back to article Someone defeated the anti-crypto-coin-mining protection for Nvidia's 'gamers only' RTX 3060 ... It was Nvidia

Cryptocurrency miners found a way to sidestep Nvidia's anti-mining protections for its RTX 3060 graphics card, and craft coins to their hearts' content. A day before its 3060 went on sale, Nvidia announced the GPU would require a GeForce driver designed to detect whether the hardware was running proof-of-work algorithms used …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

    Only because these same gamers will apparently pay the prices the scalpers are asking.

    What happened to wait a couple of weeks/months until there is stock? Is it really necessary to have the new hardware the very minute it is released? Or am I just not in touch with the current zeitgeist?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

      The demand is just too crazy. The only way the demand drops enough for mainstreamed to get on board is for new tech to supersede it, which by then is way too late in hypercompetitive gaming.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

        You'd think so, but no, not really. Even 1660 have doubled price. You can find 1080 on eBay at prices higher than the MSRP for a brand new 3080.

        And the lure of the get-rich-quick-by-literally-burning-oil crapcoin craze won't disappear, as a new shitcoin is born every minute to start over with the scam. I really don't see a way out of this.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

          That's what I'm talking about. "A bit over MSRP" is considered in mainstream compared to the top end where money spinners will pay half the kingdom and his daughter's hand in marriage knowing getting a top end will let them recoup it all quickly.

          1. Gary Stewart

            Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

            Off topic:

            I just watched a very nicely restored version of Jabberwocky a couple of days ago for the first time in many years, otherwise the "half the kingdom and his daughters hand" would have gone right past me. Not my favorite "part Python" movie by a long shot but definitely worth a view every now and then.

            On topic:

            I'm I the only one that wonders about the accidental part?

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

              Python? I was citing Pratchett, actually. Standard hero's fee for slaying a dragon ("Guards! Guards!").

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

                I think the half kingdom thing predates both. IIRC I remember reading a children's book at school years ago about a mythical kingdom where they have a plague of dragons - so much so the king and queen had to keep giving away half their kingdom until it was reduced to the size of a small room

                1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                  Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

                  Yes, it's a standard marchen trope. In the Grimms you can find it in "Seven with One Blow", for example.

                  A decent dictionary of folklore tropes would probably cite older sources. Wouldn't surprise me if it shows up in Marie de France, for example.

                  I have a vague idea that there's a classical example, but I can't think of it offhand.

                  (Re Jabberwocky: "He was so terrified his teeth turned white overnight!" Or words to that effect.)

        2. karlkarl Silver badge

          Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

          Ironically it would be great for Linux / BSD users who don't really care about the latest and greatest and just want their command prompt or text editor to be visible. We now have many cheap ~5 year old cards.

          A pitty that many of us prefer open-drivers (i.e AMD / Intel). So there really is going to be a massive influx of old unwanted NVidia cards.

        3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

          Ooooh. 1080 for more than a brand new 3080 you say...

          * stares at shiny 1080 GTX OC edition in PC case. *

          But then it does mean camping on a suppliers website...

          1. MiguelC Silver badge

            Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

            I think you missed the MSRP part, the current price for the 3080 on eBay is probably more than double that by now

            1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

              Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

              Yeah... The irony is that I bought my 1080 GTX used, a couple of years ago... And now the going price is £50 - £100 more than I paid for it. Buy it now is about £150 more...

              Madness, absolute madness.

          2. DiViDeD Silver badge

            Re: shiny 1080 GTX OC edition

            Missed the bus there old chap. I already have a ROG 1080 and MSI RTX 2080 (Duke) up on eBay in an attempt to recoup my 3090 spend.

            And I don't expect to get 3080 money for either of the buggers

          3. the cats whiskers

            Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

            Is that what is known as lurking with intent ? I'll get my coat now

      2. Peter2 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

        The demand is just too crazy. The only way the demand drops enough for mainstreamed to get on board is for new tech to supersede it, which by then is way too late in hypercompetitive gaming.

