Nvidia had made groundbreaking progress in reducing the hash rate of Ethereum mining on its new RTX 3060 graphics card in February 2021, but it appears it actually was luck. A special system that was supposed to make the RTX 3060 undesirable for crypto miners, instead accidentally unlocked those restrictions with a new driver.
“A developer driver inadvertently included code used for internal development which removes the hash rate limiter on RTX 3060 in some configurations. The driver has been removed,” an Nvidia spokesperson said in a statement.
Although Nvidia has removed the driver, the secret is out. Nvidia’s 470.05 beta driver automatically unlocks performance for most RTX 3060 cards, in turn boosting the hash rates for Ethereum mining.
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Mirrors of the driver are already available online. This means Nvidia won’t also be able to prevent RTX 3060 owners from using the driver in the future, so they can as well mine with it.
Nvidia had originally restricted RTX 3060 Ethereum mining performance intentionally. The graphic card maker was attempting to prevent crypto miners away from purchasing its cards.
Nvidia even claimed that it wasn’t just a driver holding back performance and its restrictions could not be bypassed. “It’s not just a driver thing. There is a secure handshake between the driver; the RTX 3060 silicon; as well as the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter,” Nvidia’s head of communications, Bryan Del Rizzo, said in February 2021.
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