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. The protections reduced the hash rate of Ethereum with the RTX 3060, making it an unideal component for cryptocurrency miners.
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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. 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. In spite of this, the card hasn’t sold out as quickly as the higher-rated Ampere series, although the trend of the cards being listed at a minimum of 200% mark-up continues. Caution is advised for miners searching for the driver that removes the hash rate limiter, as it offers a target for malware.
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Source: The Verge