How to easily identify if a GPU is LHR?
Considering some announcements and still a lot of discussions on social networks, it seemed important to me to make a small summary article on the LHR.
So first of all, what is the LHR?
LHR (or Lite HashRate) is an acronym introduced by NVIDIA to characterize graphics chips that have been limited in their design for mining certain cryptocurrencies.
So as stated, LHR is only for NVIDIA chips and only affects the RTX 3000 series.
Also LHR is very heavily focused on algorithms such as Etherum and only affects certain cryptocurrencies.
Initially, LHR was supposed to reduce the capacity of RTX 3000 cards on ETH mining by half.
NVIDIA believing that throttling its cards would prevent cryptocurrency miners from buying all available units and leave nothing for gamers. LHR being supposed to not interfere with usage for gaming.
NVIDIA's new hardware blocking method: How do you properly spot which GPUs are in it?
In the rest of the article, LHR will refer to NVIDIA's new HARDWARE blocking method that has been introduced on its chips from May 2021.
In contrast we will talk about FHR (for Full HasRate) for chips that do not experience any blocking on crypto mining.
There is a third definition, which we'll call REV1 or V1, which refers to software throttling introduced by NVIDIA before May 2021, and we'll come back to this later.
So we will try to give you the best means to be able to find your way in the world of Nvidia GPUs and to be able to try to differentiate them and recognize them easily. We will treat the graphics cards marketed by NVIDIA under the reference FE (or Founder Edition) a little separately, NVIDIA reserving a special treatment.
At the time of writing, NO 3090, whether FE (Founders Edition) or graphics cards marketed by other manufacturers are LHR. They are all FHR. NVIDIA has estimated that its highest-end cards are too expensive, so miners would not buy them...
So, if you want to get RTX 3090 based cards, they will not have any limitation on mining.
For these cards, the first models were FHR (not LHR), NVIDIA had released them without any mention of clamping and had never communicated on the fact that its 3070 and 3080 models could suffer limitations on mining.
So when they released LHR models, they required manufacturers to differentiate between LHR and FHR models. See the attached image. So for the 3070 and 3080, FHR and LHR coexist but are recognizable on their packaging or in the model number.
Note that it is here that NVIDIA has granted itself a special treatment that goes a bit against its "anti-miners" policy since the 3070 and 3080 FE are all FHR (not clamped), NVIDIA having decided not to offer LHR in its own range.
The Ti range brings extra power to the existing models. Thus, for each 3060, 3070 and 3080 model, there is a Ti counterpart with the 3060 Ti, the 3070 Ti and the 3080 Ti.
In the rest of the article, we will distinguish the 3060 Ti (released earlier) from the 3070Ti and 3080Ti.
The 3060 TI
The 3060 Ti are like the 3070 and 3080, there are FHR (a priori before May 2021) and LHR whose differentiation is visible on the packaging or in the model number and similarly the 3060Ti FE are all FHR in the range of NVIDIA.
The 3070 TI and 3080 TI
The 3080Ti/3070Ti are, at the time of writing, ALL LHR.
NVIDIA has only produced one chip developed for these cards (3070 Ti / 3080 Ti) and therefore all models on the market today are LHR.
Even NVIDIA's own graphics cards, the FEs, are LHR.
Two members of the Quebec mining Facebook group have confirmed that they had a 3070 Ti FE and a 3080 Ti FE which are indeed LHR.
So, if you receive offers for 3070 Ti and 3080 Ti cards and the seller assures you that they are FHR, there is a clear error (or worse).
The 3060 (REV1 vs. REV2)
Finally, let's look at the most complex case, the GeForce RTX 3060.
Historically, NVIDIA released the first RTX 3060 chips (before May 2021) as clamped. This clamping was software unlike the LHR which is hardware, this is where we talk about REV1 or V1; The first version of NVIDIA clamping.
These cards could be software debrided using :
- a 16x PCI slot wired as 16x or 8x (if wired as 4x, it doesn't work)
- the 470.05 drivers which were apparently leaked by NVIDIA themselves. Beware of windows updates that try to update the driver on these cards.
- a screen connected to the video output of the card (or a dummy to simulate the presence of a screen)
- and to run under windows (it seems that the above settings under HiveOS do not work)
In this case, we can then take out the full potential of the RTX 3060 at 48-50 MH/s for ETH under windows, against 25 MH/s in the case of V1 clamping or LHR.
Following the hacking of this first revision, that's when NVIDIA released a REV2 of the 3060 introducing hardware throttling with LHR chips.
But for NVIDIA, the RTX 3060 being a clamped card for mining, they decided not to impose any differentiation of REV1 and REV2 (LHR) on the packaging. In terms of corporate communication, NVIDIA has always advertised its RTX 3060 as a 50% ETH-rated card.
The only method that allows us today to formally differentiate an RTX 3060 V1 from an RTX 3060 V2 is to check in GPU-Z the model number in the DEVICE ID field:
- if the DEVICE ID field starts with the string "10DE 2503 ..." then the card is an RTX 3060 released before May 2021 and therefore V1 is software debuggable thanks to the 4 methods mentioned above.
- if the DEVICE ID field starts with the string "10DE 2504 ..." then the card is an RTX 3060 produced after May 2021 and therefore LHR.
Moreover, the experimentation shows us that the 3060 LHR are not compatible with the FHR in order to get the full potential of both. The latest releases (LHR) are simply not recognized under Windows with the 470.05 drivers while the first ones (REV1) do not mine at their full potential with another driver than the 470.05.
Mining software to bypass LHR
NBminer - 70% of the full potential of the graphics card:
It should be noted that the latest developments of various mining software (NBminer the 1st, then lolMiner, T-rex, etc.) allow to bypass in part the LHR bridging. It is estimated that it is possible to reach about 70% of the potential of a FHR card with these latest revisions in the presence of LHR.
- For the RTX 3060 LHR, we reach approximately 35 MH/s against 48-49 MH/s for a REV1 under ETH.
- For the RTX 3080 LHR, we reach approximately 70-72 MH/s against 100-102 MH/s for a FHR under ETH.
T-Rex - 100% of the full potential of the graphics card:
Unlike NBminer and lolMiner, T-REX not only allows you to mine at 70% of the full potential of the chart on one cryptocurrency, but also to dedicate the remaining 30% on another cryptocurrency. Thus, it would be possible to use 30% of its power to mine ETH and 70% for other algorithms such as Ravencoin (RVN), Conflux (CFX) or Ergo (ERG).
However, there are limitations related to VRAM that must be considered. For example, to simultaneously mine ETH-ERG, a GPU of more than 8 GB is sufficient, while it will take 10 GB to mine ETH-RVN or ETH-CFX. This makes this new technology less accessible to RTX 3060ti and RTX 3070 with 8GB GDDR6.
We are following the developments in the field closely and will not hesitate to inform you of the new features when they arrive.
Graduated from the engineering school of Centrale Marseille, David has always been a technology enthusiast. Passionate about technology, he has been involved for more than 20 years in different fields such as home theater, home automation, personal electronics, 3D printing and since the beginning of 2021, in the world of crypto-assets and more particularly in mining.
David also offers coaching for beginners in the field and the assembly of professional mining RIGS on demand.
Contact : email@example.com