Nvidia cripples RTX 3060 crypto mining performance, reveal new range specifically for miners

Written by Chad Norton on Thu, Feb 18, 2021 5:00 PM

Nvidia seems to be clamping down on the cryptocurrency mining craze by crippling the mining performance of their RTX 3060 graphics cards and even releasing some new mining-specific processors to keep miners away from the gaming-specific GPUs.

Cryptocurrency mining has seen a massive boom recently and many gamers that are tired of low stock levels have been complaining about it for quite a while. There’s no clear evidence to suggest that crypto miners are actually influencing the limited availability of GPU stock, but looking at how many of the new GPUs miners actually have makes that statement a little hard to believe.

Some crypto miners have even taken over internet cafes in order to keep their business afloat, whilst others have turned to massive RTX 30-powered laptop farms as they themselves struggle to get any desktop graphics cards.

But Nvidia seems to be trying their best to resolve this situation. It’s undeniable that crypto mining is good for business (even Zotac endorsed crypto mining for a brief moment given how popular the new GPUs are among miners) but Nvidia is sticking up for the little guy, the true PC gamers, as they aim to significantly limit the mining performance of the upcoming RTX 3060 graphics cards as well as launching a crypto mining-specific range of processors for miners.

RTX 3060 limited crypto mining performance

The RTX 3060 is set to launch next week on February 25th and to make sure that these graphics cards are less desirable to miners, Nvidia has effectively halved the mining performance of this GPU. Nvidia says that this is “an important step to help ensure GeForce GPUs end up in the hands of gamers.

The way they are doing this is through a new driver coming with the 3060 at launch that “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’s a pretty significant effect on GPU mining performance. Though there is the high possibility that some tech savvy miners will be able to work around the driver with enough determination.

This will unfortunately not affect previously-released graphics cards as miners could just not update to the latest driver that limits performance. But Nvidia has another plan to make sure the graphics card market isn’t overrun with miners...

Nvidia relaunching CMP range of processors

So to make sure that crypto miners stop buying up any more RTX 30 series graphics cards and limiting supply to actual gamers, Nvidia is also relaunching their CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor) range that will be sold by specific partners and “optimized for the best mining performance and efficiency.

These mining-specific cards don’t actually render any graphics - they don’t even have any display outputs - and they also have improved airflow specifically for mining, allowing them to perform better when densely packed against each other. CMPs also have lower peak voltages and frequencies, which overall improves mining efficiency.

The official Nvidia CMP lineup includes the 30HX, 40HX, 50HX, and 90HX models, each with different specs and hash rates. It’s not entirely clear if they are still based on Ampere, but the 90HX sounds an awful lot like the RTX 3080 already (same hash rate, TDP, and memory configuration).

  30HX 40HX 50HX 90HX
Ethereum Hash Rate 26 MH/s 36 MH/s 45 MH/s 86 MH/s
Rated Power 125W 185W 250W 320W
Power Connectors 1x 8-pin 2x 8-pin
Memory Size 6GB 8GB 10GB
Starting Availability Q1 Q2

There are, of course, some worries that the new CMPs will affect the availability of GeForce gaming GPUs, which would counteract the entire reason for doing a CMP range anyway. Thankfully, Nvidia said that the CMPs “don’t meet the specifications required of a GeForce GPU and, thus, don’t impact the availability of GeForce GPUs to gamers.

All in all, it’s good news for gamers at least. The CMP lineup won’t necessarily mean miners will stop buying the new desktop gaming cards, but it will at least give them more of a reason to go for something else and free up some availability for gamers at least. Plus, the reduced hash rate of the RTX 3060 should hopefully deter many miners from buying it at launch, unless they’re already confident in working around that driver.

What do you think? Is this a good move from Nvidia? Do you think it will actually alleviate any stock for the RTX 3060 at launch? And do you think it will help availability for the rest of the RTX 30 series? Or will it not actually make a difference in the end? Let us know your thoughts!

Do you think this will help deter miners from RTX 3060 launch?

Do you think this will help alleviate current RTX 30 stock?

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02:32 Feb-22-2021
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08:51 Feb-21-2021

Its is somthing and if nothing else shows Nvidia knows this is a serious is and is trying to fix it.

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06:30 Feb-20-2021

Can't see this helping at all when there is a shortage of chips, they are only dividing the manufacturing resources between the different products. They know there is big money in mining at the minute so are stripping back a feature in one card to capitalise on it in another.

