Like the recently released Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, which came with a mining hashrate cap imposed by Nvidia, the new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti also came out “with a lower Ethereum hashrate,” making it less attractive to miners. The newly released Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is nearly equivalent in spec to the RTX 3090 GPU, but has half the video memory, that is, just 12 GB of GDDR6X instead of the full 24 GB. For the new RTX 3080 Ti, in terms of CUDA cores, there is a very slight decrease, as well as memory clock cycles, but the memory bus remains 384-bit, so in theory it should be very similar in performance to the RTX 3090, and this applies not only to mining, but also to games.
However, there is an Ethereum hashrate limiter that spoils the situation a bit for miners, but not for gamers, and the halved video memory should make it more accessible to gamers compared to the RTX 3080 in theory.
Attempting to mine Ethereum (ETH) with stock RTX 3080 Ti settings shows an initial hash rate of around 100 MH / s, which quickly drops to 53-55 MH / s at default settings due to Nvidia’s enforced hash rate limit for ETH mining. The default settings for the Palit / Gainward RTX 3080 Ti that we tried give us 325W of power consumption as reported by the miner. And while Nvidia talks about hashrate caps for Ethereum mining, other similar memory-intensive mining algorithms could suffer as well, as we saw with the RTX 3060 GPUs, which pioneered Nvidia’s hashrate cap solution.
Optimizing the settings to lower power consumption to 265W and a higher hashrate (if the hashrate limiter didn’t exist) gives us a slightly lower starting hashrate, just below 100 MH / s, but it drops to about 60 MH / s, not lower like with stock settings. Thus, in terms of performance when mining Ethereum (if there were no artificial hashrate limiter), the RTX 3080 Ti should normally provide the same hashrate as the RTX 3090 currently. Something around 100 MH / s with stock settings and around 120 MH / s with clock memory and lower power consumption would be possible, but instead we actually get only half of that.
Nvidia is now talking about caps for Ethereum mining hash rates, although some other memory-intensive cryptocurrency mining algorithms may also be affected, as we already know, but there are other algorithms that will provide a full hashrate without any artificial caps. Here is an example of RavenCoin (RVN) mining on RTX 3080 Ti, where the hash rate is not artificially reduced, you will get about 48 MH / s hash rate for KawPoW with stock settings. And while this will make mining RVN more profitable than mining ETH on that particular GPU, if the artificial ETH hashrate limiter weren’t present, mining ETH would be more profitable. So, the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti will not be an attractive option for Ethereum miners, although some other non-ETH cryptocurrencies may be interested, but we see starting prices for the Ti as well as the non-Ti version where possible. And unlike miners, gamers won’t be very happy to buy at such overpriced prices, but keep in mind that gamers will get performance close to that of the much more expensive (at the moment) RTX 3090 GPUs.
The new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, due to hit the market in a few days, will also offer a nice hardware upgrade over the older RTX 3070 GPU, but like the RTX 3080 Ti, it will come with an artificial Ethereum hashrate cap. The most notable upgrade of the new RTX3 070 Ti over the older non-Ti model is the new faster GDDR6X memory, which should theoretically increase mining performance for memory-intensive algorithms, but due to Nvidia’s hashrate limiter, Ethereum mining won’t get much benefit, and on in fact, we expect to see a lower hash rate than the RTX 3070, thanks to the current limiter. Again, some other memory-intensive algorithms besides Ethash may also suffer, although not all, and GPU-intensive mining will probably not be affected and the performance there should be slightly better than on the RTX 3070.