What just happened? NiceHash's mining software can now bypass the mining limiter Nvidia put on LHR versions of its Ampere lineup, restoring the full mining performance to most GPUs. However, this might not be as bad as it sounds, as Ethereum is expected to soon switch to a Proof-of-Stake algorithm.
Over a year ago, Nvidia launched Lite Hash Rate (LHR) versions of most of its RTX 3000 lineup, which it designed to significantly reduce the mining performance for Ethereum and other GPU-minable cryptocurrencies.
Since then, miners have been trying to bypass this limiter with varying degrees of success. A couple of months ago, an unlocker tool was released that claimed to restore the full mining performance, but it turned out to be just malware.
Today, the developers of NiceHash, a company that provides mining software, have announced that they completely bypassed Nvidia's limiter and unlocked the full mining performance of LHR cards.
Several outlets have tested the newest QuickMiner release candidate and confirmed that it works. An unlocked RTX 3080 Ti can now readily get over 110 MH/s, whereas before, it was limited to about 80 MH/s.
However, there are a few caveats to it, as this method currently only works on Windows machines and supports only the DaggerHashimoto (Ethash) algorithm. It also doesn't work on GeForce RTX 3050 and GeForce RTX 3080 12GB cards, as these reportedly feature a new LHR algorithm.
Considering how bad the crypto market has been doing lately (Ethereum's price is currently half of its peak) and the improved availability and price of graphics cards, this news will probably not affect the market too much. With most cards, you'd need close to a year to break even, while Ethereum's transition to the Proof-of-Stake algorithm is expected to happen this year.