Nvidia had promised to make the new RTX 3060 ‘Mining Proof’, but a simple fix led miners to unlock the full potential to mine Ethereum, and you can too!
Given the recent shortage of GPUs due to both production shortcomings and miners hoarding the new lineups, Nvidia was set out to take some stringent actions. Everyone was expecting a locked-down card with weird bypasses and unlocks, but it turns out the unlock was way easier than expected.
1. What’s This About a Locked 3060?
Nvidia had promised to make the new RTX 3060 mining-proof by locking down the hash rate of Etherium. They were essentially rendering the card useless for anyone looking to mine the cryptocurrency.
This would, in turn, make the miners lose interest in the new card, and it would reach other customers like gamers and those in need of graphical power. All of this was done to curb the actual global shortage, well things did not go well, and an unlock soon surfaced.
I. Method 1: Unlock Maximum Nvidia RTX 3060 ETH Hashrate
Use the GeForce beta driver 470.05 with a video output (or dummy plugs) to unlock the full ETH hash rate of RTX 3060. This specific development driver has no ETH restrictions, and using it with the 3060 will make the card perform at its maximum mining potential.
A user on the Guru3D forum posted about the find, and soon people confirmed. A bypass would have been developed sooner or later, but nobody expected that Nvidia would themselves give the people an unlock!
Requirements before you begin:
- Nvidia RTX 3060
- Geforce 470.05 Beta Drivers
Installing the 470.05 Geforce beta Driver is as installing any usual drivers:
- Download the 470.05 beta drivers. Nvidia has pulled the drivers off their website but as they say, once on the internet always on the internet!
- Use Display Driver Utility (DDU) to remove previous drivers or just select ‘Clean Installation’ when installing the beta drivers.
- Install the beta drivers, and that’s it!
You should now be getting the full hash rate of about 48-50 MH/s compared to the locked-down ~26 MH/s. If you use your card in a mining rig with some riser cables and cards running without a video out, then you need some more stuff.
II. Method 2: Get ETH 40 MH/s on RTX 3060
miniZ v1.8y3 has added support for RTX 3060 and unlocks the hashrate of up to 40 MH/s on the 3060 card. The miniZ miner does need some specific driver but it should unlock your RTX 3060 card right out of the box.
As miniZ released the latest version of their miner, the devs were excited to report that they were able to achieve a base hashrate of 35MH/s on the 3060 V1, with some tweaks to the clocks this number went up to 40 MH/s! Here’s how you can unlock your RTX 3060 with miniZ.
Things You Need to Get Started:
- Nvidia Driver 461.40 (Windows) or 460.39 (Linux)
- miniZ v1.8y3 (Link)
- Windows/ Linux (Hive OS comes with miniZ)
i. Unlock RTX 3060 with miniZ Miner
- Download and Install the Nvidia Drivers (461.40 (Windows)/ 460.39 (Linux)). Use “nvidia-driver-update –list” on Hive OS to get the list of available drivers.
- Set up miniZ as your miner, Hive OS 0.6-205@210715 includes the specific version of miniZ.
- With mode set to 80 (Use Flag: –mode=80) and the base settings you should be able to get around 34-35 MH/S. To get 40 MH/s tweak the settings as:
PL = 120 W (70% AfterBurner); core clock = -150; mem clock = 2700 (Linux, if you use Windows mem clock should be 1350) (Source)
That’s it and you should now be hitting close to 40 MH/s with the miniZ miner. There might be a slight chance that the miner will get similar effects with your drivers but the devs have not tested every driver out there so it is best to stick with what they recommend.
III. Method 3: Unlock Partial 3/4th ETH Hashrate on RTX 3060
The latest lolMiner v1.29 release unlocks the RTX 3060 ETH Hashrate and you get 3/4th of the hashrate right out of the box. The best thing is you do not need any extra dummy plugs and it works with all risers, find out how.
With the release of version 1.29 of lolMiner, there is a partial Nvidia 3060 “Unlocker” included. The developer was able to take advantage of the potential of the RTX 3060 and it is now able to get close to three-quarters of the full ETH hashrate just by using the latest Linux-only release.
- Nvidia Driver between 455.45.01 and 460.39
- lolMiner v1.29 (Link)
- Any Linux based mining OS
i. How to Use 3060 Nvidia Unlocker on lolMiner
- Download the latest lolMiner (v1.29 as of writing, a Linux-only release). See this for distro-specific instructions.
- lolMiner supports the unlocker right of the box, after around 5 minutes you should be able to see the hashrate stabilize as the in-built optimizations kick in.
Official v1.29 changelog:
- Added the Nvidia 3060 “Unlocker” for Linux. This new mode allows to mine at a speed of about 3/4th of the maximum speed of these cards. Differences to popular Windows solution:
- Works with Linux
- Does not fully unlock card, but partially (~3/4 of max performance, +40-45% over locked card)
- Allows using risers
- Allows multiple GPUs in one system
- Needs Nvidia Linux driver between 455.45.01 and 460.39. Other driver versions will run at locked speed.
