NVIDIA is planning to replace its entire GeForce RTX 30 series lineup with updated SKUs to cut their Ethereum hash rate in half, with the first batch of GA106-302 dies for the RTX 3060 already shipped. This new anti-miner measure will work at three levels: Driver, firmware, and hardware. The hardware will prevent the flashing of older firmware (with unlocked hash rates) to newer GPUs while the firmware will only allow the installation of newer drivers that limit the hash rate.
With shipments of the RTX 3060 already in progress, the updated SKUs for the RTX 3060 Ti, 3070, and 3080 will be shipped in quick succession, with all batches by June to consist of the newer models. The GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and 3080 Ti which are slated to be announced by the end of the month, and an early June launch, will also come with the same Ether mining block.
However, there’s one part, namely the Ampere flagship, the GeForce RTX 3090 which won’t have its silicon updated to limit the Ether hash rate. Neither will be the graphics drivers restrict the mining performance of the top-gun in any way. The reason behind this is simple: The RTX 3090 isn’t a gaming GPU. It’s barely faster than the RTX 3080 (and the upcoming RTX 3080 Ti), and there isn’t a single game that requires more than 16GB of graphics memory. Furthermore, the profit margin for the RTX 3090 is much higher than any other Ampere GPU, including the 3080 and the soon-to-be-launched RTX 3080 Ti. As such, it’s very possible that NVIDIA simply doesn’t mind miners buying its top-end GPU in bulk as it’d greatly help with the operating profits.