I have no interest in mining cryptocurrency so I have no horse in this race

But what's with Nvidia trying to prevent mining on their hardware? This sets a very risky precedent (already a problem on mobile) where computer hardware you've *bought and own* cannot actually be used in a way you want

This isn't like hacking the CAN bus on your vehicle to mess with the cruise control or emissions and such. This is on a desktop

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@cypnk I'm not trying to defend this or anything... but there's a continuous race between adjusting crypto algorithms and mining hardware. If proof of work is the basis for a currency, work *must* take time. Technically, proof of work is a bad term, it should be proof of time spent.

I can only speculate, but suspect Nvidia has a stake in e.g. bitcoin somehow.

@jens I'm starting to think so too. Maybe they're running their own farms on the side, since they have ample inventory and intimate control over the drivers

@jens @cypnk Or it's a market segmentation thing: they'll sell the bitcoin-appropriate version for more money?

@edavies @jens @cypnk They already do this for AI applications - you have to pay more for nVidia cards "in teh cloud" because datacenters must buy the special AI models. It's purely about market segmentation.

@seachaint @edavies @cypnk could be both. But yes. Easier to limit with drivers than make several different chips.

@jens @edavies @cypnk Knowing the kind of BS chip makers do though from the Raspi/Broadcom blob bullshit*, it's also possible that nVidia's latest consumer chips just have a hardware defect that gives them shit hashrate and they're "fixing it in software" by segmenting the market.
Like Apple and their "Don't hold it that way" lols

* For the uninitiated, the Broadcom chips are full of undocumented "known bugs" that are handled by the huge, creepy, secret-suoervisor-OS "driver" blob written by broadcom, and these NDA'd-and-undocumented-but-unfixed hardware fuckywuckies are part of what make it nigh impossible to make a trustworthy driver for RasPis.

@jens @cypnk proof of work is about spending energy over time, not just elapsed time. The energy consumption is what separates it from proof of elapsed time (used for permissioned blockchains)

Proof of work by itself actually doesn’t care at all about how much time it takes to solve, which makes sense when you consider that proof of work was originally invented to prevent spam, such as mass emails. Bitcoin (and other PoW cryptos) dynamically updates the PoW difficulty to try to target a stable block time for the network. The algorithm that updates the PoW difficulty (separate from PoW itself) is the one that cares about elapsed time :blobcatspace:

@robby @cypnk the way hashcash worked - the method for preventing mass email - was precisely that it would take too much time to do it at scale, but be just fast enough that it'll work for legitimate uses. Time spent is an intrinsic part of proof of work.

I do understand your argument, but I think that's looking at it from a perspective that doesn't account for the reasons this was invented. Time spent here is really synonymous with investment in the general sense.

@robby @cypnk In a fair system - one where everyone has access to comparable compute resources - work and time and investment are roughly equivalent measures.

That's the assumption that proof of work is based on, and that's the assumption that GPU makers (or FPGA makers in some cases) try to exploit.

What I find interesting is that it leads to another kind of investment, namely one of pre-existing capital into such hardware. But you have to have that capital first.

@robby @cypnk So if I were a GPU manufacturer, other than market segmentation, I'd have the goal of maintaining a measure of control over compute resources. Basically ask for a compute tax. That was my line of thinking here.

@cypnk I imagine NVIDIA is doing this to discourage miners from aggressively buying up all the graphics cards, creating a supply shortage and driving up prices for scalpers. It has happened in the recent past during the first Bitcoin bubble. I suppose it's an image problem for NVIDIA if gamers can't buy their hardware at a reasonable price because it's a hot commodity for miners. I.e., they want to be seen as a video card company, not a cryptocurrency mining hardware provider.

@cypnk i believe they are trying to :

a) de-incentivize miners from buying up all the graphics cards so that there core market can actually buy them.

b) capitalize on miners buying up all there graphics cards with substandard graphics boards (last part is my tin-foil hat thoughts)

either way people will be cracking the drivers for this crap in 3 .... 2 .... 1 ...

@cypnk I agree that it's completely unacceptable that Nvidia is restricting perfectly fine hardware using software. I also agree that the precedent is real bad. Now it's ETH mining, it may be all Cuda and OpenCL functionality tomorrow. Remember, it's driver based so they can flip what they want on and off.

The simple reason Nvidia is doing this is that they are launching more special of cards for "miners"/compute.

@cypnk @edavies
@orbital Nvidia is restricting the 3060, and likely future consumer graphics cards, because of their new "CMP HX" line of cards.

It really is that simple. It's more of the same thing they have been doing in the data-center market for some time: they are imposing artificial restrictions in order to sell essentially the same silicon at a higher price-point.

It's not about ensuring that games get GPUs, silicon allotted to the CMP HX line means less 3060s.

@cypnk the conspiracy theories in this thread don't really gel for me... i've had to listen to my gamer friends whine for a solid year about how miners bought up all the graphics cards so nobody can afford them anymore, and i think nvidia is experimenting to see if they can segment the market before they start to lose the gamer half?

@robey That seems likely

It makes sense for them to cater to the market since there's clearly a lot of demand. Also, public consciousness has shifted toward cryptocurrencies lately

@cypnk @arh what they are preventing for sure is that I ever buy a piece of their hardware. And I also have no interest in mining.

@cypnk do we really even "own" hardware any more? :(

@tw Feels less and less likely that we do with each passing day

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