With the new light hash rate variants (LHR) of the GeForce RTX 3000, with the exception of the RTX 3090, Nvidia has significantly reduced the performance of the Ampere graphics cards in the Ethereum blockchain. The goal: to make the gaming models unattractive for miners. The NBMiner can now release this brake, albeit not completely.
The LHR variants have arrived on the market
In the meantime, a good 50 percent of the ampere graphics card models listed in the price comparison are equipped with the mining brake, and almost 60 percent of the models available from stock. The LHR variants in the Ethereum blockchain only offer around half the performance of the models without the combined driver-firmware adaptation. GeForce RTX 3080 Ti (test) and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti (test) have been LHR versions since their launch.
Nvidia made the first attempt in this direction with the GeForce RTX 3060, which came onto the market in spring with an Ethereum brake. However, a driver that was rolled out via the Microsoft Windows Insider Program and compatible with the GeForce RTX 3060 did not have the brake, making it obsolete only days after its market launch.
NBMiner can loosen the brake
This should not happen with the LHR variants of all existing GeForce RTX 3000, which are marked as such in stores and use new GPU revisions so that the driver can classify them as such. And to date there is no known driver that enables the full performance to be used on these models.
Weeks ago, however, the NBMiner drew attention to itself because it promised to accelerate the GeForce RTX 3060 with mining brake again. With version 39.0 released over the weekend, the developers are now promising this for all LHR models: up to 70 percent of the performance of conventional graphics cards should be able to be offered in the Ethereum blockchain. Testimonials on twitter confirm that.
New LHR mode for ETH mining on RTX 30 series LHR GPUs, supports Windows & Linux, able to get ~ 70% of maximum unlocked hashrate.
The effects are uncertain
The new LHR variants remain less attractive than the older models, but the individual circumstances could still make them appear attractive enough for miners. How long Ethereum can still be operated with GPUs, however, is questionable. In order to reduce the ecological footprint of the cryptocurrency, the initiators are planning to switch from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. However, there is no final date for this. The currency could also split up in the course of the changeover (“fork”), so the old proof-of-work concept could be retained in part or as a “new” alternative cryptocurrency.
Ethereum and Bitcoin on the rise
In the past few weeks, the two most important cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum have posted strong price gains and are currently trading at more than 40,400 euros and 2,800 euros per unit, respectively. This also makes mining with GPUs, at least in the case of ETH, more interesting for miners again.