        Which assumes that in "hypercompetitive gaming" the game is won based upon the equipment used, rather than any skill of the participants. Or that the gaming is being done for the sole purpose of winning, rather than you know, for entertainment.

        I have been gaming since the days where the games were loaded from floppy disc, and in that time I have never needed to buy a bleeding edge bit of kit. The performance will have incremented by at least 1% in the next month, so you could always just buy something at the sweet spot of price/performance chart (You can usually get ~90% of the performance for bleeding edge kit for ~50% of the price) and then just buy a new card as a life extension in a couple of years and remain close to the maximum possible performance without spending megabucks.

        Anybody spending megabucks on gaming is truthfully trying to "keep up with the jones" and show off, rather than be into "hyper competitive gaming".

        My box is the most offensively boring and battered beige box that could be found in homage to the years where that was in fashion. It's ignored in favour of the cool brushed aluminium boxes with windows into the interior showing off the pulsing RGB lights up until it unexpectedly turns out to perform just as well because the performance difference is inperceptable to the human eye. And that's when LAN gaming rather than doing things over the internet where nobody can actually see the box anyway.

        1. Captain Scarlet
          Unhappy

          Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

          I miss going to LAN parties (Although the village hall we rented, used to have to boot one at a time to ensure a fuse wasn't tripped)

          1. Horridbloke

            Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

            It was the CRT monitors that tripped the fuses wasn't it?

            1. Captain Scarlet

              Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

              Half had CRT's by this point, but most of us had at least a 500W power supply.

              Very likely to be displays as very little power savings on the cpu and gpu at that point.

        2. Displacement Activity

          Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

          Anybody spending megabucks on gaming is truthfully trying to "keep up with the jones" and show off, rather than be into "hyper competitive gaming".

          Actually, no. I've spent the last couple of months trying to get any graphics card that will give me a decent frame rate on a flight sim. You can't buy anything for love or money. Not really "gaming", but I imagine the shoot-em-uppers have the same problem.

          1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

            Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

            Try xplane, then! I'm guessing you're using fs2020? It's very pretty, but, as a real-world pilot, I find xplane is more realistic. And it runs on comparatively modest hardware.

            1. WhereAmI?

              Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

              As usual, getting off-topic :-) but as a part-time commercial flightsim developer and ex-pilot (boo-hoo), I won't go anywhere near that piece of half-baked eye-candy called FS2020. So far I've had the dubious pleasure of rejecting all contracts that include an FS2020 version. As ICL says; XPlane or Prepar3D. You don't need the flat-out high-end graphics cards for them. An old(er) RTX2080 is giving me 90+ FPS on a default P3D installation and 50+ FPS on one loaded to the gills with addons. And the CPU is two generations back too (i5-8000 series).

              1. Displacement Activity

                Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

                I'm on XPlane! Sort of, anyway - it's unusable on i7/Intel UHD. I can't get 2080 cards. There are some UK retailers with expensive 2060s, and there are a couple of good 2060 results on the speadsheet, so maybe I'll go for that.

          2. John PM Chappell

            Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

            If you're serious, I have a couple of old AMD GPUs sitting in a box. RX 480/580.

        3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

          Floppy disk? You were lucky, my dad used to make us run games from cassette tape, which would fail on the first load after taking 5 minutes of screeching. Then we'd have 16 colours of we were lucky.

          And you tell kids these days and they don't believe you...

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

            "Press play on tape #1" Ah, the memories. My first PC game was a cassette-loaded Hunt the Wumpus for the Commodore PET. It was mildly entertaining!

            Though some of my friends had Atari 400s or 800s; with those, for games it was just a matter of slapping the cartridge in and powering it on. And if you had the 800, with its dual slots, and the debugger cartridge you could often get the game to boot and then break in the debugger, and then you could have all sorts of fun.

            One friend even had the external floppy drive for his 800, and a couple had the Votrax speech synthesizer.

            1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

              Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

              Vic 20 for me so I could choose both... (Though I only had 'Treasure Island' on cartridge... and no manual on what the syntax was for the Text adventure - who needs a million colours when only 2 will do)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

            16 colours? You were lucky!

