18.10.2021

How to Increase Mining Hash Rate. Unlocking LHR Graphics Cards with Gminer

What Are LHR Graphics Cards and Why They Appeared. For the last five months many GPU miners have been talking about the new term: “LHR”. Experts started discussing it actively in May 2021 after NVIDIA posted an article in their blog titled “A Further Step to Getting GeForce Cards into the Hands of Gamers.”

The article talks about decreasing hash rate on Ethash for the newly built GPUs: GeForce RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti, to make them less appealing for miners. These GPUs became available at the end of May 2021. NVIDIA and their partners marked GPUs with a “Lite Hash Rate” or “LHR” identifier.

Earlier this year, in February 2021, NVIDIA already announced halving hash rate for the GeForce RTX 3060. You can read the full dedicated article on the NVIDIA website.

At the end of May 2021, NVIDIA announced the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. You can read the full announcement here.

Although these GPUs weren’t marked as LHR, even before the release there were rumors online about a limited hash rate on Ethash. After the release of the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and their testing, the rumors about LHR were confirmed.

Our Test Rig for the Mining Experiment

First we held preliminary testing to estimate the potential max hash rate and the impact of LHR.

Our test rig consisted of the following parts:

  • Motherboard: B85S2BIOSTAR Hi-Fi B85S2
  • CPU: Intel Pentium G3220
  • Memory: DDR3 SDRAM Kingston 4Gb
  • HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 160Gb
  • PSU: EVGA 1000 GQ 80+ GOLD 1000W
  • GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA GAMING (1800 MHz Boost Clock, Memory Clock 19000 MHz (effective), TPD: 350 Watts)
  • Two GPUs were connected to the motherboard, each through the riser PCI-E X16-X1.
  • OS: Windows 10
  • NVIDIA drivers: 471.68
  • Overclocking: MSI Afterburner 4.6.4 Beta 3
  • Monitoring: GPU-Z

Testing was held indoors with the room temperature at +15 °C (59 °F).

We used PhoenixMiner to estimate the max hash rate for the RTX 3080 Ti on Ethash and Etchash algorithms. We launched the mining program on our rig with the following GPU settings: PL(%): 70, CC(MHz): +0, MC(MHz): +1000.

Right after the launch, the program estimated a hash rate on Ethash at ~116 Mh/s, but after two minutes it settled at ~64 Mh/s.

Thanks to pretesting, we estimated a potential hash rate (without LHR lock) on Ethash and Etchash and confirmed that LHR lock leads to a 45% hash rate decrease.

Testing GMiner for Mining

GMiner was created by the Russian group of specialists in the field of high performance computing and cryptography. The first version of GMiner was released on September 21, 2018. The miner is constantly developing and supports most popular algorithms such as Ethash, ProgPoW, KAWPOW, Equihash, CuckooCycle. The miner is focused on NVIDIA and AMD platforms. How to Setup Gminer. Step-by-Step Guide

The miner developers communicate with their users on many popular platforms and social networks.
The official website: http://gminer.pro
Github: https://github.com/develsoftware/GMinerRelease
BitcoinTalk: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5034735.0

We will use GMiner 2.62 to estimate the max hash rate for the RTX 3080 Ti with LHR lock on Ethash. We launched the mining program on our rig with the following GPU settings: PL(%): 55, CC (MHz): +0, MC (MHz): +1300.

The miner estimated a hash rate on Ethash at ~66 Mh/s. Note that Memory Controller Load, GPU Load, and Board Power Draw charts were stable, without significant leaps.

Then we launched the mining program on our rig with the following GPU settings: PL(%): 55, CC (MHz): +0, MC (MHz): +1000.

Thanks to testing, we estimated a hash rate on one version of the miner without the LHR unlock feature and confirmed that the hash rate with the lock is ~64Mh/s – ~66Mh/s.

LHR Unlock with GMiner 2.67 beta

On September 11, 2021, the developers announced Gminer 2.67 beta. The new version featured LHR partial unlock and new miner parameters: lhr 1, —lhr_tune1, —lhr_tune2.

We launched the mining program on our rig with the following GPU settings: PL(%): 70, CC (MHz): +0, MC (MHz): +1000.

