With Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 12 GB rumored to launch this April the question on the minds of miners and gamers is whether the 3080 Ti GPU will have a cryptocurrency mining limiter like the one on its RTX 3060 GPU.
Background: GeForce RTX 3060 12GB- the most controversial GPU ever?
In response to complaints from gamers who were facing fierce competition from miners for Nvidia’s GPUs and driving up prices, Nvidia announced that the RTX 3060 will have an Ethereum mining limiter before launch. This satisfied gamers to an extent but many who used their GPUs for mining when they were not running high-end games began to look for workarounds to unlock the GPU’s full mining potential.
Before a hack could be legitimised, Nvidia ‘leaked’ a beta driver that unlocked mining restrictions under certain conditions. This allowed Nvidia to meet the demands of most part-time miner-gamers but others, aggravated, took it upon themselves to overcome all of the 3060’s mining restrictions.
Finally, a user from Quasarzone has unlocked these restrictions using an HDMI dummy plug, an old dual-core Intel Pentium G3220 processor and a Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 motherboard. The full article on how to achieve this user can find on Tom’s hardware.
Although this may be great news for miners, this beta driver (driver 470.05) will not be compatible with the upcoming 3080 Ti and future GPU models. Besides, Nvidia may have something bigger up its sleeve.
GeForce RTX 3060 mining limiter: Was it all just a test?
With the launch of Nvidia’s Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) line-up, Nvidia may be looking to completely split mining from their gaming GPUs. The RTX 3060 fiasco may have been an open-market test to further explore the possibility of having a completely separate line-up targeting miners while heavily restricting hashing capabilities on their RTX GPUs.
Currently NVIDIA uses defective Turing and Ampere GPUs for their CMP HX cards, and there are predictions that the company may repurpose rejected A100 GPUs for mining with the release of A100 CMP HX SKU. If so, it would be the most powerful crypto-mining GPU on the market. If the expensive CMP line meets success, Nvidia may gain the confidence to block mining on all of their future GPUs.
On the Flipside: PoS, Shortages and AMD
Nvidia’s changes may work well to increase sales while the majority of the crypto world functions on Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithms. However, the rapidly approaching age of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithms suggests Nvidia should not delay the release of its CMP lineup if it is to profit from the high crypto-mining demand right now. When the PoS age arrives, high-ending crypto mining will be made obsolete.
AMD, on the other hand, is looking to close the gap on performance with the launch of Big Navi and is scaling up production by becoming TSMC’s second largest customer, while Nvidia is expected to decrease its share in TSMC’s revenue. Thus, AMD is expected to have a greater say in the development of TSMC’s future technologies and process recipes.