            We only had eight, bit academic though as we had black & white telly

        4. CountCadaver

          Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

          Problem is with esports, its not just skill, its hardware too that comes into the blend, hence 360hz monitors for one....anything for a competitive edge...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

        "hypercompetitive gaming"

        Quick note: In that field rasterisation is what is important and aside from some old CRT/strobe based view monitors, the limitation is set by the monitor at 1440p and 120fps (natively _AND_ clean). For that, you don't need 1 of these new fancy cards.

        If you can find an old big heavy view monitor (and have the $$$), buy it and hang on to it... even have it repaired!! You can block out true white, lines up to 4000 (unless you get a REALLY expensive one) and refresh rate is whatever you want (realistically up to 600 before break down). I had 2 old SGI monitors (even supported 16bit color!), but at the time (~20 years ago) I thought something better would come along so I pitched them after a few minor issues. Yeh... mistake (although they weren't light by any means). As a bonus, you can to some extent daisy chain them which is a VERY nice feature that has been lost in the move to flat panels (this feature would be good for gaming conventions).

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

          "Quick note: In that field rasterisation is what is important and aside from some old CRT/strobe based view monitors, the limitation is set by the monitor at 1440p and 120fps (natively _AND_ clean). For that, you don't need 1 of these new fancy cards."

          Don't assume those limits will remain there for long. Higher transfer rates can easily fix that (HDMI 2.1 can handle 4K@144Hz) as the RTX3080 is supposed to make 4K gaming practical, and details matter for some genres.

        2. Gary Stewart

          Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

          I'd really like to see a double blind test to see if any gamer can really tell the difference between 120fps and any higher fps rating. My money is on that most if not all can't.

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

            They can't.

            LAN parties were the way of showing this back in the day; flashy gits would show up boasting about getting an FPS into triple digit numbers and it'd turn out that they were running their monitor at 60Hz.

            But then consoles were capped to 30FPS for a long time and nobody really noticed.

          2. CountCadaver

            Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

            I've just bought a 1440p 144hz iiyama VA over a 4K 60Hz, whether that was a good decision or not remains to be seen...I'm lold by many that the difference between 60 and 144 is very noticeable, though I'm not wholly sold

          3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

            The difference would be purely academic anyway...

            Especially since being a double blind test, they wouldn't be able to see a thing anyway..

            I'm going, I'm going. I'm still not sorry!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

      > Is it really necessary to have the new hardware the very minute it is released?

      Thing is, it's not just the new 30xx series that's selling out. With the exception of very cheap low-end parts (the likes of the GT710, where you just need something to power a display) or professional Quadro GPUs, everything is sold out. The second-hand market has gone insane: four or five year old GPUs are selling for more than they cost brand new.

      1. Vometia Munro

        Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

        Yeah. I discovered this when my old but still okay R9 390 figuratively went up in smoke (not sure of the culprit but suspect an updated driver with unspecified tweaks for "quieter" fans hastened its demise). I'd previously assumed the same, people were paying silly money for top-end stuff but everything else was okay. I'd be fine and would be back to being shot at in Cyberpunk in no time.

        When I started looking for a replacement I was quickly disabused of that idea. There was absolutely nothing available anywhere except stuff even older than my 390 and whose second-hand prices were rather premium rate.

        I eventually lucked out and managed to grab myself an Nvidia 2060 at probably its original RRP. In normal times not an especially wonderful deal but right now I consider myself to be very fortunate. I just hope it doesn't develop a fault in the foreseeable future...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

      Confession time: I thought exactly the same as you - people are just moaning, wait a few weeks, etc. But I've changed my mind.

      Yesterday I checked a UK online retailer I have used happily for years (built my last two PCs from them). They have practically no GPUs. No 3xxx series cards, and one or two 2xxx series in the £800-1000 range (MRRP, not price-gouged). And they are open that they have no ETA for replacements either. They had no AMD cards at all.

