A new combination of software and VBIOS is reportedly able to bypass anti-mining restrictions put in place by Nvidia on some of its Ampere GPUs. As you may recall, Nvidia began releasing Low Hash Rate (LHR) versions of its GPUs last year in an effort to thwart crypto miners gobbling up all its GPUs for mining purposes. The company hoped this would allow throngs of desperate gamers to buy its GPUs instead. The feature didn’t really change things much as far as availability or pricing, but Nvidia at least made an attempt. Now a software developer has created a tool that supposedly unlocks any LHR card’s full Ethereum mining potential, assuming the GPU owner has the chutzpah to flash his or her GPU’s BIOS to make it work.
The software utility is called Nvidia RTX LHR v2 Unlocker by Sergey, according to a report by Videocardz. The utility flashes the BIOS of the GPU in question to restore its full mining powers. The one caveat is that it must be used with a custom modded driver also made by Sergey, so you’re talking about some experimental activities here with expensive and hard to find hardware. We recommend only the brave attempt it.
On the Github page the developer notes that if something goes wrong you can revert both the drivers and BIOS back to their original state. Experienced hardware junkies may feel a twinge of PTSD over failed past updates just reading about it.
The utility works with gimped Ampere GPUs. This includes every model starting with the RTX 3060 and going up the stack to the RTX 3080 Ti. The utility also works with some of Nvidia’s A-class GPUs, which are workstation boards. The software will be available on February 26th, so you have some time to work up your bravado.
The software and BIOS combo supposedly will allow quite a boost in mining rates. For example, the RTX 3080 LHR is listed as offering a hash rate for ETH of 71.7 MH/s on Hashrate.no, but Sergey’s software will lift that to around 100 MH/s. The RTX 3070 Ti will see a bump from 57 MH/s to 69 MH/s, supposedly.
This may be bad news for gamers. The new combination goes beyond previous efforts such as NBMiner, which were only able to restore about 70 percent of the cards’ mining capabilities. That said, the software hasn’t even been released yet, so we’ll have to wait and see what it can do in the real world. The crypto market in general has been extremely volatile lately. With the impending move to Proof of Stake for ETH it remains to be seen what 2022 holds for GPU miners. Neither AMD nor Intel have announced any type of hash rate limiting measures for their current and upcoming GPUs.