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Nvidia Is Halving the Ethereum Hash Rate of New RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti Cards

GeForce RTX 3080 FE
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Nvidia today announced it’s halving the Ethereum hash rate of new RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti graphics cards to make them less appealing to cryptocurrency miners. That could have serious implications for the list of the best GPUs for cryptocurrency mining and make it easier for gamers to acquire these graphics cards.

The company said these cards are set to ship in late May with a new “Lite Hash Rate” identifier that differentiates them from existing RTX 30-series graphics cards. “This reduced hash rate only applies to newly manufactured cards with the LHR identifier,” Nvidia said in the announcement, “and not to cards already purchased.”

That qualification addresses one of our main questions about Nvidia’s anti-mining efforts: How’s it going to avoid class-action lawsuits if it retroactively limits the hash rate of existing graphics cards? Introducing new, clearly labeled variants that ship with a reduced hash rate was likely meant to sidestep that issue entirely.

We won’t know exactly how Nvidia limited the Ethereum hash rate on these LHR graphics cards—or how well those limitations will stand up to crypto miners who have a standing interest in bypassing them—until they start to ship. Until then, Nvidia’s stance appears to be that hash rates were cut in half across the board.

Today’s announcement follows Nvidia’s efforts to reduce the hash rate of the RTX 3060 in February. Things didn’t quite go as planned—miners quickly discovered a beta driver that allowed their RTX 3060s to mine Ethereum without the hash rate limiter. (And other cryptocurrencies can be profitably mined without that driver.)

Now, most of the RTX 30-series lineup has been modified to be less appealing to Ethereum miners. (Nvidia hasn’t announced hash rate limiters for the RTX 3090.) Hopefully that will make it a little easier to find some of the best graphics cards in stock and remove some of the hurdles enthusiasts have to jump to buy them.

  • ezst036
    Mining-only GPU cards are the future. There are worse things. Nvidia can make a lot of money on CMP HX cards while keeping GPUs a gaming-only part.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    I'm having deja vu...
    Huh, this IS a slightly different article.

    There's no making everyone happy here. Due to how volatile crypto is, Nvidia can't do anything about it without some kind of leash... everyone has a different opinion of whether the leash is needed or not.

    There's people who are strongly against this - they should have the freedom to use the hardware they bought as they see fit, and what have you.
    But I imagine not doing this results in future crypto gold rushes being just as big as the current one, but these folks don't mind waiting the rushes out..?
    Not putting a limiter costs Nvidia money due to the influx of 2nd hand card sales to come later.

    Then there's those who are strongly for this. It does mean Nvidia has more control over the relative markets - not everyone's a fan of that idea - but it can lead to future crypto-booms having a smaller impact than they do now.
    The mining specific cards will lead to more e-waste though when they inevitably burn out.
    This one will saves Nvidia money, or increases their profits more.

    There's also the neutrals/don't cares.

    Sadly, Nvidia is going to go where the money(more) is - a leash will lead to more profits than no leash.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    This is the same exact thing Intel and AMD do with product differentiation tiers. Or to put in other words, it's like making the distinction between Quadro and GeForce cards, so clients have a way harder time to mod their cards for a "free upgrade" on features nVidia wants you to pay for. If you want to mine, yeah, we have a product for that which is 10x the price because reasons.

    As a regular consumer, I do not like when Companies force product differentiation like this, but it's now commonly accepted by us peasants so there's nothing much to argue... I think? It's on a similar vein to ECC and RAM.

    We as consumers have already accepted this, so good riddance.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • danlw
    So what about altcoins? If the limiter only works against Etherium, the card could still be profitable for other coins.
    Reply
  • Blacksad999
    danlw said:
    So what about altcoins? If the limiter only works against Etherium, the card could still be profitable for other coins.
    Pretty much any other coin isn't worth mining, at least in Western markets. They'll net you something like $1.50 a day after electric costs. If you were in SE Asia or whatnot, that might be worth it. However, the GPU itself would be prohibitively expensive for most people there, so that's not really a scenario that will play out.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    Well governments around the world are going to eventually crack down on cryptocurrency because there's nothing in it for them (control with regulation and tax revenue specifically). It is only a matter of time before big governments out there like from the US and China start cracking down on it like making it an illegal transaction currency for businesses - including 2nd and 3rd tier currency transfers (IE: Bitcoin -> PayPal -> Bank Account or Store Purchase). It's only a matter of time, and for we gamers where powerful GPUs are now in 5th generation XBox and Playstation consoles we cannot get any more than a new GPU, it cannot happen soon enough.

    EDIT: Looks like I spoke too late. Already in the works from an article released just hours ago on Forbes!

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2021/05/18/china-bans-banks-from-crypto-business-saying-speculative-trading-seriously-infringing-on-financial-order/?sh=64c875878987
    Reply
  • mac_angel
    Phaaze88 said:
    I'm having deja vu...
    Huh, this IS a slightly different article.

    There's no making everyone happy here. Due to how volatile crypto is, Nvidia can't do anything about it without some kind of leash... everyone has a different opinion of whether the leash is needed or not.

    There's people who are strongly against this - they should have the freedom to use the hardware they bought as they see fit, and what have you.
    But I imagine not doing this results in future crypto gold rushes being just as big as the current one, but these folks don't mind waiting the rushes out..?
    Not putting a limiter costs Nvidia money due to the influx of 2nd hand card sales to come later.

    Then there's those who are strongly for this. It does mean Nvidia has more control over the relative markets - not everyone's a fan of that idea - but it can lead to future crypto-booms having a smaller impact than they do now.
    The mining specific cards will lead to more e-waste though when they inevitably burn out.
    This one will saves Nvidia money, or increases their profits more.

    There's also the neutrals/don't cares.

    Sadly, Nvidia is going to go where the money(more) is - a leash will lead to more profits than no leash.

    Yea, I was thinking much of the same thing. I'm on the fence on this one, and quite stuck on it. I've been wanting to get a new GPU for some time now, still using a pair of 1080ti's in SLI. My driving force of wanting a new GPU is for gaming. But, I also don't see a problem with turning on mining apps if I'm not sitting in front of my computer gaming. That literally paid for my second 1080ti before.
    So, I'm kinda pissed about all the miners buying up all the stock on the GPUs, driving up the prices, etc. But I'd also would have liked to have the option to turn on mining while I'm not gaming for a little extra cash. I'm on permanent disability, so other than my disability cheque (I'm Canadian, lol), mining is/was another small source of income.
    Reply
  • daworstplaya
    This can't come soon enough. Gamers have been suffering for far too long while, cryptominers are just polluting away and creating e-waste. For those complaining about not being able to mine on your card, don't buy the card if it doesn't suit your need or go buy the CMP series cards or go buy AMD cards and pay the extra for the feature.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Speaking of coin, it's not doing so good right now...
    Reply