      I've got no problems with waiting a few months after a card is launched to buy one at manufacturer's recommended retail price. But there doesn't appear to be any end in sight for this. There's every chance that 4xxx series cards will be announced before the current-gen ones are actually available to buy.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

        It's not just graphics cards though - the AMD A-series processors have disappeared altogether, and the low-end Ryzens are considerably more expensive. RAM is silly money today compared with a couple of years ago. It's not so long ago that I was putting together a couple of low-end good-enough-for-browsing-and-light-gaming systems with A8 processors, 4G RAM and 120G SSDs for under £200. Can't come close to that these days, which is a shame as I need to update a creaky old server and something of that spec. would have been ideal.

        Oh well, perhaps I'll look at doing it with a Pi4 instead.

        Edit : actually, RAM prices seem to be coming down again, which is some good news!

        M.

    4. Binraider Bronze badge

      Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

      5-year old middle of the road cards are trading second hand, for more than what they cost when they were new. That's how borked the supply situation is.

      Source: Ebay, 2 days ago. Mate of mine buying a matching GTX970 to run in parallel with one I sold him second hand in January.

      There isn't even a "bottom end" card readily available, so systems lacking video on the CPU that need "some" video output but nothing special are priced out too.

      Not long ago upgraded to a Ryzen7 here. The GFX will remain firmly previous generation for a long, long time at current rates. I never have, and never can justify doubling the cost of a computer for the sake of a graphics card.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

        I bought graphics cards for the mrs and I back at the tail end of last year (2070 Super and RX5600XT) got a decent deal using an eBay coupon (£350 for the 2070 Super and 220 for the RX5600XT) both of them are well above that now....

        World has lost the plot entirely....

    5. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

      Is it really necessary to have the new hardware the very minute it is released? Or am I just not in touch with the current zeitgeist?

      No, you're just not a magpie1.

      1A bird with a reputation for stealing and hoarding all things shiny.

  2. Charles 9 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    We Just Can't Have Nice Things

    I just can't see how this will ever end well. Demand is obviously through the atmosphere, so no amount of building will be able to keep up. Worse, the unsavory interests have more motivation, deeper pockets, and fewer scruples. I'm reminded of the Furby craze. Makes me wonder if someone wrote a story about something like this in the past.

    1. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

      Eventually, things will probably change, there are a few different ways it could happen:

      Manufacturing catches up, more chips get fabbed, and more cards get to the retailers (yes, miners will snap them up, but will eventually let them go to the second hand market).

      Cryptocurrency prices crash, the miners unplug their kit, least efficient first, and, again, sell cards.

      Someone further up the supply chain raises prices to silly levels. At the moment, it's the scalpers and reseller platforms (i.e. ebay) that are taking the profits, there's only so long that sort of money gets left on the table, so we're waiting until either the consumer retailers, card manufacturers, or chip manufacturers decide they want in. If AMD/Nvidia do, expect them to justify it by saying they need to invest in the first option above.

      Game developers reassess what their target platform looks like. If your game needs a recent GPU to be enjoyable, you're going to have a bad time.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

        I wonder if there's mileage in doing it the same way as buying a replacement engine; a big discount if you send the old working-but-knackered one back?

        Or even, no, you can't have a new one unless you send the old one back.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

          Trade-ins aren't worth much versus the final sticker price. Plus, how does one get their first one, especially in a household with lots of kids which crimps hand-me-downs?

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

            Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

            Damn, I knew there was something I forgot :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

        "Game developers reassess what their target platform looks like. If your game needs a recent GPU to be enjoyable, you're going to have a bad time."

        I think, for gamers, this is the only way out. I'm happily gaming at full speed on 1080p on my good 1080ti, today ...

        Only the 4K craze is demanding for more

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

        Cryptocurrency prices crash, the miners unplug their kit, least efficient first, and, again, sell cards.

