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

#26
TechLurker
Personally hoping AMD also locks out their gaming GPUs from mining while offering cheap, mining grade hardware (and some niche, high-end mining hardware). That way, those who really want to dedicate the time and effort into mining has to stick to it, but at the same time, someone could also buy into the mining craze via one or two M-GPUs and run those in the spare PCIe slot of their "always on" rigs.

AMD and NVIDIA both could also push miners towards their enterprise or prosumer products while leaving the gaming products alone, having mining capability (with decent hash rates) as an option on the much more expensive models.
Posted on Reply
#27
windwhirl
TechLurker
Personally hoping AMD also locks out their gaming GPUs from mining while offering cheap, mining grade hardware.
It's likely headed in that direction somewhat, since they separated their architectures in CDNA (compute) and RDNA (graphics).
Posted on Reply
#28
Luminescent
Most friends i know completely gave up upgrading GPU this year.
I don't know who is to blame for this situation but it hurt the evolution of PC gaming a lot, another year of games that need to stay relevant for gtx 1060/rx580.
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#29
Vario
I've been feeling retrospectively amused at comments from miners on various tech sites stating it was impossible for graphics card companies to lock their cards at a hardware level to prevent mining, in response to comments from irritated consumers that Nvidia and Radeon should just hardware lock the cards. Clearly they are capable of doing so, and now we are finally seeing it.
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#30
windwhirl
Vario
I've been feeling retrospectively amused at about how so many miners insisted it was impossible for graphics card companies to lock their cards at a hardware level to prevent mining in response to comments from irritated consumers that Nvidia and Radeon should just hardware lock the cards. Clearly they are capable of doing so, and now we are finally seeing it.
Don't count your chickens yet, we just got the announcement, now we have to wait and see if someone manages to break through.
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#31
Vario
windwhirl
Don't count your chickens yet, we just got the announcement, now we have to wait and see if someone manages to break through.
I am going to buy up all the CMP cards and use them to game. /S
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#32
mouacyk
Vario
I am going to buy up all the CMP cards and use them to game. /S
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#33
Bubster
About Fucking Time...after 6 months we still can't get an RTX 3070 or a RTX 3080 because of THE MINING HYSTERIA and Bitcoin and Ethereum speculation going ballistic...
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#34
Am*
Rique8
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?
EXACTLY. Who's to say they won't gimp AI/ML performance or something else next and make you buy another dedicated card for it? There was an interview I read ages ago about Nvidia noticing a trend of people using secondary cards for PhysX -- so I wouldn't put it past them for a second. Anyone assuming people opposing this are just "triggered miners" is dumb and not seeing all the ways Nvidia can abuse these sorts of measures (the same way they continuously gimped FP performance over time to remove the whole "prosumer on the cheap" market that used to exist with the old Titan and pre-Kepler cards).
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#35
nguyen
Yay I'm all for making these cards less-profittable for miners, letting people mine on their gaming GPU would just increase the failure rate and the RMA cost would just fall back on Nvidia anyways. If you want your hardware to make you money, you need to spend extra, there is nothing wrong with that.
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#36
milewski1015
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
Yeah man, you really lucked out with the new hardware. See you in 2024 :laugh:
Am*
EXACTLY. Who's to say they won't gimp AI/ML performance or something else next and make you buy another dedicated card for it?
Who's to say they will? Nvidia is a business out to make money. If they want to even further segment their product stack, that's something that they can do. Nothing says they have to have one card that does it all.
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#37
sam_86314
Sounds good at first, but what's to stop NVIDIA from using this tech to do things like restricting what games or programs you can run on your hardware?

Imagine "GPU's as a service", where you buy a GPU, but it's artificially locked down and you have to pay to unlock "features" like what games the hardware will run well.

I probably sound insane right now, but I'm always wary when it comes to DRM and artificial restrictions.
Posted on Reply
#38
Vario
sam_86314
Sounds good at first, but what's to stop NVIDIA from using this tech to do things like restricting what games or programs you can run on your hardware?

Imagine "GPU's as a service", where you buy a GPU, but it's artificially locked down and you have to pay to unlock "features" like what games the hardware will run well.

