Friday, August 4th 2017

AMD RX Vega Mining Performance Reportedly Doubled With Driver Updates

Disclaimer: take this post with a bucket of salt. However, the information here, if true, could heavily impact AMD's RX Vega cards' stock at launch and in the subsequent days, so, we're sharing this so our readers can decide on whether they want to pull the trigger for a Vega card at launch, as soon as possible, or risk what would seem like the equivalent of a mining Black Friday crowd gobbling up AMD's RX Vega models' stock. Remember that AMD has already justified delays for increased stock so as to limit the impact of miners on the available supply.

The information has been put out by two different sources already. The first source we encountered (and which has been covered by some media outlets solo) has been one post from one of OC UK's staff, Gibbo, who in a forum post, said "Seems the hash rate on VEGA is 70-100 per card, which is insanely good. Trying to devise some kind of plan so gamers can get them at MSRP without the miners wiping all the stock out within 5 minutes of product going live."
The fact that a staffer from OC UK is actually looking for ways to prevent miners from wiping the stock speaks more to the credence of the information than the "70-100 hash rate" claim. Apparently, this information was conveyed to Gibbo from an AMD AIB partner, who remains unknown at time of writing. This information has already been sort of confirmed by a second source, coming out of Videocardz's Why Cry. In a post, the editor reported how he already had come in possession of similar information through his sources, who put the hash rate of RX Vega close to double that of the Frontier Edition's original hash rate, which was ~30 MH/s in Ethereum mining. This means the hash rate could be ~60 mark, which is still close to OC UK's Gibbo's reference to a "70-100" hash rate. This increase in hash rate was apparently indirectly enabled by updated driver features for the RX Vega cards. Apparently, these were included in the drivers to improve features and gaming performance - which also indirectly resulted in increased mining capabilities.

We had already covered in our Vega Architecture Technical Overview article that AMD's Vega NGCU computation capabilities were bolstered through added support for over 40 new ISA instructions, which result in increased IPC over Polaris - and which were also mentioned by VSG at the time as being "very relevant for GPU mining."
Adding to this story is the fact that recent optimizations from a Reddit user to a Monero mining program and an underclock to 1.3 GHz have brought the Frontier Edition's mining hashrates to around 1.16 kH/s - 34% faster than a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (around 0.76 kH/s according to Nicehash), and 43% faster than a single Radeon RX 580 8 GB. This means that the $999 Frontier Edition currently stands at double the mining performance of the GTX 1080 on Monero - and the gaming RX Vega, with its $499 price-tag, should follow suit. And these are optimizations achieved by a single user, for a cryptocurrency that is admittedly not as popular as Ethereum or others. But increasing levels of performance in some mining algorithms really does leave the door open for exploration of improved speeds on others, and you can rest assured that miners will, at the very least, attempt to achieve these optimizations in other cryptocurrencies.
All in all, if true, these reports lend credence to AMD's take on the RX Vega delays for stock build-up. And the situation seems to be less straightforward than one might hope when it comes to disabling these instructions, or only enabling them at a latter date, after gamers had already had some time to purchase their desired cards. Because these driver-level updates were apparently done with the intent to bolster gaming performance, I believe it's safe to assume AMD can't easily neuter the mining improvements without putting the increased gaming performance at risk as well. Let's see how this pans out, but consider yourselves at least warned - the RX Vega may see much reduced stock and increased pricing throughout if this scenario pans out. in the meantime, those Radeon Packs with both their shortcomings and opportunities are looking like an increasingly interesting way to get ahold of one of AMD's latest...Sources: OCUK's Gibbo, Videocardz, NAG, Dirtbagdh @ Reddit
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212 Comments on AMD RX Vega Mining Performance Reportedly Doubled With Driver Updates

#1
RejZoR
It's almost as if AMD doesn't really care about gamers. Everyone should refuse buying second hand cards. That's f**k miners up as they won't get any financial returns from the hardware. And refuse to buy new ones if prices get stupid. That'll force AMD to decide who they want to support. Gamers or dumb a** miners. Cancerous mining nonsense...
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#2
erocker
Senior Moderator
Maybe AMD needs to consider a separate SKU and/or driver for mining cards.
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#3
notb
Hmm...
$500 for a card doing 30MH/s.
$500 for a "mining mode" that adds another 30MH/s.