        The problem in this case is that (apparently, based on the article) the demand here is for Ethereum, which unlike Bitcoin and most other simple cryptocurrencies has use-value: it's used for smart contracts.1 And according to various academic papers I've read, there is an obscene amount of money tied up in Ethereum smart contracts. Losses due to breaking Ethereum exceed $200M, and they represent a relatively small portion of the total Ethereum value.

        Apparently -- again per various academic studies I've read -- many of the DApps using Ethereum are doing real data processing for real companies that make real things. Personally I find the idea a bit horrifying, but I guess you can always find someone to try any damn thing.

        So Ether (the cryptocurrency based on Ethereum) is in effect somewhat stabilized by this store of value, even if Ether is not technically a "stablecoin".

        1Which are neither, of course. Even the founder of Ethereum has disavowed the term.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

      I just can't see how this will ever end well

      One way would be to levy a carbon tax on cryptocurrencies.

      I think it's rather interesting that the main take on this is "oh, no, I can't play games" rather than on how much power is being consumed by the latest incarnation of tulip mania.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

        How would this be enforced across hostile borders?

        But thanks for the tulip reference.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

          It doesn't need to be. At some point, they need to be either converted to real currency, or used to buy something, and that's where tax apply. Of course there will be ways around it. The goal is not perfection, but reduce sufficiently the attraction of energy-waste crapcoin scams to move enough people away.

          1. marcellothearcane

            Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

            Hmm, but a few businesses are accepting crypto, so if they can buy stuff in crypto too, no tax gets paid. Yes eventually someone may try converting to cash, but I think the trend (and plan) is for crypto to be a complete system of itself, in which instance this wouldn't work.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

              " I think the trend (and plan) is for crypto to be a complete system of itself, in which instance this wouldn't work."

              Even if some institutions seem to get attracted to crypto, the plan, IMO, has always to be a scam. And scams never dies. The Ponzi scheme is hundreds years old, and yet, today, some people are still mounting some. Successfully.

          2. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

            But it MUST be perfect, as it's a Siege Problem. The unsavories are MASTERS of loopholing (that's why they're still around).

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

          >How would this be enforced across hostile borders?

          By the secret world government of .... NO CARRIER

      2. Aus Tech

        Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

        "One way would be to levy a carbon tax on cryptocurrencies."

        There's only one problem with that, how do you arrive at a Dollar or Euro value of something that changes from day to day, and then levy the taxation on the number of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency, and then receive the tax levied. It will be extremely difficult, to put it mildly.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

        It's worse than you think. There's a crypto company building a new mining farm right next to one of our substations in the middle of nowhere so they have access to lots of cheap power. I really thought the weed farmers would do this first, but I guess even their power consumption is dwarfed by crypto mining. This is a horrible way to use limited resources. Reminds me of the ethanol cartel - growing food to turn into gasoline additives. We're going to pay a price for this insanity.

    3. Annihilator Silver badge

      Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

      "I just can't see how this will ever end well"

      Short version - you're waiting for the cryptocurrency bubble to burst and evaporate for the fad that it is.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

        I've lost track of how many years I've been waiting for that. And in the mean time, I've regretted not investing - think how much I could have made.

        1. very angry man

          Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

          I turned $6000 into $23000 and i got in late, watching now to try and get out before BANG!!!

  3. redpawn Silver badge

    Mining works best

    on other people's hardware. So don't attempt to use unauthorized drivers on your own.

    1. Richard Boyce

      Re: Mining works best

      ...and using other people's electricity.

      That's part of the problem.

  4. chuBb. Silver badge

    #if debug

    Bet they will be double checking the compiler directives (again, until they forget and release debug code again)

  5. Brad16800

    Ahh crap, one of the fans on my GTX 1060 stopped working last week. was hoping to nab one of those 3060's.

    Still it's about 5 years old and pretty much plays everything maxed out so can't complain. Running strong on the remaining fan but if that goes I'm screwed :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fans are replaceable.

      Here, lmgtfy:

      https://www.gpufanreplacement.com/

    2. jglathe

      You can buy those and replace it. Also a good chance for a general cleanup of the card.

