NVIDIA has already started shipping its updated GeForce RTX 3060 SKUs (GA106-300 to GA106-302) with the enhanced Ether mining block to board partners, but it looks like most of these cards won’t end up in the hands of gamers. As per a report from ITHome, NVIDIA’s product shipment strategy recommends that board partners should directly obtain orders from internet faces (in bulk), rather than direct them to retail stores. In China and Korea, cafe owners are being given a special priority supply, allowing them to upgrade or change their entire systems with the newer RTX 3060 graphics cards.
It’s important to note that the RTX x60 SKU is generally the most popular graphics card from NVIDIA’s consumer lineup due to the higher price-to-performance ratio compared to the other higher-end models. This is especially true for Asian markets where internet cafes primarily employ the GTX/RTX x60 and x70 SKUs in most of their systems to keep margins in check.
Earlier, NVIDIA botched its anti-miner measure on the RTX 3060 by inadvertently releasing a developer driver without the block. This allowed just about anyone with the GPU to bypass the limiter by installing this particular driver. NVIDIA reacted to this by updating its RTX 3060 die, introducing a driver and firmware-hardware level mining block, making it nearly impossible to bypass the limit.