Bat-file:

miner.exe -a ethash --server eth.2miners.com:2020 -u WALLET_ADDRESS.RIG_3080ti -t 70 --log_newjob 0 pause

Right after the launch, the program estimated a hash rate on Ethash at ~68 Mh/s – ~85 Mh/s, and after three minutes it settled at ~64 Mh/s. Note that Memory Controller Load, GPU Load, and Board Power Draw charts (as well as other Power charts) were unstable, with significant leaps.

To test stability, we left the miner on for a few hours, and after three hours the lock got activated on GPU 1: the hash rate fell to ~42 Mh/s.

Testing the miner with additional arguments didn’t demonstrate hash rate stability during prolonged periods of operation. We interrupted testing due to the release of the newer version.

Conclusion: GMiner 2.67 beta can partially unlock LHR. The miner shows a hash rate of ~78 Mh/s which is ~67% of the potential max hash rate. To prevent the hash rate from dropping, you can use a watchdog that restarts the miner when the hash rate drops below a specified value.

LHR Unlock with GMiner 2.67

On September 12, 2021, the developers announced Gminer 2.67 beta. LHR unlock parameters are the same as for GMiner 2.67 beta: —lhr 1, —lhr_tune1, —lhr_tune2.

We launched the mining program on our rig with the following GPU settings: PL(%): 70, CC (MHz): +0, MC (MHz): +1000.

Bat-file:

miner.exe -a ethash --server eth.2miners.com:2020 -u WALLET_ADDRESS.RIG_3080ti -t 70 --log_newjob 0 pause

Right after the launch, the miner estimated a hash rate on Ethash at ~70 Mh/s – ~83 Mh/s, and after three minutes it settled at ~78 Mh/s. Memory Controller Load, GPU Load, and Board Power Draw charts (as well as other Power charts) showed significant leaps. To test stability, we left the miner on for a few hours, and after three hours the lock got activated on GPU 1: the hash rate fell to ~43 Mh/s.

Testing the miner with additional arguments (—lhr_tune1 -10 and —lhr_tune2 -10) didn’t demonstrate hash rate stability during the operating period longer than 48 hours. Three minutes after the start, the hash rate settles at ~74 Mh/s, and after 24–36 hours, the lock gets activated on one of the GPUs (different from test to test): the hash rate falls to ~43 Mh/s.

Conclusion: GMiner 2.67 can partially unlock LHR. The miner shows a hash rate of ~78 Mh/s which is ~67% of the potential max hash rate. To prevent the hash rate from dropping, you can use a watchdog that restarts the miner when the hash rate drops below a specified value.

LHR Unlock with GMiner 2.68

On September 15, 2021, the developers announced Gminer 2.68. LHR unlock parameters are the same as for GMiner 2.67: —lhr 1, —lhr_tune1, —lhr_tune2. Additionally, this version detects the lock of LHR GPUs, automatically unlocks and continues mining, and displays the miner restart count by watchdog.

We launched the mining program on our rig with the following GPU settings: PL(%): 70, CC (MHz): +0, MC (MHz): +1000.

Bat-file:

miner.exe -a ethash --server eth.2miners.com:2020 -u WALLET_ADDRESS.RIG_3080ti -t 70 --log_newjob 0 pause

The miner worked for over 17 hours with a hash rate of ~77 Mh/s on Ethash. Memory Controller Load, GPU Load, and Board Power Draw charts (as well as other Power charts) showed significant leaps.

Below is the Stats page of the 2Miners pool with the results of the miner operation.

The average hash rate is ~158.77 Mh/s, or ~79 Mh/s per GPU.

We tested the miner with the —lhr_tune1 parameter. Positive values (from –10 to 10) increase performance, negative values decrease the probability of lock.

We launched the mining program with the following GPU settings: PL(%): 70, CC (MHz): +0, MC (MHz): +1000.

Bat-file:

miner.exe -a ethash --server eth.2miners.com:2020 -u WALLET_ADDRESS.RIG_3080ti -t 70 -tm 110 --log_newjob 0 --log_date 1 --logfile log_RIG_3080Ti.txt --lhr_tune1 10 pause

Right from the launch the miner starts a Lock/Unlocked cycle: GPU Lock detected, unlocking / Unlocked. The miner shows that one Lock/Unlocked cycle for each GPU lasts for 30 seconds. At this time the hash rate equals 0. The full information on the miner operation is stored in a log file, so you can calculate the exact number of Lock/Unlocked cycles.