That should keep the price for gamers down.
Makes sense?
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#4
DeathtoGnomes
Newegg has bumped Vega FE prices by $170 in anticipation. o_O

I think we can expect release day pricing to be some of the worst price gouging. Shame AMD cant cash in on that too.
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#6
Ubersonic
RejZoR said:
It's almost as if AMD doesn't really care about gamers. Everyone should refuse buying second hand cards. That's f**k miners up as they won't get any financial returns from the hardware.
The flaw with that plan is that real miners (the ones causing the shortages) don't resell cards they run them till they die or become obsolete (at which point they're worth like £50 tops). The ones that resell/reuse them are the gamers/hobbyists who only get involved in mining for a short time during the booms.
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#7
RejZoR
If this garbage continues I'll be forced to buy GTX 1080/Ti. There goes the idea of having AMD ever again...
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#8
R-T-B
Ubersonic said:
The flaw with that plan is that real miners (the ones causing the shortages) don't resell cards they run them till they die or become obsolete (at which point they're worth like £50 tops). The ones that resell/reuse them are the gamers/hobbyists who only get involved in mining for a short time during the booms.
Exactly. Even if everyone refused to buy second hand cards it would make exactly 0 difference.

RejZoR said:
If this garbage continues I'll be forced to buy GTX 1080/Ti. There goes the idea of having AMD ever again...
NVIDIA cards are not immune to this, though for some reason 1080ti seems largely untouched.

notb said:
Hmm...
$500 for a card doing 30MH/s.
$500 for a "mining mode" that adds another 30MH/s.

That should keep the price for gamers down.
Makes sense?
erocker said:
Maybe AMD needs to consider a separate SKU and/or driver for mining cards.
No, because there is no real way to separate mining from generic gaming compute. That is the crux of the problem.

My thoughts on this is pretty much as follows: It's not like VEGA stock was going to be adequate anyways (though this certainly did not help).
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#9
HZCH
RejZoR said:
If this garbage continues I'll be forced to buy GTX 1080/Ti. There goes the idea of having AMD ever again...
You know what ? That is exactly what I've done a month ago. Got one of the last correctly priced Ti in my country, as every other cards were getting a 20 to 30% rise... While not even in stock.
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#10
JalleR
hopefully they stop buying pascal HW and that way we will get cheap nvidia Cards, used 980TI has raised in Price the last 3-5 month because of the 10 series doing the same Grrrr....
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#12
Chaitanya
RejZoR said:
If this garbage continues I'll be forced to buy GTX 1080/Ti. There goes the idea of having AMD ever again...
You are not the only one who might do that, even I might end up with another nvidia card. my 970(bought during memorygate) is on its way out and since I got it from ebay and open box that gpu is ending in garbage bin. i was looking to get vega 56 bundle but looks like its another nvidia gpu for my pc.
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#13
Ubersonic
JalleR said:
used 980TI has raised in Price the last 3-5 month because of the 10 series doing the same Grrrr....
Technically the 980ti raised in value because all the new people jumping on the mining bandwagon eventually realised that Nvidia is highly competitive for mining these days and there's no point spending £300 on a used RX480 when you can get a higher performing 980ti for less. The 10 series was a similar story, once people realised that they had better performance/powerdraw than the RX series they jumped on them due to the AMD shortage and the prices mooned.
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#14
Vayra86
Now do that with the gaming performance and AMD's gonna save the world in one fell swoop
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#15
FYFI13
RejZoR said:
If this garbage continues I'll be forced to buy GTX 1080/Ti. There goes the idea of having AMD ever again...
I did this already, got myself second hand GTX 980Ti for 270€.

