Good news everybody: Nvidia's RTX 3050 appears to be rubbish at mining

Nvidia GeForce graphics card in a case
(Image credit: Nvidia)

It would appear that Nvidia's soon-to-be-released GeForce RTX 3050 features the company's Lite Hash Rate algorithm, or LHR for short. This is the same technology that Nvidia introduced with the RTX 3060, and has continued to use on cards to dissuade cryptocurrency miners from buying them. While there have been workarounds and hacks of the limiter, as well as unfortunate driver leaks, it still stands as one of the best deterrents for crypto miners.

As with any new card from Nvidia these days, the RTX 3050 is expected to ship with the LHR algorithm in place. Although this can't really be confirmed one way or the other until the cards actually hit the shelves. There's also the fact that even with the limiter, some cards remain tempting for miners, as they can still turn a fairly quick profit.

A source from China was highlighted by Videocardz, as to the mining performance figures for the RTX 3050. These were backed up with a screenshot showing the card managing 20MH/s for a mere four seconds before dropping down to 12.5MH/s at 73W. That equates to around 500 days of mining to get the return on investment on the card, assuming it costs $250. 

This makes the RTX 3050 a rubbish card for any miners looking to pick up a cheap graphics card, particularly in light of the recent cryptocurrency crash that has seen billions wiped off the crypto markets. Indeed, plenty of cards that were profitable, are now not looking quite so tasty right now. 

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The Nvidia RTX 3070 and AMD RX 6700 XT side by side on a colourful background

(Image credit: Future)

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Bad news for miners, but good news for gamers, as this should mean there are more graphics cards for the thing they were designed for, i.e. playing games. There's only one question left now: Is the RTX 3050 any good at actually playing games? We'll find out on January 27th when the card is officially released.

It's worth noting that AMD's Radeon RX 6500 XT, launched last week, also set out to frustrate cryptocurrency miners by shipping with only 4GB of VRAM. The only downside being this also impacted PC gamers, as plenty of modern games demand more VRAM for high-res texture packs and more. Hopefully, Nvidia's approach with LHR, but still packing 8GB of VRAM pays off where AMD's failed. 

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.