As you probably know, Asus released two new mining GPU cards aimed to satisfy the growing demand in mining GPUs. Both models have little value for gamers, which mean that they will more likely be widely available for purchase. That’s definitely good news since as for today, most GPUs that are fit for mining ran out of stock even in big stores.
I already reviewed one of the cards – the Mining RX470, which is basically a cheaper RX470 without HDMI outputs and better cooling. The second one looks a bit more interesting, so I invite you to check this out.
Meet the ASUS Mining P106
The Asus Mining P106 (MINING-P106-6G) is based on the NVIDIA P106-100 GPU (Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB). It is basically the same card with some important modifications with the most important being that the Mining P106 features no display outputs whatsoever.
The specs are what you probably expected: the new GPU features GDDR5 6GB video memory with a Clock of 8008 MHz and a core clock of 1506 MHz. According to Asus, the core can be overclocked to 1708 MHz.
This huge resemblance of the Mining P106 with the GTX 1060 drove people crazy. Mining forums are full with discussions where people speculate about the performance of the upcoming mining card – some say that the Mining P106 has more aggressive memory timings, while others believe that the ‘good old’ GTX 1060 is still a better option.
The new wave of GTX 1060-based GPUs became quite a controversial topic. For instance, Nvidia’s P106-100 proved to hash the same as a regular GTX 1060 6GB. Considering that the new series of GPUs are meant for cryptomining, people expect those GPUs to hash better than their gaming counterparts.
That’s the reason why some members of the community have a grin outlook on the GTX-1060-based mining GPUs, including the Mining P106.
On their website, Asus claims that “ASUS Mining P106 enhances the megahash rate by up to 36% compared cards in the same segment that are not tailored for mining”. If that will be the case, then the Asus Mining P106 will definitely stand out of the crowd. But we still got to test the GPUs once they come out to make sure that they actually outperform the GTX 1060 6GB.
Again, Asus said that the 36% hashrate improvement is “compared [to] cards in the same segment”; it does not specify what does “the same segment” means exactly. Is Asus talking about the GTX 1060 6GB or do they refer to the 3GB version of the GTX 1060?
So, What Is the Difference?
We still don’t have hard data on the hashrate the Asus Mining P106 will output. But what if it will be the same as the GTX 1060 one? Should we even consider it then?
Truth be told, the Mining P106 is more than just a lite version of the GTX 1060.
Here are some aspects where the Mining version shines, at least in theory:
- First of all, the Mining P106 should be more affordable than its predecessor. There are two reasons for that – (a) The absence of a display chip makes the card easier to manufacture and (b) less demand on the market will result in a smaller price tag – gamers and non-miners in general are not interested in the Mining P106.
- Mining P106 features innovative dual-bearing fans, which are way more durable than sleeve-bearing ones (that come in most modern gaming GPUs). The dual-bearing technology prevents the lubricant from drying out, reduces friction and the subsequent sonic output. This means that the Mining P106 should have less noisy and more durable fans. This is really important for a GPU that is meant to work on full load 24/7.
- The Mining GPU also features IPX5 certified cooling system. This means that the Mining P106 is less susceptible to dust than its non-mining counterpart. This is bad news for those of you who love vacuuming your mining rigs every week!
- Finally, this new GPU will be probably more newbie-friendly since it comes with a new version of the GPU Tweak software, which is aimed to help the user to overclock the card easily and painlessly.
There are some cons, too:
- 3 Months warranty. The Mining P106 comes with x4 times shorter warranty period than the GTX 1060. This might seem like a rip-off, however due to the “quick buck” nature of this GPU, we shouldn’t expect a different approach from Asus. The card should be great ROI, so with a bit of luck, those three months should be enough to cover the cost of the GPU.
- The absence of display outputs on the Mining P106 makes it cheaper to manufacture (which should affect the price tag), but it is also a downside. Say, if you build a mining rig out of GTX 1060s, you can always re-sell them and get at least part of your money back. Now, once the Mining P106 loses its profitability, you won’t be able to re-sell it anywhere. The card gotta have really got ROI in order to be worth it.
It is probably too early to jump to any conclusions. However, hopefully soon we will have a clearer picture on whether this card will be worth it. Will the Mining P106 cause a difficulty bomb? I don’t know, but I doubt that it will cause any notable impact on the hashing difficulty. Even though it is considered a GPU for mining, it is still far from being an ASIC.
That being said, what is your take on this?
Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.
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