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

#51
Vya Domus
"Captain_Tom said:
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).
VRAM requirements go up for mining purposes too , from what I heard 4GB will soon be insufficient. There is simply no way to stop miners from buying everything they find. It's all up to the mining scene itself , if it fails everything goes back to normal.
Posted on Reply
#52
yotano211
If this is true, I am ready to order 24+ from a local supplier near by.
Posted on Reply
#53
dyonoctis
"Captain_Tom said:
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).
I still remember what happened when bitcoin was all the craze. AMD gpu price went up and in French store 90% were out of stock, and 10 were overpriced. Things only settled down when gpu weren't the best way to mine anymore. But now we got a new currency that is made to run on gpu. Now that i know that i realise that the issue would be the same even with full mining compute unit. Unless they somehow manage to do a whole new chipset, really cheap, power efficient and easy to make, and still better than the gaming version for mining.

Unlike newegg, French store don't do the "2 units per customers" here if you got the money, you can buy as much as you want. Price are not only going way up, stock are scarce as well. At the moment it seems like they can't make enough chips to supply demand, everything still depends on the health of the currency.


I know that as time goes by, mining become harder and harder. Now i wish that ETH become so hungry on compute power, that it will become unavailable for the average consumer . From where i'm standing greed will win over the customer. As long as there is an high demand, and people buying overpriced gpu, I don't see them lowering price and making less profit.

Now for the launch of vega, AMD took miners into consideration, we'll see just how much the delayed launch will make them available for gamers at decent price. But if they are as good as the rumors says, i will not be surprised if they quickly become hard to get.
Posted on Reply
#54
nemesis.ie
I'm curious as to how well (if at all) HBCC works for mining.

I'm a 99+% gamer but it is nice to have efficient mining available, I did 3 months in 2014 (LTC with 2 x 290x) and made a profit of €500 when I sold them at the recent high. That puts a nice dent in the cost of cards. :)

I don't call myself a miner though as the cost of juice here is too much really. Maybe when I get those solar panels ... ;)
Posted on Reply
#55
bug
"nemesis.ie said:
I'm curious as to how well (if at all) HBCC works for mining.
Atm it seems to be aimed squarely at games. It's basically a cache for assets, but I haven't understood exactly what it does so far.
Posted on Reply
#56
efikkan
"noname00 said:
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.
AMD's cut is based on MSRP, not on retail price. Retailers get all the profits from overpriced cards.

"RejZoR said:
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.
You are exaggerating the mining mania. Sure, they buy a few thousands, but it's not millions, sucking up all the cards. Both Polaris and Pascal have been in low stocks at times before this latest mining mania.

"Captain_Tom said:

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
The production capacity is reserved years in advance. AMD and Nvidia have to decide before each batch how many wafers to spend on each GPU, and then ~4-5 months later, they have a batch of products in shiny boxes.
The largest problem for Vega is the supply of HBM2, which is out of AMD's control.

"Captain_Tom said:
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.
As mining difficulty increases, it eventually becomes unprofitable. It happened with bitcoin, litecoin and all the other whatevercoins. There will probably continue to be some demand, since the world isn't running out of fools anytime soon, but the mining demand wouldn't grow forever.
Posted on Reply
#57
Manu_PT
Someone said consoles would kill PC gaming, wich we currently laugh at.

But the mining thing is killing it, slowly and painfuly. Altho Nvidia isn´t good for mining, the prices go up too, here in Europe is madness just to get a "simple" 1080p 144hz GPU like the GTX 1070. Good luck finding one less than 500€, wich is "only" the most common montlhy wage in my country. GG
Posted on Reply
#58
bug
"Manu_PT said:
Someone said consoles would kill PC gaming, wich we currently laugh at.

But the mining thing is killing it, slowly and painfuly. Altho Nvidia isn´t good for mining, the prices go up too, here in Europe is madness just to get a "simple" 1080p 144hz GPU like the GTX 1070. Good luck finding one less than 500€, wich is "only" the most common montlhy wage in my country. GG
Amazon.de lists several model under €500. One is at €449. But you'd have to pay import taxes.
Posted on Reply
#59
Prince Valiant
"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).
Couldn't they cripple performance with x+ GPUs detected in a system unless you buy a card specifically for it? Or do cards not communicate at all with mining?

AMD's GPU division might not survive long term if things keep up the way they've been going.
Posted on Reply
#60
SPLWF
The only people to be able to get their hands on these cards and actually use it for gaming (well benchmarking) are the Reviewers.

When will we ever get our hands on these cards to actually play games? Oh wait, let's spend an extra $100 for that Vega Package that comes with coupons even though most of us probably already have Ultra Wide screens, etc..so it's pointless.

Remember the RX570/580? It's like they don't exist. I hope this doesn't happen to the Vega because HBM2 is already in short supply.

The only thing I can count on is my three local Microcenters. They limit 2 GPU's for every customer.

Eff all you miners
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#61
yotano211
So many mad angry gamers out there
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#62
Captain_Tom
"Vya Domus said:
VRAM requirements go up for mining purposes too , from what I heard 4GB will soon be insufficient. There is simply no way to stop miners from buying everything they find. It's all up to the mining scene itself , if it fails everything goes back to normal.
define "soon". It won't be for like 2 years, and even then you can program the miner to break up the workload into 2 parts. 4GB is fine.
Posted on Reply
#63
Captain_Tom
"efikkan said:
AMD's cut is based on MSRP, not on retail price. Retailers get all the profits from overpriced cards.


