NVIDIA admits that it accidentally unlocked Ethereum mining on brand new RTX 3060 GPUs. If you’re trying to buy one of NVIDIA’s new graphics cards and can’t get it, you’re not alone. The global supply shortage is ongoing and these graphics cards are once again being targeted by cryptocurrency miners. Their prices skyrocketed for two reasons: miners and the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is not profitable to mine Ethereum on RTX 3060s
RTX 3060 GPUs are incapable of mining cryptocurrencies, the company intentionally did that. But a few hours ago a driver appeared that enables Ethereum mining on these GPUs. A few hours later NVIDIA withdrew the driver, which nevertheless ended up being distributed in other unofficial sources.
When the company released this graphics card, it tried to make these series less interesting for cryptocurrency miners. It limited its capacity for these processes through software drivers, but also announced the launch of NVIDIA CMP, a graphics card entirely aimed at miners.
That was supposed to improve the situation for gamers trying to get their hands on one of the RTX 3000 family of graphics cards and especially for those looking for the more affordable RTX 3060, but now that strategy has been exposed.
NVIDIA accidentally released a driver that unlocks mining on RTX 3060s
The reason is the release of some official drivers under version number 470.05, which allowed the full potential of the RTX 3060 to be harnessed for cryptocurrency mining. Without the drivers, the capacity was limited to 50% by default, but with them, it was possible to mine cryptocurrencies using 100% of the capacity of these GPUs.
NVIDIA officials removed those drivers within hours, and have stated that: “A developer driver inadvertently included code used for internal development which removes the hash rate limiter on RTX 3060 in some configurations. The driver has been removed.”
The driver only worked for a single RTX 3060, it is not useful for “rigs” with multiple graphics cards. Even though the company has removed the driver from its official website it is easy to find it right now on other sources. Let’s see what happens next.