Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti shows mining limiters can’t beat GPU stock shortages

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The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is the latest graphics card to enter tech hardware purgatory: that weird quantum state between “technically released” and “no stock available.” It has ensnared everything from the original Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 to the relatively cheap GeForce RTX 3060, not to mention games consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

The reasons for this months-long shortage are no secret. Manufacturing problems, retail bot-wielding resellers, the crypto mining boom and so on. But while the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti takes steps against one of these problems, its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it release shows that both manufacturers and retailers are far from ensuring that new hardware will make it into ordinary consumer’ hands.

The limited limiter

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(Image credit: Nvidia)

First, credit where’s due: Nvidia is equipping is current-gen GeForce cards with a hash rate limiter, which essentially throttles crypto mining performance. It’s a noble effort when Nvidia could have quite easily shrugged and sold its cards to miners anyway, even if its new CMP line of mining-focused GPUs shows business and altruism are two different things.

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