Nvidia introduced LHR to thwart Ethereum miners and increase the number of GeForce graphics cards in players’ hands. Here’s all you need to know.

Right now is a challenging period to be a PC gamer. Due to a severe GPU scarcity, purchasing the best graphics cards is almost impossible, and when you can find one, it’s usually at an exorbitant price. To make matters worse. Throughout 2021, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have seen a surge in popularity, prompting hordes of GPU miners to gobble up whatever graphics cards they can find to mine crypto coins and make a big profit, sometimes in “farms” made up of rows of toiling GPUs.

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Nvidia’s Lite Hash Rate (LHR) technology, which places stringent constraints on the mining capability of specific GPUs, was released to assist battle the serious GPU availability problem gamers to face. The goal was apparently to get more graphics cards into the hands of gamers. Here’s an overview of what LHR does, which graphics cards support it if it affects gaming performance (spoiler: no), and anything else you need to know.

What is Nvidia Lite Hash Rate technology, and how does it work?

First and foremost, what is LHR? The “hash rate” is automatically halved when Nvidia LHR graphics cards are used for Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency mining, the “hash rate” is automatically halved. Without getting too technical, this makes LHR GPUs less lucrative for prospective mining purchases because of their higher power demand than the lower hash rate. If LHR GPUs aren’t profitable for miners, the idea is that gamers will buy them instead.

geforce rtx 3060 seedpc

The GeForce RTX 3060 had LHR technology, which was shortly broken and reinstated.

The first effort to include the Lite Hash Rate Limiter into the GeForce RTX 3060 failed miserably. Unintentional beta driver release unlocked GPU’s full mining performance the same week it gets released. Nvidia was undeterred, and two months later, it reintroduced LHR technology across the majority of its range. The newest LHR GPUs (such as the RTX 3080 Ti) have significantly better firmware and software integration.

Will the effectiveness of the limiter last in the long run? No one has any idea. NBMiner can unlock up to 70% of an LHR GPU’s mining capability, up from the 50% that LHR restricts, according to recent reports. Crypto is an enormous business these days, and ambitious miners will try to break through Nvidia’s defenses to make more money.

Which GeForce GPUs support LHR?

The following GeForce graphics cards feature LHR technology.

  • Nvidia RTX 3060 & Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti (Founders Edition unaffected)
  • Nvidia RTX 3070 (Founders Edition unaffected) & Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti
  • Nvidia RTX 3080 (Founders Edition unaffected) & Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti

In the middle of May 2021, Nvidia introduced LHR to most of their RTX 30-series portfolio. If you already own a pre-manufactured RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, or RTX 3080, it will not hamper its mining performance in any way. (This is why Nvidia’s own limited Founders Edition devices don’t support LHR—they were all manufactured before Nvidia implemented its limitation.) 

All GeForce GPUs released after the switchover has LHR technology by default. The work-hard-play-hard GeForce RTX 3090 won’t receive LHR, and all variants provide full hash rate performance.

All GeForce GPUs released after the switchover has LHR technology by default. The work-hard-play-hard GeForce RTX 3090 won’t receive LHR, and all variants provide full hash rate performance.

The monster RTX 3090 is the only current GeForce RTX 30-series GPU without LHR, straddling the boundary between pro and play.

How can I tell whether my graphics card is an LHR GeForce?

You’ll know you’re getting an LHR GPU regardless of the model RTX 30-series card you buy since the box will say “LHR” or “Lite Hash Rate” in some form. Currently, AMD’s competing Radeon graphics cards do not have any equivalent hash rate limits.

Does LHR impact gaming performance?

Nvidia’s Lite Hash Rate technology won’t bother you if you’re a gamer. It does not affect gaming performance as far as we know. It’s a hash rate limitation alone.

What does LHR imply in terms of resale value?

LHR graphics cards’ resale value might go either way. Some individuals may value these models more since LHR shows that Nvidia didn’t design the graphics card for mining. On the other hand, Miners will appreciate them less due to their lower performance concerning the price.

You should generally avoid LHR GPUs until their limitations get removed if you’re into mining. However, if the revenue of crypto mining rises, they may still be viable for miners, despite their lower performance.

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Bilal Shafqat

A PC Enthusiast, A Designer, Developer, Blogger, content writer and co founder of Seed pc, loves to write about Programming, Gadgets, Software, and Games in his spare time.


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