Nvidia limits Ethereum mining for RTX 3060 again: 'We designed GeForce GPUs for gamers'

Nvidia office building
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Nvidia's RTX 30-series GPUs are attracting a lot of attention from cryptocurrency miners who are clamoring to earn Ethereum for verifying transactions on the peer-to-peer blockchain. Nvidia, however, isn't happy about this; the GPU giant is actively trying to dissuade miners from snatching up their gamer-targeted RTX 3060 GPUs.

In late February, Nvidia introduced new drivers for the RTX 3060 GPU that were designed to thwart Ethereum mining by 50%. However, in mid-March, the GPU giant revealed that a developer accidentally unlocked the RTX 3060 GPU with a beta driver. Today, Nvidia announced that it has reinstated the limiter for the RTX 3060 graphics card.

Nvidia applies cryptocurrency mining limiter to RTX 3060 GPUs again

"We designed GeForce GPUs for gamers," said Matt Wuebbling, head of Nvidia's global GeForce marketing. Wuebbling added that Nvidia acknowledges that its GPUs are being used for mining cryptocurrency, and as a result, it's taking steps to ensure GeForce graphics cards end up in the hands of gamers — not miners.

Cryptocurrency mining involves hashing. Hashing is the process of using mathematical algorithms that take input strings of any length and transforms them into fixed, cryptographic outputs. As such, Nvidia implemented a hash-rate limiter on its RTX 3060 GPUs in late February. To address the needs of crypto miners, Nvidia unveiled CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor), which doesn't offer any graphics capabilities.

As mentioned, in mid-March, Nvidia admitted that it accidentally removed the limiter from Nvidia RTX 3060 GPUs. “A developer driver inadvertently included code used for internal development which removes the hash rate limiter on RTX 3060 in some configurations,” an Nvidia spokesperson told The Verge.

Today, Nvidia made an announcement that may disappoint some miners: the hash-rate limiter is now reinstated for RTX 3060 GPUs via the GeForce 466.27 driver. "This driver updates the hash limiter for the GeForce RTX 3060 12GB and is required for products shipped starting mid-May," the company said in its release notes.

According to Videocardz, the mid-May product release Nvidia is referring to is the new Lite Hash Rate series for the Nvidia RTX 30 graphics cards; they will all feature a mining limiter to keep the crypto nerds at bay.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!