Nvidia is extending its cryptocurrency mining limits to newly manufactured GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3070, and RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards. After nerfing the hash rates of the RTX 3060 for its launch in February, Nvidia is now starting to label new cards with a “Lite Hash Rate” or “LHR” identifier to let potential customers know the cards will be restricted for mining.
“This reduced hash rate only applies to newly manufactured cards with the LHR identifier and not to cards already purchased,” says Matt Wuebbling, Nvidia’s head GeForce marketing. “We believe this additional step will get more GeForce cards at better prices into the hands of gamers everywhere.”
These new RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, and RTX 3080 cards will start shipping later this month, and the LHR identifier will be displayed in retail product listings and on the box. Nvidia originally started hash limiting with the RTX 3060, and the company has already committed to not limiting the performance of GPUs already sold.
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge
While Nvidia tried to nerf mining with the RTX 3060, the company also accidentally released a beta driver that unlocked hash rates and increased performance. That’s been reinstated with more recent drivers, but the beta drivers are out in the wild now.
Nvidia’s new LHR cards are part of a broader effort to make its latest 30-series GPUs less desirable to cryptocurrency miners. PC gamers have been trying and failing to get their hands on new graphics cards for months due to the great GPU shortage, and miners have been blamed for part of the shortages.
Nvidia offers a separate Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) for Ethereum miners instead. These cards include the best performance for mining and efficiency, but they won’t handle graphics at all.
Nvidia’s move to nerf new cards will undoubtedly drive up prices for existing 30-series GPUs that don’t have these restrictions in place. It will also likely mean the rumored RTX 3080 Ti card will have similar cryptocurrency mining limits in place, as this card is expected to be announced later this month.