    3. WhereAmI?

      Replace it. Not a difficult job. No idea where you are but in the UK new coolers are available from overclockers.co.uk. Disclaimer: no association with them except that I've put rather a lot of money their way over the years and never regretted it.

  6. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Angel

    The Coming of the Bots

    In the end bots will not only snap up everything for sale, but be mining cryptocurrency on their own account.

    Probably to buy new cards.

    1. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: The Coming of the Bots

      Anyone who has played Universal Paperclips knows how that ends.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: The Coming of the Bots

        I not only played it, I also removed some bugs from it in my local copy (and removed some testing code to make it a lot smaller).

    2. Greybeard_ITGuy

      Re: The Coming of the Bots

      SkyNet agrees.

  7. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

    Or they could just wait.

    I find this is quite a good strategy, really.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Or they could just wait.

      "I find this is quite a good strategy, really."

      That is actually true. So many good old games: HL2, Portal 1 & 2, etc ...

      Replaying Tales of the Borderlands here.

      Also, the aspect of new games being bafflingly buggy and not worth trying first year, even less with the dependency of a top end system. CP2077 anyone ?

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Or they could just wait.

        Damn! I thought for sure I had an old Myst disk around here somewhere....

  8. Boothy Silver badge

    Will miners actually buy the CMP HX cards?

    As far as I'm aware, miners look at TCO, so take into account initial purchase costs, running costs and eventual sale of the card once it's no longer viable for mining. So they presumably factor in how much they expect to get back on the GFX cards when sold (and at the moment the 2nd hand market is booming!).

    How many people are going to want to buy a 2nd hand CMP HX card? Okay, these seem to be basically headerless CUDA cards, so a few people out there might want them for other purposes than mining, but I can't see this being much of a market?

    CMP HX cards would have to be very cheap compared to the full blown GFX cards in order to get miners to buy them as a throw away device, rather than something they can sell on later.

    It also means the silicon on the card is basically single use, so this will impact the 2nd hand market, reducing the number of hand-me-down cards later on.

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      Re: Will miners actually buy the CMP HX cards?

      Crypto mining cards have existed for a while - from memory it is possible to use them as gaming devices if you have some element of onboard video in your motherboard (or another cheap GPU) and passing it through. Often involves hacking the drivers though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will miners actually buy the CMP HX cards?

      "It also means the silicon on the card is basically single use, so this will impact the 2nd hand market, reducing the number of hand-me-down cards later on."

      Yep, therefore a terrible idea for gamers. NVidia is obviously, post the 20XX fiasco, very worried about the 2nd hand market impact on their bottom line. Quite rightly so.

  9. TRT Silver badge

    It's a pain in the backside...

    for those of us developing low cost systems for scientific research, especially COVID mutation modelling trying to pre-empt mutations that could render vaccines less effective. It's easy enough to spot the sequence changes as they spread, but not so easy knowing what the implications of those mutations might be.

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    FAIL

    “The driver has been removed.”

    As if the mining community hasn't made a copy of that available on some website somewhere.

    Nvidia, you really screwed the pooch there. You could have just limited card purchase to one video card per credit card number, but why do something simple that works ?

    Nah, much better to try and use software to lock down drivers whilst forgetting that you also publish developers drivers that don't have the limitation.

    Really smart move.

    </sarc>

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: “The driver has been removed.”

      Nvidia has no control there. They mostly sell the chips to card manufacturers who in turn sell to wholesalers, to retailers, etc. You would think the retailers would have put a quantity limit on them, but the unsavories know all the ways around them (stacks of stolen credentials, fronts, etc.). Those that don't get run out.

  11. theOtherJT

    Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

    There. I've said it. And I'm sticking to it.

    Sure, lets build incredibly expensive computational devices full of valuable and rare materials, then blow gigawatts of electricity through them annually in order to "discover" some numbers which we will then arbitrarily assign a value to.

