News Nvidia's RTX 3080 Ti Could Have a Mining Limiter

Giroro

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A mining limiter doesn't help gamers, at all. It's just there so Nvidia can try to sell miners the same GPU on cheaply produced cards sold at higher prices. Plus those cards can never be sold to gamers on the used market. They unnecessarily become e-waste as soon as they lose profitability.

At least that's what it does in theory. In reality the big mining operations knew how to bypass the locks before public availability (and had large numbers of 3060's before launch). So, the only people hurt by the locks are gamers who want to try and pay off their absurdly overpriced toy in their free time, but are unwilling to void their warranty.
When a rich techbro or the Chinese mafia shows up with a briefcase full of cash to the backdoor of a shady warehouse, or a firmware engineer's tiny cube, or an executive's luxary suite - the cash gets what it wants.
 
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bigdragon

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The mining limiter for the 3060 had zero impact on the GPU's availability. Scalpers still rule the market, and miners will employ bypasses or mine other currencies. The 3080 Ti is just going to be another train wreck of a launch. If I were a big game publisher, I would be screaming at Nvidia and AMD to get hardware into the hands of gamers. These GPU (and console) shortages are going to have an impact on game sales if they haven't already.

GPUs sell out in under 3 seconds on Amazon. Best Buy is a total waste of time between the "please wait" and then 'add to cart" button that shows up after stock is already gone. Microcenter will happily sell all their GPUs to the first person in line even if that was the same person first in line 2 days ago. Doesn't matter if it's the mining-limited 3060 or a different card. Nvidia's solution isn't working.

The 3080 Ti needs to be sold via Steam or Epic. The normal retail and distribution channels are completely compromised. It's about time DRM did something for us gamers for once, and both those stores have robust DRM solutions that could easily limit 1 GPU, of any AIB, per 1 account that is at least 1 year old and owns at least 10 games.
 
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spongiemaster

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A mining limiter doesn't help gamers, at all. It's just there so Nvidia can try to sell miners the same GPU on cheaply produced cards sold at higher prices. Plus those cards can never be sold to gamers on the used market. They unnecessarily become e-waste as soon as they lose profitability.

At least that's what it does in theory. In reality the big mining operations knew how to bypass the locks before public availability (and had large numbers of 3060's before launch). So, the only people hurt by the locks are gamers who want to try and pay off their absurdly overpriced toy in their free time, but are unwilling tho void their warranty.
When a rich techbro or the Chinese mafia shows up with a briefcase full of cash to the backdoor of a shady warehouse, or a firmware engineer's tiny cube, or an executive's luxary suite - the cash gets what it wants.
Large mining operations do not buy single cards from scalpers on Ebay. A large part of the reason prices are so high on ebay is because basement miners think they can make money with the card in the long run by mining when they aren't gaming. Who cares if you have to pay double MSRP, if you can make that cost up in a couple months mining? This is an easily provable theory by comparing the prices of GPU's that have different memory capacity configurations. 4GB cards that can't mine ethereum are still high, but a fraction of the price that 6 or 8GB variants of the same GPU are selling for. So, in theory, crippling the mining ability of cards actually should lower the prices for gamers. There are going to be far fewer people willing to pay double or more MSRP if they know they can't make that cost up in a reasonable amount of time mining on the side, which will lower scalper prices.
 

SyDiko

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The mining limiter for the 3060 had zero impact on the GPU's availability. Scalpers still rule the market, and miners will employ bypasses or mine other currencies. The 3080 Ti is just going to be another train wreck of a launch. If I were a big game publisher, I would be screaming at Nvidia and AMD to get hardware into the hands of gamers. These GPU (and console) shortages are going to have an impact on game sales if they haven't already.

GPUs sell out in under 3 seconds on Amazon. Best Buy is a total waste of time between the "please wait" and then 'add to cart" button that shows up after stock is already gone. Microcenter will happily sell all their GPUs to the first person in line even if that was the same person first in line 2 days ago. Doesn't matter if it's the mining-limited 3060 or a different card. Nvidia's solution isn't working.

The 3080 Ti needs to be sold via Steam or Epic. The normal retail and distribution channels are completely compromised. It's about time DRM did something for us gamers for once, and both those stores have robust DRM solutions that could easily limit 1 GPU, of any AIB, per 1 account that is at least 1 year old and owns at least 10 games.
They need to do away with online ordering - that would immediately solve the bot problem.

Then, just take in store pre orders... Problem solved.
 

bigdragon

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They need to do away with online ordering - that would immediately solve the bot problem.

Then, just take in store pre orders... Problem solved.
That won't work either. The store employees tip off people as to when new GPUs are coming in stock. There's a line every morning before the local Microcenters open with new GPUs. Depending on who is working, the first person in line may only get 1 GPU or they may be permitted to buy all the GPUs -- quantity limits are not always enforced. Nothing stops the same person from returning a few days later to do it all over again. There are always more people in line than GPUs available.

