Friday, February 19th 2021

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Anti-Mining Feature Goes Beyond Driver Version, Could Expand to More SKUs

Yesterday NVIDIA announced the company's first Crypto Mining Processor (CPM) that serves the purpose of having a dedicated processor only for mining with no video outputs. Alongside the new processors, the company has also announced that in the next driver update the GeForce RTX 3060 GPU will get Etherium mining performance halved, limiting the use of this GPU SKU by miners. However, up until now, we have thought that NVIDIA is limiting the mining performance of this card by simply having a driver detect if crypto mining algorithms are in place and limit the performance. However, that doesn't seem to be the case. According to Bryan Del Rizzo, director of global PR for GeForce, more things are working behind the driver.

According to Mr. Del Rizzo: "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." This means that essentially, NVIDIA can find any way to cripple the mining hash rate even if you didn't update your driver version. At the same time, according to Kopite7Kimi, we are possibly expecting to see NVIDIA relaunch its existing SKUs under a different ID, which would feature a built-in anti-crypto mining algorithm. What the company does remains to be seen.
Sources: Bryan Del Rizzo (Twitter), @kopite7kimi (Twitter) #1, @kopite7kimi (Twitter) #2, via VideoCardz
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104 Comments on NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Anti-Mining Feature Goes Beyond Driver Version, Could Expand to More SKUs

#1
Selaya
Nice. I can already foresee a record amount of 3060s with bricked BIOSes from mining BIOS flashes! :)
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#3
AleksandarK
TheLostSwede@AleksandarK I think you dropped a Y somewhere...
Lol indeed. Thanks for pointing it out :)
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#4
Am*
Wow...that is some next level anti-consumer scumbaggery -- even for Ngreedia. I bet future driver updates will shove in mandatory vBIOS updates down people's throats (which miners are going to not bother installing in the first place or build custom vBIOSs for) -- can't wait to have draconian DRM built into people's cards and being bricked in the future by Ngreedia's incompetence. Who's to say they won't use these sorts of "updates" from tanking old cards' performance in 3D rendering and other programs or to force them to a Quadro? Fuck this joke of a company...
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#5
the54thvoid
Am*Wow...that is some next level anti-consumer scumbaggery -- even for Ngreedia. I bet future driver updates will shove in mandatory vBIOS updates down people's throats (which miners are going to not bother installing in the first place or build custom vBIOSs for) -- can't wait to have draconian DRM built into people's cards and being bricked in the future by Ngreedia's incompetence. Who's to say they won't use these sorts of "updates" from tanking old cards' performance in 3D rendering and other programs or to force them to a Quadro? Fuck this joke of a company...
In principle what they are doing is reallocating product to specific segments. I'm all for it.

As far as tanking performance - not going to happen. A gaming product is benched by countless reviewers. Those benchmarks would be all too easy to use in court to prove such misdeeds. Nvidia isn't that naive. Besides, what a lot of people seem to forget is people like to upgrade cards. Nvidia don't need to gimp performance to make that happen.
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#6
Vya Domus
Am*Who's to say they won't use these sorts of "updates" from tanking old cards' performance in 3D rendering and other programs or to force them to a Quadro
They can do that (and have done) without the need of any of this.
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#7
birdie
Am*Wow...that is some next level anti-consumer scumbaggery -- even for Ngreedia. I bet future driver updates will shove in mandatory vBIOS updates down people's throats (which miners are going to not bother installing in the first place or build custom vBIOSs for) -- can't wait to have draconian DRM built into people's cards and being bricked in the future by Ngreedia's incompetence. Who's to say they won't use these sorts of "updates" from tanking old cards' performance in 3D rendering and other programs or to force them to a Quadro? Fuck this joke of a company...
DO NOT BUY.

See, it's that simple.

Also, while we're at it, go create a successful multi-billion GPU company as having just two players on the market reeks of a collusion. I remember NVIDIA and AMD used to fiercely compete with each other - nowadays, their performance/price ratios are too effing similar as if they've agreed to it behind closed doors.

Also, product segmentation is not necessarily a bad thing as most AMD fans believe. You've got a choice of super expensive professional products and consumer products which are a lot cheaper while moving to a single product stack would mean everyone would have to pay more because the capex and opex remain the same.

