Ethereum mining is a big business these days, and the cryptocurrency is on the verge of besting Bitcoin in market cap. Given the fact that many enterprising consumers are using gaming graphics card to maximize their hash rate for Ethereum mining, some manufacturers are tweaking their existing hardware to cater to these miners.
The latest is ASUS, which has announced its MINING Series graphics cards. ASUS has an AMD version, which is based on the RX 470 Polaris graphics architecture (MINING RX 470). It has a base clock of 926MHz and a boost clock of 1206MHz. 4GB of GDDR5 memory is included, and it features a single DVI-D port on the back (even though there are still cutouts on the backplate for DisplayPort and HDMI).
MINING RX 470
This cut-down card was designed for “delivering maximum hash-rate production at minimum cost” and engineered for 24-7 operation to ensure that coin production is unhindered. Products such as the MINING RX 470 also give AMD a chance to clear out inventory of its RX 4xx series of GPUs, seeing as how it is has already shifted to producing the “refreshed” RX 5xx family of GPUs.
On the NVIDIA front, there’s the MINING P106. That model name should sound familiar, as its closely related to the GP106 GPU that is found in the GeForce GTX 1060. However, the P106-100 GPU lacks display outputs, which solidifies its position as a mining-exclusive product. The card has a base clock of 1506MHz, a boost clock of 1708MHz and 6GB of GDDR5 memory.
ASUS claims that optimizations made with the Mining P106 allow it to offer a 36 percent uplift in its megahash rate compared to non-optimized gaming cards “in the same segment”.
Both the AMD and NVIDIA mining cards are bundled with GPU TWEAK II to help you massage GPU/memory clocks and voltage to find the optimum hash rate.
Hopefully, the appearance of these mining-specific cards will help relieve some of the market stresses surrounding standard Radeon RX 4xx and RX 5xx. Supplies of these graphics cards are extremely limited as miners have sought them out due to their favorable hashrates, but that also means that gamers who want to use the cards for their originally-intended purposes are becoming increasingly frustrated in the lack of inventory.