Today's shocking news; GPU vendors like the current mining trend

Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2017 - 01:26 PM |
Tagged: cryptocurrency, mining, gpu

At least some people are happy about the current GPU market and the effect cryptocurrency mining is having on it.  Indeed from the profit reports DigiTimes mentions, GPU vendors are making better profits from the current craze than the miners are, with all major vendors seeing major boosts to revenues.  This is good news for the average enthusiast as these vendors plan to ramp up their stocks and have greatly increased the amount of product they are ordering from NVIDIA and AMD.  It will take some time to fulfill these orders and you can expect the current memory shortage to have a minor effect on availability and price as well.  If supply can finally start to meet demand, we may soon see prices creep back towards MSRP. 

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"Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI), TUL, Colorful and Galaxy Microsystems have all been aggressive about the cryptocurrency opportunity since the mining trend emerged, and they have seen dramatic growths in related businesses. Asustek only started to see benefits from the segmnet in the third quarter."

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Source: DigiTimes

October 19, 2017 | 05:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous2 (not verified)

Eventually AMD and NVIDIA will just start selling MPUs (mining processing units) that are cut versions of GPUs that can't do any gaming.

October 20, 2017 | 01:25 PM - Posted by collie

these already exist. Most of 'em don't even have any video out ports. Mostly the 1060's from Nvidia, and the 470's from AMD, minimal cards, no backplate, heavy duty very loud multi fan coolers.

October 20, 2017 | 03:40 PM - Posted by NoVideoPortNoBetterResaleAndUsedMarketSellability (not verified)

Mining GPUs are undervolted and underclocked for the best hashes/watts metrics so loud multi-fan coolers are not necessarily needed. Now GPUs really do not Know that they are GPUs they only Know ones and zeros and their drivers and GPU "shader" hardware does what its told by the "Shader"/driver code, and a shader is just another name for processor core and that's all ones and zeros based for the most part for CPUs, GPUs, other processor cores.

GPUs do have some ROP/Tessilation hardware that could be removed if that hardware is of no use for any hashing calcualtions. So GPUs can be made again into a large parallel vector/scalar processors like the supercomputers of old had. GPUs were derived from those parallel vector/scalar processors of old with GPUs having some specilized ROP/Tessilation/other hardware added over the years. So just as there are Tensor Processor units there could be Parallel Hashing Processing Units developed with hardware optimized but still programmable for any form of bit coin/hashing that can not be done with very specialized ASICs that are only hardware tuned to one form of coin/hashing algorithm.

GPUs are only just parallel processors mostly inside with many more FP/Int/Other units compared to CPU type processors. So it will mostly depend on how long the bit coin/block-chain market ramains a factor and the longer there is a need for some specilized from of parallel compute there will be processor suppliers willing to create specilized hardware tailored to that market.

GPUs are now wanted more for other than graphics compute workloads so I'd expect that it will take a few more years of the bit coin market being around before the processor makers decide to create any specilized hashing processors for the coin mining/hashing market. Right now GPUs are great for some forms of bit coin mining becuuse the shader code can be changed to fit the new coin algorithms.

The GPUs without any Video outputs are not going to be popular with the miners that may want to have a larger resale market for any of their used GPUs! But some of the GPU SKUs without Video outputs can be paired with GPUs that do and still be used for graphics workloads if the GPU's maker has not limited the GPU's graphics functionality in the GPU Card's firmware. AMD/Partners appear to be not removing all of the video outputs on minimg cards as they would want to sell to as large a market as possible. So gamers and miners together represent a larger market that needs GPUs so gimping the GPU's Video outputs completely can have a negative impact on a GPU card's resale marketability to a larger market of end users.

There are distributed rendering markets coming online where GPU owners can make money renting out their spare GPU cycles for graphics workloads done across the web. So there will be those users or even some coin mining folks also trying to make money farming out their GPU power for other compute/graphics usage also. In any cooler climates there can be an actual need for the waste heat generated by racks of GPUs/other processors so there may even be places that will install GPUs as an actuall source of heat and the GPUs put to work and producing income for the facilities that can rent out the processing cycles as a cloud compute service.

I'd expect that some big players may get into that market in the colder areas as some data centers are doing around the world and GPUs are going to be in more demand for Other sorts of compute and not only for only mining/graphics workloads.

AMD's Vega 10 Dies are probably going to be more in demand for professional compute above and beyond any mining/gaming usage as that AMD/Server Partner Project 47 supercomputer uses 80 MI25 Radeon Instinct(Vega 10 die based) per petaflop system in one cabnet, along with 20, 32 core EPYC CPUs for compute and AI/Infrencing workloads.

The very best Vega 10 dies with the best thermal/electrical leakage binning results are not making it out into the consumer markets for the gamers and miners to battle over as the professional markets will pay the proper markups for AMD to afford to use 16GB/32GB of HBM2 and the more expensive to develop professional drivers and still earn a larger per unit revenue/profit. The lower Vega 10 die bins are what the consumers and miners are competing for because they will not be able to, or willing to, pay the markups to get any units with the top binned Vega 10 dies.

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