Nvidia’s plans to separate gaming and mining demand could be foiled after a custom modification allegedly bypassed the RTX 3060’s Ether mining limitations.
Nvidia’s attempt to shift Ether (ETH) miners away from its new GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card by limiting its hash rate appears to have been short-lived.
Screenshots posted by tech leak Twitter account I_Leak_VN show a stack of eight RTX 3060 graphics cards operating at far above Nvidia’s 20-25 MH/s mining limit, while reportedly using Ethereum’s Dagger-Hashimoto mining algorithm.
On the same day, a cryptocurrency-focused Facebook group from Vietnam posted a graphic announcing that the RTX 3060 had indeed been bypassed, and could now reach its full power of 50 MH/s thanks to a mod.
Breaking Nvidia’s enforced limits on Ether mining was apparently achieved using a custom modification, according to reports on March 10. This flies in the face of a recent announcement by Nvidia’s global director of public relations, Bryan Del Rizzo, who said on Feb. 21 that secure interactions between the GPU hardware, the driver software, and the computer firmware would prevent the removal of the hash rate limiter.
“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,” Del Rizzo wrote on Twitter.
Nvidia’s imposition of the hash rate limiter was designed to make its cards less attractive to cryptocurrency miners — specifically those mining Ether. This followed vocal concerns expressed by gaming aficionados, who were concerned about suffering another GPU shortage due to demand from miners. According to Nvidia, Ether was targeted specifically due to it having the highest global mining yield among GPU-mineable coins.
Alongside its decision to limit the efficiency of Ether mining, Nvidia also announced the pending release of a graphics card created specifically for cryptocurrency mining. Dubbed the CMP line, the cards were to be marketed to miners, and were to be stripped of the display outputs deemed unnecessary for crypto mining.
But with the emergence of the aforementioned modification, those plans could now be up in the air and could result in a mad rush by would-be miners to snap up more units of the RTX 3060. Nvidia’s future plans are also thrown into question, given that it intended to release the upcoming RTX 3080 Ti with the same Ether mining limitations.
Nvidia did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.