RTX 3060's Crypto Mining Capabilities to be Kneecapped at Launch

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅18.02.2021 15:37:21

GeForce Is Made for Gaming, CMP Is Made to Mine

We’re limiting the hash rate of GeForce RTX 3060 GPUs so they’re less desirable to miners and launching
NVIDIA CMP for professional mining.

18.02.2021 - We are gamers, through and through. We obsess about new gaming features, new architectures, new games and tech. We designed GeForce GPUs for gamers, and gamers are clamoring for more.

Yet NVIDIA GPUs are programmable. And users are constantly discovering new applications for them, from weather simulation and gene sequencing to deep learning and robotics. Mining cryptocurrency is one of them.

With the launch of GeForce RTX 3060 on Feb. 25, we’re taking an important step to help ensure GeForce GPUs end up in the hands of gamers.

Halving Hash Rate

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.

That only makes sense. Our GeForce RTX GPUs introduce cutting-edge technologies — such as RTX real-time ray-tracing, DLSS AI-accelerated image upscaling technology, Reflex super-fast response rendering for the best system latency, and many more — tailored to meet the needs of gamers and those who create digital experiences.

To address the specific needs of Ethereum mining, we’re announcing the NVIDIA CMP, or, Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, product line for professional mining.

CMP products — which don’t do graphics — are sold through authorized partners and optimized for the best mining performance and efficiency. They don’t meet the specifications required of a GeForce GPU and, thus, don’t impact the availability of GeForce GPUs to gamers.

For instance, CMP lacks display outputs, enabling improved airflow while mining so they can be more densely packed. CMPs also have a lower peak core voltage and frequency, which improves mining power efficiency.

Creating tailored products for customers with specific needs delivers the best value for customers. With CMP, we can help miners build the most efficient data centers while preserving GeForce RTX GPUs for gamers.



This is an extraordinary measure for NVIDIA to take just prior to the GeForce RTX 3060's launch, and speaks to the enormous demand for GPU silicon across the IT industry. If NVIDIA can neuter mining performance on the 3060 via drivers alone - in a manner not trivially circumvented by software mods - then this may serve to prevent any further inflation of the card's launch window price due to mining alone.

That being said, this is not a silver bullet. Even if the RTX 3060 was incapable of mining entirely, demand and pitiful stock availability at higher tiers will put upward pressure on the card's retail price. Furthermore, NVIDIA CMP doesn't address the lack of overall manufacturing capacity that is causing shortages; it merely places the same GPUs into two separate bins with 'Miners don't buy this ;)' printed on one.

Going forward, the creation of NVIDIA CMP may mean that all of NVIDIA's consumer cards will be neutered in the same manner and so (at best) gamers and professional miners are not chasing the same production units. As is common with PR-heavy statements however today's announcement doesn't address the obvious future concerns it brings up.

We will find out next week if the measures taken will rein in launch prices. In the short term however the only guarantee is that hobbyist miners who predominantly game will suffer crippled ETH mining performance if they buy an RTX 3060.


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