It’s a troublesome time to be a PC gamer. A crippling GPU shortage has made shopping for the best graphics cards subsequent to unattainable, and while you can discover a GPU, it’s normally at an exorbitant markup. Making issues worse, crypto currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have been completely booming all through 2021, driving hordes of GPU miners to gobble up what graphics playing cards they will discover to mine cryptocoins and switch a pleasant revenue, typically in “farms” composed of rows of toiling GPUs.
To assist fight the dire GPU availability state of affairs confronted by avid gamers, Nvidia introduced Lite Hash Rate (LHR) technology that put strict limits on the mining efficiency of choose GPUs, ostensibly to get extra graphics playing cards into the fingers of avid gamers. Right here’s a rundown of what LHR does, which graphics playing cards embody the expertise, if gaming efficiency is impacted (spoiler: nope), and every part else you have to know.
What’s Nvidia Lite Hash Price expertise?
First issues first—what’s LHR? Nvidia LHR graphics playing cards detect after they’re getting used for Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency mining and robotically halve the “hash fee.” With out diving too deeply into the weeds, this makes LHR GPUs much less worthwhile for potential mining purchases on account of their greater energy draw relative to the now decrease hash fee. The concept is that if LHR GPUs aren’t worthwhile for miners, they are going to be bought by avid gamers as an alternative.
The preliminary try at introducing the Lite Hash Price limiter in the GeForce RTX 3060 didn’t go as deliberate. An unintended beta driver launch unlocked the GPU’s full mining performance the identical week it launched. Undaunted, Nvidia returned with a second go at LHR technology throughout most of its lineup two months later. The newer LHR GPUs (comparable to the RTX 3080 Ti) supposedly function a lot tighter integrations between firmware and software program.
Will the limiter’s effectiveness maintain long run? No person is aware of. Current information signifies that as much as 70 p.c of a LHR GPU’s mining efficiency has now been unlocked with NBMiner, up from the 50 p.c that LHR restricts them to out of the field. Crypto is large enterprise today, and impressive miners will attempt to crack Nvidia’s protections to eke out extra earnings.
What GeForce GPUs have LHR?
Listed here are the GeForce graphics playing cards that embody LHR expertise.
Nvidia utilized LHR to most of its RTX 30-series lineup in the midst of Could 2021. In the event you already personal an RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, or RTX 3080 created earlier than the manufacturing change, their mining efficiency is not going to be restricted in any manner. (That’s why Nvidia’s personal limited-run Founders Version fashions don’t help LHR—they have been all made lengthy earlier than Nvidia launched its limiter.) All GeForce GPUs made after the switchover embody LHR expertise by default. Properly, virtually all—the work-hard-play-hard GeForce RTX 3090 by no means received LHR and all fashions provide full hash fee efficiency.
How do I do know if I’ve a LHR GeForce graphics card?
No matter which mannequin RTX 30-series card you purchase, you’ll know that you simply’re buying an LHR GPU as a result of the field will establish it as “LHR” or “Lite Hash Price” in a roundabout way. AMD’s rival Radeon graphics playing cards presently wouldn’t have any related restrictions on hash fee.
Does LHR have an effect on gaming efficiency?
In the event you’re a gamer, don’t fear about Nvidia’s Lite Hash Price expertise. It doesn’t have an effect on gaming efficiency in anyway so far as we all know. That is strictly a hash fee limiter.
What does LHR imply for resale worth?
Resale worth on LHR graphics playing cards might go both manner. Some individuals might worth these fashions extra as a result of LHR signifies a graphics card most likely wasn’t for mining. Miners will worth them much less, however, on account of their decreased efficiency relative to the worth.
In the event you’re a miner, you most likely need to keep away from LHR GPUs until their restrictions grow to be additional unlocked. That mentioned, if crypto mining profitability will increase, these should be viable for miners even with decreased efficiency.