AMD could follow in Nvidia’s steps with dedicated mining cards

AMD 7nm processor supply

With the announcement of Nvidia releasing CMP cards dedicated to crypto mining and possibly nerfing all future GeForce GPUs against the practice, it looks like AMD may combat stock issues in the same way, reserving its Radeon RX 6000 cards for gamers rather than miners. A Linux kernel driver patch list discovered by Phoronix mentions an RDNA 1, Navi 12-based GPU without display outputs, which suggests AMD could release mining-dedicated chips of its own.

The Navi 12 GPU is exclusive to Apple’s Mac range, so it’s hard to draw conclusions on whether these new cards will have enough performance to persuade crypto miners to make the switch from its gaming graphics cards range – all of which have pretty impressive mining performance. However, one previous Navi 12-based card, the Radeon Pro V520, has pretty similar performance to last generation’s RX 5600 XT – a popular mining card, which is still resold for much more than its original $279 MSRP.

We reached out to AMD for a comment regarding the discovery, but it says it “does not comment on future products of technologies”. If mining-dedicated AMD cards are on their way, it’ll be interesting to see whether it starts limiting hash rates on its Radeon gaming cards, like Nvidia.

Even if this reduces the number of crypto miners buying AMD’s best graphics card, don’t expect it to make a massive difference – the launch of the RTX 3060, nerfed against mining from launch, was still spotted at double its MSRP before launch and sold out almost instantly despite its unattractiveness to miners.

The other problem with these mining cards from Nvidia, which can’t output to a display, is that if there’s another cryptocurrency crash in the future, there’s going to be a lot of useless, paperweight hardware sitting around, generating e-waste.