Tests Preview Limits of Nvidia's Crypto-Limited RTX 3060 LHR, RTX 3080 Ti

(Image credit: Nvidia)

As some of the best graphics cards makers get ready to roll out their GeForce RTX Lite Hash Rate (LHR) add-in-boards (AIB), designed to limit the mining capability of the cards, enthusiasts are eager to push them to their limits and see how much cryptomining performance is really hindered.  This week, a Zotac GeForce RTX 3060 LHR card and a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, which Nvidia has yet to announce, were reportedly used to try to mine Ethereum, giving a peek at how well Nvidia's LHR technology works. 

Chinese tech website Expreview today shared testing of Zotac's GeForce RTX 3060 LHR Apocalypse GOC graphics card, which is only available in China. When it came to Ethereum mining, the GeForce RTX 3060 LHR reportedly did around 20-22 MHps at 119W, which is half of what a regular GeForce RTX 3060 can do without a mining limitation. Notably, the hash rate limiter kicked off immediately on the GeForce RTX 3060 LHR but took some time for it to start on a non-LHR card. 

Based on the Expreview's numbers, the GeForce RTX 3060 LHR Apocalypse GOC performed just like a regular GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards in games. 

Nvidia's upcoming GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is not expected to be a formal part of the LHR series but is expected to have a hash rate cap by default. We've haven't seen the card tested in games yet, but Twitter user @kavka_Chow pointed to a post on Chinese social site Weibo claiming to test the card in an Ethereum mining application. The board reportedly hit 58 MHps at 299W, which is in line with the hash rate offered by the GeForce RTX 3070 but at a considerably higher price and power. 58 MHps is about half the 115-120 MHps offered by the GeForce RTX 3090.

Nvidia's LHR technology relies on a combination of GPU ID, firmware and driver. As of writing, we haven't seen anybody remove the LHR limiter, but since there are not many LHR cards on the market yet, this could change. 

Anton Shilov
Contributing Writer

Anton Shilov is a contributing writer at Tom’s Hardware. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • spongiemaster
    58 MHps is 2.6 times lower than 150 MHps offered by the GeForce RTX 3090.

    Please stop using the nonsensical "X" times lower than.

    Also, if you're talking about ethereum mining, no one is getting 150MH/s with a 3090. 110-120 is typical with efficiency optimized settings and proper cooling for the memory.
  • AtrociKitty
    A regular 3080 does 95 to 100MH/s, so 58MH/s is a big drop. I have to wonder if there will be some sort of workaround or exception though, similar to the 3060 (which requires a PCIe 8x or 16x slot, and must be connected to an active monitor to mine).

    I'm okay with reduced hashrate on cards advertised as LHR, but disagree strongly with applying the limitation to an entire model. Regardless of how you feel about mining, the precedent of hardware manufacturers limiting what you can do with your own hardware is concerning to say the least.
  • funguseater
    So the only thing Nvidia has done is lower their Hash rate to match AMD's. How exactly will this solve any availability issues?
  • InvalidError
    funguseater said:
    So the only thing Nvidia has done is lower their Hash rate to match AMD's. How exactly will this solve any availability issues?
    Only time will solve availability issues. I bet miners are still buying tons of LHR cards in a bid that it will either get broken or they can simply use them for other currencies that aren't being throttled.
  • teodoreh
    Probably nobody told you yet, that lolminer for linux found a workaround so as to partially bypass RTX3060's limiter!!!!
    This workaround has NOTHING to do with the Windows 470.05 driver! You can run your card at ~3/4 of full performance (which is still better than all <Mod Edit> CMP cards), and you don't need PCIe x8 or dummy VGA plug either! lolminer 1.29 is around for two weeks now, making NVidia looking stupid for SECOND time in a row, but no journalists ever mentioned it! I guess Tom's hardware was too busy writing articles about Chia.. :p
  • eklipz330
    they will still buy the cards en masse. but once the crypto rush slows down or dies off because of a few whales pulling out, it's going to be early christmas on ebay. low priced gpus and overstock everywhere.