Earlier this year, Nvidia announced that upon launch, the GeForce RTX 3060 desktop GPU would feature a lower mining hash rate in an attempt to make GPUs less appealing to cryptocurrency miners and thus more widely available to gamers. Now, it's bringing the same hash rate limiter to the rest of the RTX 30 series graphics cards - the RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti.
In a blog post, the company explains that future models of these GPUs will be coming with the limited hash rate, but existing cards won't be affected. To make the choice clearer for consumers, the cards will also be sold with Lite Hash Rate (or LHR) branding, so customers know what they're buying.
While Nvidia claims to have good intentions with this move, the company has been blasted by some for its futile attempts at making graphics cards more available to gamers. After the release of the GeForce RTX 3060, users quickly found ways to circumvent the hash rate limitation, and Nvidia itself accidentally disabled the limiter with a beta driver update, showing that software workarounds are possible.
At the same time, Nvidia is manufacturing dedicated cryptocurrency mining GPUs, which it calls CMPs, without any kind of display output. This means that, should cryptocurrency values crash, those cards will be essentially rendered useless for any purpose, turning into e-waste earlier than regular GPUs might.
It's possible that Nvidia has come up with a new system to lock the hash rate on these cards going forward so that the restrictions can't be worked around as easily, and the company says these cards will only work with the newly-released driver version 466.47. Of course, that remains to be seen until they actually make their way to consumers.