Prior to the launch of the GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards, Nvidia announced that the GPU would come with an algorithm designed to cut the mining hash rate of the card in half, specifically for the Ethereum cryptocurrency. The goal, according to the company, was to prevent cryptocurrency miners from hogging all the stock of the card and blocking gamers from getting the cards. At the same time, the company launched dedicated mining GPUs without display outputs to cater to the mining market.
Now, it looks as though Nvidia may be backtracking on that decision, at least to some extent. A number of outlets have reported that these limits are somewhat easy to bypass, but German website ComputerBase has additionally reported that with the latest driver update to version 470.05, currently in beta, the mining hash rate on the RTX 3060 is unlocked automatically, with no BIOS updates or other changes required. This has further been confirmed by hardwareluxx.de.
While Nvidia claimed to have good intentions with the initial move to limit the mining hash rate, enthusiasts such as YouTuber Linus Sebastian were quick to point out that the move was only making it so that mining GPUs were rendered completely useless if and when cryptocurrency mining becomes less profitable, since they lack display outputs to make them useful for gaming rigs.
It's not totally clear whether Nvidia is intentionally walking back its decision to limit the mining performance of the RTX 3060 or if this is an issue with the beta driver, but either way, those looking to use the cards from cryptocurrency mining now have an easy way to do just that. We've reached out to Nvidia to learn if the change is intentional and we'll update this post if we hear back.
Update: Nvidia has confirmed to Neowin that the driver version was a developer driver that inadvertently included an internal tool that removed the mining hash rate limitations. The driver has now been removed, but with it out in the wild, it should be easy for anyone to use the cards for mining.