What just happened? Mining software NBMiner can now unlock 70% of the Ethereum mining performance of Nvidia’s Lite Hash Rate (LHR) series. That’s potentially bad news for gamers already struggling to find the graphics cards in stock, and it will be even worse if the full hashrate is eventually unlocked.
You might remember that we’ve been here before. Back in March, soon after it released the RTX 3060 that artificially limited the effectiveness of Ethereum cryptomining, a beta driver "accidentally released" by Nvidia was found to bypass this limiter. It was quickly removed, but the damage had already been done.
In an attempt to address some of the global card shortages, which is partly due to miners, Nvidia released LHR versions of the RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti that come with GPUs limited to 50% of their normal mining performance. But NBMiner has found a partial workaround. As reported by VideoCardz, the latest version of the software restores up to 70% of the LHR cards’ maximum unlocked hashrate, though the devs recommend setting it to 68% for the best stability.
Courtesy of VideoCardz
The new model works on Windows and Linux, but it currently only supports the ethash algorithm. Tom’s Hardware estimates that the tool could give the RTX 3060 Ti LHR a hashrate of up to 41 MH/s, putting it around the same level as the Radeon RX5600 XT or GeForce RTX 2070.
While this is potentially bad news for non-mining gamers, there is something to look forward to: Ethereum’s upcoming move from a proof-of-work (PoW) model to proof-of-stake (PoS), which should take place in 2021 or early next year, aims to reduce power usage by up 99.95% and cut the requirement for GPUs.