NVIDIA announces “Lite Hash Rate” re-run of Ampere GPUs

NVIDIA is gearing up to get popular GeForce graphics cards into the hands of more gamers. As pandemic work environments and crypto currency booms have kept hardware stocks low, NVIDIA intends to tweak their existing GPUs to appear less attractive to miners of digital currencies. By renewing the current GeForce RTX 30 GPUs with “Lite Hash Rate” versions, crypto mining performance on these models should effectively be halved. 

Internal rumors of the re-run had already surfaced some weeks ago, but NVIDIA made the announcement official through a blog post on the “LHR” models. The graphics chip company promises to roll out a renewed Ampere line-up of GPUs by late May this year. These won’t replace the entire line-up, as NVIDIA specifically didn’t mention two existing models. As of now, NVIDIA focusses on rolling out LHR versions of the RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, and RTX 3080.

The GeForce RTX 3060 won’t officially be revised, as it already launched with a hashing limit last October. Surprisingly, NVIDIA also doesn’t seem interested in re-running the GeForce RTX 3090 for now either. The powerhouse card has certainly seen some surges in price listings too, but it wasn’t very cost-effective for most miners to begin with. Luxury components, like a whopping 24 GB of GDDR6X memory, are overkill for mining anyway. 

Promotional image of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card, possibly the Lite Hash Rate version.

NVIDIA internally advised partners to not physically alter the LHR versions of video cards. Only by plugging the new cards in, users would be able to tell the difference. The idea is mostly to overflow the GeForce market with identical cards that hash at lower rates, to scare crypto miners away. By not being able to tell the difference by the looks of the video card, the market is meant to destabilize. 

As GeForce cards will be weakened in mining performance, NVIDIA looks to transition that market over into their new CMP line of video cards. These mining oriented graphics cards offer solid hashing performance, but spare cost and energy on components more essential to gaming. This mostly means the CMP cards feature slower memory modules and won’t have video output.

With prices for many video cards at an all time high, we certainly hope for the market to stabilize anytime soon. As NVIDIA rolls out the Lite Hash Rate re-run later this month, we’ll keep you posted on interesting hardware news. 

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