Cryptocurrency miners are turning to PC streaming services for more GPU power | PCGamesN

Cryptocurrency miners are turning to PC streaming services for more GPU power

Blade Shadow data centre

Despite the potential for the Blade Shadow rent-a-PC service to combat the current exclusionary pricing of consumer graphics cards, even gaming rigs up in the cloud aren’t safe from nefarious GPU-jacking cryptocurrency miners.

Fancy picking up one of the best PC controllers? Look no further.

Blade’s Shadow recently launched here in the UK, but it’s also available in France, Germany, and the US. The streaming platform is largely focused on offering games through the magic of the interwebs, but what you really get with Shadow is a fully-functional virtual machine in the cloud, free to utilise as you please - for gaming or otherwise.

The system offers a whole Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU - or potentially a Quadro card with equivalent power - to every user. But, even in its relative infancy, Blade have already had to combat some miners attempting to take advantage of their data centre-based GPUs for their own gain.

It makes sense fiscally for the miners. You pay the £27 - £40 a month - depending on the contract - and you mine for a whole month on someone else’s system, wearing out someone else’s components, and sucking up someone else’s electricity. All the while turning a nice little profit for yourself with the best mining venture you can find.

Blade Shadow game streaming

I’m not trying to give you any ideas, and I’m happy to say that Blade is well-aware of the potential use of his hardware. Wesley Snipes has already started to sniff out any and all mining activity on his systems and will deal out swift punishment (slicing them in half with a katana, perhaps?). It is against the Blade Shadow terms of service, after all.

At least for now, game streaming services seem somewhat safe refuge for gamers from the crypto-mania running rampant outside the castle walls.

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QDP2 avatarDave James avatarTreps avatar
QDP2 Avatar
3 Months ago

£40 for a months worth of mining? Sounds like the crypto-dream. Odds are electricity would cost more than that alone, never-mind the upfront on a card or any unreliability of worn-out cards into the future.

It's painful how many friends I have trying to build high-tear production quality rigs right now (entertainingly 1080s and Titan Vs are outperforming Quadro cards for less than half the price at the moment in a large amount of the video games industry).

I can't help but take all the US compaints through deaf ears though. Been receiving endless complaints that graphics cards are extortionate overthere yet you can buy a whole rig in the States for less than you'd spend on its GPU in UK...

Would be nice to see an article of solace for us Brits, listing some places/suggestions for places to shop and any offers found to shop around the price hike. Especially considering insiders still think the GPU prices are only going to keep climbing throughout 2018, its a very hard point for people to tell what can/should be bought for such inflated prices right now, or whether its worth waiting for nVidea's next lineup and hoping they dont sell out the same way Ryzen did.

Dave James Avatar
3 Months ago

Would love to be able to offer some solace to fellow Brits! Sadly it's just not looking that rosy over here either. Depending on what you're upgrading from a GTX 1060 6GB at £319 isn't a terrible price considering the rest of the market.

While the 3GB version of the GTX 1060 is still a decent gaming card, not far off the pace of its bigger sibling, and you can pick those up for around £240.

Weirdly you can buy a GTX 1080 now for less than the price of some GTX 1070 cards. Under £600 isn't bad right now.

Mostly though the high-end GPUs are just far too expensive to be even partly justifiable. Which is making these streaming services such a tantalising prospect. Instead of spending a fortune upgrading your current rig, spend six months of cash on a streaming service to tide you over until the next-gen Nvidia cards launch and hopefully give us some respite.

Treps Avatar
3 Months ago

Of course they are fighting others (customers) using their computing power to mine cryptocurrency, in fact I'm even pretty sure that their real business model is the exact opposite : customers are paying to access a virtual computer which is in fact part of a big mining farm ! yes Blade is in fact building mining farms (hence the 1070/1080 GPUs) and selling some time to customers believing that they are renting a dedicated gaming PC online...

Why do you think they are killing your session when no activity occurs for some time ? Because they are using the GPUs themselves to mine, that the only way their offer could be sustainable on the long term !