When the value of cryptocurrencies soared back in 2017, it created a huge shortage of graphics cards, as the parallel processing capabilities of a graphics card make it ideal for mining cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (but not bitcoin). That created a financial windfall for the leading graphics card makers, but it also angered gamers, the companies’ traditional customers.
In recent months, cryptocurrencies have once again been soaring to record highs, which has driven another spike in graphics card prices. So when Nvidia rolled out its RTX 3060 graphics card last month, the company deliberately limited the card’s capacity for mining cryptocurrency. Our quick-and-dirty test suggested that Nvidia reduced the card’s mining capacity by roughly half. The hope was that miners would leave the card alone, ensuring that some cards would continue to be available for the gaming market.
Unfortunately, the mining limitation appears to have been implemented in the software. And Nvidia accidentally released a new driver that unlocked the 3060’s mining capacity. Nvidia acknowledged the mistake in a statement to the Verge.