NVIDIA Confirms GeForce RTX 3060 ETH Mining Limiter Was Accidentally Deactivated

gigabyte rtx 3060
Leading up to the launch of the GeForce RTX 3060, NVIDIA made it clear that the GeForce RTX 3060 would have limitations in place to make it unpalatable to cryptocurrency miners. GeForce and Radeon GPUs are popular with Ethereum miners, which has exacerbated the GPU shortage plaguing the industry.

NVIDIA's solution was to implement a combination of hardware, BIOS, and driver modifications to slash the ETH hash rate of the GeForce RTX 3060 in half. However, as we found out yesterday, this limiter was effectively disabled without much work on the user's part. A GeForce RTX 3060 owner only needs to install the 470.05 beta driver, which automatically removes the hash rate limiter. 

NVIDIA has now confirmed this turn of events in a statement in a brief statement: "A developer driver inadvertently included code used for internal development which removes the hash rate limiter on RTX 3060 in some configurations. The driver has been removed."

Unfortunately for NVIDIA, there are already numerous mirrors for the 470.05 beta driver on the internet. We won't provide a link in this article, but a simple Google search quickly pointed us to valid download links.

This turn of events is interesting for many reasons. How is it that installing a beta driver is the only thing needed to defeat the hash rate limiter? NVIDIA told us a month ago that there was a lot more to its scheme than just a driver. "It's not just a driver thing," said NVIDIA's Brian Del Rizzo in a tweet on February 18th. "There is a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter."

So, it seems, at least for now, the GeForce RTX 3060 is free and clear from its ETH hash rate limiter if you're willing to download the 470.05 beta driver from a third-party source. It also has us questioning just how thorough NVIDIA's supposed "handshakes" are on the GeForce RTX 3060. Whatever the case, it seems that crypto miners don't have much to worry about for future GeForce RTX releases that are also rumored to include a crypto mining limiter.

And even if NVIDIA manages to get its GeForce RTX ETH-limiting ducks in a row, the company will gladly sell you a headless CMP HX card for your mining duties.