What Exactly Is an NVIDIA LHR GPU? Is it still usable for gaming?
What Exactly Is an NVIDIA LHR GPU? Is it still usable for gaming? Most of us use our graphics cards, also known as graphics processing units (GPUs), to play the most delinquent video games or run our favorite visual design applications. However, an increasing number of people are purchasing GPUs solely for cryptocurrency mining. The increase in the number of people mining cryptocurrency has its issues. To address these concerns, NVIDIA released a new type of GPU known as Lite Hash Rate (LHR) GPU. So, what exactly is an LHR GPU, and how does it impact gaming performance?
What Is Crypto Mining Anyway?
To understand how LHR GPUs function, you must first grasp what crypto mining is. Crypto mining is the process of mining cryptocurrency using your computer to translate complex mathematical problems. To put it loosely, the computer that solves the problem the fastest “wins” the digital coin.
Because graphics cards are inherently designed to handle many math problems due to their use in gaming, they are best served to mine cryptocurrency.
However, if you want to learn more almost crypto mining and its risks, check out this explainer.
What Is an NVIDIA Lite Hash Rate (LHR) GPU?
To adequately comprehend the difference between LHR and non-LHR GPUs, you must first understand the hash rate and its impact on crypto mining.
The hash rate is a measure of the strength and security of a blockchain network. Hash rate impacts how quickly GPUs (or ASIC mining devices) can mine cryptocurrency. As a result, a miner will always choose a greater hash rate. Furthermore, a higher hash rate means less electricity is consumed to mine a given amount of cryptocurrency, as less time is required. This is significant since electricity consumption is one of the most crucial factors to consider before beginning cryptocurrency mining.
NVIDIA’s new LHR GPUs have had their hash rates halved, making them less appealing to miners than before. In addition, the GPUs will consume roughly the same amount of electricity, making them less appealing to miners. For example, the RTX 3060 Ti had a hash rate of around 60MH/s at launch, which has since been reduced to 30MH/s in the new LHR card.
Surprisingly, this is not the foremost time NVIDIA has attempted to reduce the hash rate of its GPUs. The RTX 3060 was launched with anti-mining features, but that limit was short-lived due to an error in an official driver version that removed the limiter. NVIDIA, on the other hand, argues that these new LHR GPUs have improved software and firmware integration, which should prevent such catastrophes in the future.
All new RTX 3060, 3070, and 3080 GPUs (including Ti cards but excluding Founder’s Edition cards) will now include NVIDIA’s new limiter. As a result, your mining performance would be impacted if you purchased the cards before NVIDIA’s announcement. An LHR GPU is easily identified because the package has a label that plainly states it.
Can You Bypass NVIDIA’s LHR Restrictions?
Bypassing NVIDIA’s LHR limits will yield no further benefits for the ordinary user. Crypto miners have already unlocked the hash rate in NVIDIA’s new GPUs to 100%.
Miners originally used NBMiner, a crypto-mining software, to unlock 70% of the hash rate. However, because Ethereum is the most famous cryptocurrency to abundance with a GPU (you cannot mine Bitcoin with a GPU), NBMiner only unlocks the hash rate when mining Ethereum.
Then, in extra to NBMiner, the NiceHash QuickMiner v0.5.4.0 RC (a beta release candidate version) unlocked all LHR GPUs, rendering NVIDIA’s efforts futile.
Does LHR Affect Gaming Performance?
Except for crypto mining, NVIDIA’s hash rate limiter does not affect GPU performance. No independent testing has determined the difference in gaming performance between non-LHR and LHR GPUs. However, numerous YouTube videos show side-by-side comparisons of the cards, and there is no commission drop while gaming.
The takeoff of these new LHR GPUs will put GPUs in gamers’ hands at a reasonable price. Another unnoticed benefit is that hackers target customers with fast devices to mine cryptocurrency on their behalf without their awareness. Users with LHR GPUs are likely to see fewer of these attacks because your machine is less appealing for mining. If you’ve stood looking for a sign to upgrade your graphics card, this could be it.
LHR vs. Non-LHR: More Needs to Be Done
While gamers welcome LHR GPUs, crypto miners will eventually overcome these restrictions. It’s simply a matter of time. First, retailers and online stores must ensure cryptocurrency miners do not hoard GPUs, causing price inflation.
However, there is reason to believe GPUs will become more affordable shortly.