Nvidia's GPU mining limiter has been fully unlocked for the RTX 3080 Ti

An ethereum sun rises over the RTX 3080 Ti
(Image credit: vovik_mar)

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 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, 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, until now.

According to Videocardz 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 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.

Your next upgrade

(Image credit: Future)

Best CPU for gaming: The top chips from Intel and AMD
Best gaming motherboard: The right boards
Best graphics card: Your perfect pixel-pusher awaits
Best SSD for gaming: Get into the game ahead of the rest

Earlier this year, Lapsus$ hackers even threatened to publish an LHR bypass if Nvidia didn't comply with its terms, but since the apparent bunch of teens behind the hacking group appear to have been arrested, 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, 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.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.