The update opens up a lot of potential doors. Since it allows the use of risers, multiple cards, and that too without dummy plugs, you don’t have to worry about macgyver-esque solutions. There is also the possibility that this may be extended to unlock the full potential of the 3060.
2. The Rise of the LHR Cards
With the more or less failed attempt to restrict mining on a software level, Nvidia moved to a lower level to impose restrictions on the hardware architecture. In comes the LHR cards. Nvidia LHR or Lite Hash Rate (LHR) GPUs turn down the ETH Hashrate to approximately half of the actual potential to lower mining profitability.
The end goal here is to restrict the mining purchases so that gamers and other consumers can get their hands on the cards before mining firms horde all the stash. The older tech. didn’t obviously work out well for Nvidia (Who is to blame for that?) in terms of controlling the market so they have moved on to different strategies.
I. Check if You Own an RTX LHR GPU
Nvidia switched to LHR tech. In the middle of May 2021, all cards manufactured after this date are Lite Hash Rate (LHR) units. You can check the same as these GPUs have LHR plastered all over the outer box.
Nvidia RTX 30 Series Cards with LHR:
- Nvidia RTX 3060/ 3060 Ti
- Nvidia RTX 3070/ 3070 Ti
- Nvidia RTX 3080/ 3080 Ti
Visit GPU-Monkey for an exhaustive list of LHR Cards
Older AIB cards or Founder Editions cards that were purchased before the switch are entirely unaffected and actually quite in demand in the used PC market by miners. As all things come to an end the supremacy of LHR cards shall come to an end too, for now, we have to make do with miners that unlock some extra potential of these locked cards.
II. Unlock 70% ETH on RTX 30-Series LHR with NBMiner
With the release of NBMiner v39.0, developers have finally cracked the LHR wall that limited the mining potential to almost half of its limit. With NBMiner you can now unlock up to 70% of ETH performance on RTX 30 Series.
Released last month v39.0adds a new ‘lhr’ mode to the miner on Windows & Linux that can achieve more than 2/3rd of the ETH potential as compared to the locked-down 50%. Even though it is just a partial bypass, the unlock promises a lot of potential and is quite good news for miners owning the LHR cards.
i. Get the LHR Unlock with NBMiner
Using the lhr mode on NBMiner is as easy as just adding the ‘-lhr’ flag to ethash. For those of you out there who want to play around a little more can add ‘-lhr <value>’ where value is the amount the miner will try to reach. For example, if you want to get 60% potential on ETH, add ‘-lhr 60’.
NOTE: The devs recommend a value of 68, as it gives the most stable results.
ii. Use the LHR Unlock with NBMiner on NiceHash
- Go to your plugins in NiceHas and find the NBMiner tab. Open it to see if you have got v39.0 or higher. (If not, download the latest release from Github and install it in the directory specified.)
- Restart the NiceHash, and go to the NBMiner settings.
- Add ‘-lhr 68’ in the launch parameters. (This sets the Miner to unlock 68% potential of the card as according to the devs, this is more stable than 70%.)
3. Still Not Getting Maximum Hashrate on RTX 3060?
RTX 3060 needs to be plugged into a PCIe x16/ x8 slot with a video-out/ dummy plug to unlock the card’s mining potential with the beta drivers (Method 1).
This is for people that are running multiple cards. If you are using riser cables, then x16 to x1/ x4 riser cables will not work. Either plug the card directly or use high-quality x16/x8 risers.
4. Running Multiple RTX 3060s For Mining
It’s more good news for those lucky few who have a handful of RTX 3060s lying around as many people have reportedly gotten multiple 3060s to mine together.
You need to have specific motherboards capable of multiple PCIe x8/x16 lanes to mine with more than one Nvidia RTX 3060s.
XY Studio reported that the Asus X99-E combined with dummy plugs is able to mine with all the seven 3060s plugged in at full power. The best thing about this board offers seven x16 PICe slots on a single CPU!
Do note after plugin all the seven 3060s, you need to have ‘above 4G Decoding’ enabled in the BIOS to get the system to POST.
Ready to take things up a notch? Dizzy Mining over at Youtube spotted SuperMicro’s X10DRX motherboard with a shopping 10 PICe x8 slots! The only caveat? It requires two CPUs to run. Oh wait and it also costs $650!
Both of these methods won’t be of much use if you do not have enough x16 risers since you do not want to turn your mining rig into a furnace!
5. Save on Risers, Invest in Server Racks
Server-style cases are the way to go if you are not able to find x8/ x16 risers to run multiple RTX 3060s. The server racks have better push-pull airflow configurations to keep your GPUs plugged directly in the motherboard cool.
Given the current market trend, most of the risers, especially x8/ x16 risers are either out of stock or price gauged. It would be better to find a cheaper server-style case to run your mining rig in.
6. About RTX 3060
Nvidia’s RTX 3060 is the latest GPU from the giant in the 30 Series RTX lineup. With 12GB VRAM and 2nd Generation Ray Tracing architecture, the 3060 promises a surreal gaming experience with stunning visuals.