It’s a tricky time to be a PC gamer. A crippling GPU scarcity has made shopping for the very best graphics playing cards subsequent to inconceivable, 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 and 2022, driving hordes of GPU miners to gobble up what graphics playing cards they’ll 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 scenario confronted by players, Nvidia launched Lite Hash Fee (LHR) expertise that put strict limits on the mining efficiency of choose GPUs, ostensibly to get extra graphics playing cards into the palms of players. Right here’s a rundown of what LHR does, which graphics playing cards embrace the expertise, if gaming efficiency is impacted (spoiler: nope), and every little thing else it is advisable know.
What’s Nvidia Lite Hash Fee expertise?
First issues first—what’s LHR? Nvidia LHR graphics playing cards detect once they’re getting used for Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency mining and routinely 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 larger energy draw relative to the now decrease hash fee. The thought is that if LHR GPUs aren’t worthwhile for miners, they are going to be bought by players as an alternative.
The preliminary try at introducing the Lite Hash Fee limiter within the GeForce RTX 3060 didn’t go as deliberate. An unintentional beta driver launch unlocked the GPU’s full mining efficiency the identical week it launched. Undaunted, Nvidia returned with a second go at LHR expertise throughout most of its lineup two months later. The newer LHR GPUs (such because the RTX 3080 Ti) supposedly characteristic a lot tighter integrations between firmware and software program.
Will the limiter’s effectiveness maintain long run? No one is aware of. Current information signifies that as much as 70 % of a LHR GPU’s mining efficiency has now been unlocked with NBMiner, up from the 50 % that LHR restricts them to out of the field. Crypto is massive enterprise lately, and bold miners will attempt to crack Nvidia’s protections to eke out extra earnings. Watch out with what you obtain, nevertheless; one high-profile purported LHR unlock instrument put in a Trojan on customers’ PCs as an alternative.
What GeForce GPUs have LHR?
Listed here are the GeForce graphics playing cards that embrace LHR expertise.
Nvidia utilized LHR to most of its RTX 30-series lineup in the course of Might 2021. Should 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 means. (That’s why Nvidia’s personal limited-run Founders Version fashions don’t help LHR—they had been all made lengthy earlier than Nvidia launched its limiter.) All GeForce GPUs made after the switchover embrace LHR expertise by default. Properly, virtually all—the work-hard-play-hard GeForce RTX 3090 by no means bought 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 Fee” ultimately. AMD’s rival Radeon graphics playing cards at the moment would not have any related restrictions on hash fee.
Does LHR have an effect on gaming efficiency?
Should you’re a gamer, don’t fear about Nvidia’s Lite Hash Fee expertise. It doesn’t have an effect on gaming efficiency in any respect 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 means. Some folks 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, alternatively, on account of their decreased efficiency relative to the value.
Should you’re a miner, you most likely wish to keep away from LHR GPUs except their restrictions turn into additional unlocked. That mentioned, if crypto mining profitability will increase, these should still be viable for miners even with decreased efficiency.
Editor’s word: This text initially printed on August 24, 2021, however was up to date to incorporate the RTX 3050 and point out the LHR Unlocker instrument that put in malware as an alternative.