NVIDIA LHR, Everything you need to know about Lite Hash Rate GPUs. LHR is designed to foil Ethereum miners and get more GeForce graphics cards in the hands of gamers. Here’s what you need to know.
To help combat the dire GPU availability situation faced by gamers, Nvidia introduced Lite Hash Rate (LHR) technology that put strict limits on the mining performance of select GPUs, ostensibly to get more graphics cards into the hands of gamers.
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Every now and then, you’ll hear a fancy term announced by NVIDIA as the latest product or graphic card feature. We’ve heard about DLSS, GeForce Now, and Tensor Cores. And there’s the NVIDIA LHR or Lite Hash Rate, a feature that gamers will surely appreciate.
Here’s a rundown of what LHR does, which graphics cards include the technology if gaming performance is impacted, and everything else you need to know.
What is Nvidia Lite Hash Rate technology?
First things first—what is LHR? Nvidia LHR graphics cards detect when they’re being used for Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency mining and automatically halve the “hash rate.” Without diving too deeply into the weeds, this makes LHR GPUs less profitable for potential mining purchases due to their higher power draw relative to the now lower hash rate.
The idea is that if LHR GPUs aren’t profitable for miners, they will be purchased by gamers instead.
What GeForce GPUs have LHR?
Here are the GeForce graphics cards that include LHR technology.
- Nvidia RTX 3060
- Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti (Founders Edition unaffected)
- Nvidia RTX 3070 (Founders Edition unaffected)
- Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti
- Nvidia RTX 3080 (Founders Edition unaffected)
- Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti
Does LHR affect gaming performance?
If you’re a gamer, don’t worry about Nvidia’s Lite Hash Rate technology. It does not affect gaming performance whatsoever as far as we know. This is strictly a hash rate limiter.
What about other crypto mining algorithms?
Mining for cryptocurrencies that aren’t based on Ethereum may not have lowered performance when done in cards with LHR. NVIDIA has so far only mentioned Ethereum in its efforts against crypto mining.
What does LHR mean for resale value?
Resale value on LHR graphics cards may go either way. Some people may value these models more because LHR indicates a graphics card probably wasn’t for mining. Miners will value them less, on the other hand, due to their decreased performance relative to the price.
If you’re a miner, you probably want to avoid LHR GPUs unless their restrictions become further unlocked. That said, if crypto mining profitability increases, these may still be viable for miners even with decreased performance.
Does LHR really deter crypto miners from buying LHR-enabled cards?
Sort of. Not long after NVIDIA introduced Lite Hash Rate for the first time, the company accidentally released a driver update that could disable LHR and render it useless. NVIDIA tried again, with better software-hardware integration, but miners and hackers have already found ways to bypass LHR.
Does AMD have an equivalent feature to Lite Hash Rate?
Radeon GPUs from competitor AMD currently do not have a feature similar to Lite Hash Rate. In March, AMD even stated that it had no intentions to block mining operations that are done via graphic cards.
NVIDIA LHR Bypass for cryptominers
Cryptominers keep hacking away at Nvidia’s mining limiter, now get 70% efficiency. Crypto mining software NBMiner can now unlock 70% of the Ethereum mining performance of Nvidia’s Lite Hash Rate (LHR) series.
In what could be bad news for anyone in the market for a new graphics card, as far as the changelog from the latest version of the NBMiner cryptocurrency mining software is concerned, the tool is now capable of unlocking up to 70% of the original GPU mining performance of the Nvidia Lite Hash rate series of GPUs for mining Ethereum.
Whether that means that NBMiner is on the way to being able to unlock the whole performance from the growing GeForce RTX 30-series is unknown, as is the ability to port the performance to other cryptocurrencies. But it’s definitely a shot across the bows for Nvidia’s attempts to constrain GPU appeal to communities outside those interested in mining crypto, ie the rest of us.