The only way to fix this is to use all that rich account data from gamer storefronts to separate actual gamers from miners. Then enforce a quantity limit to kick out the scalpers. Scalpers can't just register more accounts because there would ideally be an age-of-account requirement, hours spent gaming requirement, and/or number of games owned requirement.

I don't even think queues are a serious option. EVGA's queues are all the way back on September and October of last year -- 6 months ago. Granted, EVGA splits their supply between multiple retailers and their queue.
 

Co BIY

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With crazy Bitcoin prices the nerfing of the cards may just result in miners buying twice as many cards total.

Oh, I see what they are doing now... probably not an unintended consequence.
 
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Giroro

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Large mining operations do not buy single cards from scalpers on Ebay. A large part of the reason prices are so high on ebay is because basement miners think they can make money with the card in the long run by mining when they aren't gaming. Who cares if you have to pay double MSRP, if you can make that cost up in a couple months mining? This is an easily provable theory by comparing the prices of GPU's that have different memory capacity configurations. 4GB cards that can't mine ethereum are still high, but a fraction of the price that 6 or 8GB variants of the same GPU are selling for. So, in theory, crippling the mining ability of cards actually should lower the prices for gamers. There are going to be far fewer people willing to pay double or more MSRP if they know they can't make that cost up in a reasonable amount of time mining on the side, which will lower scalper prices.
I'm really not sure how mining is affecting ebay prices, outside of modern GPUs not making it into the retail stream to begin with. I was joking about the Mafia making shipping containers full of GPUs disappear out the back door of warehouses, but maybe that's not actually too far from the truth.
What I do know is that everything with GDDR memory is gone from retailers. Everything. Even cards completely worthless for mining/gaming like the GT 710. AMD's APUs are also nearly impossible to find at retail and are therefore also being scalped.
I had the smart idea to sell my GTX 1080 while prices are high, but I need a basic gpu to at least run an internet browser while I wait. Turns out the only place local in town with any GPU at all is staples selling a DDR3 GT 210 for $90ish. Although I could drive 4 hours round-trip to pick up a 1GB DDR3 GT 710 for around $60. So I thought "hey maybe I'll just get an Athlon 3000G for $50ish and move that to a NAS or something later". Nope, they're gone too outside of scalpers trying to double their money on Amazon.

So my bright Idea to pick up a sub $50 office-grade GPU to run my Ryzen PC while the market calms down simply isn't an option this week.

I also learned that you can order multiple different customized Dell/alienware PC builds for roughly the current ebay price of the GPU you pick. So to anybody about to buy an eBay GPU today, you absolutely should buy an entire computer instead
 

jkflipflop98

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It has to be in hardware or its useless. If they're banking on a line of software to get the job done, they're idiots.

Develop a mining ASIC and sell that. I mean we've been in this crypto fad for years now and no one has capitalized on this insanity by offering a mining ASIC. That shows you how stupid the big tech companies really are.
 

PapaCrazy

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I had the smart idea to sell my GTX 1080 while prices are high, but I need a basic gpu to at least run an internet browser while I wait. Turns out the only place local in town with any GPU at all is staples selling a DDR3 GT 210 for $90ish. Although I could drive 4 hours round-trip to pick up a 1GB DDR3 GT 710 for around $60. So I thought "hey maybe I'll just get an Athlon 3000G for $50ish and move that to a NAS or something later". Nope, they're gone too outside of scalpers trying to double their money on Amazon.

So my bright Idea to pick up a sub $50 office-grade GPU to run my Ryzen PC while the market calms down simply isn't an option this week.
I was tempted to sell my GTX1080 too. Its used value is close to what I paid for it new. But gotta have a leg to stand on. I admire your adventurous spirit though. I'm sure there's a board out there to fit your temporarily humble needs.
 
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The only way this problem is going to be fixed is if mining on gaming GPUs is disabled entirely, and miners are forced to buy CMP cards if they want to mine anything.
 
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atomicWAR

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They need to do away with online ordering - that would immediately solve the bot problem.

Then, just take in store pre orders... Problem solved.
Yeah maybe but likely not. Miners are going to mine, scalpers are going to scalp and find ways around things to do so...They'll just pay people to pick stuff up in person. I think the better route for scalpers and miners is to only sell to established accounts that have not purchased to many cards/consoles. These folks have so much of our info already why not let them know if your married and have kids thus the max number of parts/systems you might need at any given time or conversely be restricted to one. You buy more than that in a certain time frame or you buy a lot over a long time, you get cut off or have to get special permission. Say for example your building your nephew a B-day gift shortly after or the same time your doing your build for you and wife. You don't have kids on your account so you reach out to CS before hand...if you haven't over used or abused the extra parts/systems claus and you get approved. For consoles like XB'x and PS's you can only use established online accounts for first in line service, giving those with large libraries of previous/current gen the first crack at the consoles. If you want to join the console bunch as a new user, you set up an account and get line. Putting x number of consoles away for players that are upgrading thier system/replacing or doing the same on their already established wife/kid's account. And putting Y number of consoles, which is much smaller than X, aside for the "new" player base.