As for "bricking" you've gone over the top - 99.99% of people never attempt to upgrade their VBIOS and most eschew upgrading their BIOS because they simple don't know it can be upgraded. And those who do that willingly to unlock features or circumvent OEM limits? Well, some people choose to drive at speeds above 80 miles per hour - you can give them that.
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#8
TheLostSwede
AleksandarKLol indeed. Thanks for pointing it out :)
Where did you find it? ;)
Am*Wow...that is some next level anti-consumer scumbaggery -- even for Ngreedia. I bet future driver updates will shove in mandatory vBIOS updates down people's throats (which miners are going to not bother installing in the first place or build custom vBIOSs for) -- can't wait to have draconian DRM built into people's cards and being bricked in the future by Ngreedia's incompetence. Who's to say they won't use these sorts of "updates" from tanking old cards' performance in 3D rendering and other programs or to force them to a Quadro? Fuck this joke of a company...
You're aware that people buy Quadro cards because they come with certified drivers for specific software, right? Those programs won't work as well with consumer cards as is, so Nvidia doesn't have to do anything in this market segment that they haven't already done.

The rest of your post is just pure nonsense. Also, I know of no drivers that can force a firmware update without user interaction.
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#9
nfineon
Actually that's interesting to hear, if there are bios, chip level and driver restrictions that might take a little longer to work around and thus dissuade miners from using this one line of cards for mining (it doesn't solve the problem for the vast majority of players looking for higher spec cards). This measure wasn't done for the benefit of gamers, it was to push miners to dedicated mining cards but it doesn't go far enough. Some of these mining farms are consuming more energy resources than entire cities funded by companies now worth billions to mine fairytale coins thus can pay engineers to write custom firmware and drivers to circumvent any restrictions that aren't literally hardwired into the chips (not just the board, boards can be modified and custom variants used).

Nor is 50% mining restriction sufficient to be honest, it needs to be 1/3rd to 1/4th to really dissuade miners AND APPLY TO OTHER COINS! Ethereum is not the only game in town, there are a dozen new coins introduced daily so they'll just switch to mining other coins at full power without having to do any bios/hardware/driver modifications.
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#10
droopyRO
A good move, now miners will buy twice as many cards :D And it has AMD in a bad spot in the eyes of gamers and other non-miner people.
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#11
Metroid
droopyROA good move, now miners will buy twice as many cards :D And it has AMD in a bad spot in the eyes of gamers and other non-miner people.
Yeah, if price is 2x cheaper then they will buy, i mean even at 25mhs on eth on a 3060 still better than many other gpus if price is right, 25mhs will use very little power because is 8nm x polaris 14nm 30mhs. Truth is nvidia blew it with that, nvidia should offer better hashrate on the mining gpus and make them readily available with a large supply, that way, miners will not buy gaming gpus and yes is that simple.
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#12
lexluthermiester
Am*Wow...that is some next level anti-consumer scumbaggery -- even for Ngreedia.
And how do you arrive at THAT conclusion? Limiting mining is very likely to improve availability because miners will not be buying up all the GPUs. This move by NVidia is COMPLETELY pro-consumer.
TheLostSwedeAlso, I know if no drivers that can force a firmware update without user interaction.
True!
Metroidnvidia should offer better hashrate on the mining gpus
They're already doing that.
Metroidand make them readily available with a large supply
You're assuming infinite supply of GPU dies. This is not the case.
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#13
BSim500
lexluthermiesterAnd how do you arrive at THAT conclusion? Limiting mining is very likely to improve availability because miners will not be buying up all the GPUs. This move by NVidia is COMPLETELY pro-consumer.
I was going to fire up a PC game, but this morning the best game of all seems to be "Spot the triggered miner"... :D
Metroidnvidia should offer better hashrate on the mining gpus and make them readily available with a large supply, that way, miners will not buy gaming gpus and yes is that simple.
The real problem isn't simply making mining GPU's available / faster, it's the fact half the mining "economics" relies on reselling cards to gamers after the cyclical mining price spikes drop again. Since "headless" (no monitor output) mining-only cards are useless to gamers, the only real option is to make gaming-only cards that are unsuitable for mining. Those who want to buy a mining card to keep to mine still have that option, but it will discourage those who "pump and dump" thousands of them only because they factor in reselling vs "viability".
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#14
Legacy-ZA
Thank you, maybe now I can buy a RTX3070 like I wanted to.
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#15
ppn
I don't believe miners once started resort to reselling ever. they just keep mining forever or at that point they paid so much more or freeloaded electricity so that reselling is not even part of the equation, so why should they care. resellers are some home experimentalists and those must be punished yes, for snatching the precious cards all for themselves. not buying mining card anyways, just so it dies in my hands few months later. no way.
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#16
xSneak
why don't they just make the quadro cards fully unlocked for mining instead of wasting silicon on another series of cards? They could get greater margins from the workstation line also.
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#17
windwhirl
xSneakwhy don't they just make the quadro cards fully unlocked for mining instead of wasting silicon on another series of cards? They could get greater margins from the workstation line also.
Because Nvidia would not dare alienate professional users.
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#18
droopyRO
Legacy-ZAThank you, maybe now I can buy a RTX3070 like I wanted to.
As i understand it, it applies to 3060 only since those are unreleased. 3070 is already out so the only thing miners would need to do is no update their drivers and/or firmware. But i'm 99% sure that they will find a way around it with 3060 too. I only hope that it takes a few months so that i can buy a 3060 at a reasonable price.
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#19
kapone32
I can only speak for myself but I rue that I did not start mining until this year (month actually).
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#20
Legacy-ZA
droopyROAs i understand it, it applies to 3060 only since those are unreleased. 3070 is already out so the only thing miners would need to do is no update their drivers and/or firmware. But i'm 99% sure that they will find a way around it with 3060 too. I only hope that it takes a few months so that i can buy a 3060 at a reasonable price.
As I read it, future cards will have it, and yes, sorry, meant to say RTX3070Ti when it launches in time. :)
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#21
xkm1948
Nice! Great news for gamers. Miners will have to play by the rule too. Very good
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#22
Turmania
So we have been fooled all the way, it was actually Nvidia that cared about the gamers....
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#23
lynx29
I'm so glad I got my PC built before the world went into Chaos mode. Going to unplug and game and check back in two to three years. /shrug
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#24
Am*
TheLostSwedeYou're aware that people buy Quadro cards because they come with certified drivers for specific software, right? Those programs won't work as well with consumer cards as is, so Nvidia doesn't have to do anything in this market segment that they haven't already done.

