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Intel’s latest GPUs are bad news for crypto miners

The drivers for Intel’s Arc Alchemist GPUs seemingly do not support the ability to mine crypto currency.

As reported by Tom’s Hardware, anyone who equips their system with Intel’s Arc A380 board for desktop PCs will apparently be unable to mine Ethereum.

Intel Arc Alchemist reference design render.

YouTuber DJ Mines stated that he got the “GPU driver working great, but unfortunately looks like no mining programs support Intel GPUs yet.”

He was unable to set up mining capabilities even after trying a variety of crypto programs, including NiceHashMining, trex miner, lolminer, and teamreeminer. These were all tested on a Windows-based system. “Guess we have to wait for [Hive OS mining platform].”

In any case, the revelation shouldn’t have too much of an impact considering the state of the cryptocurrency market. The value for Bitcoin and Ethereum has fallen off in spectacular fashion throughout 2022. Overall, as pointed out by TechRadar, the latter coin lost around 70% of its value this year.

The result? Graphics cards prices and availability has finally returned to normal, with the current state of the market even pushing retailers and board partners to drop prices below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

Mining ETH on graphics cards that allow it (the Nvidia RTX 30-series is particularly popular for this purpose) was previously a hugely lucrative activity. In total, Ethereum miners spent a staggering $15 billion on graphics cards alone over the past two years.

Cryptocurrency mining rig from computer graphic cards.
A cryptocurrency miner attached to a laptop. Getty Images

Now, though, the return from ETH mining at its current value means it’ll take over a year in some cases to just cover the cost of the GPU itself.

Either way, Tom’s Hardware notes how Intel’s Arc A380 graphics card is not necessarily a board designed with gamers or miners in mind — its architecture is based on the entry-level ACM-G11 GPU that sports 8 Xe cores (1024 stream processors). These specifications allow it to deliver about 3 FP32 TFLOPS, in addition to a 96-bit GDDR6 memory interface.

Following numerous delays and a somewhat troubled launch for laptops, Intel’s discrete Arc Alchemist GPUs have now made their way to consumers in China. However, the reviews for the Arc A380 in particular highlight some glaring issues.

As reported by VideoCardz, ComputerBase reports that there are “numerous (driver) problems,” and that the “2D fan control is simply completely broken.” Furthermore, it seems that the Resizable BAR feature is a requirement as Arc “without rBAR is simply unplayable.”

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