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12:39 Feb-19-2021

"Nvidia cripples RTX 3060 crypto mining performance"


Good! Any detriment to miners is a good thing in my book!

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14:33 Feb-19-2021

Surface-level thinking.
1) Those "miner cards" will use the same dyes that could have gone to prop up normal gamer card stock.
2) The cripple will piss normal card owners off (because they can't mine on the side) while doing nothing to the miners (they will mod the cards anyway)
3) The used market will not be flooded with cheap gaming GPUs - instead these GPUs will be useless to the budget consumer (no ports!)
4) Due to all of the above - non-miner cards will likely be even MORE lucrative to miners and scalpers, putting more strain on stock.

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14:37 Feb-19-2021

Just to reiterate - this surface-level thinking is exactly how companies can get away with ridiculous things, such as this or not including phone chargers, pretending to be green - while laughing all the way to the bank. Knock-on effects exist - why don't people THINK for a couple of minutes, instead of impulsively celebrating/accepting their own demise?

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12:07 Feb-20-2021

" The cripple will piss normal card owners off (because they can't mine on the side)"


Fine by me!


As for everything else, I am sure if there is enough stock for both it won't be a problem. They would just have to double up the manufacturing.

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12:53 Feb-20-2021

Selfish, ain't ya? What you personally don't do is what nobody should be doing, eh?

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16:48 Feb-20-2021

As long as "miners" keep buying up all the GPUs making it hard for PC gamers like myself to get a hold of them strictly for gaming I will continue to oppose it! Nothing could be more selfless!


That being said, if supporting miners buying up all the GPUs so they can make a quick buck via "mining" is being selfless and being in favor of users being able to get a hold of GPUs for gaming is selfish, I would much rather be "selfish"!

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12:20 Feb-19-2021

This is a really good time for me as a person who can't afford anything new. Because as such i literally cannot be salty about any of this... i think this is called seeing things in a positive light

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07:10 Feb-19-2021

ughh

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02:12 Feb-19-2021

Here's the perspective from Moore's Law is Dead
worth a watch

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10:57 Feb-19-2021

Yeah. People thinking that those dyes going to miners in "mining-only" cards is a good thing somehow are not thinking deeply enough. Not only are those dyes taken away from potential normal GPUs - those miner cards will be useless to budget gamers when they flood the used market as well. Lose-lose.

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00:45 Feb-19-2021

The CMP lineup mining performance look terrible, there is no point for miners to buy them. A 1660 Super can do the same as 30HX at 75W, a 2070 can match the 50HX at half the power. CMP cards also have no resale value and with Eth 2.0 imminent, they are just not worth buying full stop.

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22:17 Feb-18-2021

While this move is good, I think they underestimate how crazy mining got. You are talking about people who are buying up laptops to mine on, which is like terrible in terms of doing things efficiently. Also those miners in previous crisis were charting planes to get cards faster, they got money to hire people to crack those drivers. Hell, they even have their own AIB, buying dies from nVidia.

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22:19 Feb-18-2021

So I doubt whole driver lockout will last for long. Pair that with unprecedented demand that struggled to get anything and will suddenly jump all out on this, it feels like it will be just like a drop in the sea. I do hope it will help, but I have my doubts. Since how wild and crazy things are with those big mining farms. So I got feeling that lockout will just block average Joe from mining.

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23:04 Feb-18-2021

if its being released for the new 3060 I can almost guarantee its a bios level and hardware level change, I speculate this do to it not happening to any other cards right now, meaning that you wouldn't even be able to flash a bios from a normal 3060 to a mining 3060 and visa versa. Its unclear what effect this will have on the market but it can only be good.

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22:40 Feb-19-2021

Yeah, tell that to miners who are literally writing their own VBIOSes. As I said, big miners, those with huge farms are willing to spend. Plus there is one another thing I didn't think of at the time. nVidia said they will fork out mining version and gaming, both on that 100% loaded supply... so no,this won't mean more cards in the wild, just less gaming cards and other portion being mining cards.

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04:58 Feb-20-2021

Basically what i'm trying to say is there aren't any msrp gpus on the market for gamers to buy because of miners, so with this there will be, there will be a lack of mining gpu's they can buy, however the gpu stock for gaming gpus wont be influenced by miners. and custom bios really won't be a thing for a least a year or 2 after release, or ever even, if there are software checks via net to verify bios integrity I doubt they would go that far but its not impossible.

