NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 hash rate limiter already hacked? (UPDATED)

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 10 2021 @ 11:31 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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UPDATE March 11, 2021 - NVIDIA anti-mining technique not hacked yet

WCCF Tech has corrected its original article. It appears the anti-Ethereum mining algorithm hasn't been hacked yet:
It seems like the mining algorithm used here wasn't Ethereum but Octopus which is a different cryptocurrency coin and based on an algorithm that NVIDIA might not have limited its hash rate for yet. So as of right now, the hash rate limiter remains in place but if other crypto-currencies can give out similar profits as ETH, then that doesn't stop miners from consuming the card for mining purposes.

Original post

Last month, NVIDIA made some moves to try to get more GPUs in the hands of gamers. The GeForce RTX 3060 is the company's first video card with a hash rate limiter. The card basically has an anti-Ethereum mining algorithm that roughly halves the hash rate -- which makes mining on these cards less profitable. This algorithm is expected to be expanded to other, future GeForce cards too.

Additionally, NVIDIA introduced special Cryptocurrency Mining Processors (CMPs). The first two CMPs are based on the 12nm Turing GPU, so they don't directly compete for foundry capacity with the 8nm Ampere-based GeForce RTX 30 series.

NVIDIA anti-mining algorithm supposedly hacked

At the time, I speculated it wouldn't take long until a miner figured out a way to circumvent NVIDIA's anti-mining algorithm. We don't know exactly how the hash rate limiter works, and despite NVIDIA's claims that it's hackproof, it was kinda hard to imagine this would be a long-term solution. A lot of money is involved in cryptocurrency mining, and there are a lot of folks out there with amazing software and hardware hacking skills.

As such, I'm not surprised to see reports coming out of China of the first hack of the GeForce RTX 3060. Chinese miners have reportedly figured out a mod that boosts the hash rate of the GeForce RTX 3060 to over 45MH/s.

In the picture below, you can see a screenshot of a system with eight GeForce RTX 3060 video cards hitting over 45MH/s per card in Ethereum using the Dagger Hashi-Motto algorithm. With the hash rate limiter active, the card should only be capable of delivering 20-25MH/s.

WCCF Tech reports Vietnamese users independently verified this mod is the real deal. And that's bad news for gamers.
A Vietnamese Facebook group has also verified that this mod actually works and can deliver up to 50 MH/s on the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. Such hash rate would mean that Crypto miners will now rush after the GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards considering they deliver the same hash output as the RTX 3060 Ti and close to the RTX 3070 with a much lower power draw.
Basically, what this all means is that the GeForce RTX 3060 is now a prime target for miners. With cryptocurrency performance no longer nerfed, the card is more attractive than higher-end models. The unlocked GeForce RTX 3060 delivers close to the hash rate of the GeForce RTX 3070 -- with much lower electricity consumption. With GPU supply already struggling massively to keep up with demand, the odds of getting your hands on a decently priced GeForce RTX 3060 just dropped significantly.

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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