Nvidia RTX 3000 Founders Edition graphics cards won’t get anti-cryptocurrency mining measures

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
(Image credit: Future)

Nvidia just officially announced new LHR or ‘Light Hash Rate’ graphics cards which have their Ethereum crypto-mining performance slashed to deter miners from buying the GPUs, but these models will only come from third-party card manufacturers – there won’t be any new LHR spins on the Founders Edition range.

The Founders Edition graphics cards, which are the models made by Nvidia itself, weren’t mentioned in yesterday’s big revelation of LHR models for RTX 3080RTX 3070, and RTX 3060 Ti GPUs (the RTX 3060 had mining countermeasures applied back in February, but they were circumvented – which hopefully won’t happen with this new approach).

This led our sister site PC Gamer to get in touch with Nvidia to determine whether the Founders Edition models could get an LHR spin, too, but Team Green replied in no uncertain terms: “Founders Edition is a limited production graphics card sold at MSRP, and at this point we don’t have plans to make versions with LHR.”

Vanishing point

Given that stock of Nvidia’s own graphics cards has been vanishingly thin anyway – more so even than third-party cards, which have had severe stock issues of their own, of course – this is arguably not a huge deal. It might just, however, point to the winding up of production of Founders Edition models for the RTX 3080, 3070 and 3060 Ti full-stop, as PC Gamer theorizes (although we should obviously be cautious about drawing any conclusions here).

This could make sense given the rumored impending release of the RTX 3070 Ti and 3080 Ti variants, of course, because if those cards are indeed unleashed by Nvidia in the near future, they’ll represent a more tempting proposition – and Nvidia already has its production capacity stretched as it is, and those resources will only get more stretched if bringing new models into the mix.

The whole point of LHR spins is to usher in better availability so gamers can actually buy Ampere GPUs, so fingers crossed that the hash limiter sticks this time, and combined with dedicated cards for crypto-miners (CMPs), we could witness a tilting of the supply and demand seesaw more in favor of the former (finally).

The new anti-mining GPUs will begin shipping late in May, in a week or so, and will be clearly labeled as ‘LHR’ on the box to avoid any confusion with existing non-limited Ampere cards.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).