    It's insane. The waste of electricity alone is horrifically environmentally unsustainable, not to mention knock-on effects like this here where no one can actually _buy_ graphics cards since they're all being bought up by miners. To anyone with an ounce of sense it's obvious that these damn things are a speculative bubble. There is no _use_ to a bitcoin. It's not like gold which has some intrinsic value. Neither is it like a dollar or a pound which has a central issuing authority backed by a government and represents some fraction of the value of that countries economic output. The entire value of a crypto-coin is based on the fact that other people expect it to go up in value so it's worth buying one now so you can sell it when it does. The second that stops happening this whole thing comes crashing down.

    They're waste for waste's sake.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

      What's the real intrinsic value of gold, silver, or anything else other than, "Ooh, shiny"? Otherwise, what's the difference between them, e-currency, or any other scrip that happens to be useful at the time?

      1. Binraider Bronze badge

        Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

        Gold and Silver have useful engineering properties, so they have a "value" irrespective of whatever financial system you try and link to them.

        As per my comments above, BTC's value is in anonymity and therefore in money laundering.

        Consider that however you like. I regard it as a tool for facilitating organised group, if not state-level crime; and anyone trying to cash in on the speculation boom around it are also facilitating it. Remember what those ransomware merchants want paying in...? Accident? I think not.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

          >As per my comments above, BTC's value is in anonymity and therefore in money laundering.

          BTC isn't anonymous, although gold can be - and the amount of gold traded is hugely more than that which actually exists - whereas BTC has a finite market cap.

          >I regard it as a tool for facilitating organised group, if not state-level crime;

          At this level of crime, banks are happy to handle your money - it's why Russian money likes London - or why HSBC was fined $2 Billion a few years back for instance - it was careless and got caught, most banks aren't and don't.

          1. Rol Silver badge

            Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

            The bank that HSBC bought was careless in its dealings. And as is so often the case, once an American company gets bought by a foreign entity, the historic shit storm that has been waiting in the wings for the opportunity to gouge as much in fines as possible, was released, on to an expecting new owner.

      2. HereIAmJH

        Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

        Gold, silver, diamonds all have industrial uses. So while they may not be worth the 'ooh, shiny' value, there is a floor on their value as long as that use exists.

        You can't say the same for crypto currencies. They have value for 3 reasons; bypassing government control, the latest new thing, and lots of suckers to fleece. Governments aren't going to allow crypto currencies to remain unregulated. They can't, because currency regulation is how government policies are enforced. IRS can't have people hiding assets in BTC. DEA can't have drug dealers converting their cash to launder it. Governments can't enforce sanctions if they can't control the money.

      3. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

        What's the real intrinsic value of gold, silver, or anything else other than, "Ooh, shiny"?

        "Ooh, shiny" is a perfectly reasonable starting point for precious materials, actually.

        Gold doesn't rust or decay and remains bright and shiny so is a very good material for decorative jewellery. It's also worked easily with rudimentary hand tools, so it's always going to be valuable. If everybody else stopped using it, there would be a sudden craze for making your own 22ct gold necklaces in your garage because that's actually possible to do with only rudimentary tools.

        Gold is also practically a superconductor, which is always going to be valuable to people doing electronics stuff.

        Most of the same comments apply to silver, apart from that it tarnishes quickly.

        The reason that copper, silver and gold were the original basis for currency is that they are actually valuable in themselves if melted down. During the Napoleonic wars this was actually done by the Duke of Wellington when invading France; the locals wouldn't take British currency so he simply melted it down and recast it as French coins; one way of getting the best possible exchange rate! The locals in France therefore hid food from the French army who wanted to requisition it and pay with paper money, and sold it to the British army for hard cash; a lesson in economics that might be quite applicable to cryptocurrency in the future.

        Cryptocurrencies meanwhile are objectively worthless and their most significant source of real money is truthfully almost certainly going to be via extortion payments via Cryptolocker et al and as a method of money laundering. The entire bubble is exceptionally vulnerable to crashing horribly and there must be entire nation states that would be happy to pull the plug for any number of reasons. When that happens, what is a bitcoin worth?

    2. Binraider Bronze badge

      Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

      I agree on most of your statements. There are values to crypto, chiefly if transaction costs beat traditional methods, or if you find anonymity in the transaction chain has value to you.

      BTC was of course first, and has it anonymity. It is an ideal tool for money laundering. Speculation on top of it is of course baloney and sooner or later it will crash and burn. BTC's major downsides are the power consumption and transaction speed are hopeless, and will eventually implode it. It is just a gamble as to when. BTC supply is ultimately, also limited by design; though fractional trading does alleviate that problem.

      There are other cryptocurrencies with properties of BTC, plus other capabilities. Nano is a good example - it's got a fast transaction time, draws negligible power to transact, transactions are zero cost; and it also has anonymity. Such a thing could be incredibly useful to say, Western Union, or Visa. Or be a competitor to them, if uptake were widespread.

      Fiat current is ultimately, just numbers in a table somewhere too that happens to be more or less universally accepted. Non-universally accepted currencies, funnily enough, usually tank in value.

      Want to end the bitcoin insanity? Mandate that you can't trade magic beans. Job done. It might also redirect some of this stupid speculation on BTC's back into investing into, you know, actual stuff on the ground. There is a pandemic after all and the economy needs a bloody jump start.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

        It was horribly designed so it consumes ever more resources as time goes on, world governments should ban it as part of the Paris accords.

        If someone wants cryptocurrencies, fine, use one of the thousand other alternatives that isn't designed in such a stupid way.

    3. marcellothearcane

      Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

      It's no different to fiat cash really though. Nothing's based off the gold standard any more, it's all just supply and demand.

      The whole point of actual currency is that it's cheaper than face value, which is why they mix copper coins with cheaper alloys sometimes (The treasury "makes money" on the difference). If I consider that a) it has value and b) that value will appreciate, I'll trade with it.

      It's the same reason art and musical instruments have such high value, which in actuality the substances they are made from are very cheap.

      1. theOtherJT

        Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

        It really isn't. A traditional currency is effectively a promisary note backed by the government of the country that issued it. It might not be worth anything specific but it is tied to the strength of the country's economy. As for a musical instrument it's worth something because it has a purpose. You can play music on it. It might also be worth more because it's a particularly rare example or something, but even without that it's worth something above and beyond it's speculative value. You can even place intrinsic value on a work of art in as much as it can be appreciated by the viewer. Unless you're really into recreational mathematics it would be hard to argue that a cryptocoin has aesthetic value. You'd certainly be hard pressed to hang one on your wall.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

          I doubt the most expensive musical instrument is made of metal!

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

            ...but it might be able to play metal...

    4. MikeTimbers

      Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

      I believe this too. At a time of increasing energy use and increasing evidence of climate change, having a computer program wasting the equivalent energy use of Argentina (and growing) is as good an example of the stupidity of humanity I have ever seen.

      Wonko the Sane would be spitting toothpicks at this.

  12. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I think there

    was even talk of bringing the older 1000 series cards back into production............. if which case I'd be angry as I have replaced a PC recently because the GFX card (a 560) was dying... and I can replace it easily with a 1000 series card....... what a waste

  13. arachnoid2 Bronze badge

    It reminds me of the Apple device demand

    In a similar fashion its like Apple device demand (although for a differing end user reason) every new device seemed to have more demand than there was in the supply chain.Although that too had scalpers and people looking to make a profit at resale.

  14. Joe Harrison

    Customer reduction policy

    There's something wrong here; huge customer demand for something (mining) but one of the few companies in a position to supply that demand is actively trying to avoid it. Capitalism must have died and I didn't notice.

  15. Stratman

    What we need...

    ...is a concerted effort to trash the value price of Bitcoin. Something like GameStop giving the shorters a poke in the eye. What would it take and how could it be achieved?

  16. Greybeard_ITGuy

    No mining for you!

    What has the world come to that a hardware manufacturer is restricting customers from engaging in lawful activities?

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