Confirmed: NVIDIA CUDA on WSL 470.05 driver lifts RTX 3060 mining restrictions (UPDATED)

Posted on Tuesday, Mar 16 2021 @ 11:21 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
NVIDIA logo

UPDATE: NVIDIA confirms the SNAFU

NVIDIA has already removed the 470.05 driver release -- but that's probably too late as the driver is already circulating widely in the mining community. In a statement to The Verge, NVIDIA clarified that 470.05 is a developer driver that accidentally contained code that was not meant for the outside world.

Basically, NVIDIA cooked up lines of code to remove the hash rate limiter of the GeForce RTX 3060, for internal testing of the video card. But the company forgot to remove this code from the 470.05 test driver before it got pushed out the general public -- so now the genie is out of the bottle.
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. -- An NVIDIA spokesperson




Last month, NVIDIA talked a big game about a supposedly "unhackable" anti-Ethereum mining protection on its GeForce RTX 3060 video card. NVIDIA's Bryan Del Rizzo explained the feature as a secure handshake between the driver, the video card's firmware, and the silicon.

Developer driver is all you need to mine on RTX 3060

Yesterday there were already rumors about the mining protection being broken and now there's confirmation that a new driver from NVIDIA does not activate the so-called hash rate limiter. The driver we're talking about here is not a regular GeForce driver release but a special developer driver from NVIDIA that enables CUDA support on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). It's a technology preview driver that's exclusively available to Microsoft Windows Insiders Program members.

VideoCardz reports two German tech sites independently confirmed that NVIDIA CUDA on WSL driver 470.05 does not restrict Ethereum mining performance. ComputerBase says just the driver is enough -- you do not need a special BIOS.
ComputerBase can confirm that only the beta driver GeForce 470.05 distributed by Nvidia to developers and via the Windows Insider Program ensures that the performance of the GeForce RTX 3060 in the Ethereum algorithm no longer drops. A BIOS update is not necessary. -- ComputerBase
Andreas Schilling from HardwareLuxx confirmed the news but he found out it only works for the primary card in multi-GPU configurations. The driver still caps the hash rate for all other cards in the system. It's unknown whether all supposed "hacks" of the GeForce RTX 3060 rely on the 470.05 driver.

Either way, it seems the protection was a lot weaker than how NVIDIA presented it to the world. It's unknown what this means for the future of NVIDIA's current hash rate limiter -- it's starting to get kinda pointless.

India to ban crypto currencies and mining?

In related news, word is going around again that India is planning to take major actions against cryptocurrencies. A senior government official confided to Reuters that legislation is on the way that would make it illegal to own or mine private cryptocurrency in India. If it gets approved, it would be the world's toughest policy against crypto. The country will reportedly give current holders of crypto coins a maximum of six months to sell. Under the proposed bill, Indian citizens who still own cryptocurrencies after the liquidation date will be subject to penalties.
The bill, one of the world’s strictest policies against cryptocurrencies, would criminalise possession, issuance, mining, trading and transferring crypto-assets, said the official, who has direct knowledge of the plan. -- Reuters




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.



Loading Comments