NVIDIA extends cryptocurrency mining restrictions to more new graphics cards
NVIDIA has announced that it is going to start nerfing the Ethereum mining hash rate on more graphics cards under its latest RTX 30 series. After the RTX 3060, the company says that the GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3070, and RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards will also see a reduction in cryptocurrency mining capabilities. A new “Lite Hash Rate” or “LHR” label will now inform customers whether the GPU they are purchasing is restricted for mining purposes or not.
NVIDIA says that the move is yet another attempt to ensure that its new graphics card range reaches gamers instead of scalpers and crypto miners. “Today, we’re taking additional measures by applying a reduced ETH hash rate to newly manufactured GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3070, and RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards. These cards will start shipping in late May,” said Matt Wuebbling, VP of Global GeForce Marketing in a blog post.
The performance restrictions on Ethereum mining will only be applicable to newer cards and will not apply to cards that have already been purchased. This means, as of now, NVIDIA hasn’t planned on introducing a driver or BIOS update in the future that could nerf the performance on GPUs launched prior to May 2021.
NVIDIA had first introduced the hash rate limitation for Ethereum mining when it launched its most affordable GPU in the RTX 30-series, the GeForce RTX 3060. Right before the GPU hit stores in February 2021, NVIDIA had announced that the RTX 3060 would include a restriction for Ethereum crypto mining. However, soon after the launch, NVIDIA accidentally released the GeForce 470.05 beta drivers without the above-mentioned limiter, allowing users to bypass the restriction and mine at the highest performance. Just two weeks back NVIDIA reinstated the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining limit on the RTX 3060 with the release of GeForce Game Ready drivers version 466.27. Notably, the update was tweaked in such a way that RTX 3060 cards shipped only after mid-May would require the particular driver (or newer) to run efficiently and prevent miners from using older drivers that might allow them to bypass NVIDIA’s hash limiter.