The RTX 3060 and the rest of the 30-series GPUs have been a huge problem for gamers. Anyone not wanting to give scalpers three times MSRP is left without a GPU at all. That led Nvidia and AIBs to look to ways to reduce demand without pouring money into supply boosting. That itself led to the announcement of Light Hash Rate (LHR) GPUs.
This has already been confirmed via previous leaks of new RTX 3060 silicon weeks ago. Now it appears as though we’re days away from launch.
RTX 3060 cards are limited to a 50% hash rate with the new LHR models. NVIDIA GA104-202 and GA106-302 GPUs will be the base of this mid-generation refresh, with multiple manufacturers coming out to announce their own takes. AIBs will likely announce more new 3060 refreshes in the coming weeks. GALAX is first to market, but will likely be followed by many more than just GIGABYTE. It’s a pretty smart move to make a minor alteration to curry favor with gamers, who have been pretty angry about this whole mess.
And it looks as though these manufactures will be offering full refreshes of the entire 30-series GPUs. Along with the new RTX 3080 and RTX 3070, GALAX also launches its RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 graphics cards. Let’s talk about all this in detail.
These models look very much like a simple BIOS change and maybe a baked-in hardware change at the lowest level. There seems to be no change in actual hardware though, as the display and memory configurations remain the same compared to current RTX 3060 models. Beyond the added hash-rate limiter, the rest of the GPUs’ specs remain unchanged. The RTX 3060 features the same 3,584 CUDA cores, similar core speed boosts, a 192-bit memory bus, and a TDP of 170W. That applies to GIGABYTE as well, who also announced a refresh.
There are a total of four models coming from GIGABYTE. GIGABYTE’s first two 12 GB models of Light Hash Rate (LHR) GPUs are two variations on the GA106-302 chipset. The two new variants both have 3584 cores, along with the same memory and core clocks; a 1320 MHz base clock with either an 1837-1867 MHz boost clock, depending on the model. The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3060 LHR 12GB GAMING OC comes in with a 1837 MHz boost, while the Aurus Elite comes in at 1867 MHz.
There are two other models, the LHR Vision OC and Eagle OC, which have lower boost clocks. The Eagle comes in with the lowest boost at 1807 MHz.
As for what other manufacturers have planned, nothing has been formally announced. MSI has teased plans of doing something similar to other companies with a PLUS moniker. It’s likely that the hardware will be very much the same, which the BIOS changes in place.
It’s worth noting that Nvidia tried this once already with driver-based controls and specialized CMP GPUs. Although the company did manage to shoot itself in the foot when drivers leaked which bypassed the limiter. Hopefully, this new idea can last against hardware hackers, as well as the threat of incompetence.