Nvidia says it will not limit the mining performance of GPUs already sold

midian182

Posts: 6,903   +62
Staff member
A hot potato: We now know that while the RTX 3060 will doubtlessly feel the effects of the semiconductor shortage, Ethereum miners won't be lining up to grab it. But will the limitations Nvidia is imposing extend to previous entries in the Ampere line? No, says the company.

Yesterday brought news that the new release drivers for the RTX 3060, which arrives on February 25, can detect "specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent."

Questions were raised over whether this supposedly unhackable limiter would also affect other Ampere-based cards running the same driver, but the company has confirmed it is not limiting the performance of GPUs already sold.

While some gamers might have welcomed a limiter being placed on all Ampere cards, such a move is both morally and perhaps legally questionable. It's also worth remembering that some gamers are also miners and vice versa, so it's not a black and white question of 'us versus them.'

Rather than nerfing the entire Ampere line, Nvidia hopes to ease the pressure of unprecedented demand by restarting its Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) line—a move that company CFO Colette Kress in January suggested could happen.

The CMP line lacks display outputs and comes with lower frequency and voltage settings than the gaming equivalents. Nvidia says as they don't meet the specifications of a GeForce GPU, they won't impact the supply of GeForce graphics cards—apparently. It's suspected that all the cards with the possible exception of the the top 90HX are based on Turning chips, helping minimize the impact on new GeForce card production.

With so many people sick of waiting for new stock of RTX 3000 cards, crypto mining has become an increasingly contentious subject. Zotac recently incurred the wrath of gamers when it posted a pro-mining tweet. On the other side of the coin, the rising price of crypto has helped some businesses stay afloat during the pandemic.

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Nobina

Posts: 3,137   +3,015
AMD and NVIDIA have betrayed their consumer base with prioritising mining farms.
this token of support isnt enough and is to late.
Guess what? There will be no repercussions as consumers continue to consume.

I can't fault people for choosing to use their GPUs how they want, they are wankers for sure but that doesn't mean we should start implementing rules for this.

Keep in mind we are talking about hardware used to play video games. It's not a serious issue.


Nvidia and AMD don't care about loyalty and would 'betray' their own momma as any other large corp.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,676   +3,546
TechSpot Elite
AMD and NVIDIA have betrayed their consumer base with prioritising mining farms.
this token of support isnt enough and is to late.
AMD's 6000 series isn't that good for mining this time around. For example, the RTX 3800 is about 50% better than the 6800XT in mining ETH. I think the 5700XT get very close results to the 6800XT.
 
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CBTex

Posts: 123   +242
AMD and NVIDIA have betrayed their consumer base with prioritising mining farms.
this token of support isnt enough and is to late.

Are we really sure that they don't consider their primary "consumer base" the miners at this point? Miners sure seem to be consuming every effing card they can get ahold of.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,507   +3,768
Are we really sure that they don't consider their primary "consumer base" the miners at this point? Miners sure seem to be consuming every effing card they can get ahold of.
Their consumer base is whomever wants to buy GPUs. Miners, gamers, AI researchers, makes no difference to AMD/Nvidia/Intel/ece.

It sucks we cant get GPUs, but the realirty is miners are buying these cards, at highly elevated prices, in droves. You'd have to be dumb not to take advantage of such a situation, especially right now.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,517   +2,491
AMD and NVIDIA have betrayed their consumer base with prioritising mining farms.
this token of support isnt enough and is to late.
Have seen more than enough pictures of mining farms running many Ampere cards, but so far none showing RDNA2 based ones. All I did find were articles saying XFX allegedly sold their RX 500 and 5000 series cards to mining farms.

If you have any links showing mining farms filled with RDNA2 based cards that would be interesting.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 258   +461
It's believed to be firmware based. So more difficult to change once the cards leave the factory.
Exactly, VCZ has a new article in which it explain and some quote from kopite7kimi that tell an interesting tale. It appears it will be a triangle of new SKUs+BIOS+driver locking them from having good mining performance and it will affect all the new RTX cards from now on, hence the new SKUs.

If this and only this happens, then maybe it can be some sort of solution, but we'll have to see. Doing it just for the 3060 is a mockery though.
 

gerjy5w

Posts: 51   +68
What if the miners wrote their own drivers so it doesnt matter what NVIDIA does in their drivers.
 
AMD and NVIDIA have betrayed their consumer base with prioritising mining farms.
this token of support isnt enough and is to late.
You think this is a token of support? This is by far the worst betrayal of gamers ever. Just think about it. Or better, go check the latest video of "Moore's Law Is Dead" youtube channel and you might grasp how deep this screw up is. Nvidia hurt all gaming industry the worst and it will be a long term damage to us all. And the worst part about all this? Jensen talking as if he's the saviour! But rather, he's a wolf in sheep's clothing.

And before anybody labeling me for being an "AMD" fanboy , I don't care about either company. I just buy whichever is better at the moment. But the thing is I can't stand these people just lying or misleading people.

Also funny thing is, of the 2 PCs I'm currently running, one has Intel CPU (sandy bridge) and AMD GPU (RX 480), and the other has AMD CPU (ryzen) and nvidia GPU (GTX 1080)!
 

OortCloud

Posts: 614   +479
I always cringe when I read words like 'unhackable'. It's a red rag to an army of pretty smart bulls....
Unless this is baked into the hardware at the lowest levels workarounds will be found.
 

OortCloud

Posts: 614   +479
Are we really sure that they don't consider their primary "consumer base" the miners at this point? Miners sure seem to be consuming every effing card they can get ahold of.
I think nVidia are smart enough to know this bubble will burst, so are keen to keep 'gamers' onside.
Also there is a move away from these proof-of-work-based mining methods (due to the massive waste of energy this is becoming) towards other systems which wont need GPUs. For example last I heard, Etherium was expected to shift to a Proof-Of-Stake system this year.
 

candle_86

Posts: 729   +730
Good and when they shrink the rest of the line to the 7mm process they can put firmware blocks in there too because technically it's a new card just called a TI
 

negroplasty

Posts: 541   +33
Because it cant.
im sure its pretty easy to block drivers from auto updating.

Auto updating is irrelevant if it's baked into the first driver release that supports that new cards.

Not a fan of this "solution" to the problem. If I buy a video card for gaming, why shouldn't I be able to mine with it at peak efficiency during downtime? They need to make a CMP line that's worth a damn if they hope to solve any of these problems with it.
 
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"Keep in mind we are talking about hardware used to play video games. It's not a serious issue."
OK, that is just daft....The Video Game Industry Earned $140 Billion in 2020...so yeah, it's a serious issue...