The latest Nvidia GPUs have been cracked by crypto miners

The latest Nvidia GPUs have been cracked by crypto miners

It was recently confirmed that Nvidia’s crypto mining limiter for the majority of its RTX 30 cards has been fully unlocked. Now the last two remaining boards that were stuck at 50% mining performance have also been cracked.

NiceHash, which introduced the all-crypto mining tool for Nvidia GPUs, revealed that it successfully unlocked 90% mining performance for LHRv3 (Light Hash Rate version 3) cards.

A cryptocurrency miner strapped to a laptop. Getty Images

Like reported by Tom’s HardwareNiceHash has released the hash rate unlock for the RTX 3050 8GB and RTX 3080 12GB variants. The QuickMiner app will push said GPUs to 90% mining performance as opposed to the 100% Ethereum (ETH) mining unlock it launched for the rest of the RTX 30 line.

No reason was provided as to why 100% full unlock could not be achieved, but 90% is still a significant improvement over the official 50% cap Nvidia imposed for LHRv3-based models.

However, other graphics cards that come with Light Hash Rate version 2 can provide 100% mining power for crypto miners, including the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.

Besides 90% unlock for LHRv3 GPUs, NiceHash QuickMiner version RC has “major stability improvements” – you will need Nvidia driver version 512.15 or higher to run the program.

Tom’s Hardware highlights how Nvidia introduced LHR algorithms in February 2021 in a market where crypto miners (due to the unprecedented cryptocurrency boom) have exhausted nearly all of the existing stock for RTX 30 cards.

The RTX 3080, 3070, 3060 Ti and 3060 cards in particular were launched with an LHRv2 mining limiter. As for the GeForce RTX 3050 8GB and RTX 3080 12GB models that hit the market in 2022, these video cards came with an updated and harder-to-break LHRv3 algorithm.

Workers are transferring cryptocurrency mining rigs to a cryptocurrency farm.
Workers transfer cryptocurrency mining rigs to a cryptocurrency farm that includes more than 3,000 mining rigs in Dujiangyan, Sichuan province, southwest China. STR/AFP via Getty Images

Too little, too late?

Crypto miners were already generating substantial profits during the height of the crypto bubble in recent years by mining ETH on Nvidia GPUs. However, the cryptocurrency market has recently been subject to a massive crash, which saw some of the most stable and popular coins (including Bitcoin and Ethereum) suffer astronomical drops.

The current freefall in the crypto market has been at the forefront of technology and financial news lately. The volatility in the space has seen crypto miners rethink their approach to generating meaningful returns from their operations.

Many point to the 2018 crypto crash, which rebounded in 2020 dramatically, as a reason the crypto community shouldn’t be concerned. Others claim that this crash will be the end of cryptocurrency as we know it.

Either way, now is not a particularly good time to be a crypto miner right now. Why? Tom’s Hardware pointed to the profitability of mining Ethereum, and it indeed paints a grim picture: mining on a card like the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, even at 100%, would yield around $3.50 per day.

In other words, you’ll have to wait almost a year to cover the cost of the card, let alone make a profit. Who knows where the crypto market will be in a year? As such, it is a huge risk to invest in any RTX 30 card at this time with the sole intention of mining ETH.

However, the situation may not affect mining operations as much as individual miners. These groups can earn over $60,000 in a single day by mining.

Finally, the crypto mining community will inevitably be concerned about the impending launch of ETH proof-of-stake, which will effectively disable the ability to mine the coin on Nvidia-powered cards.

Still, the aforementioned situation has at least contributed to some positive news – the GPU market is finally normalizing, leading to availability and pricing returning to pre-pandemic levels across the board.

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