Worried that the GeForce RTX 3060 will be sold out as cryptocurrency miners snap up every GPU in sight? NVIDIA thinks it has a simple way to help: make the new card unattractive to the crypto crowd. The company has revealed that it's cutting the hash rate (mining efficiency) of the RTX 3060 in half for Ethereum miners. The driver software can detect the Ethereum mining algorithm and throttle performance in response. The rationale is simple: NVIDIA wants to put GeForce cards "in the hands of gamers," not just those hoping to turn a profit by generating digital money.
The newest graphics cards from the gaming processor designer Nvidia will be artificially constrained in their ability to mine cryptocurrencies, the company has announced, as it desperately tries to manage a year-long inability to satisfy demand. The RTX 3060, a high-powered PC peripheral designed to let gamers get the best performance from their machines, will ship with software that makes it half as effective at mining the cryptocurrency Ethereum as it could be. "We designed GeForce GPUs for gamers, and gamers are clamouring for more," said Nvidia's Matt Wuebbling, the global head of GeForce marketing. "Yet Nvidia GPUs are programmable. And users are constantly discovering new applications for them, from weather simulation and gene sequencing to deep learning and robotics. Mining cryptocurrency is one of them."
It's no secret that both NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), the only two makers of high-performance graphics processors, have seen their respective graphics processor businesses soar thanks to the boom in cryptocurrencies. This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool. In a nutshell, as cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and ZCash, which have generally been produced by running computations on graphics processors, have grown in value, so too has demand for the graphics processors that can produce them. That production process is known as mining. However, in recent months, prices of cryptocurrencies have dropped and specialized hardware to mine these cryptocurrencies has emerged.
Nvidia may be benefiting from what one analysts describes as a "tectonic shift" in computing and it shows: Every unit of the graphics processor's business is performing well. The company's fiscal first quarter results were strong and handily topped Wall Street expectations. Nvidia has been riding a strong data center wave as companies upgrade their GPUs for artificial intelligence and machine learning. The company's core gaming business is doing well due to a shortage of supply, higher prices and new releases such as Fortnite. And Nvidia is even benefiting from the trendiest of tech trends: Cryptocurrency.