Cryptocurrency mining has been a big issue for the graphics card market at the moment, with many prospective crypto miners buying up huge bulks of stock for the newly released GPUs. Thankfully Nvidia seems to now be clamping down on the craze by severely limiting the upcoming RTX 3060’s mining performance, and it looks like it could expand to more graphics cards in the future.
The way Nvidia described limiting the mining performance of the RTX 3060 was with the “software drivers” 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.”
Of course, since it was a software driver, concerns were raised about crypto miners who would be eager enough to bypass the driver and get their money’s worth. But it turns out these drivers can’t actually be hacked, as they are partly baked into the BIOS and the silicon itself.
“End users cannot remove the hash limiter from the driver. There is a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter,” Nvidia clarified to the press.
So that’s even more of a reason for crypto miners to not buy the RTX 3060 that’s releasing next week, leaving more GPUs available to gamers who could actually use the card in its intended way, and even more of a reason to wait until Nvidia launches their CMP lineup of mining-specific processors due out soon.
One thing that’s cropped up out of this though are rumors that Nvidia will be discontinuing the current specs of their RTX 30 series lineup and essentially “refreshing” them with an updated BIOS and silicon that will also be able to detect mining software and reduce the mining performance, essentially helping to prevent any phenomenon like this again in the future, and potentially opening up more stock for the already-released Ampere GPUs (like the RTX 3080, RTX 3070 etc).
If that’s true, then that would be very significant as Nvidia already stated that they will not be “limiting the performance of GPUs already sold”, and so the best they can do is make sure miners stop buying up loads of stock for future graphics cards.
Although, even if supply issues are better after this, gamers will still have to make do with inflated prices from scalpers and retailers. But hopefully this will help reduce those inflated prices just a little bit more, as some retailers have already artificially raised the prices knowing how much crypto miners want them.
What do you think? Do you approve of this new move from Nvidia? Do you think it will actually help stop miners from buying RTX 30 cards? And do you think they will come out with a ‘refresh’ RTX 30 lineup with the new mining limiter? Or will they just implement it for future GPU generation? Let us know your thoughts!