NVIDIA Allegedly Readying Headless Pascal Crypto-Mining GPUs For Ethereum, Bitcoin And Others

The so-called cryptocurrency market is booming, or at least parts of it are. One of the most popular digital currencies is Bitcoin. It recently topped the $3,000 mark for the first time since its debut in 2009, and had you owned just $27 worth at that time, you'd be sitting on $15,000,000. While volatile, the price just keeps going up over time. This has kept the mining market alive, and NVIDIA reportedly plans to capitalize on it by releasing specialized Pascal cards tuned specifically for digging up crytocurrencies.

News of NVIDIA's plans can be found all over the web, though most reports trace back to a couple of sources. One is a tech site called Goldfries that claims it received word that a dedicated mining GPU is in the works and that it will arrive around the middle of next month. These specialized graphics cards will not have any display outputs because they're not meant for gaming, graphics work, or anything that requires a monitor.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
The mining version of this card will not have any display outputs.

At least one of the GPUs is said to be based on NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with 6GB of GDDR5 memory. It will stick to reference clocks with base and boost clockspeeds set at 1,506MHz and 1,708MHz, respectively, though add-in board partners may opt to overclock. The card will take up two expansion slots, just as a regular GeForce GTX 1060, and will be backed by a three-month warranty. Pricing is expected to be around $200, which is around $50 less than the regular variant.

Here is a look at that card:

GeForce GTX 1060
Image Source: Expreview

As you can see, it doesn't look like the gaming variant. It features a custom PCB and has a passive cooling solution that consists of a finned aluminum block. There is no active blower on this card; keeping it cool will require adequate airflow in a chassis and/or an open-air configuration.

It's also said that NVIDIA is working on a mining card based on its more powerful GeForce GTX 1080 GPU. NVIDIA is also sticking to reference clocks with this one—1,60MHz base and 1,733MHz boost—though it remains to be seen if its AIB partners offer overclocked models. Either way, these cards will be optimized for cryptocurrency mining. Pricing will start at $350, versus $499 for gaming models.

Mining Graphs
Image Source: WCCFTech

Whether or not some variants come with active cooling is not yet known.  Either way, expect board partners such as MSI, Inno3D, and others to get in on the action with specialized cards for miners.

GPU Mining System

One of the other main sources of leaks on this subject is Videocardz, a rumor site that is hit or miss when it comes to this sort of thing. The site claims that dedicated mining systems will be offered with specialized graphics cards inside. One of them will feature a mobile Celeron processor paired with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 64GB mSATA solid state drive. Everything will housed in a sturdy enclosure that resists dusts and has plenty of airflow to keep temperatures in check.

These cards and rigs will used to mine Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other similar crytpocurrencies. If you haven't heard of it before, Ethereum is a newer type of digital currency that is attracting considerable attention among miners as of late. Ethereum's value has skyrocketed since being introduced two years ago and it now has a market cap of more than $34.5 billion, compared to Bitcoin's market cap of $42.4 billion.