Nvidia is “not limiting the performance of GPUs already sold” to nerf mining

GeForce is meant for gamers, and Nvidia wants to keep it that way

Asus's TUF Nvidia RTX 3060 graphics card against a yellow and stone grey background, showing its namesake by breaking the ground

March 1, 2021 Nvidia clarified that the RTX 3060 is the only graphics card to have its hash rate nerfed to dissuade cryptocurrency miners.

GPU stock could struggle until 2022, but that hasn’t stopped Nvidia from pulling in record numbers in its final quarter of the year. During a recent earnings call (via Seeking Alpha), the company revealed it has made over $5 billion in Q4, which is a 61% increase over last year’s $3.11 billion – half of which is attributed to its gaming division, and between $100 million and $300 million came from cryptocurrency miners.

Nvidia’s made no secret that “GeForce is made for gaming,” recently nerfing the RTX 3060 to perform worse when Ethereum cryptocurrency mining software is detected by reducing the hash rate by half. The purpose of this is to shift miners onto its optimised CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor) range in the near future, potentially alleviating the demand put on ordinary graphics cards and replenishing stock – even if it does currently only affect the one type of cryptocurrency.

By saying that this effort to maximise the supply of GeForce GPUs begins by “starting with the 3060″ (emphasis ours), CFO Collete Kress hints that these kinds of restrictions could eventually be applied to other graphics cards in Nvidia’s RTX 30 series.

Since these limitations are applied through driver updates, it’s not clear how well they’ll work with the best graphics card that’s already on the market, given that owners could potentially just revert to an older driver. For now, though, Nvidia told us it’s “not limiting the performance of GPUs already sold” and it’s only “focused on limiting the hash rate of the RTX 3060” for the time being.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang expects mining cards to become at least a “small part” of the business moving forward, but we’ve reached out to see what plans there are for existing and upcoming GeForce GPUs.