There are a lot of reasons why the shiny new graphics card you really want is out of stock right now. Increased demand is a huge one, as is an ongoing shortage of semiconductors. While those factors are somewhat reasonable, another has upset normal consumers. A resurgence in crypto mining, notably for Etherium, has caused both Nvidia and AMD GPU supplies to dwindle even further. Nvidia tackled this issue previously by introducing a hash rate limiter in its RTX 3060 cards. In the drive to further push back against crypto miners that are buying gaming cards, Nvidia is now introducing a new line of RTX 3070 and 3080 GPUs with built-in limits for crypto mining hash rates.
These new GPUs will be clearly marked for consumers with the label “Lite Hash Rate,” or “LHR.” In a blog post on the Nvidia website, Head of GeForce Marketing Matt Wuebbling said that not all cards will have limited hash rates. “This reduced hash rate only applies to newly manufactured cards with the LHR identifier and not to cards already purchased,” Wuebbling said. The new LHR cards from Nvidia will limit crypto mining capacity for Etherium, the main culprit for low graphics card supply. It’s unknown if the LHR GPUs will apply to other cryptocurrencies, but we’ll find out soon since the LHR revisions from Nvidia will release later this month.
Nvidia manufacturing LHR cards likely won’t lead to everyone that wants a RTX 30 Series GPU getting one. If anything, when LHR cards ship at the end of the month, they’ll probably vanish as fast as the rest. However, Nvidia’s goal here is getting GPUs in the hands of gamers, and according to Wuebbling, LHR GPUs will help do just that.
Other LHR cards on the market
While the 3070 and 3080 reference designs do come from Nvidia, it isn’t the first company to announce limits to its crypto mining hash rates. Gigabyte is also selling its own LHR cards, although only as RTX 3060s. According to a report from VideoCardz, Gigabyte distinguished these cards as “Rev 2.0” models of its RTX 3060 lineup. However, the product pages for those cards are no longer present.