NVIDIA halves hash rate of RTX 3080, 3070, 3060 Ti, says 'GeForce is made for gaming'

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • NVIDIA is cutting the hash rate in half of newly-manufactured GeForce RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti graphics cards.
  • The move is being made to help GeForce graphics cards get into the hands of gamers rather than crypto miners.
  • Cards with limited hash rates will be marked with a "Lite Hash Rate" or "LHR" identifier.

NVIDIA continues its push to get GeForce GPUs into the hands of gamers rather than crypto miners. The company announced in a blog post (opens in new tab) that it will halve the hash rate of newly-manufactured GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3070, and RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards. Any cards shipped from late May onward will have reduced hash rates. The move will affect several of the best mining GPUs.

Hash rate refers to how many calculations a piece of hardware can perform every second. It's an important metric for mining cryptocurrency because mining relies on solving complicated math problems. Being able to perform more calculations per second speeds up the mining process. For reference, the RTX 3060 Ti hash rate is around 60 megahash per second (MH/s) when it's not limited.

Cards with limited hash rates will be marked with a "Lite Hash Rate" or "LHR" identifier. These identifiers should make it easy for shoppers to know if they're getting an old model without any limits or a new model with limits.

When NVIDIA announced a driver for the RTX 3060 that limited its hash rate, it mentioned that the limiter would be required for all products shipped after mid-May. The recent blog post confirms which products will be limited.

NVIDIA's blog post specifies that the hash rate limiter "only applies to newly manufactured cards with the LHR identifier and not to cards already purchased."

The company emphasizes that "GeForce is made for gaming" and explains that the motive behind this move is to get gaming GPUs into the hands of gamers, "We believe this additional step will get more GeForce cards at better prices into the hands of gamers everywhere."

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

  • I can't seem to find it in their blog post either, but with the reduced hash rate affect gaming performance?
  • I don't think it should. Hash performance is based mostly on memory bandwidth from what I can recall. If it does affect gaming performance, I would think that the impacts would be minimal.
  • Is it a software/firmware limit or a hardware limit? If its the former it will mean jack diddly.
  • I would expect that's it's probably limited in the firmware of the card (i.e., not limited by drivers in the OS but on the vBIOS of the card itself). While it's not impossible to upload other firmware, you could risk bricking the card and you'd absolutely void the warranty. is it worth the risk? Maybe, but I'm not sure I'd risk it just to make a few bucks from mining.
  • I wonder if my order gets converted to an LHR version of the card automatically. I am not going to pay too far over MSRP.
    Clarification: I ordered an Inno3D RTX 3060 Ti and the store I bought it from is waiting for product. There is a queue.
  • Now about the scalpers......
  • On the off chance you need a high hash rate for something that isn't crypto related (no idea what that would be, but since it's just a mathematical operation I'm sure there are plenty of uses), they want you to buy the non-LHR cards, or a Quadro (would a Quadro even be useful for hashes that aren't floating point stuff)? Is there any price difference? Seems like an interesting way of dealing with this. Can't make the situation worse than it already is I guess.
  • It's a pointless move. People will just flash new custom firmware or create their own drivers. It will barely slow miners down...
  • Hopefully Bitcoin's value will continue to tank like it has for a few days
  • This. Hopefully this will happen and Nvidia's move further detracts casuals from doing this. And gamers can buy their dedicated hardware.