This morning, NVIDIA revealed that it would be limiting the cryptocurrency mining efficiency of its GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards by around 50 percent via software driver. A representative has now claimed that this solution can’t be bypassed, which may have inadvertently opened an invitation for hackers to try restoring the midrange GPU to its full Ethereum mining potential.
“[…] the software cannot be hacked to remove the limiter,” an NVIDIA representative told PC Gamer in a succinct but amusingly bold statement.
The rep also clarified that the GeForce RTX 3060 would be the only graphics card to be neutered with a crytocurrency mining limiter. NVIDIA is “not limiting the performance of GPUs already sold,” they said.
It isn’t clear how effective NVIDIA’s crytocurrency mining limiter solution might be for ensuring that more GeForce RTX 3060 stock goes to gamers when it launches on February 25 for $329 (MSRP). Many enthusiasts already say that the gesture is pointless, as miners will continue to spring for the more powerful Ampere models (e.g., GeForce RTX 3070 and GeForce RTX 3080). Scalping is also sure to be an ongoing issue.
“With the launch of GeForce RTX 3060 on Feb. 25, we’re taking an important step to help ensure GeForce GPUs end up in the hands of gamers,” NVIDIA stated in a press release this morning. “RTX 3060 software drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent.”
“That only makes sense. Our GeForce RTX GPUs introduce cutting-edge technologies — such as RTX real-time ray-tracing, DLSS AI-accelerated image upscaling technology, Reflex super-fast response rendering for the best system latency, and many more — tailored to meet the needs of gamers and those who create digital experiences.”
NVIDIA went on to introduce a new lineup of GPUs called the Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP), which were developed specifically to address the needs of cryptominers. These GPUs include various features for more optimal mining, such as a fully open, airflow-optimized bracket and lower peak core voltage/frequency.