NVIDIA is about to launch its mid-range GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card and with it, is cryptocurrency mining drama -- NVIDIA announced its new GeForce drivers will limit mining performance by 50% and now we have clarification on how exactly that is happening:
NVIDIA's Director of Global PR, GeForce, Bryan Del Rizzo, tweeted a reply to AnandTech's Ryan Smith who was talking about NVIDIA's driver-line crypto mining block and that he doubts "they're telling us everything" and that "one way or another we'll find out soon enough".
BDR replied with: "Hi Ryan. 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".
It seems that NVIDIA is digging a lot deeper into this crypto mining nerfing shenanigans, with an actual secure handshake taking place between the NVIDIA GPU, the GeForce driver, and the BIOS of the graphics card itself. This is much more than just a tweaked GeForce driver, but the start of something much bigger.
NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce RTX 3060 with its Ampere GPU and 12GB of GDDR6 memory was looking like a real crypto mining champion, rivalling the higher-end GeForce RTX 3070 in crypto mining abilities. It makes sense for NVIDIA to start its GPU crypto gimping with the new GeForce RTX 3060, but this isn't going to stop there.
This will have far bigger reverberations throughout the GPU mining community, and the GPU community in general -- as I said in my other article on the topic: " Now I'm not advocating mining here, but it isn't nice that NVIDIA gets to tell you -- the consumer who has paid for the graphics card -- what you can, and can't do with your GPU. If you spend $300 or $1500 on a new graphics card you should be able to do whatever the hell you want with it, at maximum performance all the time... right?"
In the article, I added: "I'm sure a hardware fix for this is coming... blocking the GPU from being used for crypto mining, and then the age of hardware modding graphics cards will begin, again"
If this keeps going, and graphics cards are still hard to find this year (spoiler alert: they will be) then a totally new generation of software and hardware mods and tweaks are going to happen.
I guess we'll see this crypto gimping on NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics cards going into the future, as well as paving the way for the company to unleash a follow up to Ampere this year with crypto mining nerfed GeForce RTX 30 SUPER or GeForce RTX 40 series launch.