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Nvidia's Anti-Mining Ampere GPUs Are Allegedly En Route

Ampere Graphics Cards
Ampere Graphics Cards (Image credit: Nvidia)

VideoCardz has shared an update on Nvidia's revised Ampere graphics cards with the improved anti-mining limiter. According to alleged information obtained from its sources, Nvidia will ship this new "Lite Hash Rate" series in the middle of May. That means some of the best graphics cards should stop being as attractive to miners.

The new outlet highlighted that "Lite Hash Rate" is a term that Nvidia is using to differentiate the new revision from the prior version for its partners. The forthcoming Ampere graphics cards will retain the same model names so consumers, and more specifically Ethereum miners, won't be able to tell the difference between the new and old models. Tools like GPU-Z should be able to pick up the new Ampere offerings since they reportedly sport a new PCI Device ID.

The new revision comes with the same specifications and identical performance. The main difference lies inside the graphics card. The Lite Hash Rate models leverage revamped Ampere silicon, which features the Ethereum anti-mining mechanism. (Let's hope it stays unhacked this time.) It's very likely that the graphics card will also come with Resizable BAR support enabled out of the box.

VideoCardz's sources claim that the GeForce RTX 3090 might be the only Ampere-based model that will not have the anti-mining limiter. It makes sense since the mining performance price to ratio isn't very attractive for cryptocurrency miners. Nonetheless, the GeForce RTX 3090 may to arrive with the GA102-302 silicon for Resizable BAR support.

The looming GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, which is already heading to U.S. retailers, will probably debut with the new Ampere silicon as well.

Nvidia is rumored to deliver the Lite Hash Rate series to its partners mid-May, meaning the new graphics cards should hit the market in June. This should help improve the supply a bit since mixing in the new with the old will make cryptocurrency miners think twice before picking up an Ampere graphics card.

  • gargoylenest
    soooo...bets are open: How long before they find a walkaround the limiter? I'd wager 20$ on 1 month.
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    gargoylenest said:
    soooo...bets are open: How long before they find a walkaround the limiter? I'd wager 20$ on 1 month.

    Technically speaking, no one found a work around for the 2060 hash rate limiter. NVIDIA goofed up with a beta driver release that didn't have it installed.

    That said it's a matter of trivial implementation to enforce "no mining" even if the current driver somehow got hacked. This is HIGHLY unlikely. If the GPU hardware sees uncertified and digitally signed drivers it will automatically go into gimp mode. Soon as you alter 1 bit of a digitally signed driver, the digital signature becomes invalid. So attempting to use a hack to get around the driver portion will be impossible.
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    Wonder if nVidia will increase the MSRP of these. Rather than letting their board partners reap all the profits from their new SKUs. Which brought retail prices up to near scalper prices.

    The more suspicious part of me wonders if they'll start implementing this in other areas. You know, so pro users don't use GeForce for multimedia work when they should be using much more expensive Quadro cards.
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    velocityg4 said:
    Wonder if nVidia will increase the MSRP of these. Rather than letting their board partners reap all the profits from their new SKUs. Which brought retail prices up to near scalper prices.

    The more suspicious part of me wonders if they'll start implementing this in other areas. You know, so pro users don't use GeForce for multimedia work when they should be using much more expensive Quadro cards.

    Technically speaking nothing is stopping them from doing this as it's a new part number. Contract agreements usually don't include future part numbers. However NVIDIA might be contractually obligated to supply the older part numbers to a mfg. For example if a AIB partner makes an order contract for 50,000 GPU/Memory sets minimum for SKU 123 for $600 each set, then NVIDIA is contractually obligated to supply them with 50,000 GPU/Memory sets at $600 each.

    There's usually a minimum buy in and renewal extension option clause also. These say a AIB has to purchase a minimum # of sets without penalties, or if the AIB has an option to mfg more of the same set of cards past the original obligation of NVIDIA. ie: "I already built 50,000 units. However I want to enact my option to buy 25,000 more at the same price."

    If this is the case, then it might be quite a while before we see mining cards go away because they are much more profitable to AIBs than to selling to gamers alone.
    Reply
  • hehehahaho
    chickens of a feather flock together. 600 dollar canadian videocard going for 4000 in the store is bad. first tissue then the pc parts whats next potatoes?
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    gargoylenest said:
    soooo...bets are open: How long before they find a walkaround the limiter? I'd wager 20$ on 1 month.
    Well. if Nvidia only targeted ETH like it did with the 3060s, then there are already 20 work-arounds: mine anything else that isn't being throttled until someone manages to break ETH throttling.

    I agree it probably won't take long. We just didn't get to find out the first time around since Nvidia self-owned faster than miners could look into it.
    Reply
  • Zerk2012
    I say 4 days after their for sale it's hacked.
    Reply
  • Jerrymc3
    This is mostly Greek to me but how is this going to affect the average gamer who is looking to buy a gpu. What is the chance of my getting one? Are these gpus going to be comparable to the RTX1080? I tried to purchase the $699 1080 back in September when they came out and I'm still waiting. No way I'm going to pay a hacker!
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    velocityg4 said:
    The more suspicious part of me wonders if they'll start implementing this in other areas. You know, so pro users don't use GeForce for multimedia work when they should be using much more expensive Quadro cards.
    Nvidia has been artificially limiting the performance of their GeForce cards in certain kinds of professional workloads for many years, such as by restricting the double-precision floating point and wireframe rendering performance of consumer cards to a fraction of what the hardware is actually capable of. Even when a GeForce and Quadro card are built around the same chip, the consumer-facing product has various limitations put in place by drivers and firmware for the sole purpose of encouraging professionals to move up to their far more costly workstation line. Of course, there are many other professional workloads that can get along fine on a consumer card, and Nvidia could potentially expand their restrictions in the future, but it might be hard to restrict performance at certain tasks without potentially impacting gaming performance as well.

    Jerrymc3 said:
    This is mostly Greek to me but how is this going to affect the average gamer who is looking to buy a gpu. What is the chance of my getting one? Are these gpus going to be comparable to the RTX1080? I tried to purchase the $699 1080 back in September when they came out and I'm still waiting. No way I'm going to pay a hacker!
    I think you mean the RTX 3080. The GTX 1080 was a card that came out five years ago.

    In any case, the idea is that if the cards are not as attractive for mining on, then the miners won't be willing to pay as much for them. And if the miners are not willing to pay a big premium for them, then gamers won't be competing with them as much for sales, potentially improving availability and pricing. However, considering how bad the current availability issues are, this isn't likely to improve the pricing or availability situation overnight. Since there's very little supply of cards at retailers, resellers know they will be able to turn a profit on them by buying up all available cards and reselling them on sites like eBay. So the prices might potentially get a little better, but probably won't be readily available for anywhere remotely close to their MSRPs anytime soon.
    Reply
  • Jerrymc3
    Sorry, I meant RTX 3080.
    Reply