Silicon lottery is a term that is commonly used when talking about performance of GPUs. You have probably already heard by a lot of miners that not all GPUs can accept the same overclocking values, even if they are from same manufacturer and exactly the same in all settings.
This is because the chips that are used in the GPUs are not all the same - they differ in their base characteristics and quality - and sometimes you can be lucky and get great quality of chips while other times you aren't lucky and your GPU cannot be overclocked as good as others. Because of this luck we say that getting a GPU that can be overclocked well is like winning silicon lottery.
The quality of chips is not entirely random as it sounds - you don't have 50% chance to get good chips or 50% chance to get bad chips - but it is more like standard Gaussian curve - majority of chips are normal quality, small percent of chips are good quality, and small percent of chips are bad quality.
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