NVIDIA to relaunch Ampere GPUs with its anti-mining algorithm?

Posted on Friday, Feb 19 2021 @ 10:29 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Yesterday, NVIDIA announced a hash rate limiter for its soon-to-be-out GeForce RTX 3060 video card. The first thing that popped in my mind as I read this was that this will likely get hacked sooner rather than later. A limitation in the driver can be circumvented easily and even a BIOS-level implementation may not be a big issue as big mining firms are known to write their own drivers and firmware.

Now there's some more information from NVIDIA's Bryan Del Rizzo. Via a tweet, he reveals that the anti-cryptocurrency mining protection is a "secure handshake" between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS. When the NVIDIA algorithm detects Ethereum mining, it artificially throttles performance to roughly cut the mining hash rate in half. This makes mining on these cards a lot less profitable, or even unprofitable.

VideoCardz writes there are rumors that NVIDIA will relaunch existing Ampere SKUs under a new device ID. Allegedly, the company will expand its anti-mining algorithm to cards like the GeForce RTX3090/3080/3070/3060Ti. This hasn't been officially confirmed yet.

Two questions remain.
  1. Is the anti-mining algorithm really as secure as NVIDIA claims? If the answer is yet, the company may have finally found a way to preserve its GeForce GPUs for gamers. Miners will be forced to buy NVIDIA's new Cryptocurrency Mining Processors (CMPs). Of course, this will only make a difference if NVIDIA prioritizes GeForce GPU production.
  2. Will AMD follow NVIDIA's lead? Or will miners now flock to AMD?

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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