EVGA's latest RTX 3080 Ti firmware update means you're even less likely to find one

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 review
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 review (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • EVGA has released a firmware update for its RTX 3080 Ti that has unfortunate consequences for gamers hoping to find one.
  • Designed to fix a performance issue, it also increased the crypto mining performance of the card.
  • Say goodbye to any hope of trying to find one for retail price.

Having read this story with my own eyes I then palmed my own face so hard I now have a headache. As reported by our pals over at PC Gamer, EVGA released a new vBIOS for its RTX 3080 Ti that, perhaps above all else, has made it even more attractive to crypto miners.

Because you know, building a new gaming PC isn't hard enough already.

To be fair to EVGA it doesn't look like the update was released to target crypto miners and make them super happy over Christmas, but it certainly hasn't made them unhappy. It all started about a month ago it seems when a redditor noticed a hidden power limit on their card. Granted, they're a miner, but it doesn't just affect mining:

"It seems that the factory VBIOS has a hidden power limit that will cause the core to down-clock during periods of high memory load (like mining or high-resolution 3D rendering.)"

This is where it gets murky because, frankly, performance issues that could affect perfectly legitimate graphics card usage need fixing. Not including miners, GPUs are used for a host of other scenarios, like rendering or encoding streams and video files. So it's right that EVGA fixed it.

But when are we going to catch a break on this? All we have now is another graphics card that was designed for and targeted at gamers that's even less likely to be bought for that intended purpose. Or at the very least, there's going to be no chance of getting one at retail price. And who else can't wait for eBay to be flooded with these mining-exhausted cards over the next couple of years? Crypto miners generally aren't as concerned by how much these cards cost to buy, and opportunistic retailers know this.

Sigh. At least we can fall back on the cloud.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine