Nvidia has announced that it will be artificially limiting its new graphics cards for cryptocurrency mining. The new RTX 3060 card will be the first to feature this limitation.
The company clarified that existing cards will not see similar reductions in performance. Nvidia believes this limitation will discourage the purchase of gaming-oriented graphics cards for large cryptocurrency mining operations.
The GPU’s accompanying driver software specifically has been designed to halve the hash rate when an Ethereum miner is detected. Hash rate is a unit used to measure the computational performance of hardware.
Ethereum is one of the few cryptocurrencies that can be mined with GPU. However, it is expected to move away from Proof-of-Work once ETH 2.0 is released.
Meanwhile, the majority of other cryptos such as Bitcoin and Litecoin are mined with ASICs. These specialized tools can be difficult to find, but their unavailability typically does not have much of an effect.
Miners tend to prefer newer cards because of their higher hash rates and profitability. However, Nvidia is now artificially limiting the capabilities of its own hardware by detecting cryptocurrency mining algorithms.
Early reports indicate the new RTX 3060 delivers around 25 MH/s after a minute or two of mining. While still somewhat profitable for casual miners, it is only equivalent to the five-year-old GTX 1060.
For perspective, Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti delivers around 60 MH/s. This represents a performance gain of over 100% compared to the 3060, while priced just 20% higher at $400.
Nvidia Cryptocurrency Mining Processors
While the RTX 3060 won’t be as useful for crypto mining, Nvidia has announced a new line of chips called Cryptocurrency Mining Processors (CMPs) which are designed specifically for the job.
They won’t have any graphics capabilities and display outputs but have been created to optimize mining performance and efficiency through improved airflow, lower peak core voltage, and frequency.
“We are gamers, through and through. Obsessing about new gaming features, new architectures, new games, and tech. We designed GeForce GPUs for gamers, and gamers are clamoring for more,” Nvidia said in a statement.
“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.”