By Hassan Mujtaba
NVIDIA made some pretty huge announcements to counter the cryptocurrency mining boom and the subsequent supply outages that are affecting its GeForce line of graphics cards. The company not only announced a dedicated line of GPUs under the CMP (Crypto Mining Processor) banner but also revealed that for upcoming GeForce graphics cards, they will be nerfing its hash rate by a huge margin to stop miners from gouging up the stock. The company has now given more info on how all of this is going to work.
NVIDIA Sheds Light on GeForce GPUs Cryptocurrency Mining Nerf, All Upcoming Gaming Cards Could Be Crippled For Miners
According to NVIDIA’s Bryan Del Rizzo, it looks like the cryptocurrency mining nerf is more than just a driver limit. Many people assumed this from yesterday’s announcement where it was stated that the software drivers were designed to detect specific attributes of the Etereum mining algorithm, as it happens to be the most popular algorithm with the highest efficiency and profit rates right now, and limits the hash rate by around 50 percent.
Considering that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 is aimed at the mainstream segment and early reports showing it would offer mining performance on par with an RTX 3070 (after tuning), it was without a doubt going to be a hot seller for the mining but that would mean many gamers who were saving up to get the card at launch wouldn’t be able to do so. However, with the new limit, NVIDIA could divert miners away from gaming cards and purchase their dedicated CMP lineup.
So back to the drivers, BDR states that the driver is just one part of the limit. The whole process occurs through a secure handshake between the GPU, Driver, and the BIOS (Firmware). All three prevent the removal of the hash limiter. Now NVIDIA is quite confident that this would be enough to tackle miners running GeForce GPUs but at the same time, we can’t be too sure about the overall effectiveness of this as VBIOS and driver mods could potentially allow miners to bypass the limit once again.
In addition to all of this, there are rumors floating that the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 is only the beginning. More Ampere and future GeForce Gaming graphics cards could be added to the list soon. This doesn’t mean that using a new driver on an existing graphics card will limit its hash rate but a new SKU or existing graphics card with a new device-id could offer a similar limit.
So to make things clear, your existing RTX 30 series card running within your PC won’t be affected by this (even if you install new drivers), but say you go out a new one that has received an id or SKU update, now that could likely be limited. This means that all GPUs, whether new or those that are produced after yesterday’s update need to be tested & evaluated again.
This has been seen with the GeForce RTX 3060 by users who already have hands-on the card. YouTuber and retailer, CryptoLeo, demonstrates how the GeForce RTX 3060 gets crippled within a few seconds. The mining rate for the card goes from 41.5 MH/s in Ethereum to just 24 MH/s in a couple of minutes. Do note that no new drivers for the card have been released yet but this shows that there’s more than just software in action so much that it can detect mining algorithms very swiftly.
The user was also running a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 1080 Ti in the same mining rig and that remained unaffected. This is definitely a step in the right direction for NVIDIA as it would allow more gamers to get their hands on the GeForce graphics cards that are made for them and not for large-scale GPU mining operations.