The current graphics card landscape may be a barren wasteland, but there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. On Tuesday, Nvidia announced that the mining hash rate limiter introduced alongside the GeForce RTX 3060 will now be rolling out to newly manufactured RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, and RTX 3080 as well, via a new “Lite Hash Rate” series starting in mid-May. (The work hard, play hard GeForce RTX 3090 will not be receiving a nerf, however.) Gaming performance shouldn’t be affected.
“We believe this additional step will get more GeForce cards at better prices into the hands of gamers everywhere,” Nvidia’s announcement states. We wouldn’t be surprised if most if not all new GeForce GPUs produced by Nvidia include these protections going forward. “Software drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent,” Nvidia’s Matt Wuebbling said when the technology was first introduced in the RTX 3060.
That sound you hear is a million crypto coin miners gnashing their teeth.
People using GPUs to mine cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Dogecoin are a big part (but far from the only part) of why graphics cards cost so much right now. The prices of both of those coins are booming right now.
By slicing the rate at which RTX 30-series GPUs mine crypto, Nvidia will take a lot of the luster off these new cards for those looking to make money rather than play games—that is, assuming Nvidia doesn’t shoot itself in the foot by cracking its own anti-mining protection again.
Nvidia’s anti-crypto crusade started with the RTX 3060.
Of course, you should know if a given graphics card comes with the anti-mining measures in place before you buy it.