After accidentally unlocking its own hash rate limiter in a driver update, Nvidia has announced it will lock new cards again by reducing the mining capacity by 50%.
Graphics card giant Nvidia is quietly reintroducing a hash rate limiter on its RTX 3060 series graphics cards in an effort to disincentivize cryptocurrency miners.
On Thursday, the company issued the GeForce 466.27 driver that reintroduces RTX 3060 crypto mining limiter.
GeForce 466.27 driver release notes. Source: Nvidia
According to sources reported by computer news site VideoCardz, Nvidia will release the new “Lite Hash Rate” models in mid-May, which will be almost identical to previous versions of the same cards.
The gaming giant had originally limited the hash on the previous models, reducing mining performance by 50%. Matt Wuebbling, head of global GeForce marketing at Nvidia, said in a blog post in February:
“We designed GeForce GPUs for gamers, and gamers are clamoring for more.”
Hackers first came up with a workaround, and then in March, a driver update inadvertently unlocked this “limiter,” unleashing the card’s true potential of 118 megahashes per second and enabling the mining of Ether (ETH) and other cryptocurrencies.
The new cards are said to be identical in every way except that they will have a new PCI Device ID of 2504. Although the unlocked driver is now in the public’s hands, the new ID is designed to render them useless if used with the 470.05 driver update. It is, however, virtually certain some miners will attempt to circumvent this, and the previous models were supposedly hard-locked via the BIOS.
GeForce RTX 3060 new PCI Device ID in 466.27 drivers. Source: VideoCardz
The news has received a mixed response among the gaming community. VideoCardz forum user Eric W stated that the move only seems to sideline small home miners, who are often gamers:
“Well this is a mixed bag. I want to buy a new gpu for gaming, but I also mine when I’m not actively playing games... I can’t buy a mining gpu because Nvidia seems to only sell them in quantities of several thousand and I have no interest in having 100s of mining rigs.”
“They still want miners to buy their cards… but twice as much.”
According to VideoCardz, limits are expected to be set on most RTX 30 series cards, although certain models, like the RTX 3090, may not end up with a limiter due to its high price tag of $1,500.