Nvidia hardware banned mining on video cards. Miners hacked them and started mining two currencies at the same time

Developers of T-Rex mining software managed to bypass basic restrictions on GeForce RTX LHR series video cards and restore cryptocurrency mining performance, Tom's Hardware writes. At first they were able to unlock 70% of the original video card features, but it seemed to be not enough and they returned the remaining 30%, and in a very non-trivial way.


The creators of T-Rex were able to completely get rid of the limitations of the GeForce LHR line cards by launching mining of two cryptocurrencies simultaneously. The user who turned on this option in the virtual money mining software can give 30% to mining Ethereum, while the remaining 70 redistribute to "digging" the other cryptocurrency.


Quite a strange decision


The developers of T-Rex did not specify what influenced the decision to limit the card's performance when mining Ethereum to only 30%, taking into account that it is the second most in demand and at a rate of cryptocurrency in the world. At the time of publication it was worth $3600 per "coin" (258.7 thousand rubles at the Central Bank exchange rate on October 8, 2020, CoinDesk statistics).

There is also not yet a complete list of all the currencies which will get 70% of the power of the video card. As Tom's Hardware cites Cornflux ($0.34, 25 rubles), Ergo ($10.4, 747 rubles) and Ravencoin ($0.12, 9 rubles) not very popular, but does not specify whether this "chip" works with the main cryptocurrency of the world - bitcoin. Its rate is over $54 thousand (almost 4 million rubles).


Hardware limitations


The victory of T-Rex over Nvidia with its tricks cannot be considered complete. Nvidia lost the battle, but the "war" is still going on. The reason is that miners using T-Rex software in its current version will have to be very careful in their choice of a video card because of some hardware limitations. It is related to the video memory requirements, which vary from cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency. For example, if you mine Ethereum and Ergo at the same time, you will need a card with more than 8GB of video memory. A bunch of Ethereum plus Ravencoin or plus Cornflux needs a card that has more than 10 GB of memory on board, despite the fact that both currencies are noticeably cheaper compared to Ergo.


Because of this, users who want to try out dual-mining from T-Rex in action will have to bypass GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 cards. They are not adapted to this kind of machinations due to insufficient memory capacity.


All the efforts were in vain.


The authors of T-Rex will continue to improve their work, but there is a high probability that their efforts will not bring the necessary results in the form of a new wave of mining on video cards. And this time it is not about Nvidia. The developers of Ethereum cryptocurrency are going to undo all T-Rex's efforts directly. They are preparing to move their blockchain to the new Proof-of-Stake (POS) protocol and abandon the currently used Proof-of-Work (POW) just to reduce the popularity of video cards as a mining tool.


History of confrontation


Nvidia LHR (Lite Hash Rate) graphics cards are among the gaming graphics gas pedals. Nvidia has repeatedly stated that it will not tolerate a shortage of gaming cards on the market and an increase in their prices due to excessive activity of miners against the growth of major cryptocurrencies.


As reported by CNews, Nvidia introduced GeForce RTX 30 LHR anti-mining graphics cards in mid-May 2021. The series includes 3060, 3060 Ti, 3070 and 3080 cards. At the hardware and software level, they have algorithms sewn into them that reduce their performance to a minimum when mining software is detected. In games and other programs the restrictions are not activated.


However, as we know, there is no perfect protection. In mid-August 2021, the developers of the NBMiner mining utility were able to circumvent almost all of Nvidia's mining obstacles on LHR series cards. They unblocked 70% of Ethereum mining performance, but, unlike T-Rex, they did not work on dual-mining.


To deprive cryptocurrency miners of a tool for mining virtual money, back in February 2021 Nvidia released a line of CMP HX cards adapted specifically for cryptocurrency mining, but not suitable for anything else. They do not have any interfaces for connecting a monitor, which makes it impossible to use them for the same video games.


The CMP HX series includes the CMP 30HX, CMP 40HX, CMP 50HX, and CMP 90HX. They differ in memory capacity, power consumption and most importantly, hash rate. Depending on the model it varies from 26 M hash/s to 86 M hash/s.


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