Nvidia started releasing LHR (or “Lite Hash Rate”) graphics cards last year to slow down their cryptocurrency mining performance and make them less attractive to non-gamers. Late last week, crypto mining platform NiceHash announced that it finally found a way around these limitations and released an update for its QuickMiner software that promises full Ethereum mining performance on almost all LHR-enabled GeForce RTX 3000-series GPUs.
Unlike previous attempts to disable LHR protection, NiceHash’s workaround seems to be the real deal – Tom’s Hardware could confirm the increase in performance with QuickMiner and a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.
For now, NiceHash says the LHR workaround will only work on Windows, with “no Linux support yet”. The more flexible NiceHash miner software does not yet include the workarounds, although it will soon. NiceHash also says that the software habit Accelerate mining performance on newer GeForce cards that use version 3 of the LHR algorithm, a list that (for now) includes the RTX 3050 and the 12GB version of the RTX 3080, but will likely grow as Nvidia releases new GPUs and updated versions for older GPUs.
Miners have been trying to find ways to circumvent the LHR restrictions since their inception. The first card to use LHR, the GeForce RTX 3060, was defeated a botched driver release by NVIDIA. Other workarounds are included Flash alternate BIOS and mining multiple cryptocurrencies on the same map.
But LHR workarounds can also be too good to be true. Another group promised in February to take down LHR drivers, but they didn’t do what they promised and ended up riddled with malware.
Whether this LHR unlock has any impact on GPU pricing or availability remains to be seen. Bitcoin and Ethereum prices have fallen lately As interest rates rise and the turmoil in the stock markets have pushed investors towards safer bets. Also, the Ethereum “merger” that will switch the currency from a mining-driven “proof-of-work” system to an ownership-driven “proof-of-stake” system is also rumored to be in place a few months awayalthough this was the case for for several years now. At this point, buying a new set of GPUs for cryptocurrency mining could still be a risky investment, despite the performance improvements and price increases.
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