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GeForce RTX 3060 Takes 42% Performance Hit in Mining Operation

GeForce RTX 3060
GeForce RTX 3060 (Image credit: CryptoLeo/Youtube)

Nvidia announced today that it has taken necessary actions to gimp the GeForce RTX 3060's mining performance in an effort to stop cryptocurrency miners from getting their hands on the graphics card. YouTuber CryptoLeo has put the GeForce RTX 3060 through its paces and found Nvidia's measures to be extremely effective.

Custom GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards won't go up for purchase until February 25, however, the YouTuber managed to get his hands on Zotac's GeForce RTX 3060 Twin Edge ahead of launch. The GeForce RTX 3060 is slated to start at $329, but sounds more like an overdose of optimism in present times, with a graphics card shortages and scalpers trying to make a profit. CryptoLeo paid around $830 for his GeForce RTX 3060 with shipping included.

Initially, the GeForce RTX 3060 was pushing a hash rate around 41.526 MH/s on PhoenixMiner 5.5c at the beginning of the mining operation. However, the Ampere graphics card's performance gradually descended until it hit rock bottom at 23.807 MH/s. If we look at the math, that's a massive 42.7% drop in mining performance and falls right in line with Nvidia's claims to slash the GeForce RTX 3060's mining performance by up to 50%.

GeForce RTX 3060 (Image credit: CryptoLeo/Youtube)

According to Nvidia's press release, the anti-mining algorithm is built into the driver on a software level. However, the YouTuber claimed that he didn't have access to the latest Nvidia press driver, so he tricked the software into thinking that he's installing a GeForce RTX 3070 with an older driver. This seems to contradict Nvidia's implementation, that is, unless the chipmaker had already slipped in the mechanism into previous drivers without us knowing. It's also plausible that the YouTuber did have the right driver.

Assuming that the protection doesn't reside in the driver, then it's probably hidden inside the graphics card's vBIOS instead. A wild guess is that anti-mining mechanism is triggered with some type of cryptomining workload, resulting the graphics card automatically decreasing its performance.

Whether it's driver-based or vBIOS-based, Nvidia's protection might not be airtight. In the case of the first, cryptocurrency miners could theoretically just use an older driver that doesn't have the anti-mining algorithm. Even if it's baked into the vBIOS, there's a possibility that someone will find a way around it and just flashed the modified vBIOS onto the GeForce RTX 3060.

With its latest anti-mining efforts, Nvidia has found a way to halt cryptocurrency miners from picking up the GeForce RTX 3060 for the meantime. Unfortunately, it will affect legitimate owners that want to do some casual cryptocurrency mining as well.

  • vov4ik_il
    I do not see how this will help or benefit nVidia or stop mining...
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    vov4ik_il said:
    I do not see how this will help or benefit nVidia or stop mining...
    mining has no benefit for nvidia.
    they sell cards at a fixed rate.

    they dont mark up the product (thats 3rd partys)

    gimping mining effectiveness on GPU's is designed to give ppl who want to use them for gaming (their original purpose) a better shot at getting one. (as u only have fight scalpers and not the mining group)
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    $830 for a RTX3060 I can't stop laughing ya no!
    Reply
  • Math Geek
    if they don't go for sale for another week, how did this guy buy one? even at an inflated price, they are not even for sale yet???
    Reply
  • ezst036
    Sabotaging the customer is all the rage these days. From Apple to Facebook and more.

    If I wasn't already using Linux I would be switching. Today. I didn't pay all this money for hardware to have it come with some overlord attached to it.
    Reply
  • Coinmok
    Math Geek said:
    if they don't go for sale for another week, how did this guy buy one? even at an inflated price, they are not even for sale yet???
    He has connections ;)
    Reply
  • cartman-2000
    vov4ik_il said:
    I do not see how this will help or benefit nVidia or stop mining...
    It probably won't help nvidia, or the supply of nvidia cards to a great degree. Miners may switch over to amd cards if it will effect the entire 3000 series of cards, with the newer drivers. And you'd still have the issue of scalpers.

    This doesn't help "leisure" miners, those with one to a few cards using them to make some extra money on the side, while they aren't playing games on them.

    That 3060 card, with the performance drop, runs at about the same spead as an unoptimized(to very lightly optimized) gtx 1080 card for etherium mining. At that speed, it would take a little over 2 years to mine one etherium coin with it, on a pool like ethnrmine.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    vov4ik_il said:
    I do not see how this will help or benefit nVidia or stop mining...

    I guess you missed the simultaneous press release where Nvidia found a brilliant way to clear out their old inventory and make mining specific cards. Sell cards to gamers, boost their reputation with gamers, will still sell out of cards, and sell off their old inventory to miners. It's a win-win-win for Nvidia.
    Reply
  • teodoreh
    "Boss, AMD is selling 5700XTs and 6700XTs like mad!"

    "Ok, release the Kracken... BIOS"
    Reply
  • Cy4N1d3
    Here is what nVidia is going to do. They see how much money people are paying scalpers and nVidia is thinking "We are supposed to be the scalpers." They will increase the p rice of the 3080 mining version to $2500 and the 3090 mining version to $3500. Because they can.

    Also, every single mining card actually hurts the supply of regular video cards. A gaming card has to not be made for a mining card to be made. The is -1 gaming card 1 mining card. But wait... At the end of it's lifecycle when no one wants to use it anymore, it can't be sold at a discount like current gaming cards can. That means at the end of life, another gaming card is taken off the market and nVidia gets to sell another brand new gaming card. So a mining card isn't 1 mining card, but 1 mining card plus NEGATIVE 2 gaming cards. That means nVidia triples their sales and more than triples their profits.
    Reply