NVIDIA kind of made history the other day by limiting the hash rate of its upcoming (budget-grade) Ampere graphics card, the RTX 3060. According to the company, this nerf isn’t just a “driver thing”, rather a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) which makes it very hard to remove the limitation.
This was confirmed by some YouTubers who already have access to the graphics card along with some modified drivers. Considering that the official drivers from NVIDIA aren’t out yet, and the miners were still able to observe the nerf on hardware using custom drivers, this proves that it’s more than a simple driver hack.
Meanwhile, there have been rumors that NVIDIA might extend the same “anti-miner” nerf to the higher-end RTX 30 series GPUs such as the 3070, 3080, and 3090. However, that appears to be completely false as the company confirmed in a statement to PC Gamer that it’s “not limiting the performance of GPUs already sold.”
This makes sense as the company can’t forcibly flash a new BIOS or modify the GPU silicon that has already been sold. Furthermore, this would possibly result in a “hangover” like in the past where the channel was flooded by thousands of GPUs from miners trying to cut their losses. This resulted in a significant revenue drop for both NVIDIA and AMD as the chipmakers weren’t able to sell many units. You can be sure that NVIDIA won’t do that.
However, on the other hand, as indicated by a reputed source on Twitter, NVIDIA may end the production of the existing Ampere GPUs and introduce a new “Super” refresh with the necessary limitations already in place.