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Nvidia refreshes GeForce RTX GPUs: More CUDA cores, crippled crypto mining

Nvidia announced two more GPUs this week: the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. These represent its latest “gaming flagship” hardware.

The 3080 Ti will be available starting June 3 at $1,199, and the 3070 Ti will go up for sale a week later on June 10 for $599. Actual pricing may vary, depending on demand and location. The Ti is short for titanium and means the card is a bit better than the non-Ti version.

As such, there isn’t too much of a difference between the 3080 Ti and the 3080 launched last year. Both cards are the same size and have the same features. The 3080 Ti, however, has 10,240 CUDA cores compared to the 8,704 cores on bog-standard 3080, and 12GB of GDDR6X memory compared to 10GB.

Visuals should appear slightly crisper due to the added oomph, though they won’t be as good as what you can get from the beefier and more expensive 3090. The 3090 has, for one thing, twice as much video RAM as the 3080 Ti. Both the 3090 and 3080 Ti are made using Samsung’s 8nm process node.

“The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is our new gaming flagship, running games 2X faster than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and 1.5X faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti at 4K,” Nvidia said in a canned statement.

Again, the 3070 Ti is very similar to the 3070, and has the same amount of memory. That said, it has 6,144 CUDA cores compared to the 5,888 on the 3070, and an increase in VRAM bandwidth to 19Gbps from 14Gps.

You’ll have to be quick, though, if you want to get your hands on either of these cards. Nvidia’s previous releases have pretty much sold out immediately after launch. Stock is limited, too. Demand is high, backlogs are deep, and buyers remain frustrated with the lack of supply and having to fend off bots and scalpers when they try to buy the equipment online.

In an attempt to keep its GeForce RTX GPUs strictly for gamers at launch, Nvidia has come up with drivers designed to cripple the performance of some of its chips if algorithms used in cryptocurrency mining are detected.

The GeForce RTX 3060 was nerfed in February, and both the 3080 Ti and the 3070 Ti coming out this month will be, too. “To help with this, our GeForce partners are labeling the GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti cards with a ‘Lite Hash Rate,’ or ‘LHR,’ identifier. The identifier will be in retail product listings and on the box,” Matt Wuebbling, Nvidia’s global head of GeForce marketing, previously said. “We believe this additional step will get more GeForce cards at better prices into the hands of gamers everywhere.”

The hash rates for the crypto-nerfed 3080 Ti and 3070 Ti is expected to be about 43MH/s and 25MH/s, respectively, for mining Ethereum – roughly half the hash rate achieved by the nearest-equivalent non-LHR components. Some benchmarks have placed the 3080 Ti’s hash rate at 58MH/s. ®

source: The Register