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A few bits of NVIDIA news to cover today with some small and some big news including drivers, hardware and open source.

Firstly, on the driver front, NVIDIA recently released the Linux 465.31 driver as part of their "New Feature Branch". It's a small release adding in support for the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU and the GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop GPU, plus a bug fix that "could cause AddressSanitizer to report a heap-buffer-overflow during initialization of the OpenGL and Vulkan libraries".

Onto something bigger: NVIDIA are trying to get "GeForce Cards into the Hands of Gamers". How? Well, they announced a reduced hash rate for newly manufactured GeForce RTX 3080, 3070 and 3060 Ti graphics cards to make them "less desirable to miners". This is somewhat similar to what they did when they announced the RTX 3060. These new cards will start shipping in May, with the reduced ETH hash rate and they will be clearly labelled as either "Lite Hash Rate" or "LHR" and listed on the boxes and will not apply to cards already purchased.

What do you think to this move to reduce Ethereum mining on GeForce cards? Let us know in the comments!

In a bit of open source news, NVIDIA recently upgraded their NVIDIA DesignWorks Samples to do some cleaning up work, along with a relicensing from BSD-3 to Apache 2.0. These samples include work developers can use for Ray Tracing with Vulkan, OpenGL shader-based occlusion culling, order-independent transparency in Vulkan and lots more.

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Eike May 19, 2021
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It sounds like a perversion to reduce the capabilities of technology, but I guess that's something that has to be done in order to, well, get "GeForce Cards into the Hands of Gamers".
TheRiddick May 19, 2021
NVIDIA often limit functionality on their consumer cards, same with AMD.
MayeulC May 19, 2021
I'm just going to quote this HN comment, which I found quite interesting:

QuoteThis won't really do anything for availability or reducing scalper pricing. Miners are a sizeable proportion of sales but far from the majority. Gamers will be able to buy more of these GPUs but less of the non-LHR or AMD GPU's. GPU prices won't actually change.

The real reason Nvidia is doing this is that when mining profitability inevitably drops, either because of a crypto price crash or Ethereum moving to Proof of Stake, the miners will flood the used market and ruin Nvidia's profits for a few quarters. Nvidia is trying to get miners to buy mining-only cards, because those can't be sold to gamers down the line. They'd rather mining cards become e-waste in a few years than get resold.

People think Nvidia is doing this to try to help them get better prices now, but really Nvidia is trying to extract more money from gamers in the long term.

As for doing that in the first place, I'm a bit torn on that one. This is obviously a stab at user freedom (as if you had any when you buy nvidia...). But I have little sympathy to miners. When in doubt, grab popcorn (like Epic vs Apple).

Last edited by MayeulC on 19 May 2021 at 11:31 am UTC
a0kami May 19, 2021
Got a friend of mine a whole new rig, except he's been stuck with his geforce 750 for 7 months now.. The situation is ridiculous.
ShabbyX May 19, 2021
Why not just ... manufacture more cards?!
Eike May 19, 2021
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Quoting: ShabbyXWhy not just ... manufacture more cards?!

Because there's a general shortage of Integrated Circuit manufacturing at the moment?!?
Beamboom May 19, 2021
Quoting: ShabbyXWhy not just ... manufacture more cards?!
Because supply shortage of components. It's not uncommon in computing manufacturing at all.
Eike May 19, 2021
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Quoting: Guestjust make card with radicullus hight Hash Rate no need for ray-tracking direct X OpenGL vulcan and other technologies (money)
just simple card that only good at Hashing and much more cheaper that gaming one

Such cards do exist and one for Ethereum is expected soon. So situation might get better.
...or somebody invents yet another crypto coin for speculation and environment destruction, because, why the heck not?!?
Ehvis May 19, 2021
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If crippling mining would actually work and help normalise the GPU market a bit, go for it. Sure it is not perfect, but in absence of a quick fix it would be the lesser evil. Of course, I'm not so sure it will actually work and that people will find a way to circumvent the limits.

Who would have thought that buying an excessively expensive GPU over two years ago would actually have been a wise investment.
Koopacabras May 19, 2021
I've read some rumours that the demand is so high that nvidia has resurrected the 1080ti, 1050ti and 1650 and started them manufacturing again. Since it's 16nm they can manufacture a significant number easily.
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