If your buying on Newegg or some other site you get a "online code" from your account so they know which kind of player you are in terms of consoles. As for PC parts you'd have to do that by the store so their is still some room for abuse but it would limit things online. As good as anything else would. Newegg/Amazon has your CC and address. They can easily keep track of how many parts are going where. They know, every step of the tech food chain knows where their parts go. This limiter is all marketing spin. Regardless no system is flawless but the one I mentioned would have the best chance gets these parts in the hands of gamers and not miners/scalper.
 

ROBNTHROB

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Man, we have so many folks on tomshardware comment sections that seem to be so much smarter than the folks at Nvidia... So a lot of folks here don't give a rat's ass about what you think and have the money to pay for what they want. I paid nothing for my 2080TI, and I will pay nothing for the 3080TI (points system). It's funny and sad seeing folks cry about something they have no control of and yet "feel" their option matters. Nvidia doesn't care about the gamers or miners, they care about selling cards. It's a business, it's as simple as that..
 

atomicWAR

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Man, we have so many folks on tomshardware comment sections that seem to be so much smarter than the folks at Nvidia... So a lot of folks here don't give a rat's ass about what you think and have the money to pay for what they want. I paid nothing for my 2080TI, and I will pay nothing for the 3080TI (points system). It's funny and sad seeing folks cry about something they have no control of and yet "feel" their option matters. Nvidia doesn't care about the gamers or miners, they care about selling cards. It's a business, it's as simple as that..
Your right it is business and Nvidia doesn't care who they sell cards to...as long as it doesn't adversely affect their long term revenue streams. Miners come and go with cypto booms and busts, gamers are here year after year with predictiable dips near next gen console launches. If Nvidia shorts gamers enough times to they can do brand damage which is exactly why they are doing these PR moves like the hash rate limitors, even if they will be broken in time, and mining cards...though those have a lot to do with killing the second hand market after crypto busts as well. So I am not as sure Nvidia doesn't care, it more like they only care as much as it affects their bottom line. If this boom last too long or their is a third one in as many years since the last, you may well see Nvidia add some more restrictions to their cards or conversely increase their PR speak to make it look like it isn't their fault.
 

Darkmatterx

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That would never fly. What do people in small towns do? They could be completely out of luck depending on how far out they are, or if they don't drive.

They almost need to give people a needed ID number to buy cards, and you have a set limit based on a set amount of time. Of course, this won't stop people from buying people off to get them cards, or people in stores taking a bit of under the table money to sell someone a bunch of cards. In a way, stores & online retailers should be tracking how many cards they are shipping out to each store, and seeing if the sales match up with the number of purchases, within that ID number GPU limit.

I guess that would mean the store would also have to have an ID number to track.

The problem is real, but the solution (other then to seriously nerf all types of mining) is harder to find. A 50% drop in mining output would probably do it, but I'm sure customers would scream, and in the end, these companies want to make money. The higher ups really couldn't care less if you specifically get a new GPU, as long as someone has bought up their supply of GPUs. $$$ :(

They need to do away with online ordering - that would immediately solve the bot problem.

Then, just take in store pre orders... Problem solved.
 

wirefire

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Mining is not made for GPUs or GPUs made for mining (in general) they just happen to be the best device for the job. Many cryptocurrencies are ASIC resistant. that doesnt mean it isnt possible, it is just that chip development is not cost effective when compared to GPUs. Gamers want devices for "FUN" in most cases. Fun, while it has its place, is not profitable. Cryptocurrency however is profitable in most cases. If I give you $100 and show you 2 identical items. say one can make you money and one is "fun" many people will choose the make money option. This percentage will escalate significantly when you leave the USA and other high end first world countries.

End result, you want to artificially devalue the profitability side of this while maintaining the "fun" side of this. That is not an easy thing to do. The cryptocurrency algorithms are not going to change. The CPU designs are not going to change. So that in the end only leaves software. Distribution channels could change, but profit seekers will win out in the end. Never underestimate the almighty dollar, the grand motivator in life.

The only thing that would solve the problem is an absolute glut of the chips. If there was a huge number of them the mining difficulty would go up so high they would become less profitable. As that happens the balance would correct itself and ultimately everyone would be happy, early entrants into the crypto-upturn would get profits, but they are short lived, end users would get their GPUs, with a semiconductor shortage...... it is the Wild West.
 
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What business model tells consumers, "don't buy our product?"

MAKE MORE PRODUCT!

It's literally what you are in business for, to sell more product.

What business school are these execs from anyway?
 

Co BIY

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Never underestimate the almighty dollar,
Leaving the dollar behind - Isn't that the whole point of Cryptocurrency!

Gamers crashing the cyptomarket by demonstrating it's long term fraudulency is probably as viable a solution as any.

But casino's have been a big business for centuries at least which demonstrates that there is a steady market for unwarranted and unbridled optimism for wealth unconnected to any underlying value.
 

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