Next, we tested the miner with the —lhr_tune1 4 parameter. We launched the miner with the following GPU settings: PL(%): 70, CC (MHz): +0, MC (MHz): +1000.

Bat-file:

miner.exe -a ethash --server eth.2miners.com:2020 -u WALLET_ADDRESS.RIG_3080ti -t 70 -tm 110 --log_newjob 0 --log_date 1 --logfile log_RIG_3080Ti.txt --lhr_tune1 4 pause

Within the first 15 minutes the miner ran only one Lock/Unlocked cycle: GPU Lock detected, unlocking / Unlocked. So we decided to continue testing within a 24-hour period.

The miner worked for over 26 hours with a hash rate of ~78 Mh/s on Ethash. Memory Controller Load, GPU Load, and Board Power Draw charts (as well as other Power charts) showed significant leaps. After we analyzed the log file, we established that the miner ran only 8 Lock/Unlocked cycles within 26 hours.

Below is the Stats page of the pool with the results of the miner operation.

Based on the number of shares sent to the pool, we estimated hash rate after 26 hours of the miner operation. Initial data: 1644 shares in 26 hours, share difficulty is 8726 M. We multiplied the number of shares per second by share difficulty and got 153,26 Mh/s. This is a hash rate of two GPUs, so a hash rate of one GPU is ~76,6 Mh/s.

We recommend extending the testing period to get statistically correct results: each card should send over 5000 shares to the pool.

Conclusion: GMiner 2.68 can partially unlock LHR. The miner shows a hash rate of ~78 Mh/s which is ~67% of the potential max hash rate. The miner successfully detects LHR locks, automatically unlocks, and continues mining. For stable mining with a higher hash rate you can apply –lhr_tune1 and –lhr_tune2 parameters with value 5 or below.

LHR Unlock with GMiner 2.69

On September 24, 2021, the developers announced Gminer 2.69. LHR unlock parameters are the same as for GMiner 2.68: —lhr 1, —lhr_tune1, —lhr_tune2. Like the previous version, Gminer 2.69 detects LHR locks, automatically unlocks, and continues mining, and displays the miner restart count by watchdog. Among new features are auto-tune for LHR GPUs and improved miner stability.

We launched the mining program on our rig with the following GPU settings: PL(%): 70, CC (MHz): +0, MC (MHz): +1000.

Bat-file:

miner.exe -a ethash --server eth.2miners.com:2020 -u WALLET_ADDRESS.RIG_3080ti -t 70 -tm 110 --log_newjob 0 --log_date 1 pause

Within the first 15 minutes the miner didn’t detect a single lock. So we decided to extend testing.

The miner worked for over 15 hours with a hash rate of ~77 Mh/s on Ethash. Memory Controller Load, GPU Load, and Board Power Draw charts (as well as other Power charts) showed significant leaps. After we analyzed the log file, we established that the miner ran only 4 Lock/Unlocked cycles within 15 hours.

Below is the Stats page of the pool with the results of the miner operation.

The Best Way to Mine with LHR Graphics Cards

GMiner offers a universal solution for locked LHR graphics cards. GMiner can partially unlock LHR: the miner shows a hash rate of ~78 Mh/s which is ~67% of the potential max hash rate. If you use GMiner 2.67 beta and GMiner 2.67, make sure to activate a watchdog that restarts the miner when the hash rate drops below a specified value.

To fine-tune the miner, you can use –lhr_tune1 and –lhr_tune2 parameters keeping in mind the following rule: positive values increase performance, negative values decrease the probability of lock.

Please note that we didn’t test GPUs with extreme settings. For example, your GPUs might work well with higher clocks. Try overclocking and testing each GPU individually.

Someone from our community managed to reach a hash rate of ~85 Mh/s on the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti with the following settings: CC(MHz): 1260, MC(MHz): +1350 (for Linux +2700), Power 280W, —lhr_tune1 3.

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