Thursday, March 18th 2021

AMD Confirms it Won't Block any Workloads on its Graphics Cards - Including Mining

Hot on the heels of NVIDIA's recent Cryptocurrency Mining Processors (CMP) launch and slightly debacled driver-level neutering of popular mining algorithms with their latest GeForce RTX 3060, AMD product manager Nish Neelalojanan confirmed to PC Gamer that AMD's stance is a fundamentally different one: that they won't be the ones to decide what their customers can or can't do with their hardware. His words, precisely, were this: "We will not be blocking any workload, not just mining for that matter."

Nish then went on to speak on how AMD - and its current RDNA2 product stack - have been specifically geared and optimized for gaming workloads. There are some architectural choices present in RDNA2 that automatically reduce its utility and performance when it comes to mining, such as its infinity Cache - an architectural choice that aims to increase gaming performance by improving cache hits, at the expense of overall memory bandwidth (the most important metric for actual mining operations).
This is why AMD's latest gaming behemoth RX 6900 XT, for example, offers about the same ~54 MH/s Ethereum mining performance as its older (and much smaller) RDNA-based RX 5700 XT. This is an interesting way to frame the problem, and it does naturally lead to lesser demand for AMD's graphics cards compared to NVIDIA's (the RTX 3090, for example, offers a gargantuan up to 120 MH/s in mining algorithms). This doesn't however mean that AMD isn't working on a CMP-like product line based on older technologies that can sate demand for cryptocurrency mining.

Nish then doubled-down on AMD's commitment to gaming:

"All our optimization, as always, is going to be gaming first, and we've optimized everything for gaming. Clearly, gamers are going to reap a ton of benefit from this, and it's not going to be ideal for mining workload. That all said, in this market, it's always a fun thing to watch." I beg to differ on that last part, though. It's definitely not fun to watch the state of the market for gaming-related hardware.
Source: via TechSpot
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73 Comments on AMD Confirms it Won't Block any Workloads on its Graphics Cards - Including Mining

#1
gdallsk
not like there's any cards to sell to begin with. Their stock problems are even worse than nvidia's
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#2
RedelZaVedno
Of course not. Why would they? Mining money is too good to refuse. Besides that AIB partners would show a big middle finger to AMD and offer unlocked GPUs if AMD would try to cripple RDNA2s mining performance anyway. AMD has zero influence over it's AIBs (with Sapphire being an exception).
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#3
arbiter
I think its fine with what nvidia is doing if they make sure its easy to tell which cards are which. Its been issues for years of miners buying up stock so fast that screws over people want a gaming card. I see it as it could keep prices of cards ment for gaming more stable and in stock while letting bulk miners fight to pay top $ for crypto cards. As for AMD on other hand their comment does kinda loose its teath when their card is reported to be half as fast in least Ethereum mining.
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#4
Vya Domus
6900XTs are still profitable and they are largely being bought by miners, one just has to browse a place like r/nicehash and see that for themselves.
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#5
ncrs
RedelZaVedno
Of course not. Why would they? Mining money is too good to refuse. Besides that AIB partners would show a big middle finger to AMD and offer unlocked GPUs if AMD would try to cripple RDNA2s mining performance anyway. AMD has zero influence over it's AIBs (with Sapphire being an exception).
It's the other way around. AIB OEMs have very little influence over what AMD does. I'm pretty sure that newer AMD GPUs have firmware/BIOS signature enforcement in place just like nVidia does. It's a requirement of Microsoft Secure Boot specification (at least that's the supposed official answer in a related topic). If AMD wanted to they could do exactly what nVidia did.
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#6
Tomgang
Even if crypto crashes now. It would not effect gpu shortage much.

There are several other factors to why gpu is so bad in stock. Ø

First of all, there are a shortage of materials to begin with and I know amd gpu manufacturer has also set gpu on hold to free up space for microchip production to car manufacturers. Besides that, there problems with shipping feeds and free space on shipping. Scalpers dosent help either. So all in all, even if amd limited or banned mining on there cards. It would not help much any way.
Posted on Reply
#7
Vya Domus
Tomgang
Even if crypto crashes now. It would not effect gpu shortage much.
Even if both of those are fixed it wouldn't mean prices return to normal anytime soon. It's like the miners would instantly give up their hardware for dirt cheap.
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#8
Zareek
Well at least they are willing to admit it. What Nvidia did was clearly a publicity stunt. Did it even last a month before they "Accidentally" released drivers to defeat it? Frankly, I don't mine but I would like the option.
Posted on Reply
#9
ncrs
Tomgang
There are several other factors to why gpu is so bad in stock. Ø

