Nvidia: RTX 3060 anti-mining function works not at the driver level, but in vBIOS
An Nvidia spokesman explained to TechPowerUp that the hash rate limitations of GeForce RTX 3060 GPUs when mining Ethereum are not limited to the driver.
Public Relations Manager of GeForce Bryan Del Rizzo said that between the driver, the graphics chip RTX 3060, and the firmware card (vBIOS) there is an additional control system and data sharing (secure handshake), which prevents the removal or alteration of pledged speed limiter manufacturer hashing graphics fact, Nvidia is trying to make a way to lower the mining hash rate, which would not depend on the version of the card driver.
TechPowerUp experts suggest that Nvidia may withdraw some graphics cards from the market, such as the RTX 3070/3080/3090, and released them under different identifiers. They will also have a built-in anti-mining protection algorithm that the average user cannot remove on their own. Since 2018, starting with Turing GPUs (GeForce 20, GeForce 16, Quadro, and Tesla T4), vBIOS has been delivered to partners in encrypted form. It is not possible to download, modify and load it back onto the card.
Tom's Hardware believes that this blocking will not interfere with developers of mining companies who write their own firmware and drivers. And if these unlocked vBIOS appear in the public domain, then all the manufacturer's actions will be in vain.
On February 18, 2021, Nvidia announced, which launches solutions based on a specialized GPU called CMP HX (Crypto-mining processor) for professional mining. The company wants to leave video cards of the GeForce series to gamers. The company will limit the hash rate of its GeForce RTX 3060 GPUs to be less desirable for miners. This will happen by reducing the GPU performance in mining when using DaggerHashimoto and Ethash-like algorithms by 50%. The company took this step to improve the situation on the market with a shortage of video cards.
The blogger who received the card before the release confirmed that the performance limitation in the RTX 3060 only works for one Ethash mining algorithm; when it is applied, the card produces 50% less mega hash per second than usual.
Comparative table of RTX 3060 performance on various mining algorithms.