In light of an enticing new lineup of graphics cards based on Nvidia's latest generation Ampere GPU (opens in new tab) architecture, vendors and add-in board partners have to figure out to do with leftover inventories of suddenly old GPUs. MSI's solution? Repurpose some of its existing stock into cards specifically designed for cryptocurrency mining.
Yesterday MSI registered a handful of Turing-based "Miner" cards with the Eurasian Economic Commission. They include the GeForce GTX 1660 Super Miner, GeForce GTX 1660 Miner, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Miner, GeForce RTX 2060 Super Miner, and GeForce RTX 2060 Miner.
In addition, MSI registered several AMD cards as well, including the Radeon RX 5500 XT Miner, Radeon RX 5600 XT Miner, Radeon RX 5700 Miner, and Radeon RX 5700 XT Miner. This is presumably in anticipation of AMD's upcoming RDNA 2 (opens in new tab) launch (Big Navi and the gang) in the coming weeks.
It's an interesting development, in part because cryptocurrency mining has largely transitioned away from GPUs and shifted towards specialized ASIC hardware. For the average user, mining digital currency is just not all that profitable with a GPU.
This is in stark contrast to a few years ago, when the crypto-boom played a partial role in the shortage of graphics cards. It was a tough time for PC gamers, because mid-tier and high-end cards were tough to come by, unless you were willing to pay a steep markup. Fortunately those days are firmly in the rear view mirror.
That said, mining on GPUs can still turn a profit in some instances, albeit a small one. According to Betterhash's math, a GeForce RTX 2060 Super can generate around $111 per month by mining Ethash (Claymore). The actual profit would be less, depending on your electricity costs, but mining on GPUs is not completely dead.