After Nvidia made a big stink over the fixing of the RTX 3060 Ethereum hash rate with a driver-based rate limiting, there has been a pretty big mistake. The attempt to drive cryptocurrency miners away from the new 30-series cards has just been defeated, by Nividia’s own efforts. The issue is that a developer version of a new GPU driver has been posted online. And the cat’s out of the bag.
“A developer driver inadvertently included code used for internal development which removes the hash rate limiter on RTX 3060 in some configurations,” says an Nvidia spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “The driver has been removed.”
The driver has since been deleted from official sources, but has already been mirrored on various servers. And there’s no way Nvidia can remove the bugged driver from global distribution. As a result, they can’t stop miners from using the driver with RTX 3060 GPUs they have or buy in the future. Miners will definitely find a way around any restrictions and allow their cards to be used with the latest 470.05 beta driver.
That driver will mean more demand has instantly been created for the already impossible-to-find GPUs. The restrictions built into the systems were based on an idea that Nividia seemed to think couldn’t be defeated. Why this happened is unclear, but it is what it is. According to Nvidia, “there is a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter.” They probably didn’t expect the workaround to get leaked to the public.
So while RTX 3060 Ethereum hash rate now has a workaround, and video cards are about to get even harder to find, there’s still some good news. At least this mess shows that Nividia is actually serious about preserving supply for gamers over miners.