Nvidia has announced a couple of exciting initiatives to try and clearly separate two worlds like PC gaming and cryptocurrency mining. First of all, with the release of the GeForce RTX 3060 GPU on February 25th, the driver will be able to detect crypto-mining activity. Second, Nvidia has announced a range of GPUs to specifically meet the needs of Ethereum mining. These new GPUs will be nicknamed Nvidia CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor).
How the new 3060 will work
When the 3060GB GeForce RTX 12 starts up, drivers that support it will automatically throttle hash rate speeds. Of course Nvidia doesn't want to give too much away about how it detects mining activity and throttles it, but it is said to be a driver-side solution, and the Windows and Linux drivers will both throttle hash rates.
If this limiter seems a bit easy to hack or bypass, Nvidia said in a later release that "the software cannot be hacked to remove the limiter." It almost seems dangerous to be so dismissive of the hacker community.
Another important point about the RTX 3060's launch drivers is that the newest GeForce drivers from that date will not affect the GPU hash rates for previously released GeForce hardware. Such a retrospective "nerf" would not be as effective as miners, not interested in new game graphics features, could simply use older driver sets.
If this all works we will only find out by living, and we will see in the coming weeks and months if the RTX 3060 will have better availability and not be hacked to allow its full ETH mining potential (here you can find out how buy Bitcoins and ETH). The 3060GB GeForce RTX 12 will be available starting February 25th.
What are Nvidia CMPs
Additionally, Nvidia thinks of crypto miners with the release of a range of GPUs dedicated to professional miners, which will be optimized for low voltage efficiency.
How do the mentioned hash rates compare to existing RTX 30 series graphics cards? Surprisingly, not so well, as a 3090W RTX 290 is capable of 121MH / s response, while a 3080W RTX 224 can do 98MH / s, a 3070W RTX 117 can achieve 62MH / s at 117W, the RTX 3060 Ti is capable of doing 60 MH / s. AMD cards like the Radeon RX 6800 XT, for example, are not such a great choice for ETH, as at 147W it can only reach 60MH / s.
Hopefully, CMP processors make financial sense for miners as they can't be reused for gamers anymore in the future. Not only are the outputs on the bracket missing, but the necessary output support on the chip. Nvidia further explains that CMP GPUs "do not meet the specifications required by a GeForce GPU and, therefore, do not affect the availability of GeForce GPUs for gamers".