First of all, there are a shortage of materials to begin with and I know amd gpu manufacturer has also set gpu on hold to free up space for microchip production to car manufacturers. Besides that, there problems with shipping feeds and free space on shipping. Scalpers dosent help either. So all in all, even if amd limited or banned mining on there cards. It would not help much any way.
I'm sorry but I know second hand (a very trusted second hand) it's not true. The cards are being intercepted before getting to retail by mining groups.
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#10
_Flare
Sacrifice earth to the god of greed.
Posted on Reply
#11
TheinsanegamerN
ncrs
I'm sorry but I know second hand (a very trusted second hand) it's not true. The cards are being intercepted before getting to retail by mining groups.
Second hand sources are worth the paper they are written on. Unless someone can provide *proof* these devices are being intercepted en masse I'm not inclined to believe it.
Posted on Reply
#12
ncrs
TheinsanegamerN
Second hand sources are worth the paper they are written on. Unless someone can provide *proof* these devices are being intercepted en masse I'm not inclined to believe it.
Let's put it this way: I've been to the mines of Moria filled with racks of GPUs, and that was even before the "shortage". There's many pictures from such places around the world tho I won't share mine, obviously. When I asked them what is the current situation I got a vague description of this process happening. I trust the person I talked to, but I understand you have no reason to trust me :)
Posted on Reply
#13
ZoneDymo
Tomgang
Even if crypto crashes now. It would not effect gpu shortage much.

There are several other factors to why gpu is so bad in stock. Ø

First of all, there are a shortage of materials to begin with and I know amd gpu manufacturer has also set gpu on hold to free up space for microchip production to car manufacturers. Besides that, there problems with shipping feeds and free space on shipping. Scalpers dosent help either. So all in all, even if amd limited or banned mining on there cards. It would not help much any way.
idk about that, also dont forget that would mean the "used market" would be flooded with (now still valuable) videocards.
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#14
cellar door
Their linux driver is open source... so this is just a non starter. Would be nice if this was included in this 'news' post.
Posted on Reply
#15
Kohl Baas
_Flare
Sacrifice earth to the god of greed.
Hail Mammon!
Posted on Reply
#16
ncrs
cellar door
Their linux driver is open source... so this is just a non starter. Would be nice if this was included in this 'news' post.
The driver is open source, but the firmware it requires to function is not. The same is true for nVidia, and the reason the community open source driver is missing important features like reclocking. Intel iGPU can function without proprietary firmware, but some functionalities are missing/not optimal without them.
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#17
tomc100
When this mining bubble burst there's going to be thousands of used gpu on the market which are defective. Meanwhile, nobody is able to game with these new gpus since A hole scalpers are hoarding them. That won't be good for pc gaming in general.
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#18
mechtech
Debackled??

Did you mean debacled?
Posted on Reply
#19
Caring1
tomc100
When this mining bubble burst there's going to be thousands of used gpu on the market which are defective. Meanwhile, nobody is able to game with these new gpus since A hole scalpers are hoarding them. That won't be good for pc gaming in general.
How is that relevant to this thread
Posted on Reply
#20
ncrs
tomc100
When this mining bubble burst there's going to be thousands of used gpu on the market which are defective. Meanwhile, nobody is able to game with these new gpus since A hole scalpers are hoarding them. That won't be good for pc gaming in general.
Defective? Miners run their cards undevolted and optimized for power usage. A mining card will probably be in a better condition than a gamer card, especially for newer models that turbo up to the very limits of the silicon itself. Constant load is also far better for component longevity than bursty loads and constant power on/off cycles of a normal gaming card.
Posted on Reply
#21
Fluffmeister
At least they are honest, they don't care who buys their cards... Mine away!
Posted on Reply
#22
Chloe Price
ncrs
Defective? Miners run their cards undevolted and optimized for power usage. A mining card will probably be in a better condition than a gamer card, especially for newer models that turbo up to the very limits of the silicon itself. Constant load is also far better for component longevity than bursty loads and constant power on/off cycles of a normal gaming card.
And thanks to their bios-modified cards, we have thread after another when a non-miner tries to revert the card to its normal state and messes up the flashing.

I wouldn't mind if all this crap would be permanently disabled by hardware level.
Posted on Reply
#23
neatfeatguy
Wonder how all those 6700 XT will do for mining....seeing as the cards are no where to be found already.

Seems that record time was once again met or beat and sites will are SOLD OUT/OUT OF STOCK within about a 3 second span. Once webpages finally refreshed for me I was greeted with out of stock or sold out....or stock was so low that it only took a handful of buyers to deplete it???
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#24
Jack1n
I am 100% against mining but I do prefers the AMD stance just because they are honest about it unlike Nvidia.
Posted on Reply
#25
bug
Jack1n
I am 100% against mining but I do prefers the AMD stance just because they are honest about it unlike Nvidia.
Reading your post I am reminded of one of the more recent patterns in troll posts from Russia: "I don't like the Russians either, but <proceeds_to_explain_how_the_russians_are_right_and_the_rest_of_the_world_is_wrong>".
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