Rumor mill: If at first you don’t succeed, try again. It looks as if Nvidia is taking that proverb’s advice by launching an updated version of the RTX 3060 12GB, this one with a new GPU that restricts its Ethereum mining performance.
With cryptocurrency prices continuing to rise, demand from miners is one of the reasons graphics cards are so expensive and difficult to find right now. By implementing an “unhackable” Ethereum mining limiter, Nvidia hoped that the availability of the RTX 3060, launched on February 25, 2021, would be better than other cards.
Team green’s plan worked to an extent, right up until the company released a beta developer driver that unintentionally removed the hash rate limiter from most RTX 3060 cards. The driver was quickly removed, but with copies already in the wild, it was a case of too little too late. This is despite Nvidia previously saying the limiter wasn't "just a driver thing."
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.— Bryan Del Rizzo (@bdelrizzo) February 19, 2021
It was suspected that Nvidia would come up with a way of blocking this driver. According to a report by HKEPC Hardware, it has: use a new GPU. The report claims that the GA106-300 in the RTX 3060 is being replaced by the newer GA106-302. This will make the previous drivers, including the problem 470.05 developer driver, useless. It’s also said to include more mechanisms to restrict Ethereum mining.
The new GPU is virtually identical to the current one, so there should be no changes to the RTX 3060’s gaming performance. An unnamed Taiwanese manufacturer said the switch has already taken place and that the newer variants of the card will arrive around May.