Wednesday, August 16th 2017

AMD Releases Beta Driver Specifically Geared for Blockchain Compute

Paraphrasing our own VSG, "So, this happened". AMD has gone out and done it: they've released a Beta driver specifically geared towards blockchain-based workloads, which should improve the company's GPU performance in generating money for miners. The driver is compatible with close to the entirety of AMD's GCN lineup - all the way from hot-from-the-foundry Vega to AMD's HD 7900 series. As AMD puts it, this is a driver solely purposed towards blockchain workloads - no gaming or graphics workloads (read, what graphics cards were originally meant to do) are officially supported in this release.

Apparently, AMD took it upon themselves to release this driver due to AMD's well documented DAG performance decrease for Ethereum mining hashrates. Specifically, according to Legit Reviews, the Radeon RX 480 went from an expected 14.8 MH/s at DAG #199 (down from 24.6 MH/s at DAG #130) to a prospective 24.8 MH/s DAG #199 performance according to Claymore's benchmark script. Performance improvements from the non-blockchain-geared driver release seem to stand at around 10-15%, which isn't too shabby from a single, Beta driver release.
This move from AMD could open up a proverbial can of worms, however, in the sense that it may start to look like AMD's focus isn't on gaming anymore. This makes sense - the only focus of any company is to make money - so the fact that AMD is tapping the mining market with increased, more predictable performance and longevity isn't strange. This is especially true if one considers Vega's current positioning against NVIDIA's parts, if current pricing trends remain. This move from the company, while sensible from an economic perspective - a graphics card sold is a graphics card sold, period - may bring the company some pushback from gamers, who simply want to be able to purchase AMD's graphics cards for their historically-intended purpose - gaming. That is already hard to do - nigh impossible - at MSRP prices for AMD's most recent architectures. And Vega seems to be going down the same road.

You can download AMD's blockchain-geared driver here.Sources: Legit Reviews, Hot Hardware
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76 Comments on AMD Releases Beta Driver Specifically Geared for Blockchain Compute

#1
Prima.Vera
I have a feeling nVidia will push some "special" driver for their Ti, Titan and Quadro cards, which in theory, should smoke any AMD ones....
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#2
Imsochobo
Prima.Vera said:
I have a feeling nVidia will push some "special" driver for their Ti, Titan and Quadro cards, which in theory, should smoke any AMD ones....
uhm why is that ?
Vega is a compute card, not gaming card.
Volta is a compute card too but pascal isnt..

I think game devs will go towards compute stuff more and more in the future, but I may be wrong.
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#3
RejZoR
Considering the outcome of RX Vega cards, at least miners will maybe buy them if gamers won't...
Posted on Reply
#4
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Prima.Vera said:
I have a feeling nVidia will push some "special" driver for their Ti, Titan and Quadro cards, which in theory, should smoke any AMD ones....
AMD sells higher compute cards for less money than NVIDIA and have been doing it for a decade. No amount of driver updates is going to make 1080 Ti have a faster hash rate than Vega 64 because the hardware simply isn't there.

AMD's problem, and has been for a long time, is that they build their cards to be a jack of all trades and a master of none.
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#5
oxidized
Behold AMD, the self-proclaimed herald of PC videogaming!
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#6
djisas
Got to keep those sales numbers high enough...
It saddens me that might next upgrade might be an nvidea one, low availability, high price and high power consumption are all a sign to pick something else...
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#7
claylomax
They went from "Bring Gaming to Life" to "Bring Mining to Life" in a matter of days.
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#8
Suka
claylomax said:
They went from "Bring Gaming to Life" to "Bring Mining to Life" in a matter of days.
How many gamers are willing to pay the asking price for a Vega 64 at a performance of GTX1080 FE and >x2 the power consumption?
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#9
siluro818
Oh please. A company's focus is on making money, not on a particular target audience. It ain't like the majority of gamers prefer AMD products either. I'll keep buying their stuff as long as they offer me the better deal, which they usually do. If they can't keep up with the demand and that stops being the case, I'll switch to whatever works best for me, as will everyone else who isn't a brainwashed "red team/green team" moron...
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#10
AsRock
TPU addict
oxidized said:
Behold AMD, the self-proclaimed herald of PC videogaming!
Well they are not doing so great on that scene so who can blame them, they need money and there is money to be made. Hopefully they will correct this later for those who want to buy AMD graphics.

