Nvidia has revealed that it will apply cryptocurrency mining restrictions to any newly manufactured RTX GPUs. The announcement follows Nvidia’s existing cryptocurrency mining restrictions, first introduced with the RTX 3060 GPU earlier in 2021.
The world’s leading graphics card manufacturer wants to put more new GPUs into the hands of gamers at a time when cryptocurrency miners and scalpers are scooping up new hardware before anyone else gets a chance.
More Crypto Mining Restrictions for Nvidia GPUs
Newly manufactured Nvidia GPUs will come with a special label identifying them as “Lite Hash Rate” or “LHR” models. As with the RTX 3060, anyone attempting to use an Nvidia LHR model GPU to mine cryptocurrency will find their hash rate effectively halved.
In the official blog post confirming the crypto mining restrictions, Nvidia VP of Global GeForce Marketing, Matt Wuebbling, said:
Because these GPUs originally launched with a full hash rate, we want to ensure that customers know exactly what they’re getting when they buy GeForce products. To help with this, our GeForce partners are labeling the GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti cards with a “Lite Hash Rate,” or “LHR,” identifier. The identifier will be in retail product listings and on the box.
The system is clear enough and follows the existing pattern set down with the RTX 3060.
However, in a later statement made to PC Gamer, Nvidia also confirmed that their first-party Founders Edition GPUs wouldn’t come with LHR enabled.
Founders Edition is a limited production graphics card sold at MSRP, and at this point we don’t have plans to make versions with LHR.
While that sounds good in theory, Founders Edition Nvidia GPUs are already nigh-impossible to find, it might not make much difference to the overall lay of the GPU land.
Nvidia LHR GPUs Seek to Rebalance Market
For all of Nvidia’s efforts to bring top-tier RTX GPUs to the hands of gamers, the introduction of the LHR model and dedicated cryptocurrency mining GPUs have made little difference.
The core issue facing GPU manufacturing (and other critical system hardware) is a lack of manufacturing capacity across semiconductor facilities. Until those issues are addressed and capacity returns to its pre-COVID levels (or higher), demand will continue to outstrip supply significantly.
Some websites have taken additional steps to stop scalpers snatching up stock as soon as it arrives. For example, Newegg runs a daily raffle featuring a mixture of in-demand hardware, covering GPUs, CPUs, consoles such as the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and more. The prices for a new GPU remain despite this approach, but at least those with the funds to spare can attempt to pick up a GPU—even at an eye-watering three times the MSRP.