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Nvidia Is Reducing RTX Ethereum Hash Rate and AffectedCards

PostedAt: Thu, May 20, 2021 12:13 PM

Buying an RTX 30 GPU is about to get a little easier. Nvidia is launching new RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti cards with reduced hash rates.

Nvidia has unveiled a new series of RTX 30 graphics cards that feature its 'Lite Hash Rate' branding. The cards reduce hash rate performance on a hardware level, with Nvidia hoping this latest attempt can make a meaningful impact on getting its GPUs in the hands of gamers — not crypto miners.

To say that buying Nvidia GPUs has been difficult would be quite an understatement. Nvidia first unveiled the RTX 30 Series in September 2020, and ever since then, inventory has been extremely shakey. New cards hit the market, they're bought up instantly, and people are left waiting months to get a new GPU for their gaming rig. This is largely due to the ongoing computer chip shortage plaguing multiple industries, but it's also a side effect of people buying RTX 30 GPUs for mining cryptocurrency. Nvidia previously tried reducing the hash rate of its GPUs (the process used for mining crypto) through a software update, but Nvidia itself quickly broke that. Now, the company is approaching things from a different angle.

Starting in late May, Nvidia will start shipping new versions of its RTX 30 Series GPUs that feature Lite Hash Rate/LHR branding. These new cards have the exact same gaming performance as existing models, but Nvidia has considerably reduced the hash rate that's used to mine cryptocurrency — thus making the cards a lot less appealing to crypto miners. These Lite Hash Rate cards will be clearly marked on online listings and retail packaging, ensuring that people know exactly which version of an RTX 30 Series GPU they're buying.

Lite Hash Rate Limits Are Coming To RTX 3080, 3070, & 3060 TI

Nvidia RTX Series 30
 

As for which cards will get the new Lite Hash Rate variant, Nvidia says it applies to newly manufactured versions of the RTX 3080, RTX 3070, and RTX 3060 Ti. Some gamers might notice that the RTX 3060 isn't included in that list, but that's because it's had its own hash rate limit since February. It's also important to point out that the reduced hash rate performance only applies to cards marked with the Lite Hash Rate branding. Any existing cards that have already been purchased will continue to have the same mining performance as they've always had.

While it's difficult to say how much of an impact this will actually have on the RTX 30 Series availability, one can only hope that it'll allow more gamers to get their hands on the cards without waiting for months at a time or succumbing to scalper prices. Lite Hash Rate cards won't do anything to combat the chip shortage, but for crypto miners that have been taking GPUs away from gamers, this will likely deter them from the new cards.

It'll likely be a challenge to buy RTX 30 GPUs for quite a while longer, but even if the Lite Hate Rate initiative helps just a little bit, that's still good news. Nvidia may not be able to control the chip shortage, but it's reassuring to see the company lending a hand where it can.

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