First gamers and now professional and workstation users will have to fight off cryptocurrency miners for a graphics card. The Nvidia RTX A4000 isn't one of the best graphics cards for gaming, but it's apparently the hot new crypto mining commodity in Vietnam. Vietnamese retailer Nyugen Cong PC (opens in new tab) (via I_LEAK_VN (opens in new tab)) has turned hundreds of RTX A4000 graphics cards into custom crypto mining systems that offer hash rates over 500 MH/s.
The RTX A4000 is an entry-level professional Ampere graphics card based on the GA104 silicon. The GA104 is a popular die that powers the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, RTX 3070, RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3060, and other Nvidia offerings. The RTX A4000 has 6,144 CUDA cores, the same amount as the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. Since it's a professional graphics card, the RTX A4000 has lower clock speeds and a more modest TDP than Ampere-powered GeForce graphics cards. Also important is that it has 16GB of 14Gbps GDDR6 memory. With a 256-bit memory bus, the RTX A4000 pumps out 448 GBps of memory bandwidth.
The RTX A4000 performs similarly to a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti from a gaming standpoint. However, the graphics card's mining performance is between 60 to 65 MH/s, putting it in the same category as the GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti. Since gaming graphics cards are still somewhat hard to come by (though things are improving), retailers are hitting Nvidia's professional lineup for crypto mining workers. In addition, the RTX A4000 doesn't have deep requirements. It's a single-slot graphics card and requires a single 6-pin PCIe power connector, allowing retailers like Nyugen Cong PC to slap eight of them into a system and sell it for enormous profits.
In addition to availability, pricing is probably a big reason why the Vietnamese retailer chose the RTX A4000 for its crypto miners. The RTX A4000 has a $1,000 MSRP. However, the shop boasted about having a stock of 500 units, so it likely received a nice discount for the batch order.
Graphics card supply has improved to a point where we saw a 9% price drop in the first half of March, and a 12.5% month over month. Meanwhile, the European market has experienced a 25% decrease in graphics card pricing. We still have a long way to go before we see graphics cards at MSRP again, but the current trend looks favorable so far. With the impending move to proof of stake in Ethereum, investing in more mining hardware right now strikes us as a risky proposition.