As if i were to buy a new video card today it would not be AMD so good on them hopefully they make cost back at least.

Suka said:
How many gamers are willing to pay the asking price for a Vega 64 at a performance of GTX1080 FE and >x2 the power consumption?
2x the power ? really. and did you know if you take the card of turbo the power usage drops a fair bit for the expense of about 5 fps.

claylomax said:
They went from "Bring Gaming to Life" to "Bring Mining to Life" in a matter of days.
They seen what people are saying and the new cards are just not cutting it.
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#11
Suka
AsRock said:



2x the power ? really. and did you know if you take the card of turbo the power usage drops a fair bit for the expense of about 5 fps.


.
Depending on mode you run it, but it still higher consumption. AMD has good stuff but nVidia is killing them at gaming
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#12
Gasaraki
Uh... Thanks AMD?... I thought you were trying to get your cards in to the hands of GAMERS not miners. So that was just a big lie?
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#13
AlienIsGOD
Beta drivers for Vega and now block chain specific drivers, yet we are 1/2 way through August and no new general driver for Rx 400 and 500 series :banghead: :slap:
Posted on Reply
#14
Imsochobo
Suka said:
How many gamers are willing to pay the asking price for a Vega 64 at a performance of GTX1080 FE and >x2 the power consumption?
I bought the 64 at 1070 price.
launch price seemingly was available in one e-tailer, so I hit it, going to undervolt it and enjoy the facts about AMD cards I personally love.

*Enhanced sync
*Freesync
*Linux drivers.

thus making it decent for me, the hardware suck no doubt, and unless you do machinelearning, lots of opencl it's not great hardware. and or mining.

Undervolting helps the card a lot with 1110mv on RX64 with more memory clock (50+) is going to make it a lot better card than it really is.
I just hope bios editing is possible soon to make the hardware suck a little less.
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#15
HisDivineOrder
I guess the bundles weren't REALLY about keeping the cards in the hands of gamers instead of miners. Perhaps, just maybe, they really were about fleecing their hardest of the hardcore after all?
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#16
Dimi
Imsochobo said:
I bought the 64 at 1070 price.
launch price seemingly was available in one e-tailer, so I hit it, going to undervolt it and enjoy the facts about AMD cards I personally love.

*Enhanced sync
*Freesync
*Linux drivers.

thus making it decent for me, the hardware suck no doubt, and unless you do machinelearning, lots of opencl it's not great hardware. and or mining.

Undervolting helps the card a lot with 1110mv on RX64 with more memory clock (50+) is going to make it a lot better card than it really is.
I just hope bios editing is possible soon to make the hardware suck a little less.
Lol, i'd like to see some proof that you found a Vega 64 at 399$. I call lies on this one.
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#17
buggalugs
Gasaraki said:
Uh... Thanks AMD?... I thought you were trying to get your cards in to the hands of GAMERS not miners. So that was just a big lie?
Exactly, I was going to post the same thing, but AMD will say thats what the bundles are for. We only have Vega 64 at my local store and most brands are sold out already. Vega 56 hasnt even appeared yet.

There are a couple of bundles still available.

AMD always seems to struggle keeping up with demand, even when they sell a lot fewer cards than Nvidia.
AMD has done good with Ryzen, but the graphics dept seems to be getting worse every generation.
Posted on Reply
#18
Ubersonic
RejZoR said:
Considering the outcome of RX Vega cards, at least miners will maybe buy them if gamers won't...
This won't make any difference, Vega is still bad for mining.

This driver isn't here to improve mining performance, it's here to correct a flaw in the existing drivers which has been known about for some time and which in future would have caused mining performance on Polaris/Vega cards to tank.

