nvidia accidentally unlocked rtx ethereum mining

Nvidia made a big deal about reducing the hash rate of Ethereum mining on its new RTX 3060 graphics card last month. A special system was supposed to make the RTX 3060 undesirable for cryptominers, but Nvidia has now confirmed that it has 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,” says an Nvidia spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “The driver has been removed.”

While Nvidia has now removed the driver, the genie is out of the bottle. Nvidia’s latest 470.05 beta driver automatically unlocks performance for most RTX 3060 cards, boosting hashing rates for Ethereum mining.

Nvidia confirms it accidentally unlocked rtx 3060 ethereum mining

NVIDIA’s ‘unhackable’ hash rate restrictions on its GeForce RTX 3060 were undone yesterday after the company released a beta driver update that removed the crypto mining limits.

The GeForce 470.05 driver bypassed the hash rate limits for Ethereum mining. This driver was intended to be used by developers in the Windows Insider Program for performance testing.

As confirmed by Hardwareluxx and PCWatch, miners could use the DaggerHashimoto Ethereum algorithm at a hash rate of 48MH/s.

However, NVIDIA has since confirmed this was unintended and has since removed the driver.

Nvidia accidentally unlocked rtx ethereum mining

The protections reduced the hash rate of Ethereum with the RTX 3060, making it an unideal component for cryptocurrency miners.

RELATED: AMD May Start Producing GPUs Specifically For Cryptomining, Similar To Nvidia

This is no longer the case, as an Nvidia developer driver was accidentally released that removes the hash rate limiter. Nvidia readily states that the release of the developer driver is accidental, and has removed the driver from the shops.
Nothing removed from the internet is truly gone: the driver has been uploaded to third-party websites. The hash rate limiter was claimed to be immovable by Nvidia, which similarly boasted the hash rate limiter did not affect performance for the graphics card.

The protections were defeated within its first month on the market, by Nvidia’s own hand.

Or how about with dummy plugs:Tom’s Hardware

Crypto Miners Fool Nvidia’s Anti-Mining Limiter With $6 HDMI Dummy Plug

Bypassing the “unhackable”

In general I think any type of “downgrading” or “nerfing” or “disabling” is always a bad idea, at least in software – I’m not just talking about NVidia. But also NVidia. For years they were never supporting the current release of Fedora, they were always some two version numbers behind.

But now things broke all the time, because the current Fedora always ships with a gcc version that couldn’t be used with CUDA. Now people either a) fudged the version number in a config file, and that was pretty unsafe, but in most cases still worked well, b) needed to several serious contortions to their installations to install an old gcc (hacks, manual installs, copra repos, asf.).

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The new drivers simply remove the limiter, with HardwareLuxx’s Andreas Schilling reporting that the card’s Ethereum hashrate hit 21.7 MH/s using standard drivers, and over 41 MH/s with the 470.05 beta drivers.Brad Chacos/IDG

We told you not to expect miracles when Nvidia announced the Ethereum protection. Now that these beta drivers are in the wild there’s likely no putting the rabbit back in the hat for the RTX 3060.

Miners could likely avoid newer updates and load their hardware with this software instead.

The GeForce RTX 3060 sold out instantly despite its initial mining protection and currently goes for $600 or more on Ebay and other resale sites. This development will likely drive demand even higher until the current cryptocurrency bubble bursts.

Some frustrated consumers are implying that Nvidia intentionally released the drivers to attend to the miner community. The 3060 card reduces the hash rate of a miner when compared to a 3090, but is still a solid purchase for miners.

The 3060 draws 170W versus the RTX 3090’s 350W demand, cutting electricity by more than half.

The 3090 offers 10,496 CUDA cores versus the 3060’s 3,584 CUDA, but at an MSRP of 1/4 of the price of a 3090, many websites recommend the RTX 3060 Ti has the best mining GPU. The 3060 Ti offers a slight advantage over the standard 3060 in terms of performance.

Ultimately, this means that the RTX 3060 is going to likely be facing the same shortages as all other cards within the Ampere series.

Nvidia’s attempted protections have fallen short, whether by a bad actor or accident, and the driver is readily available on third-party websites.

The ongoing feud between cryptocurrency miners and gamers often has both sides frustrated, with GPU manufacturers squarely between the two sides. Now, Nvidia’s most recent introduction of the RTX 3060 seems to favor the cryptocurrency miners, after an apparent gaffe rendered protection moot.

The RTX 3060 was shipped with mining protection that, Nvidia stated, was implemented to ensure that gamers received cards from the current generation.

This has been done to curry favor with gamers, frustrated after multiple launches of the Ampere series only went to cryptocurrency miners. Few have been able to retrieve the Ampere generation due to a myriad of supply problems.

I complained about this on various online forums and usually got replies along the lines of “well, it’s difficult with the many distros …”, well, generally: yes, but you are NVidia. A global company, billions in sales, and can’t afford Linux release managers that can cover all distros.

They make it sound as if they were some poor mom and pop shop. I admit things got better in the more recent past, about the time the HPC package was released.

But for years they didn’t care about fixing things: not supporting current gcc, or even fixing bugs in the CUDA samples. I’ve reported a bug here in this forum, and it’s still not fixed in the current CUDA release.

It seems nobody from NVidia is reading these forums. VERY negligent in every way. So, if this is really compay-internal dysfunctionality obsession (as it manifests otherwise), this may have been a “legit” case of “oh, we forgot”.

Last month, Nvidia made a huge deal about them reducing the hash rate of Ethereum mining. They did this for their all-new RTX 3060 graphics cards which is a special system supposed to make the RTX 3060 undesirable for crypto miners.

However, the company has only recently confirmed that with a new driver they have accidentally unlocked those restrictions.

Nvidia spokesperson, in a statement, said “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.”

Also Read: Nvidia Launches Cyberpunk 2077 NVIDIA DLSS with Immersive Graphics and Realistic Visuals

While the company has now successfully removed the driver, the damage is already done.

The company’s latest 470.05 beta driver has automatically unlocked performance and boosts the hashing rates for Ethereum mining for most RTX 3060 cards.

Mirrors can easily be very easily found online of the driver and the company will not be able to prevent RTX 3060 owners from continuing to use these drivers.

Originally, the company has restricted the RTX 3060 mining performance to steer crypto miners away from purchasing the cards. Despite this, the makers of GPU were confident that its restrictions couldn’t be defeated.

In fact, they even claimed that it wasn’t just a driver holding back performance.

It’s not just a driver thing,” said Bryan Del Rizzo, Nvidia’s head of communications.

NVIDIA’s hash rate restrictions are not as secure as once thought.

“It’s not just a driver thing,” NVIDIA’s Bryan Del Rizzo previously said on Twitter. “There is a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter.”

As this bypassing of hash rate limits came through the 470.05 driver update, this may spur on crypto miners to create ‘cracked’ updates for the RTX 3060 to bypass these restrictions.

Previous rumours have suggested that the RTX 3060’s Ethereum mining restrictions had already been hacked externally, but this was found to be untrue.

NVIDIA’s next steps in crypto mining

This accident is unlikely to stop NVIDIA’s plans to prevent its GPUs from being used for crypto mining.

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