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
Add your own comment

216 Comments on AMD RX Vega Mining Performance Reportedly Doubled With Driver Updates

#26
bug
"R-T-B said:
No, because there is no real way to separate mining from generic gaming compute. That is the crux of the problem.
I think they can. Afaik, mining is mostly about FP64, whereas gaming is about FP32 (or 16). Cut back on FP64 hardware and miners will go away. It's what Nvidia did with Maxwell (though that wasn't directly aimed at miners, it was because they needed to cram additional transistors in there while stuck at 28nm - something simply had to go).
Posted on Reply
#27
the54thvoid
Firmware. Is it practical for the graphics card firmware to 'detect' the presence of secondary or more cards? Nvidia could do it to nullify physx if an AMD card was present. Could they not limit the Vega operations to two card max? Or, limit compute when certain software was present on the system?
Hoops to jump through but is it doable?
Posted on Reply
#28
Vya Domus
Rest in peace GPU pricing and availability. If this goes on it will end up fucking up also the products themselves not just the pricing and availability. A dark era for PC gaming for sure.

"the54thvoid said:
Firmware. Is it practical for the graphics card firmware to 'detect' the presence of secondary or more cards? Nvidia could do it to nullify physx if an AMD card was present. Could they not limit the Vega operations to two card max? Or, limit compute when certain software was present on the system?
Hoops to jump through but is it doable?
I do not believe it's that simple , Physx has a well defined signature , it's easy to block. These random hashing algorithms not so much , I mean by which methods do you filter these things out automatically ? It's not like they can prevent people from running whatever the hell code they want to on their cards.
Posted on Reply
#29
Vayra86
"FYFI13 said:
LOL at all brainded [....]
Now they just need to figure out how to get 400€ for RX 570 directly to them selves, without feeding retailers.
You don't see the contradiction in what you just posted?

AMD doesn't make shit, the retailers do, the MSRPs are already set.
I suppose you were LOLing at yourself.
Posted on Reply
#30
FYFI13
"Vayra86 said:
You don't see the contradiction in what you just posted?

AMD doesn't make shit, the retailers do, the MSRPs are already set.
I suppose you were LOLing at yourself.
Wrong. Miners do all shit, not retailers. And AMD enjoying it. Only if AMD wanted they could stop all this mess once and for good.
Posted on Reply
#31
Vya Domus
"Vayra86 said:
You don't see the contradiction in what you just posted?

AMD doesn't make shit, the retailers do, the MSRPs are already set.
I suppose you were LOLing at yourself.
Exactly they are just simply selling more stuff , and even then it's not that big of a deal.

They have a more or less fixed amount of wafers they can use per yearly contract , if they want more they have to pay more , at which point they start getting diminishing returns. This is what actually fucks up the pricing and availability , you would think they would pump out as many cards as possible but that's not how it works. They simply can't afford to sell an unlimited amount of cards.
Posted on Reply
#32
Vayra86
"FYFI13 said:
Wrong. Miners do all shit, not retailers. And AMD enjoying it. Only if AMD wanted they could stop all this mess once and for good.
???????? How...wha... do you even English? Please read back your earlier comment and try to connect the dots, I'm not gonna bother explaining further.
Posted on Reply
#33
Captain_Tom
"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?
Nope. They are going to sell out instantly.

I hope AMD is indeed stocking up big time.
Posted on Reply
#34
Captain_Tom
"the54thvoid said:
Firmware. Is it practical for the graphics card firmware to 'detect' the presence of secondary or more cards? Nvidia could do it to nullify physx if an AMD card was present. Could they not limit the Vega operations to two card max? Or, limit compute when certain software was present on the system?
Hoops to jump through but is it doable?
That would make absolutely no sense.

It is in AMD's best interest to sell more cards. If cards are selling out, the should just produce more cards, not nerf their usefulness. Man I am glad a lot of the people here aren't in charge of businesses lol
Posted on Reply
#35
dyonoctis
Thanks god Nvidia isn't as affected by mining as AMD. Otherwise that would have been the death of pc gaming alltogether.
But really, what will happen if ETH value never goes down to being unprofitable, and ASIC like hardware never made for ETH ? If that stuff is reaching bitcoin value, Nvidia being the only accessible option for gaming will do no good. I think that they may really need to make compute cards optimized for mining at a price so attractive, that miners won't touch the gaming gpu at all.
Posted on Reply
#36
Imsochobo
"the54thvoid said:
Firmware. Is it practical for the graphics card firmware to 'detect' the presence of secondary or more cards? Nvidia could do it to nullify physx if an AMD card was present. Could they not limit the Vega operations to two card max? Or, limit compute when certain software was present on the system?
Hoops to jump through but is it doable?
Good luck blocking it without amd's drivers, and in linux..
Pretty much what miners do.
Posted on Reply
#37
Captain_Tom
"dyonoctis said:
Thanks god Nvidia isn't as affected by mining as AMD. Otherwise that would have been the death of pc gaming alltogether.
But really, what will happen if ETH value never goes down to being unprofitable, and ASIC like hardware never made for ETH ? If that stuff is reaching bitcoin value, Nvidia being the only accessible option for gaming will do no good. I think that they may really need to make compute cards optimized for mining at a price so attractive, that miners won't touch the gaming gpu at all.
Yes it pretty much has lol. The 1060, 1070, and 1080 Ti are marked up $100 (In fact the 1070 costs the same as the the 1080!).