Now AMD can change their name to Amateur Mining Division.
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#16
TheGuruStud
Lol at all the butthurt and blaming AMD as if AMD has ANYTHING to do with the "mining crisis".

You're mad, b/c AMD has had superior cards for many years (forever) for this particular workload.

Boohoo. Go cry to mommy, so she can buy you one.

Little Huang is laughing all the way to the bank. They don't even have to trick you. You're tricking yourselves. Go buy an Intel CPU why you're at, so you can really stick it to AMD (as if they're profiting from inflated prices...).
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#18
RejZoR
We are blaming crypto miner degenerates for the major part...
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#19
TheGuruStud
RejZoR said:
We are blaming crypto miner degenerates for the major part...
I agree (as far as TPU is concerned), but I'm still inferring a lot of whine towards AMD.

It sounds like people want a driver gimping mining. Can you imagine the shit storm if that happened, even by some so-called miner haters?
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#20
noname00
If this is right, it'a a hard decision for AMD. On one hand, they can sell as many Vega as they can produce, at a higher than initially expected price. This will really help them.
On the other hand, after the mining craze will pass (if it will ever pass), AMD will have a bad reputation, and most games will run inefficiently on AMD, because no one will use an AMD GPU and developers will want to optimise for nVidia. Picking up from there will be hard.
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#21
RejZoR
There is no manufacturing capacity that can satisfy this mining idiocy. And no one is going to build a new plant just to satisfy these demands when it can die over night. Just too much of a gamble increasing manufacturing capacities 10 fold and then it all dies off over night. It's why we have such clusterf**k. If there was guaranteed capacity needed, the'd done it already.
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#22
FYFI13
TheGuruStud said:
Lol at all the butthurt and blaming AMD as if AMD has ANYTHING to do with the "mining crisis".
LOL at all brainded and saying AMD has NOTHING todo with mining crisis while the tittle of this thread is "AMD RX Vega Mining Performance Reportedly Doubled With Driver Updates".

AMD NEEDS miners because they don't complain about issues with the drivers and pay double price for their cards. Perfect customers. If this trend continues, AMD will be able to sack all driver team and shrink driver to something like 10MB. Now they just need to figure out how to get 400€ for RX 570 directly to them selves, without feeding retailers.
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#23
jabbadap
R-T-B said:
Exactly. Even if everyone refused to buy second hand cards it would make exactly 0 difference.

NVIDIA cards are not immune to this, though for some reason 1080ti seems largely untouched.

No, because there is no real way to separate mining from generic gaming compute. That is the crux of the problem.

My thoughts on this is pretty much as follows: It's not like VEGA stock was going to be adequate anyways (though this certainly did not help).
1080ti and 1080 uses gddr5x, which does not work that good on ethereum(i.e. 1080 hash rate is much lower than gtx1070). Of course there's other coins where they excel better, but those are not yet very popular.
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#24
TheGuruStud
FYFI13 said:
LOL at all brainded and saying AMD has NOTHING todo with mining crisis while the tittle of this thread is "AMD RX Vega Mining Performance Reportedly Doubled With Driver Updates".

AMD NEEDS miners because they don't complain about issues with the drivers and pay double price for their cards. Perfect customers. If this trend continues, AMD will be able to sack all driver team and shrink driver to something like 10MB. Now they just need to figure out how to get 400€ for RX 570 directly to them selves, without feeding retailers.
That's not how it works and AMD isn't wasting time optimizing the driver for mining (Vega isn't even using any of Vegas features b/c they're so far behind LOL). Nor do they even give a shit about mining. Every chip made is already sold. There's no incentive to improve mining whatsoever.
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#25
coolernoob
that is it. Vega is gone for good. I do not want to read about that crappy "gtx 1070 killer" (soon to be 2 year old by the way) for x2 gtx 1070 price.... obviously there will be reviews that will display msrp price (god I hate those - false information is false information, even if false information should be truth in perfect conditions)
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