RTX 3060 cryptocurrency mining capabilities unlocked with beta NVIDIA driver

Back in February, NVIDIA made a pair of reveals that went hand-in-hand. For starters, it announced that it would sell certain GPUs as "cryptocurrency mining processors," or CMPs. At the same time it announced it was rolling out these CMPs, the company also announced that it would be limiting the RTX 3060's usefulness when it came to cryptocurrency mining, the hope being that those limitations would make RTX 3060 cards less appealing to crypto miners.

PC gamers in search of an upgrade need every advantage they can get, too, because not only are they attempting to find a new GPU amid a silicon shortage, but they also have to contend with cryptocurrency miners who are snatching up cards left and right because we happen to find ourselves in a crypto boom at the moment. While NVIDIA did indeed reduce the hash rate of Ethereum mining in new RTX 3060 cards, it seems that NVIDIA also just removed that limitation in new beta drivers for the card.

German website ComputerBase confirmed that GeForce beta driver 470.05 removes the hash rate restriction, following a report from Japanese website PC Watch that confirms removing the hash rate restriction in RTX 3060 cards is indeed possible without needing to modify the BIOS or the driver first.

We're not really sure why this beta driver removes the hash rate limitations, and it's hard to know if this is intentional or if it was an accident. Of course, these are beta drivers and not live drivers, so only a limited number of RTX 3060 users are going to have these crypto mining limitations lifted, but still: inquiring minds would like to know what's going on here.

After all, NVIDIA's decision to put limitations on RTX 3060 cards and offer so-called CMPs separately has not been without controversy, so it's always possible this was an intentional move on NVIDIA's part after a healthy dose of PR pushback. We'll have to wait and see what happens from here, but we'll let you know if NVIDIA says anything about this in an official capacity.