Nvidia's RTX 3060 laptop GPUs are being transplanted onto desktop cards to bypass mining...

nanoguy

Posts: 1,199   +20
Staff member
WTF?! Laptop mining farms and various workarounds for Nvidia’s hash rate limiters helped miners navigate the GPU shortage with ease last year at the expense of many angry gamers. This year, a Chinese company has started transplanting mobile Ampere GPUs onto desktop graphics cards, which is every bit as worrying as it sounds.

Nvidia may have a new problem on its hands that comes just as the company is dealing with a massive ransomware attack. According to a post on Weibo spotted by cnBeta, a Chinese company is currently selling modified GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards on one of the country’s most popular online second-hand marketplaces.

The modded graphics cards reportedly use recycled RTX 3060 laptop GPU dies as a way to circumvent Nvidia’s Ethereum hash rate limiter, known as Lite Hash Rate, or LHR for short. Nvidia applied this solution with the RTX 3000 series GPUs in an attempt to make them less appealing to cryptocurrency miners. However, the company didn’t do this with all Ampere GPUs, and one such exception is the RTX 3060 laptop GPU.

Most miners believe Nvidia’s effort was pointless, and for a while they've continued to buy LHR RTX 3000 graphics cards without worrying too much about the hash rate limitations. Back in August 2021, mining software NBMiner was updated to improve the hash rate to around 70 percent of what it would be without the limiter in place. A few months later, another solution popped up online that went even further than that. The trend even inspired a malware campaign designed for people who were desperately looking for the ideal solution.

What’s interesting about the modified RTX 3060 graphics cards is that a company was somehow able to secure GA106 dies destined for laptops and turn them into desktop graphics cards. While companies like Nvidia and AMD also do this to bring entry-level desktop graphics cards to market with minimal R&D and production costs (the infamous RX 6500 XT comes to mind), this is a rather unexpected development.

It’s worth noting the GA106 die used in the Chinese RTX 3060 contraption has 3,840 CUDA cores, slightly more than the 3,584 CUDA cores found in a regular desktop RTX 3060 GPU. However, the company that makes it only paired the mobile GPU with six gigabytes of GDDR6 memory, which is enough for mining purposes.

Miners can apparently grab these cards for as low as $540, and one seller demonstrated nine of them in a single rig mining at almost 250 MH per second using 910 watts from a wall socket. It’s not quite as crazy as the mining farms based on Ampere laptops we saw last year, but it does beg the question if a similar treatment will be applied to other RTX 3000 laptop GPUs in the future.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,202   +4,238
The ultimate irony is how gaming companies are all super horny to get NFTs into their games while at the same time, propping up Eth (Let's face it: any announcement of NFTs ends up benefiting Eth even if they're on supposedly "green" blockchains) and pushing them closer and closer to losing billions on the AAA PC gaming market as all gpus eventually get devoured by the grey goo entity of Eth powered NFTs

In fact if it wasn't for very high profile celebrities and companies trying to get into the NFT pyramid scheme Eth would have probably crashed to 0 and the gpu market would be recovering. But as always and like all corporations, gaming corporations are incapable of seeing past their own noses when it comes to destroying what they have as long as there's immediate profits to be made they'll do it and burn everything around them.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,142   +5,770
"While companies like Nvidia and AMD also do this to bring entry-level desktop graphics cards to market with minimal R&D and production costs (the infamous RX 6500 XT comes to mind), this is a rather unexpected development."

I literally said to expect this and everyone told me it was nearly impossible to do. The architecture is fully standarized by design..a 3rd grader could have seen this coming. Sigh.
 

emmzo

Posts: 609   +766
There's going to be a big review of crypto by SEC and Biden admin this week and it doesn't look good for crypto holders. The energy crisis will hit crypto pretty bad, from all sides. Of course, what the US does reverberates through the world, so it depends how tough these measures are going to be. It's still an election year and the dems don't want to upset anyone. My two cents, regulations will start to pile up hard from now on, until owning crypto will be no different than owning a bank account. TLDR: crypto slows and videocards prices will drop.
 
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Guberian

Posts: 196   +259
There's going to be a big review of crypto by SEC and Biden admin this week and it doesn't look good for crypto holders. The energy crisis will hit crypto pretty bad, from all sides. Of course, what the US does reverberates through the world, so it depends how tough these measures are going to be. It's still an election year and the dems don't want to upset anyone. My two cents, regulations will start to pile up hard from now on, until owning crypto will be no different than owning a bank account.
The Feds arent about freedom. Their just like every other government they want to control their citizens as much as possible.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,202   +4,238
There's going to be a big review of crypto by SEC and Biden admin this week and it doesn't look good for crypto holders. The energy crisis will hit crypto pretty bad, from all sides. Of course, what the US does reverberates through the world, so it depends how tough these measures are going to be. It's still an election year and the dems don't want to upset anyone. My two cents, regulations will start to pile up hard from now on, until owning crypto will be no different than owning a bank account. TLDR: crypto slows and videocards prices will drop.
I was reading about that as rumored but I'm skeptical they'll go far enough but well if I was holding any coins I would probably cash out right now because there's going to be at least another major temporary set back of 5 to 10% drop in value.

If Biden actually gets though on crypto (And by all means he should and not *just* because it's an easy way for Russian billionaires to launder out their money) it might just wipe out all of them completely though.
 

emmzo

Posts: 609   +766
I was reading about that as rumored but I'm skeptical they'll go far enough but well if I was holding any coins I would probably cash out right now because there's going to be at least another major temporary set back of 5 to 10% drop in value.

If Biden actually gets though on crypto (And by all means he should and not *just* because it's an easy way for Russian billionaires to launder out their money) it might just wipe out all of them completely though.
Turns out crypto actually rallied because it seems the "big" regulations are nothing but vague ideas and their consequences are zero. So, I was right that Biden shat his pants and he's scared of the upcoming elections. He'll probably lose big anyway and I don't see the republicans caring about this subject.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,202   +4,238
Turns out crypto actually rallied because it seems the "big" regulations are nothing but vague ideas and their consequences are zero. So, I was right that Biden shat his pants and he's scared of the upcoming elections. He'll probably lose big anyway and I don't see the republicans caring about this subject.
Yeah I saw that too: I can't imagine that the crypto lobby is that big that he would act so much damn hesitance he probably has that little confidence in the mid terms and for good reason.

But hey even if we never get normalized GPU prices and crypto keeps empowering Russian oligarchs it still means that through VPNs and crypto at least Russian citizens that are also trapped inside with their own tyrannical government can have some measure of relief and access to the rest of the world financially.

Not much of a silver lining but hey, it's something.