on a card that has no other purpose than to mine. I don't know that ETH is going to be POW long enough to make your money back. I'm sure it would mine other alts just as well though. Octopus and ERGO have been somewhat profitable lately. I don't think these cards would be any worse than a 3090 at mining those. I mean, I could mine with a 3090 for 6 months and then sell it to someone for ~85% of retail and it would be gone in less than a day while making me more money than this card. This seems like a much smarter move than buying a purpose built mining card which has no resale value.

All this shows is that Nvidia is screwing everyone with their "HX" cards. If a casual miner like me can figure that out, so can a large scale firm that is trying to maximize profits.
 
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