Robert Steinadler, 5 months ago
GPU mining is a market that has caused one or more controversies in the past 5 years. When mining became incredibly profitable, many hobbyists joined the rank of professionals and some even managed to start a small business with their rigs. One group of people suffered from that development the most: Gamers. They had to sit and watch all the precious graphic cards going to the miners and when the demand exploded last year, the price for GPUs went through the roof.
What is LHR, and why is Nvidia deactivating the controversial feature?
In order to protect all those sad gamers that had to pay between 2 and 3 times the original price for a new GPU, Nvidia introduced LHR. It was basically a driver feature that reinsured that as soon as a GPU was used for mining, the hash rate would be cut in half.
The idea was to create a GPUs that would be only suitable for gamers. Unfortunately, the LHR feature is also based on Nvidias drivers. Needless to say, LHR can be easily deactivated with just a few steps. Of course, this could potentially void the warranty of the product that isn’t even a concern for most miners. They are stacking dozens of GPUs into racks which is usually considered to be a fire hazard. So, why would they care?
More importantly Nvidia released a driver version at the very start of LHR with the feature being deactivated. In effect, it never protected gamers as intended.
It seems that starting from driver version 522.25 on Windows and 520.56.06 on Linux the LHR feature is not triggered any longer. One potential reason for that shift could be the Merge that happened last month.
With Ethereum opting for proof of stake not many options are left for GPU miners. There are a few remaining proof of work cryptos available, but they also need to offer liquidity and some sort of perspective for the future.
Ethereum Classic profited already from the miner exodus and so did Ravencoin among several others. EthereumPoW emerged as yet another alternative chain to Ethereum but the overall demand to mine these coins is not as high as with Ethereum. Therefore, the demand for GPUs and more hash rate is also lower. Eventually Nvidia came to the conclusion that it is not necessary to maintain a feature that is already failing at its job.
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