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12:56 Feb-20-2021

You do realize that if the following GPUs are crippled, miners will place even MORE strain on any stock of the cards that are NOT crippled, right? If you were ever in the market for a 3080, 3070, 3060Ti, 3090, etc - say goodbye to that possibility.

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22:22 Feb-20-2021

Ampere really didn't take them that long, so feel free to keep telling yourself how they will need 2 years. They got their own AIBs, I am pretty sure they can handle few VBIOSes. Again, I am not talking those small time miners, I am talking huge farms. Plus as xquatrox said, everything is being made with 7nm supply that is already 100% loaded.

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02:12 Feb-21-2021

just keep in mind that this is a test for Nvidia for the future to see if this works, and i'm not talking about the other gpu's right now. Also if this does work how they intend it to, expect to see more of it in the future for new gpu's. Nvidia has alot of money to throw around.

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17:58 Feb-18-2021

This is a good move, but i dont think this will help with price and also the rtx 3060 doesnt seem that powerful only by looking at the CUDA core count, prob the performance is around a 2070 super and a regular 2080, i really like those 12 gb vram tho.

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22:59 Feb-18-2021

all it takes is the first step towards a better tomorrow my friend, as I said before, and I agree this is a good move from nvidia.

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17:27 Feb-18-2021

PC Gaming has become a meme. Might as well get a console. Oh wait... cant get those either!

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18:28 Feb-18-2021

Meme or not - I would never give up PC gaming for consoles (and I do actually own plenty of those too). Something tragic and unfixable would have to happen to the PC world for that to be even remotely a valid consideration.

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18:35 Feb-18-2021

Lol same. I meant it as more of a joke. There's no way I could go back to 30 or even 60 FPS after higher refresh rates, and the freedom of multitasking with a PC. Even though I've been more than ready to upgrade my GPU for the past year.

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18:54 Feb-18-2021

Ah, I see! Yeah, the upgrades can be annoying, depending on where you live, how fat your wallet is and the willingness to camp waiting for stock, but it's not like your PC suddenly turned to garbage :D

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17:18 Feb-18-2021

One thing I'm not clear on is whether this driver thing will affect the previous cards AFTER updating the driver. Th reason I'm interested is because I'm using my personal cards for a bit of mining on the side while not gaming/working. I'd hate to have to rollback drivers just because of this stupid implementation... So I really hope that it's only the 3060 that's affected by the driver.

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17:57 Feb-18-2021

They can always roll back to previous driver on previous gpus, if you buy a 3060 it will come with the nerfed driver from factory

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18:26 Feb-18-2021

You don't get the point. I'm not a professional miner = I also play games. If I have to install a new driver to get the most out of a new game and then it cripples mining performance for when I want to do it at night - it's BS, I can't just keep rolling back every time between play and mining.

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18:56 Feb-18-2021

i would because that sounds like a grand ole time.
id hope there is a way you can have your cake and eat it too, honestly.

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19:00 Feb-18-2021

It all just depends on whether or not the next driver cripples perf for existing cards. I have a feeling angery gaemerrrzz won't leave this alone, even though I'd bet money on the fact that half of them wouldn't even be buying new GPUs anyway, if there was normal stock (the usual bandwagon, regardless of whether you're a customer or not...because internet).

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03:52 Feb-19-2021

Ooh, now i get it i just watched moores law is dead video and i realized how fcked up it really is, as he said nvidia is ploughing miners but also gamers, this is really a bad time to upgrade, i wish i upgraded earlier last year :/

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10:59 Feb-19-2021

Yeah, taking the dyes away from gamers isn't any better, especially since those miner cards will be useless for budget gamers when they flood the used market. Yet look at how many people think it's a good idea! People need to think deeper, because surface-level thinking is how we all keep getting into various messes in the first place.

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13:31 Feb-19-2021

On a side note, Nvidia said they won't be needing the mining performance of gpus already sold. That's good news for you.
Now imagine if they did. That would cause the market to flood with all the current gpus being used and mess up their sales.

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14:29 Feb-19-2021

Good news indeed!
But it wouldn't have flooded the market. What it would do in the stock regard is literally nothing, because the miners don't need to update the drivers - GAMERS do. So it would just piss off people like me, while doing nothing else.

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