In the latest GeForce driver release, NVIDIA confirmed that they are reintroducing cryptocurrency mining hash rate limiter on the GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Gets Crippled In Mining Once Again With Latest GeForce Driver Release, Cryptocurrency Hash Rate Limited Ampere GPUs Shipping in Mid-May
A couple of days after Videocardz reported that NVIDIA is working on the LHR (Lite Hash Rate) GPU lineup for its GeForce RTX 30 gaming graphics cards, the green team themselves have confirmed its hash rate-limited products are shipping starting mid-May. The latest GeForce 466.27 WHQL driver confirms this in the changelog.
According to NVIDIA, the latest driver updates the hash rate limiter for the GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB graphics card and is required for products shipped starting mid-May. So there are two parts to this, first, the existing GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards will once again get crippled within mining when users update to the new drivers, and secondly, the newer variants based on the Ampere GA**2 line of chips will require this driver to work.
Now for gamers who don't mine at all will not be affected by this but if cryptocurrency mining rigs are updated with the new drivers, then that would limit the mining hash rate to 50% like before. It makes no sense for miners to update to the new drivers as they are getting the full hash-rate out of their graphics cards with the leaked drivers but for gamers who mine as a side-hobby to earn some crypto profits, this driver release means that they won't be able to get much out of their chips any-more.
The new graphics cards will also feature brand new GPU SKUs under the GA**2 branding and will come with Resizable BAR support out of the box. Currently, users running existing GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards have to flash the vBIOS to access the feature. The NVIDIA GA**2 GPUs will be shipping in mid of May so we can expect graphics cards with the new chips to start hitting the retail shelves around June 2021.
Specifications and prices for the NVIDIA Geforce RTX 30 Lite Hash Rate series cards are not going to change. To tell if you have an LHR or a non-LHR GPU, you'd need to disassemble the card yourself and look at the codename of the GPU to see if it's part of the GA**2 series lineup or you could wait for hardware detection and monitoring software to get updated support for the new GPUs.
Following are all the new NVIDIA Ampere GA**2 SKUs that you can expect:
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 - GA102-300-A1 -> GA102-302-A1
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 - GA102-200-A1 -> GA102-202-A1
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 - GA104-300-A1 -> GA104-302-A1
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti - GA104-200-A1 -> GA104-202-A1
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 - GA106-300-A1 -> GA106-302-A1
Also, flashing an old BIOS on the new cards won't work due to a different device hardware ID. This means that there's an additional parameter aside from the GPU-driver hand-shake that will prevent the BIOS firmware upgrade from working on the newer cards & that may totally limit full-hash rate performance for cryptocurrency mining algorithms.
NVIDIA has pretty much confirmed that you won't be able to run the new graphics cards on existing drivers (older than GeForce 466.27 WHQL) but it's up to NVIDIA and its partners to notify users of this. There's also a possibility that NVIDIA might remove all older drivers from its website and only list down those that have the cryptocurrency mining restrictions enabled.