It's taken a full year, but Nvidia's Lite Hash Rate (LHR) GPU tech has finally been fully bypassed. Much like the restraining bolt of a Star Wars droid, LHR was Nvidia's hardware-based attempt to thwart cryptocurrency miners, and get "more GeForce cards at better prices into the hands of gamers." Now, after a tonne of back and forth with hackers, and even Nvidia itself, a full bypass has been confirmed.
That's great news for anyone with a mind to use their GeForce RTX 3080 (opens in new tab) to mine cryptocurrency, but perhaps not so great for those of us still waiting for the GPU market to balance out so we can finally play Elden Ring on ultra graphics settings.
A while back, we saw Nvidia trip up with their mining limiter (opens in new tab), when they accidentally published the wrong driver and gave everyone full hash rates. That was quickly backtracked, but later NBMiner managed to hack Nvidia's mining limiter to increase it to 70% efficiency.
Still, no one had managed to push that up to 100% without mining two cryptocurrencies at once (opens in new tab), until now.
According to Videocardz (opens in new tab) the new bypass comes from NiceHash, for it's QuickMiner (Excavator), with support for NiceHash Miner coming soon. It's been confirmed by the team over at Benchmark.pl (opens in new tab) to give miners 100% efficiency on an RTX 3080 Ti card, at least. That's 117 MH/s over the 85-88 MH/s logged previously.
Some commenters note having tried it on different 30-series cards, and the results are mixed. A couple claim their RTX 3060 LHR Zotac isn't getting improved hash rates, with one even having attempted the suggested "reinstall with the RC version," to no avail.
The other big catch? It only supports only the DaggerHashimoto (Etash) algorithm.
Still, that's nowhere near as limiting as having to hash two cryptocurrencies simultaneously, or as devastating as accidentally downloading a crypto-hungry virus onto your PC—some supposed full LHR unlocks were disguised to distribute malware to unsuspecting cryptocurrency miners (opens in new tab).
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Earlier this year, Lapsus$ hackers even threatened to publish an LHR bypass (opens in new tab) if Nvidia didn't comply with its terms, but since the apparent bunch of teens behind the hacking group appear to have been arrested (opens in new tab), it looks like they didn't get the chance.
Either way, the rearing of such a hack could mean unhealthy things for gamers still waiting for their chance to grab a current-gen GPU. Even in the face of increased GPU stock levels and the potential for pricing to balance out (opens in new tab), this limiter is likely to reforge cryptocurrency miner's interest in Nvidia's 30-series cards. Though profitability of cryptocurrency mining has fallen as of late, so perhaps we won't feel the worst of it again.