NVIDIA revealed a new tranche of RTX 30-series GPUs this week incorporating an updated version of the Lite Hash Rate modification intended to reduce the performance of Ethereum cryptocurrency mining, GPUs that are now making their way through retail channels. Sold as AICs from the likes of ASUS and EVGA, these new RTX 3080s, 3070s and 3060s require a new software driver that detects the typical mining compute workload and actively throttles performance, thereby reducing crypto-based demand for the card. But now it seems they have said 'nerfs for thee by none for me' to their partners as equivalent Founders Edition models will not have the LHR limiter.
Speaking to PC Gamer, an NVIDIA statement made it clear that the models sold direct will not change:
"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."
GeForce RTX 30-series Founders Edition GPUs are sold to consumers exclusively through NVIDIA's webstore at or near their regional MSRP. Availability pops up periodically but unreliably, so picking one up is generally a matter of luck rather than judgement (or, as is often the case, the size of your wallet). Given their limited production run and relatively long lead time before reaching the virtual storefront it's not unreasonable to simply sell through remaining stock before making them EOL, rather than updating to a new variant. NVIDIA's cards having a competitive advantage over their partners won't hold many concerns if the numbers sold direct are small and for a limited period.
There is however a potential wrinkle ahead. Rumours are abound that NVIDIA will be announcing 'Ti' variants of the 3080 and 3070 at the end of May, potentially similar to the RTX 20 SUPER mid-stream refresh in 2019. If, like that refresh, they intend to include Founders Edition models but limiting only AIC cards to a LHR mode... well lets say that the partners would be forgiven for privately throwing a wobbly.
NVIDIA have a lot to prove if they want gamers to feel they're on their side after months of scarcity and exploding prices. Any whiff of unfairness, or a repeat of the failure that saw hash rate limiters bypassed on the RTX 3060-series, could easy blow up in their face. Lucky perhaps that gamers will still probably buy Ampere silicon, even if they grumble about it afterwards.
SOURCE: PC Gamer.