Everyone at this point knows the pain of trying to buy a GPU in 2021. There may finally be some relief coming. The rumblings that Etherium has been working to move away from proof of work as a means of limiting the impact of mining may take a while. The effort is now on AMD and Nvidia to do something. Aside from investing billions into new factory capacity, there is one potential workaround. This comes on the heels of failed attempt to limit mining utility for Etherium through a firmware limiter. That effort was soured by Nividia’s own fruit, when they released a driver branch without the limiter.
Now, they’re trying again. This time, we’re getting a direct hardware limiter of some kind. NVIDIA is internally describing the revised silicon as “Lite Hash Rate”, as a refresh of the silicone powering its 30-series cards. According to various sources, a new RTX 3060 GPU SKU features a new ID on the die, leading to suspicion that this will be the gamer-focused product going forward.
It’s easy to see why Nvidia wants this to happen, as they want to force more users to adopt the CMP cards for mining, it remains to be seen how that will work out.
The new GA106-302 ID is set to launch later this month. This is slated to eventually replace the GA106-300 SKUs floating around the market now. It will take some time for the prior iterations to filter out of the supply chain, so just wait a bit longer.
Additionally, kopite7kimi, a prolific hardware leaker, claims that NVIDIA is also preparing SKU IDs for GA104 and GA102 GPUs, with GA102-302/202 and GA104-302/202 variants. all of which will replace the current 3090 and 3080 in some SKUs. This should eventually help alleviate supply issues in the short term. There will not be some sudden shift in the fortunes for PC gamers though. The projection by Nvidia that the GPU shortage will last until 2022 will likely continue to be true after the launch of Lite Hash Rate GPUs.
This move won’t have any impact on the scalping GPUs—as many people will continue to burn through non-Lite Hash Rate GPUs in the secondary market. These transactions are a big loss for Nvidia, but there’s no real way to stop them. And frankly, the cost of trying to slow down scalping would be way too high in terms of financial commitment and reputation damage.