While Nvidia assured us it won’t nerf the crypto mining performance of GPUs already sold prior to the release of the RTX 3060, it never said future purchases of existing models wouldn’t carry the same restrictions. New rumours suggest that Nvidia could re-release its entire Ampere range of graphics cards with different model numbers to re-introduce a stronger crypto mining limiter.
Nvidia’s had a tough time trying to dissuade crypto miners from snapping up its new GeForce GPUs, initially suppressing Ethereum mining in February before accidentally releasing a beta driver that stripped the limitations. With an official driver floating around and plenty of mods circumventing the constraint, team green’s current anti-mining efforts are null and void.
HKEPC reports that Nvidia has new plans to combat the practice, with an RTX 3060 refresh on the way carrying a GA106-302 codename rather than the original GA106-300 designation. With a new PCI Device ID attached, older drivers would be rendered obsolete and won’t work for anyone that purchases the new variant, and the new drivers would ship with stronger crypto mining limitations baked in.
Prominent leaker Kopite7kimi corroborates this, but goes a step further by stating that it might not just be the RTX 3060 getting the new treatment. We could also see GA104-202, GA104-302 GA102-202, and GA102-302 model numbers, which would be RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and RTX 3090 refreshes respectively.
I've said before, maybe not GA106 only.
For example, we would meet GA102-302/202 and GA104-302/202. https://t.co/pGghHbikbV
— kopite7kimi (@kopite7kimi) April 15, 2021
If these whispers hold any weight, it will only affect you if you’re purchasing a new graphics card, as ones currently on the market should have access to legacy drivers. Upcoming models like the RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti are likely to be restricted the moment they land, however, which is reportedly in May.
The hope is to shift crypto miners onto the dedicated CMP series GPUs, which are doing incredibly well for Nvidia so far. But since they only target Ethereum, it’s unclear how effective the deterrent will be.