Nvidia is releasing a new range of cryptocurrency-focused graphics cards in the next few months, which should offer a higher hash rate than their standard gaming cards. That would be unlikely to stop miners buying up gaming cards as well when stock runs low, though, so it's also adding something that gamers have hoped for for some time: a limiter on its upcoming RTX 3060 graphics cards which will make them less good at mining. A hash limiter.
This limiter will be software based, so technically may not be impossible to get around, but Nvidia appears quite confident that it will put a dampener on any efforts to use the cards for mining. Nvidia told PCGamer that "End users cannot remove the hash limiter from the driver. There is a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removal of the hash rate limiter."
The limiter will cut the effective hash rate of the RTX 3060 12GB cards in half, making them far less effective at mining Ethereum and therefore far less profitable from any prospective miners who are interested in them. If stock of everything runs out as quickly as it has done, this may not stop miners entirely, but it could be a big step in making sure that gamers can actually get hold of GPUs this year while cryptocurrency prices are seeing such a major boom.
The RTX 3060 is set to go on sale on February 25 with a price tag of just $329, offering gamers near RTX 2080 Super performance. That should make it a popular card no matter what, but here's hoping gamers get their hands on them quicker than they did with higher-end Nvidia RTX 3000 GPUs.