NVIDIA had initially suggested that its new cryptocurrency mining limiter for GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards derived primarily from changes in the software drivers, but it turns out that the neutering of the GPU’s mining efficiency is actually enabled by a combination of complex factors. The clarification comes from green team’s Bryan Del Rizzo (Global Director, Public Relations), who explained in a tweet that there is a secure handshake between the driver, the GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card’s silicon, and the BIOS. The implication is that the cryptocurrency mining limiter cannot be easily removed.
“The official line from NVIDIA is that this is a driver thing,” AnadTech’s Ryan Smith noted. “Given what they’re trying to do, I doubt they’re telling us everything. One way or another we’ll find out soon enough.”
“It’s not just a driver thing,” Del Rizzo clarified in response. “There is a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter.”
Hi Ryan. It's not just a driver thing. There is a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter.— Bryan Del Rizzo (@bdelrizzo) February 19, 2021
The fact that NVIDIA’s new cryptocurrency mining limiter goes beyond drivers has been confirmed by YouTuber CryptoLeo, who managed to get his hands on one of ZOTAC’s GeForce RTX 3060 models early to test exactly how much the limiter cripples hash rates. Shortly after starting, he found that the hash rate of the GPU dropped from 41.5 MH/s to around 24 MH/s.