The global GPU shortage, exacerbated by a dearth of semiconductors, has hit tech enthusiasts quite hard. And since GPUs work fairly well for cryptocurrency mining, dealers of the digital currency have been hoarding most of the GPUs available in the market for their mining set-ups, leaving several PC gamers in the lurch and driving prices to unreasonable heights.
This has prompted Nvidia to half the hash limiter on most of their current GPUs so as to make them less desirable to miners. This comes a few months after the launch of the Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti which came with an Ethereum hash limiter built in. While the GPU was initially deemed ‘unhackable’ by its creators, the processor was eventually broken through by Chinese hackers using Nvidia’s own homegrown software.
“To help get GeForce GPUs in the hands of gamers, we announced in February that all GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards shipped with a reduced Ethereum hash rate. Today, we’re taking additional measures by applying a reduced ETH hash rate to newly manufactured GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards. These cards will start shipping in late May,”Nvidia Blog Post
The post also detailed how the company plans to differentiate the hash limited processors from the rest of its products: the three cards will have “Lite Hash Rate,” or “LHR,” identifiers on their boxes. This will come on newly manufactured processors only and will not apply to ones already manufactured or purchased.
With Nvidia planning to ship these hash limited cards from this month itself, the company believes that this additional step “will get more GeForce cards at better prices into the hands of gamers everywhere.” This remains to be seen, however, as miners will surely try to bypass the limiters on these as well.
Hopefully, Nvidia has learned a couple lessons from the launch of the RTX 3060 and will have stronger safeguards against hackers in place. The least they could do is not reveal a GPU-breaking code that breaks, well, their very own GPUs.
NVIDIA Corporation is an American multinational technology company incorporated in Delaware, based in Santa Clara, California. They design graphics processing units (GPUs) for the gaming and professional markets, as well as system on chip units (SoCs) for the mobile computing and automotive market.
Best known for the “GeForce” lines of GPUs, they are a direct competitor to AMD’s “Radeon” series. NVIDIA has also expanded its offerings with its handheld game consoles Shield Portable, Shield Tablet, and Shield Android TV and its cloud gaming service GeForce Now.