Nvidia will add anti-mining flags to the rest of its RTX 3000 GPU series

Enlarge / Coming shortly: Practically equivalent versions of these GPUs, only with “LHR” logos—and new steps to lower their mining hash rates.

Sam Machkovech

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3000-branded graphics playing cards are receiving an update off the factory strains setting up this month: components-level flags intended to gradual down the mining of the well known cryptocurrency Ethereum. Nvidia’s Tuesday announcement verified that most shopper-quality GPUs coming out of the company’s factories, ranging from the RTX 3060 Ti to the RTX 3080, will ship with a new sticker to point out a “Lite Hash Rate,” or “LHR,” on the hardware, driver, and BIOS degree.

If this go seems common, that’s due to the fact Nvidia currently took a massive swing at the cryptomining problem, only to whiff, with February’s RTX 3060. That GPU’s launch arrived with promises that its Ethereum mining fees experienced been reduce in 50 percent from their comprehensive likely rate—a transfer intended to disincentivize miners from acquiring up restricted stock. And in the GPU’s pre-launch period of time, Nvidia PR Director Bryan Del Rizzo claimed on Twitter that “it is not just a driver factor. There is a protected handshake concerning the driver, the RTX 3060 silicon, and the BIOS (firmware) that prevents removing of the hash amount limiter.”

Nevertheless soon soon after that card’s professional launch, Nvidia released a developer-precise beta firmware driver that unlocked the GPU’s complete mining possible. Don’t forget: which is firmware, not a BIOS rewrite or just about anything specifically invasive. With that cat out of the bag, the RTX 3060 eternally became an Ethereum mining choice.

“A unique unit hardware ID”

All of this brings us to this week’s information and Nvidia’s new assurance that this time, scout’s honor, a beta driver leak would not do the exact same point to LHR versions of the RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, or RTX 3080. The $1,499 RTX 3090 is just not slated to get an LHR model as of push time, and Nvidia has not indicated that existing RTX GPUs will be afflicted.

The firm’s weblog publish will not go into specialized aspects on what is diverse this time all-around. Rather, Wccftech provides added context, albeit with out any citations to both Nvidia reps or other leakers, about the new, mildly tweaked SKUs for these GPUs.

In Wccftech’s estimation, the most significant change is a “different device components ID” on these SKUs that will give Nvidia “an supplemental parameter” to block older, crytpo-helpful BIOS firmware variations. In our estimation, with no another errant beta firmware leak, this will leave miners with a difficult—but not impossible—challenge to get over.

Wccftech also points to the new RTX 3000 series’ SKUs, which include a single welcome perk out of the box: the cards’ VBIOSes are all pre-patched to help Resizable BAR. Existing GPU entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of the IO-minded update ought to get the strange action of updating their possess GPUs’ VBIOS.

But Nvidia has at the time once again only described Ethereum in its anti-mining appeals, which is a reminder that other algorithms are out there in the wild and arguably not as impacted by Nvidia’s prime-amount components update. [Update, 2:18 pm EDT: In an email interview with Ars, Del Rizzo clarifies that “Ethereum represents more than 90 percent of GPU-mineable coin rewards, so that’s our focus currently.” He also points to the new SKUs’ hashing rate being affected by “a similar process to what we announced with the original RTX 3060, in that the lite hash rate uses a secure handshake between the driver, the RTX GPU silicon, and the BIOS (firmware).”]

Modern announcement also leaves out the fact that Nvidia is delighted to promote crypto-unlocked variations of the exact same GPUs, which they’ve dubbed Cryptocurrency Mining Processors (CMPs), albeit at higher price ranges and with their video clip-out performance stripped out. Though Nvidia has not formally introduced the CMP cards’ prices and availability, TechRadar noticed an entry-level Nvidia CMP with a hash amount similar to a hobbled RTX 3060 (whose MSRP is $329) priced at around $720 at a Romanian reseller.

Tuesday’s Nvidia site submit concludes with an assurance that “we think this supplemental phase will get additional GeForce playing cards at much better rates into the fingers of players everywhere.” But in a market savaged by chip shortages and aggressive scalpers, and with a solution line that has previously taken just one botched stab at crypto-halving measures, we are not convinced that miners will not swoop in to get Nvidia’s LHR models and get their possibilities. Possibly way, with CMPs on the increase in Nvidia’s revenue portfolio, we’re self-assured this isn’t really the final of Nvidia’s assurances about anti-mining efforts in buyer-grade playing cards.

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