What is LHR GPU? [How do they Perform Compared to Non-LHR]

Written By Steven Arends

You may have heard of LHR GPUs before the Cryptocurrency bust of last year. NVIDIA came up with such an idea to hold off crypto miners so that gamers could get their hands on existing graphics cards in the market.

Now that GPU prices are back to normal, you may consider buying an LHR GPU. But is it any different than a generic graphics card? Or what about its gaming capability?what-is-lhr-gpu

So, follow along as I answer all these questions right in this article today.

What is LHR GPU?

Lite Hash Rate (LHR) are GPUs that have reduced hash rate performances when mining cryptocurrency. NVIDIA announced in May 2021 that, barring RTX 3090, the entire 30 series lineup will feature cards that will come with an LHR algorithm.lhr-gpu

During the rise of Bitcoin, it became very profitable to mine cryptocurrency using graphics cards. Between 2020 and 2022, buying a GPU at MSRP, was very difficult, whether it was new or used. Add chip shortages, scalpers, and the Bitcoin boom, and you had a mid-range RTX 3060 going for three times its MSRP.

To counter this, NVIDIA introduced LHR on its GPUs. It decreases the crypto-mining capability of an existing GPU to 50% of its original. So that you can mine from these cards but would not be able to turn in a profit.

Here is an important post about what is Idle GPU temp?

What is a GPU Hash Rate?

A hash rate is a representation of the computational power of a GPU. This indicates how many  calculations you can perform in a second. A GPUs hash rate is expressed in mega hashes per second (MH/s).

Hashes are calculations performed to verify the transactions performed in Bitcoin. Users who mine, use their computing resources to solve complex calculations and are rewarded with Bitcoin tokens.

LHR GPUs have the 50% of the hash rates available for mining. This is to discourage using these cards for mining cryptocurrency.

Let’s now look at how some LHR and non-LHR flagship GPUs perform when mining cryptocurrencies.

GPUHash Rate LHRHash Rate Non-LHR
RTX 30602641.5
RTX 3060 Ti4060
RTX 30702760
RTX 30804295

The hash rate was only limited to NVIDIA cards. AMD did not limit the hash rate in any of its cards.

Which GPUs Come with LHR Enabled?

Only a handful of NVIDIA’s 30 series cards came with limited hash rates. These were the RTX 3060, RTX 3070 Ti, and the RTX 3080 Ti.asus-rtx-3070-lhrAlthough there are some exceptions. RTX 3080 has both LHR and Non-LHR variants. The only way you can verify its LHR status is by looking at the manufacture date. Any 30-series GPU made after May 2021 will likely be hash-rate limited.

Any 30 series cards released before this date came with a full hash rate enabled. These are the RTX 3090, RTX 3080, and RTX 3070.

You can check our one of the easy guide about how to check if GPU is working properly?

Does LHR Affect Gaming and Productivity Applications?

LHR GPUs will always give you less hash rate when compared to a graphics card that is non-LHR. But this does not affect its performance when running games. The rasterization and ray tracing capability remains unaffected.

To test this, let’s take an RTX 3060 LHR and run some games on it. We do not need to run the usual strenuous 20-game benchmarks here.

I have run Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption, Control, and AC: Valhalla on both the LHR and non-LHR variant. Since they are graphically very demanding on any hardware, the FPS we get will be a good indication of any loss in performance between the LHR and non-LHR variants.1080p-max-settings-rtx-off

The FPS is basically the same across all titles. This confirms that there is no performance degradation when gaming.

Now let’s see how they perform on applications that utilize GPU acceleration, such as rendering.

I have provided some benchmarks comparing the scores in V-Ray and Puget Bench.rtx-3070-rtx-3070-lhr

There is also no noticeable performance drop when rendering using an LHR GPU.

We get almost the same results as before. The video encoding test using Premier Pro produced identical results. If anything, the LHR cards scored more than the non-LHR variant.

So, if you get a good deal with a hash-limited GPU, definitely go for it. It will save you some money for other components.

Follow our guide about what Does Ti stand for in GPU?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is LHR important for gaming?

No, LHR is not important for gaming. It is only present to reduce a GPUs capability when mining cryptocurrencies. It also does not affect a graphics card when running games.

Does LHR hurt performance?

No, LHR on a GPU will not give you less performance. But if you aim to mine cryptocurrencies, an LHR graphics card will get you fewer cryptocurrencies. You should buy a non-limited graphics card for that purpose.

Which GPU is better, LHR or non-LHR?

There is no difference in performance between an LHR and non-LHR variant for gaming and using the GPU for your workloads. The only difference is LHR is less capable when it comes to mining cryptocurrency. Their hash rate is limited to 50% of their overall capacity.

Final Words

The joy was short-lived for NVIDIA as hackers were able to unlock the limited hash rates imposed on RTX 30 series GPU. Still, their effort was commendable, considering gamers had no choice but to buy a GPU at inflated prices.

This article should clear any confusion regarding LHR GPUs, and you can now buy any variant of a GPU and still would get the same performance in gaming.

With that said, that’s all for today.

And it’s time to say goodbye.

About The Author
Steven Arends is a computer science graduate and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. He has a vast collection of computer hardware and loves exploring the latest advancements. As a contributing author to 10Scopes, Steven shares his expertise to make the world of technology more accessible and easier to understand for all readers.

Leave a Comment