Galax (via VideoCardz (opens in new tab)) has re-released the brand's GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 Black General graphics cards with Nvidia's revamped Ampere silicon, which cracks down on Ethereum mining.
The new graphics cards with the anti-mining limiter are identical to the previous revisions in every way, starting from the packaging to the graphics card's aesthetics. According to the previous rumors, Nvidia has reportedly asked its AIB partners to differentiate the fresh variants from the prior ones to avoid confusion among consumers. The Lite Hash Rate (LHR) moniker was rumored to be the internal codename for the new series.
We don't know for sure if Nvidia has specific guidelines in place of how vendors should label the new graphics cards or if they have the freedom to market the graphics cards as they please. In Galax's case, the manufacturer is adding the "FG" termination to the model name. The suffix could denote something, or it could just be a set of randomly chosen letters.
Obviously, manufacturers will have to update or release new product pages for the revised graphics cards. For example, Galax specifically mentions that the GeForce RTX 3080 Black General [FG] uses the GA102-202 (LHR) silicon, and the Ethereum mining performance is capped to around 43 MH/s. The GeForce RTX 3070 Black General [FG], on the other hand, now employs the GA104-302 (LHR) with a restricted Ethereum hash rate of 25 MH/s.
Word on the street is that Nvidia will ship its partners the new Ampere silicon in the middle of May, so we could see a potential release in June at the latest. Thus far, the GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3070, and RTX 3060 are the only SKUs that will get the anti-mining treatment. Nvidia has allegedly forsaken the GeForce RTX 3090 because the flagship part is simply too expensive to be a key player in the cryptomining game. On the contrary, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti has proven to be a mining monster in a previous leak. Fortunately, the approaching Ampere graphics card should also be equipped with the reworked Ampere silicon if the rumblings are to be believed.
I have never mined crypto anything ever, but I would never buy a hobbled card just because that grates against what is mine to do with as I please.
It isn't like I have to worry as I'd never buy a 3070 at $500 MSRP, let alone scalper price at NE nor anywhere else.
It's like Ford taking a blue car and splitting it into two production lines: a blue car and a green car. That won't by itself affect supply in any meaningful sense. The two cars still compete for the same production capacity.
Miners will still be willing to pay inflated prices, and if chip production capacity is diverted from the LHR line to the mining-unlimited line to serve mining demand, then prices won't actually fall.
Now, it's possible that Nvidia will focus production on the LHR cards to reduce their price for gamers and free gamers from competing with miners. If Nvidia devotes more production capacity to LHR chips than mining-unlimited chips, then prices for gamers will fall and prices for miners will rise. But it's not clear why Nvidia would do this. Why sacrifice revenue from high-paying miners? Perhaps to retain the goodwill of gamers in the long-run, after the mining craze is over?
My guess is that this is just an attempt at price discrimination. Same way that the same chips are repackaged as low-end (xx30), middle (xx60) and high (xx70, 80, 90) at different price points. Different people have different willingnesses to pay. Artificially segmenting your product allows you to charge each person an amount that approaches their maximum willingness to pay.
25MH/s is still enough to make close to USD100 a month after deducting power.
The Crypto market is incentivized by billions of dollars annually (or more) to mine. There's no way they're going to make these cards unhackable, it's just an inconvenience for miners, and diminished/artificially limited gpu for gamers. And what about the gamers that want to throw on nicehash in their spare time to see what crypto mining is all about? Atleast when intel knee capped their own CPU sku's by multiplier locking, they cost less than the unlocked variants. This is just woke tech, that doesn't functionally do anything good aside from 'trying to stop crypto mining'.
What you do with your hardware should be your business.
If these companies actually cared even a little bit about gamers they would #1 stop selling bulk sales to corporate crypto mining operations, and #2 randomize sales like a newegg shuffle on their website. To my knowledge only Evga currently does this, and I've been on the wait list for 4+ months now with no card. :(