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NBMiner Partially Cracks Nvidia Anti-Mining Limiter, Restores 70% Performance on Ampere LHR GPUs

GPUs Mining
GPUs Mining (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Nvidia probably thought it had put a definite stop to Ethereum mining on GeForce RTX 30-series (Ampere) graphics cards with the introduction of the Lite Hash Rate (LHR) series. NBMiner, a popular mining software, has found a partial workaround to Nvidia's enhanced anti-mining limiter.

The latest version of NBMiner (via VideoCardz) debuted today and brought a very interesting hack with it. According to the changelog, the tool restores up to 70% of the mining performance on Ampere LHR graphics cards. It's just a partial bypass, but NBMiner is on to something so we can't discard the possibility of a full workaround down the line. Sadly, miners will probably have the LHR series on their radars with this new development. This comes as bad news for gamers as another shortage may be on the horizon.

NBMiner's solution is currently a work in progress. The developer recommends that miners use 68% of the graphics card's mining performance since that's the most stable value according to tests. The software works on both Linux and Windows operating systems and with Nvidia's latest GeForce drivers without a hiccup. However, the hack only supports the ethash algorithm at the moment - other mining algorithms may be supported in the near future.

The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti was one of the best mining GPUs prior to Nvidia's crackdown on Ethereum mining. The coveted Ampere graphics card delivered a hash rate around the 60 MH/s range. Nvidia eventually gimped the mining performance in half. With this new bypass from NBMiner, miners could potentially squeeze up to 41 MH/s out of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti LHR, putting it in the alley of the Radeon RX 5600 XT or GeForce RTX 2070.

Ethereum's pending transition from a proof-of-work (PoW) model to a proof-of-stake (PoS) model aims to reduce power usage by up to 99.95%, according to the Ethereum Foundation, and eliminate the dependency on graphics card. The upgrade may happen by the end of 2021 or early 2022 so miners may have their days numbered.

  • hannibal
    Well well. So how long when last 30%... Before the Christmas... most likely.
    Reply
  • Tharkhold
    Well well well, now we have "MHR" cards... lol
    Reply
  • Im__A__Blimp
    Good work ladies. Keep fighting the good fight. Progress is progress. We will get there eventually
    Reply
  • VforV
    nvidia: "we care about gamers".
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Though it took longer than I expected., this was inevitable,

    hannibal said:
    Well well. So how long when last 30%... Before the Christmas... most likely.
    Between the ETC difficulty bomb and move to PoS that are supposed to come in December, Ethereum hash rate should be mostly irrelevant by then.
    Reply
  • VforV
    InvalidError said:
    Though it took longer than I expected., this was inevitable,


    Between the ETC difficulty bomb and move to PoS that are supposed to come in December, Ethereum hash rate should be mostly irrelevant by then.
    By then, no. After that maybe...

    Even the difficulty bomb is not guaranteed to be enough to make it unprofitable. Especially if the ETH prices keep going up, as of lately.

    The only certainty is the move to PoS. That will be the end of GPU mining ETH and it will be about 1 year from now ~ middle of 2022.

    So everybody should expect the worse: 1 more year from now for all this cryto mining to last.

    After that, there will still be GPU mining, but it will be divided between more than one alt coin and until or if it gets accumulated again into just one preferred alt coin, at some point or never, we will see. At least for a time after that if will be better for gamers.
    Reply
  • ohio_buckeye
    Well you have to figure there have been shortages and the companies making gpus probably didn’t have a way to estimate how many gpus to make due to demand from gamers and miners alike. So add those facts to the idea that they are already paying more for materials for their products you can see why there are shortages and high prices.

    As far as gpu prices for gamers, honestly I know people are like oh just don’t buy to teach companies a lesson. Right now they are going to sell almost every new card regardless. So I think if you have a card like a gtx 1060 or rx 580 and want an upgrade, you may have to bank on selling your old cards while prices are high to cut down the price of a new card. The people who are paying more are the people who are new to the hobby and don’t have a card yet or they’ve been out for a long time.
    Reply
  • Krotow
    For Nvidia crippling the card functionality was futile. They shouldn't have done it at all. Why cripple their own business :) Instead, the authorities had to heavy limit cryptomining and forbid anonymous transactions. China already showed us what should been done.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Krotow said:
    For Nvidia crippling the card functionality was futile. They shouldn't have done it at all. Why cripple their own business :)
    Nvidia wanted to steer miners towards its overpriced CMP cards to both price-gouge miners for inferior products and prevent the aftermarket flood that would crash market prices next time crypto goes bust - it is hard to sell "entry-level" GPUs for $400 when there are hundreds of thousands of more powerful used mining GPUs on eBay for a fraction of the price.

    Making sure they don't get stuck with dead-end new products that have to compete with previous generations for sales when that crypto crash comes is likely a good chunk of the reason AMD and Nvidia are aiming for 2-3X the performance with their next-gen stuff.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    VforV said:
    Even the difficulty bomb is not guaranteed to be enough to make it unprofitable. Especially if the ETH prices keep going up, as of lately.
    Depending on how much of an impact the bomb will have on DAG size, it could have the double-whammy of both substantially increased compute requirements and reducing the number of concurrent DAGs that can fit within GPU VRAM. For 12GB GPUs, a DAG size increase to 6GB would cut the throughput roughly in half on top of the compute difficulty and make anything 6GB or less a no-go.
    Reply