You are exaggerating the mining mania. Sure, they buy a few thousands, but it's not millions, sucking up all the cards. Both Polaris and Pascal have been in low stocks at times before this latest mining mania.


The production capacity is reserved years in advance. AMD and Nvidia have to decide before each batch how many wafers to spend on each GPU, and then ~4-5 months later, they have a batch of products in shiny boxes.
The largest problem for Vega is the supply of HBM2, which is out of AMD's control.


As mining difficulty increases, it eventually becomes unprofitable. It happened with bitcoin, litecoin and all the other whatevercoins. There will probably continue to be some demand, since the world isn't running out of fools anytime soon, but the mining demand wouldn't grow forever.
And there is always another coin to mine when one becomes unprofitable. But "fools"? LMAO you are fool not making money...
Posted on Reply
#64
Prima.Vera
People are very naive if they still think this crypto mining business has any future for the average user. Is simple logic actually. The more people are mining the harder the process to get the crypto coins becomes. So, very soon actually, only big Enterprise mining companies will keep buying video cards for this purpose, since for the average Joe the investment would not be any more profitable anymore (initial cost+running cost).
Posted on Reply
#65
ZoneDymo
"yotano211 said:
So many mad angry gamers out there
Oh no, more people are interested in the hardware we are interested in and thus the price goes up?!?!
I feel so betraaaayed!!!
Posted on Reply
#67
Vya Domus
"Prima.Vera said:
People are very naive if they still think this crypto mining business has any future for the average user. Is simple logic actually. The more people are mining the harder the process to get the crypto coins becomes. So, very soon actually, only big Enterprise mining companies will keep buying video cards for this purpose, since for the average Joe the investment would not be any more profitable anymore (initial cost+running cost).
That is already the case , always been really. Most "home miners" even with up to 100 cards are only looking at about 40k profit a year with say ETH , witch to be honest doesn't really sound that amazing at all , certainly not a "gold mine" which is what people tend to make it look like it.

Mining farms with thousands of cards in countries where electricity is cheap , that's where the real money is made. For the home miners this will never make them truly rich. It's a joke really , toy money as it is referred to.

"yotano211 said:
So many mad angry gamers out there
You wouldn't be in their situation ?
Posted on Reply
#68
nemesis.ie
40k (USD?) profit/year would be a gold mine for many folks.. A lot of people (myself included at the moment) earn less than that working a "real" job.
Posted on Reply
#69
Vya Domus
"nemesis.ie said:
40k (USD?) profit/year would be a gold mine for many folks.. A lot of people (myself included at the moment) earn less than that working a "real" job.
You sure ? Look at it this way : currently you would need about 30 000$ to invest in say 100 x GTX1060s. Do folk that earn less that 40k be able to do that ? Not really , everyone that can invest that much money already has a fair amount of cash in their hand and 40k more per year ain't gonna be life changing. And let's be honest most amateur miners don't have more than a couple of cards.

Extra money is nice sure , but is it worth fucking up an entire industry for chump change in most cases ? Not in my opinion , but I'm sure someone will disagree and explain to me how this is cryptocurrency is the messiah of money making. Even though they fail to make a fortune for themselves with it.

Again , people with big money at their disposal make a significant profit , not the average Joe.
Posted on Reply
#70
dyonoctis
Yhea right. Let's just shut up and accept the lack of stock and inflated price. Let gaming pc or even video editing/3D rendering pc become something accesible to only the richest among us. Computers used to be a luxury after all. We've been too spoiled lately.
Posted on Reply
#72
dyonoctis
"Vya Domus said:
I hope that's sarcasm.
It is.
Posted on Reply
#73
ZoneDymo
"Vya Domus said:
You sure ? Look at it this way : currently you would need about 30 000$ to invest in say 100 x GTX1060s. Do folk that earn less that 40k be able to do that ? Not really , everyone that can invest that much money already has a fair amount of cash in their hand and 40k more per year ain't gonna be life changing. And let's be honest most amateur miners don't have more than a couple of cards.

Extra money is nice sure , but is it worth fucking up an entire industry for chump change in most cases ? Not in my opinion , but I'm sure someone will disagree and explain to me how this is cryptocurrency is the messiah of money making. Even though they fail to make a fortune for themselves with it.

Again , people with big money at their disposal make a significant profit , not the average Joe.
I think you need to look at your own post again and question just about every line to see how many options you leave open, how oddly tunnel vision your "argument" is given the variables presented by yourself.
Posted on Reply
#74
ZoneDymo
"dyonoctis said:
Yhea right. Let's just shut up and accept the lack of stock and inflated price. Let gaming pc or even video editing/3D rendering pc become something accesible to only the richest among us. Computers used to be a luxury after all. We've been too spoiled lately.
Well you cannot not accept it... I mean what are you going to do? not buy videocards that are not available?
Posted on Reply
#75
Captain_Tom
"Prima.Vera said:
People are very naive if they still think this crypto mining business has any future for the average user. Is simple logic actually. The more people are mining the harder the process to get the crypto coins becomes. So, very soon actually, only big Enterprise mining companies will keep buying video cards for this purpose, since for the average Joe the investment would not be any more profitable anymore (initial cost+running cost).
That is when you switch to a different coin lol.
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