NiceHash beats Nvidia’s GPU crypto mining restrictions, it doesn’t seem to be a scam

NiceHash beats Nvidia's GPU crypto mining restrictions, it doesn't seem to be a scam

Last year, Nvidia began issuing LHR (or “Lite Hash Rate”) graphics cards to slow down their cryptocurrency mining performance and make them less attractive to non-gamers. Late last week, crypto mining platform NiceHash announced it had finally found a way around these limitations and released an update for its QuickMiner software that promises full Ethereum mining performance on almost all LFR-enabled GeForce RTX 3000 series GPUs.

Unlike previous attempts to disable LHR protection, NiceHash’s solution seems to be the real problem – Tom’s hardware has been able to confirm increased performance with QuickMiner and GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.

For now, NiceHash says the LHR workaround will only work in Windows, without “no support for Linux yet.” The more flexible NiceHash Miner software doesn’t yet include workarounds, though it will soon. NiceHash also says that software habit speed up mining performance on newer GeForce cards using version 3 of the LHR algorithm, a list that (for now) includes the RTX 3050 and 12GB version of the RTX 3080, but which is likely to grow as Nvidia announces new GPUs and updated revisions for older GPUs.

Miners are trying to find ways to circumvent LHR restrictions since they were introduced. The first card to use the LHR, the GeForce RTX 3060, was defeated by a faulty driver release by Nvidia. Other solutions include flashing alternative BIOSes and mining multiple cryptocurrencies on the same card.

But LHR solutions can also be too good to be true. The second group promised drivers in February that defeated the LHR, but they did not do what they said they would do and were eventually full of malware.

It remains to be seen whether this LHR unlocking will affect GPU pricing or availability. Bitcoin and Ethereum prices have been falling lately as rising interest rates and the stock market have pushed investors towards safer bets. Ethereum’s “merger,” which will shift the currency from a mining-led “proof of work” system to an ownership-led “proof of ownership” system, is also reportedly in a few months, although this has been the case for several years. At this point, buying a bunch of new cryptocurrency mining GPUs, even with performance improvements and price increases, could still be a risky investment.

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