I probably sound insane right now, but I'm always wary when it comes to DRM and artificial restrictions.
I don't think the slope is as slippery as you think.
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#39
efikkan
xkm1948
Nice! Great news for gamers. Miners will have to play by the rule too. Very good
I suggest you and the others cheering for this to take a moment to read the quote from Nvidia and think about the implications:
"RTX 3060 software drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent."
There is no way to algorithmically detect the intention of code. And even if they tailor something to detect a specific order of operations associated with one algorithm, then the makers of the mining application will just adjust it and bypass it.
But more importantly, if this description is accurate, then there is a far more serious implication; false positives. If some games or applications are affected by this, and cut some people's performance in half, then Nvidia has done a move that goes far beyond stupidity.
I sure hope this is PR BS, because otherwise Nvidia will be facing lawsuits.
Posted on Reply
#40
xkm1948
efikkan
I suggest you and the others cheering for this to take a moment to read the quote from Nvidia and think about the implications:
"RTX 3060 software drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent."
There is no way to algorithmically detect the intention of code. And even if they tailor something to detect a specific order of operations associated with one algorithm, then the makers of the mining application will just adjust it and bypass it.
But more importantly, if this description is accurate, then there is a far more serious implication; false positives. If some games or applications are affected by this, and cut some people's performance in half, then Nvidia has done a move that goes far beyond stupidity.
I sure hope this is PR BS, because otherwise Nvidia will be facing lawsuits.
dont care, this is good, even as someone who mines on the side.
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#41
N3M3515
Lots of triggered miners i see....
Posted on Reply
#42
maxpain12
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...
I would say it's in the best interest of the majority of consumers to limit hash rates. The reason is two fold. Firstly, mining is subject to price swings of cryptocurrency. When the price of crypto goes down so does demand for GPU's. This is bad for business as gaming demand is more consistent in the long run for Nvidia and AMD. Secondly, miners are a threat to the discreet GPU market because since their activity causes shortages leading to other negative knock-on effects such as scalpers. If gamers are faced with an extended period of high prices they may consider other options like consoles. Essentially reducing the market for PC games. An event that could reduce PC gaming to a shadow of it's former position. Coupled with a drop in crypto prices then GPU makers will be less inclined to be innovative given low demand. Causing miners to no longer consider GPU's for mining due hash rates not keeping up. So you see if miner activity is not kept in check by moving it out of the gaming space, it's bad for everyone.
Posted on Reply
#43
xkm1948
N3M3515
Lots of triggered miners i see....
Yep. Pretty fun TBH.

At the same time. Do folks remember the Resize BAR VBIOS update for existing RTX3000 cards? There is a good chance Nvidia will add something like to the Resizable BAR VBIOS. I mean whoever wanna flash it is entirely voluntary and only gamers who want best performance will flash their cards.
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#44
sam_86314
xkm1948
Yep. Pretty fun TBH.

At the same time. Do folks remember the Resize BAR VBIOS update for existing RTX3000 cards? There is a good chance Nvidia will add something like to the Resizable BAR VBIOS. I mean whoever wanna flash it is entirely voluntary and only gamers who want best performance will flash their cards.
Resizable BAR has been a part of the PCIe specification since 2008 (as part of PCIe 2.0), and yet GPU manufacturers haven't implemented it until now.

pcisig.com/specifications?speclib=resizable+bar

Wouldn't that mean that all GPUs that use PCIe 2.0 or better should support it? And if any cards from that time period don't support it, would that mean they aren't fully PCIe 2.0+ compliant?

But I digress, I'm not concerned as much about limiting mining capabilities on consumer hardware since that doesn't affect me. I'm more concerned about unintended consequences and this potentially being the start of something worse.
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#45
lexluthermiester
Am*
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???
All that shows is that you do not understand how consumer demand and supply chain work. I'm not taking the time to explain it all to you.
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#46
80-watt Hamster
Luminescent
Most friends i know completely gave up upgrading GPU this year.
I don't know who is to blame for this situation but it hurt the evolution of PC gaming a lot, another year of games that need to stay relevant for gtx 1060/rx580.
Pretty sure that would be true regardless. Those cards were at the $200 price point, at which there's been F-all for activity the past couple of generations.
Posted on Reply
#47
TheoneandonlyMrK
This will just make reselling mined card's a no go.
No cheap GPU when they become mining obsolete just the bin.

And less in the bins for gamer's.

If there's a win here I'm struggling to see it and I don't mine though have.
Not one of the 36 cards I resold back then ever had issues either.
So long as they just cut Eth mining performance it's a non starter, there's. Other coins and new one's every year, plus the algos change, wouldn't be long before they're files are called farcry game if it worked too.
If there's cash to be earned those keys aren't That safe.
I don't care too much though, I am already done with Nvidia for a bit after bait and switch MSRP game's, bull galore.
Posted on Reply
#48
windwhirl
sam_86314
And if any cards from that time period don't support it, would that mean they aren't fully PCIe 2.0+ compliant?
It says right there that it is optional.

Posted on Reply
#49
Vario
theoneandonlymrk
This will just make reselling mined card's a no go.
No cheap GPU when they become mining obsolete just the bin.

And less in the bins for gamer's.

If there's a win here I'm struggling to see it and I don't mine though have.
Not one of the 36 cards I resold back then ever had issues either.
So long as they just cut Eth mining performance it's a non starter, there's. Other coins and new one's every year, plus the algos change, wouldn't be long before they're files are called farcry game if it worked too.
If there's cash to be earned those keys aren't That safe.
I don't care too much though, I am already done with Nvidia for a bit after bait and switch MSRP game's, bull galore.
LOL. Such a shame. I am tired of seeing ex mining cards with 8,000+ hours of mining being sold on eBay re-shrink-wrapped into original box with condition misrepresented as "new" or "refurbished".
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#50
TheoneandonlyMrK
Vario
LOL. Such a shame. I am tired of seeing ex mining cards with 8,000+ hours of mining being sold on eBay re-shrink-wrapped into original box with condition misrepresented as "new" or "refurbished".
I got out three years ago , And you're assumptions are not right but regardless I am not For mining anymore But I am much less FOR artificial restrictions, Even if meant well ISH but not.
I fold now, they mess that up n see what's said about the place.

And what's your point, who gives a shit what your tired of, start a, I'm tired of thread see how many bites you get.

I couldn't care less in a way but again artificial restrictions, nooo.
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