The rest of your post is just pure nonsense. Also, I know of no drivers that can force a firmware update without user interaction.
There were workarounds in the past with modded drivers & vBIOSs -- Fermi and Kepler were prime examples of this that I can remember. Outside of modifying the chip itself, the only other two ways they can artificially slow down the card is through drivers and vBIOS changes. Their own quote mentions both -- what part of it is nonsense exactly? There's nothing stopping them from implementing mandatory verification checks for driver updates to compare against vBIOS versions -- forcing you to do one before getting the other. Or did you forget about the garbage drivers Nvidia put out in the past that bricked cards due to faulty fan profile configs (even not touching vBIOS updates)? They've already forced enough crapware in their default drivers that's a pain in the ass or impossible to remove...Ansel, Geforce Telemetry related garbage, HD audio drivers that get installed regardless if I check the box to install it or not and which you can't remove or disable permanently, etc.
lexluthermiesterAnd how do you arrive at THAT conclusion? Limiting mining is very likely to improve availability because miners will not be buying up all the GPUs. This move by NVidia is COMPLETELY pro-consumer.
OK -- then please explain to me how you come to that conclusion? Let's say Nvidia has 100,000 GPUs shipped to an AIB -- the exact same die will now go to two varying SKUs (one for mining, one for a normal consumer card). How the hell is this going to help the consumer with supply? The move actually screws you over -- because once miners are done with their cards, they flood the used market with them and Ngreedia has to drop prices to compete with the miners (which you could get a good deal on once miners were done with them). Now the mining cards will become e-waste after they're no longer profitable and you still won't get the said GPUs -- and you now lose another means of getting one (used). How does this benefit anyone besides Nvidia???
BSim500I was going to fire up a PC game, but this morning the best game of all seems to be "Spot the triggered miner"... :D
You figured me out, buddy...because my 6 year old Titan X Maxwell is the true peak of mining cards. Well done -- you absolute clown...
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#25
Rique8
Am*Wow...that is some next level anti-consumer scumbaggery -- even for Ngreedia. I bet future driver updates will shove in mandatory vBIOS updates down people's throats (which miners are going to not bother installing in the first place or build custom vBIOSs for) -- can't wait to have draconian DRM built into people's cards and being bricked in the future by Ngreedia's incompetence. Who's to say they won't use these sorts of "updates" from tanking old cards' performance in 3D rendering and other programs or to force them to a Quadro? Fuck this joke of a company...
Man, I'm thinking the same. I bought one the day before this announcement came out. And actually, I will use it for everything (Gaming, Mining. Machine Learning and even if tomorrow someone posts a tuto showing how to make coffee I think a will give it a try).

Someone know if this will work backwards or will be only for new cards?

I just want to know if NVIDIA made me throw my money in trash?
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