Some might say that's a good thing, but a design flaw causing a GPU to underperform in any compute task is an embarrassment for a GPU maker, hence the arrival of this fixed driver that AMD announced months ago.
Posted on Reply
#19
Imsochobo
Dimi said:
Lol, i'd like to see some proof that you found a Vega 64 at 399$. I call lies on this one.
4990 NOK paid.
Which is where GTX1070 is somewhere from 4500-5000 kroners.
the gtx1080 is 5200+++

just an example of a 1070
https://www.komplett.no/product/895394/datautstyr/pc-komponenter/skjermkort/pci-express/asus-geforce-gtx-1070-dual-oc

Cheapest 1080 there:
https://www.komplett.no/product/893659/datautstyr/pc-komponenter/skjermkort/pci-express/asus-geforce-gtx-1080-turbo

Thus I paid less than 1080, but more than cheapest 1070.

So for the performance it is "ok", but it doesn't make the hardware less shit, if it wasn't for freesync\enhanced sync it'd be a no deal!
Edit:

They've removed the card all together on the site, but this is the link to the product I bought
https://www.komplett.no/product/943918?noredirect=true#

This is a screenshot of purchase.
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#20
Steevo
Man, can I be anymore spot on with my predictions?
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#21
ppn
Mining will be dead in the next 8 DAGs. block time of the block-chain will raise to 30-40 seconds in just 48 hours when everybody updates the driver. There wont be a profitable mining at DAG 199. LOL
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#22
atomiccow
I thought the hashing rate degradation came from the increasing demand of memory. That is the reason the linked TPU article focuses on. Why is the predicted degradation in hashing rate for 8GB cards mentioned in this article similar then? I would think, given that these cards have double the RAM, that 8GB cards wouldn't suffer the same degradation in hashing rate at the same DAG size.
Posted on Reply
#23
Suka
Imsochobo said:
I bought the 64 at 1070 price.
launch price seemingly was available in one e-tailer, so I hit it, going to undervolt it and enjoy the facts about AMD cards I personally love.

*Enhanced sync
*Freesync
*Linux drivers.

thus making it decent for me, the hardware suck no doubt, and unless you do machinelearning, lots of opencl it's not great hardware. and or mining.

Undervolting helps the card a lot with 1110mv on RX64 with more memory clock (50+) is going to make it a lot better card than it really is.
I just hope bios editing is possible soon to make the hardware suck a little less.[/Well
[QUOTE="Imsochobo, post: 3710958, member: 66457"]4990 NOK paid.
Which is where GTX1070 is somewhere from 4500-5000 kroners.
the gtx1080 is 5200+++

just an example of a 1070
https://www.komplett.no/product/895394/datautstyr/pc-komponenter/skjermkort/pci-express/asus-geforce-gtx-1070-dual-oc

Cheapest 1080 there:
https://www.komplett.no/product/893659/datautstyr/pc-komponenter/skjermkort/pci-express/asus-geforce-gtx-1080-turbo

Thus I paid less than 1080, but more than cheapest 1070.

So for the performance it is "ok", but it doesn't make the hardware less shit, if it wasn't for freesync\enhanced sync it'd be a no deal!
Edit:

They've removed the card all together on the site, but this is the link to the product I bought
https://www.komplett.no/product/943918?noredirect=true#

This is a screenshot of purchase. That's a good price in comparison, relatively.

[/quote]
Posted on Reply
#24
DeOdView
Wow... with all the comments and finger pointing. you people do realized that's AMD created/produced the GPUs and the reference card, the rest is up to the AIBs. AMD can't tell them what to make! And why would they? And yet, no one POINT FINGERS at them (AIBs). Also, it's doesn't matter if the retails sold them for $2K, AMD only get whatever the prices they sold for their GPUs. Why no FINGERS POINTING at the retailers?!

As the buyers, they will buy whatever they have the budget for and do whatever they (miners, gamers, specialized PC works.. etc...) want with their purchased. Maybe, they are dump to purchase such high prices, maybe, who's know??? But who are we to justify them and who cared??? All we can do is complaints, whines and bitches... Urrgghh.... wait. NVM! Troll on!

*sigh*
Posted on Reply
#25
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
RejZoR said:
Considering the outcome of RX Vega cards, at least miners will maybe buy them if gamers won't...
Well that's a different tune from two weeks ago. Card not quite perform how you expected?
Posted on Reply
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