NVIDIA’s Plans to Reserve the RTX 3060 for Gamers Are Destroyed by Dummy Dongle

By Bill Toulas / March 22, 2021

When NVIDIA announced a plan to lock the RTX 3060 mining performance on the driver last month, we reckoned that the chances of not having someone managing to unlock the performance anyway would be slim. Little did we knew that NVIDIA would actually go forth to accidentally leak a version of its proprietary driver that wouldn’t have the mining performance limiter implemented, essentially undermining its own plan. And now, users are reporting that they don’t even have to use that special beta driver, as they can bypass the limiter by simply using a dummy HDMI dongle.

As the "" editor Andreas Schilling demonstrates, connecting an HDMI dongle onto the card convinces the card driver that it’s running on a gaming rig, as miners don’t need to output anything from the card. This alone is enough to bypass the Ethereum mining performance limiter, rendering NVIDIA’s solution totally worthless.

The way things unfolded and the pace with which the locking mechanism was thrown out of the window essentially forces the GPU chip maker to engage in a game of cat and mouse right from the start. However, the war appears to have been already lost, as crypto-miners weren’t discouraged from deploying their card-snatching bots to get those 3060 at any point. Hence, the card remains nowhere to be seen for the community it was promised to, the PC gamers.

On the opposite camp, AMD decided not to play those nerfing games with its graphics cards, so there will be no mining limiters on any Radeon products. Possibly, AMD believes that there’s no point in taking that path, as it won’t stop miners from buying the products and circumvent the locking systems sooner or later anyway. For AMD, that would be a loss of time and development resources.

Product Manager Nish Neelalojanan stated that their newest gaming cards are optimized for gaming first and foremost, so they’re not ideal for mining or any other specialized workload. This doesn’t mean miners are skipping them, but AMD sees no point in launching a futile war against market dynamics.

For a better user experience we recommend using a more modern browser. We support the latest version of the following browsers: For a better user experience we recommend using the latest version of the following browsers: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari