It would appear that Nvidia's soon-to-be-released GeForce RTX 3050 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab), 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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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 (opens in new tab).
It's worth noting that AMD's Radeon RX 6500 XT (opens in new tab), 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.