But if you’re a hopeful miner, or just a miner flush with unused profits from the early 2021 days, the fact that there’s no LHR limiter on the 3090 Ti might tempt you. It’s also interesting to see how Nvidia’s RTX 3090 Ti compares to the previous RTX 3090, and we may be getting a taste of things to come with Nvidia’s Ada architecture and the RTX 40-series that’s set to launch later this year.
TweakTown tested both an MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X and an Asus ROG Strix LC 3090 Ti OC edition graphics card to see how high each card could overclock its own GDDR6X memory. Surprisingly, the liquid-cooled Asus card had worse memory overclocking potential, peaking at a +1200Mhz memory offset. The MSI card, on the contrary, continued to work stably at up to a +1864MHz memory offset, giving the card a whopping 1187.3GB/sec of bandwidth.
A 1200MHz memory offset certainly isn’t a bad memory overclock, and most cheaper Nvidia cards peak in this range (or even lower). However, it is surprising to see MSI’s air-cooled Suprim X card having vastly outperforming Asus’s extreme ROG liquid-cooled card.
As for Ethereum mining, using Excavator (NiceHash’s custom Ethereum mining software) the 3090 Ti Suprim X with the memory overclock pumped out 130-132MH/s. It’s one of the highest hash rates we’ve ever seen on any GPU to date. The only faster results have come from people using data center GA100 GPUs with their massive HBM2 bandwidth to push as high as 170 MH/s. The Asus card fell 10MH/s behind at 125-126MH/s, which actually puts it in reach of some RTX 3090 cards. It seems timings or some other factor limited the Asus card’s performance — which jives with what we saw in our own RTX 3090 Ti review.
Among consumer GPUs (meaning, not counting the A100), the only other GPU that hits triple-digit hash rates is the vanilla RTX 3090 at 115MH/s without overclocking. However, those first-generation cards can get truly hot on the GDDR6X memory, as chips are on both sides of the PCB and thus don’t get equal access to cooling. The non-LHR RTX 3080, meanwhile, peaked at around 98 MH/s with overclocking, and again quite a few cards could only run in the 90 MH/s range. Discounting the now discontinued non-LHR cards, the 3080 Ti LHR is the next closest at around 77MH/s — though it would hit 120–125 MH/s if the limiter were removed.
Fortunately for gamers, even the RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X with its extremely good memory overclocking won’t turn into a mining bargain anytime soon. With MSRPs running at over $2000 per card, it would take well over a year for miners to recuperate the cost of the graphics cards. With current cryptocurrency mining profitability trending down, plus Ethereum’s The Merge — which was again delayed to later this year — most mining groups are likely being a bit more cautious about growing their installations. Multiple countries have also begun imposing mining bans, and the high power consumption of the 3090 Ti (even after tuning) potentially reduces its appeal as a mining card.
Next generation GPUs are also on the horizon. If Nvidia sticks with its anti-mining LHR software, even if The Merge doesn’t happen this year, future cards might not end up being faster than the RTX 3090 Ti. But as with all things cryptocurrency, things could change in the blink of an eye.