Nvidia cracks its own GeForce RTX 3060 anti-mining protection

Awkward.

Credit: Nvidia

Well, that didn’t last long. When Nvidia launched its $330 GeForce RTX 3060 just weeks ago, it shipped the card with anti-mining protection that automatically halved performance when it detected Ethereum workloads. Ethereum is a booming cryptocurrency partly responsible for the sky-high pricing of graphics cards right now. This morning, however, reports are trickling in that the RTX 3060’s mining protection has been circumvented—by Nvidia itself.

Oops.

Japan’s PC Watch first reported that Nvidia’s 470.05 beta driver for Windows Insiders automatically unlocks full Ethereum mining performance. Germany’s ComputerBase and HardwareLuxx soon confirmed the report. You don’t even need to flash the RTX 3060’s BIOS. The new drivers simply remove the limiter, with HardwareLuxx’s Andreas Schilling reporting that the card’s Ethereum hashrate hit 21.7 MH/s using standard drivers, and over 41 MH/s with the 470.05 beta drivers.

evga geforce rtx 3060 xc black gaming 3 Brad Chacos/IDG

We told you not to expect miracles when Nvidia announced the Ethereum protection. Now that these beta drivers are in the wild there’s likely no putting the rabbit back in the hat for the RTX 3060. Miners could likely avoid newer updates and load their hardware with this software instead.

The GeForce RTX 3060 sold out instantly despite its initial mining protection and currently goes for $600 or more on Ebay and other resale sites. This development will likely drive demand even higher until the current cryptocurrency bubble bursts. Between supply shortages, insane demand, logistic woes, and the mania swirling around Ethereum, it’s a terrible time to try to buy a graphics card. Even used two- or three-generation-old GPUs are selling for more than they launched for all those years ago. You’re better off streaming games via Nvidia’s PC-friendly GeForce Now service or trying to snag a next-gen console than overpaying for a new graphics card right now.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?