NVIDIA’s crypto-oriented CMP 50HX GPU just got converted into a gaming card but the performance ain’t that great.
Limited PCIe Lanes & Lack of Driver Support Makes NVIDIA’s CMP “Crypto” GPUs Unfit For Gaming
The NVIDIA CMP lineup was unveiled in 2021 when crypto-mining was at its height. NVIDIA saw an opportunity to offer a crippled variant, which was targeted at consumers who didn’t want much out of their GPU except for its mining performance. So while the lineup did offer decent results for its desired application, converting it for gaming is a totally different situation.
YouTuber, Sfdx Show made the conversion, and the variant used here was MSI’s NVIDIA CMP 50HX. Speaking of specifications, the GPU employs 3,584 CUDA cores and 10 GB of GDDR6 memory. The memory operates at a speed of 14 Gbps with a 320-bit memory interface, which puts its specs on a similar level to NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, the Turing flagship.
Using the CMP 50HX for gaming might sound easy, but it is a difficult job to do mainly because the GPU features a unique BIOS along with no presence of a display connector. If you manage to somehow run it, the next big hurdle is the GPU’s driver.
Since the NVIDIA CMP GPUs weren’t gaming-oriented, there were no sort of drivers available for them to run games. The only way anyone can integrate it is by utilizing an older version of a particular driver, along with using a Windows that doesn’t perform driver validation, and with this, you can use “unofficial” drivers for the GPU.
However, it is important to note that such workarounds do result in significantly downgraded performance, hence in any case, we advise not to opt for such methods, since ultimately it would result in an inferior output.
Coming to the crux, Sfdx Show tested out a bunch of titles using the NVIDIA CMP 50HX GPU such as Counter-Strike 2 and Cyberpunk 2077, but as expected, the gaming performance wasn’t on par with the RTX 2080 Ti nor does it offer the performance that it should based on its hardware specs.
Despite relatively decent video memory, the GPU was able to deliver only an average of 25 FPS at Cyberpunk 2077. The reason behind the drop in performance is that the CMP 50HX has limited PCIe lane width, which basically creates a bottleneck, resulting in such numbers. Crypto Mining workloads only put stress on the VRAM more than the GPU itself while gaming workloads require both the GPU and VRAM horsepower on board the graphics card to deliver optimal performance.
When NVIDIA introduced its CMP lineup, the company was so busy with the “crypto hype” that it didn’t even try to explore any other use cases of the GPUs. Moreover, the limitations placed in terms of PCIe lanes and driver support make things more difficult, since in no way the GPU can be tuned for any application other than mining.
But since the crypto hype ended, NVIDIA shifted its focus towards AI and now we see consumer-level GPUs being used by data centers, AI, and also workstations. Will we get to see AI-specific GPUs such as the PCIe H100/H800 or A100/A800 running games too? Only time will tell.