It was just last month that NVIDIA announced that the RTX 3060 contained software drivers that would limit the hash rate of Ethereum cryptocurrency mining. Now, it seems that the protection offered by those drivers has been bypassed by NVIDIA itself.
As reported by The Verge, Japanese website PC Watch first reported on how the RTX 3060’s protections could be bypassed without making modifications to drivers or the BIOS. This was later verified by German website Computer Base, who said that the unfettered mining was a result of NVIDIA’s 470.05 beta driver.
The beta driver in question was meant to enable CUDA support for Windows Subsystem for Linux for members of the Microsoft Windows Insiders Program. That it ended up unlocking the RTX 3060’s Ethereum mining capabilities was clearly unintentional, but also raises eyebrows about the RTX 3060’s ability to withstand attempts to circumvent its hash limitations.
NVIDIA had launched a dedicated line of cryptocurrency mining cards and implemented the hash rate-limiting drivers in the RTX 3060 to “help ensure GeForce GPUs end up in the hands of gamers”. In a tweet from February 19, NVIDIA’s Bryan Del Rizzowrote, “It's not just a driver thing. There is a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter.”