As for ASIC's... NOPE. Ethereum uses a near perfect mininig algorithm that scales up requirements over time, and makes almost full use of every part of a GPU. The closest thing one could ever get to an Ethereum ASIC is literally Vega lol.
Posted on Reply
#38
Vya Domus
"dyonoctis said:
Thanks god Nvidia isn't as affected by mining as AMD.
I'd say 450$ 1070s means they are pretty damn affected as well.
Posted on Reply
#39
Captain_Tom
"Vya Domus said:
I'd say 450$ 1070s means they are pretty damn affected as well.
Most people don't realize the 1070 would normally be $349 by now, the 1080 $479, and the 1080 Ti $629.
Posted on Reply
#41
dyonoctis
"Captain_Tom said:
That would make absolutely no sense.

It is in AMD's best interest to sell more cards. If cards are selling out, the should just produce more cards, not nerf their usefulness. Man I am glad a lot of the people here aren't in charge of businesses lol
Idk man, I wanted to buy a RX570 to replace my old R9 270x but I can't. I have to settle for a gtx 1060 3gb.

And because of the nature of the mining business, they isn't a single partner who want to flood the market with GPU. One of the reason for the The video game krach of 1983 was that they didn't expected the trend to slow down. The market was overflooded with games that nobody would buy. So yhea, while the mining craze is alive making more gpu may looks like a profit, if it's going down the backlash will be hard.
Posted on Reply
#42
dyonoctis
"Captain_Tom said:
Yes it pretty much has lol. The 1060, 1070, and 1080 Ti are marked up $100 (In fact the 1070 costs the same as the the 1080!).


As for ASIC's... NOPE. Ethereum uses a near perfect mininig algorithm that scales up requirements over time, and makes almost full use of every part of a GPU. The closest thing one could ever get to an Ethereum ASIC is literally Vega lol.
In france it's not the case. I can get a GTX 1060 for 229 € and you can find a GTX 1070 in stock for 474€. ( even at launch the 1070 was in the +400 € in france)
Posted on Reply
#43
the54thvoid
"Captain_Tom said:
That would make absolutely no sense.

It is in AMD's best interest to sell more cards. If cards are selling out, the should just produce more cards, not nerf their usefulness. Man I am glad a lot of the people here aren't in charge of businesses lol
I was thinking of how to make things nicer for gamers. My handle on business is quite decent. If i didnt give a shit about gaming, I'd suggest that AMD dont give a shit either and they will be really happy this good mining news has leaked (a story they also used to explain the delay).

FWIW, you yourself constantly berate Nvidia for Pascal being a Maxwell refresh but it's bloody good business, so I suppose it is good neither you nor I are in charge. You'd make Nvidia less profitable and I'd try to help the gamers.
Posted on Reply
#44
nemesis.ie
None of this would be an issue if the resellers didn't gouge the prices and the makers can provide sufficient cards for the gaming and mining demand.

If the price stayed at MSRP, the makers would make a killing rather than the gougers.
Posted on Reply
#46
Vya Domus
Again , the issue is AMD can't supply enough , retailer are just cashing in.
Posted on Reply
#47
jigar2speed
"FYFI13 said:
Wrong. Miners do all shit, not retailers. And AMD enjoying it. Only if AMD wanted they could stop all this mess once and for good.
Awe, someone doesn't understand market 101.
Posted on Reply
#48
bug
"jigar2speed said:
Awe, someone doesn't understand market 101.
Fwiw, orders for the chips have been placed long ago and prices were more or less settled. Markups will end up mostly in the pockets of retailers and board manufacturers, but those are also the ones that took a risk when placing their orders. It's just business.
Posted on Reply
#49
dyonoctis
Even in the US some GTX 1060 are escaping the craze. I really doubt that nvidia would sell them at 119$-129$-179$, if it wasn't for the mining craze. This would have been waaaay too much of a good value, and utterly negating the very existence of gtx 1050-1050ti. Even the cheapest "recent" Rx 570 4 Gb was at 180$ msrp.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814126133
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487263
Posted on Reply
#50
Captain_Tom
"dyonoctis said:
Idk man, I wanted to buy a RX570 to replace my old R9 270x but I can't. I have to settle for a gtx 1060 3gb.

And because of the nature of the mining business, they isn't a single partner who want to flood the market with GPU. One of the reason for the The video game krach of 1983 was that they didn't expected the trend to slow down. The market was overflooded with games that nobody would buy. So yhea, while the mining craze is alive making more gpu may looks like a profit, if it's going down the backlash will be hard.
That's if you assume mining will completely crash again. Look there will always be "booms and busts" like there are in any market, but at this point it has been like 5 years of constant mining. For the foreseeable future AMD/Nvidia need to assume miners will want to buy their cards.


It's not entirely impossible to make "mining cards" while protecting your exposure to risk. For instance I would recommend AMD make a Vega48 card with 4GB of HBM, lower clocks, a 30-day warranty, and only 2 display outputs for $350. This card would consist of AMD's absolute worst HBM and 14nmGF yields. Most gamer with half a brain would know it is worth the extra $50 to get more VRAM and 10% higher performance, but this card would be just as good for miners. More importantly though, if the mining market went through a "bust" period: AMD could simply drop the price to $299 and sell the card as a dirt cheap alternative to 1080p gamers with only 2 displays (And they wouldn't be losing money given the substantially reduced warranty and components).
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment