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Why the Litecoin Craze Hurts More Than Helps Brand AMD Radeon

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#52
Yes, they do...at $500. Which also buys a GTX780, which performs equally, but has better drivers. I already have a GTX780, so I'm well aware of the differences offered, and while both are very similar, the end experience is too much apart.


There are significant resources in AMD GPUs that don't benefit gaming directly, and compute only. GTX780 proves that easily enough...what it lacks and AMD has...doesn't benefit gaming in any way, really...

AMD has ALWAYS pushed compute, really, they were the first to offer GPU F@H, before NVidia started sponsoring Stanford (who now has a building in s certain somebody's name, making it undeniable), it's just not looked at that AMD has because someone else has had a far larger voice in that market. So AMD knew exactly WHAT they were doing in those designs that sit on some shelves today.
Actually that came down to the 16/24bit VS 32 bit issues Nvidia had to match the performance that ATI had at the time, back when cutting image quality for more FPS by drivers and hardware was a common thing, moreso for Nvidia, but ATI did it too occasionally.
 
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#53
The way Gcn works well with 64bit wave fronts per compute unit is precisely why they do well that and Amd's initial and fervent support of open standards.
 
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#54
The prices will eventually deflate so much due to popularity that it won't be worth it.

On a side note... How do the Fire GPUs preform for coin mining?
 
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#55
I think all fire pro cards are tahiti based atm and are essentially the same with mere driver optimisation and no significant difference but it does depend on application , but in single precision the new R9s have a big lead so it depends on precision required in a simulation or algorithm as to which is quickest AFAIK.

Non waffle, they do well
 
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#56
I am happy there is some light being shed about Bitcoin mining in it's true expense.
 
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#57
Spot on, and a good question would be.

Why is a guy in hydrabad India moaning about the inflated prices only seen in America, as Bta rightly points out in europe the litecoin markup is non existant as is the shortage.

Bta did an Rma go bad with Amd or something because some of your editorials lately have been ass shaped

hows about an editorial on nvidia or intel eh????
I live in India, you have no idea what you are talking about, the price of AMD radeon card in India are even higher than what they are in USA.
 
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#58
It's not that they were completely unavailable.. I'm waiting for my 780's to ship still because of holiday modness... it's that the price that the R9 290 is available for that makes the R9 290 uninteresting, because frankly, NVidia's got their software in far better condition than AMD does, and the lack of a price difference to realize the problems that AMD has for users like me makes AMD card unappealing. Simply put, the R9 290, just isn't an option due to price increases...over $500 for what was supposed to be a $400 card. Why pay $500 and have driver problems (Crossfire and Multi-monitor) when you can pay $500 and not have those problems?
I haven't seen any crossfire and multi monitor issues reported with 290's. Have you?
 
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#59
My only confusion with the whole Litecoin/Radeon availability situation is: why has AMD not ramped card production up to "war-time" levels to account for the demand and hence sell more units? AMD has a great opportunity here and, as usual, they don't seem to be taking advantage of it.
You can't book fab time at TSMC on a weekly basis. Likely contracts are done at least a year in advance.
 
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#60
I haven't seen any crossfire and multi monitor issues reported with 290's. Have you?
Actually, in the [H] review of 4k gaming with 290s vs 780 Tis (As I'm sure most of us have read), the 290 experience was smooth and near plug and play whereas the Ti required significant effort to get going. So I really was not going to even challenge the 2005 'Driver' argument.

It's 2014 and some of these guys are still using the old 'better drivers' and 'physx' fanboy wars legacy.
 
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#61
It's not that they were completely unavailable.. I'm waiting for my 780's to ship still because of holiday modness... it's that the price that the R9 290 is available for that makes the R9 290 uninteresting, because frankly, NVidia's got their software in far better condition than AMD does, and the lack of a price difference to realize the problems that AMD has for users like me makes AMD card unappealing. Simply put, the R9 290, just isn't an option due to price increases...over $500 for what was supposed to be a $400 card. Why pay $500 and have driver problems (Crossfire and Multi-monitor) when you can pay $500 and not have those problems?
What's the problem with R9-290's multi-monitor?
 
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#62
Scrypt (Litecoin mining) relies on integer operations, not floating-point. Specifically, AMD GPUs can do integer bit rotations in one operation, while Nvidia cards require three.
There's more to Scrypt than just the integer bit rotations. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrypt

The scrypt function is designed to hinder such attempts by raising the resource demands of the algorithm. Specifically, the algorithm is designed to use a large amount of memory compared to other password-based KDFs, making the size and the cost of a hardware implementation much more expensive, and therefore limiting the amount of parallelism an attacker can use (for a given amount of financial resources).


From http://wili.cc/blog/gpgpu-faceoff.html

"Ambient Occlusion code is a very mixed load of floating point and integer arithmetics, dynamic branching, texture sampling and memory access. Despite the memory traffic, this is a very compute intensive kernel."



 
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#63
Who said they had done anything to make their gpu's mine better? Amd just has the right gpu architecture and has been pushing their compute abilities for all gpu's. Not that nvidea is a slouch in compute ability but didn't they cut some of the compute parts off the little kepler cards?
A mix of integer and floating benefits Ambient Occlusion type workloads. Read http://wili.cc/blog/gpgpu-faceoff.html for App 2 bar graph.
 
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#64
Actually, in the [H] review of 4k gaming with 290s vs 780 Tis (As I'm sure most of us have read), the 290 experience was smooth and near plug and play whereas the Ti required significant effort to get going. So I really was not going to even challenge the 2005 'Driver' argument.

It's 2014 and some of these guys are still using the old 'better drivers' and 'physx' fanboy wars legacy.

Given that AMD had some serious driver issues as late as 2013 and it WAS 2013 a week ago, I'd say discussing their driver issues or potential for driver issues is not unwarranted or unexpected.

I know it hurts you to remember, but frame latency was a driver problem. Not only that, but it wasn't a problem AMD figured out either rapidly or on their own. Certainly, however, it was a widely pervasive and longterm problem they had for years before even acknowledging it.

That's to say nothing to the lack of Crossfire support at the 7970 launch or the impact frame latency had on usability of Crossfire for all of 2012 and most of 2013. It took AMD from Jan 2013 until August 2013 to even release a pre-release fix for frame latency and they haven't even finished a fix for anyone running resolutions higher than 1600p for people NOT buying GCN 1.1-based cards (R9 290/290X, 7790-derived cards) despite spending how many years compelling users to "upgrade" to Eyefinity?

I'd say driver issues are still topic of the day until AMD starts having more frequent YEARS of not having massive driver issues.
 

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#65
What's the problem with R9-290's multi-monitor?
The issues with dual-GPU and Eyefinity and the 290 cards are still there, unfortunately, although not as prevalent as they were with the original GCN cards.

I do have a bitter taste in my mouth since Eyefinity hasn't worked right since day one, IMHO, and I've owned Crossfire and Eyefinity in all it's incarnations since it launched. It'd be great if it worked perfectly, but it doesn't.
 
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#66
Works a lot better though according to most review sites and users. It seemed to have acquiesced all but the harshest of critics anyway... LOL! Besides, those users with multiple monitors and GPUs are less than 1% of users, (actually IIRC steam stats had it at like .3% or some low #). Now it should work for everyone, but, clearly, with such a small market share, this is back burner stuff, especially when a 290X/780ti can run a lot of games decent at 5760x1080.
 
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#67
I live in India, you have no idea what you are talking about, the price of AMD radeon card in India are even higher than what they are in USA.
Right so its Amd's fault their cards are dear where your from, the importers have nothing to do with it. the price and availability in uk are both spot on
 

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#68
Works a lot better though according to most review sites and users. It seemed to have acquiesced all but the harshest of critics anyway... LOL! Besides, those users with multiple monitors and GPUs are less than 1% of users, (actually IIRC steam stats had it at like .3% or some low #). Now it should work for everyone, but, clearly, with such a small market share, this is back burner stuff, especially when a 290X/780ti can run a lot of games decent at 5760x1080.
Well, at least AMD are moving in the right direction. I'm not surprised it'd be better passing frames via PCIe than via a silly PCiex1 bridge...

And it is very much a small market, but at the same time, you can't blame me for wanting to get what AMD advertised but didn't deliver, either. 7970 Crossfire Eyefinity is still very much broken, and is why I bought new cards.

I just wonder what will happen when the mining craze slows down, and all these AMD cards get dumped on the used market, barely working since they've been pushed truly hard.
 
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#69
Great discussion.
Comment #1 - Why is the price and stock levels of Europe not affected? As someone pointed out, cost of VAT and electricity provide lower payback, while exchange coin to USD and then exchange that to euro probably kills any huge return. Not to say folk in Europe aren't getting cards to do it they probably went second party from the US to get their card.

#2 - Why doesn't AMD ramp up production, as folk say? It takes weeks/months to schedule new wafer starts and then that considers TSMC has openings in production. At best if AMD upped starts at TSMC in mid-Dec, they might have boxed product on the way into the channel like March/April. Then what happens if AMD added production just to find that long before boxed units find their way into the channel Litecoin mining has gone bust. AMD would be giving OEM’s incentives (kickbacks) to help incentivize/move excess product on production they would’ve surely paid some premium to get TSMC to schedule in. There’s not much AMD can do.

One up-side may well be there was a Nvidia gamer that thought, “I’ll buy AMD to mine and then also game!" Face it if you can buy a high-end gaming card, make money, and even sell it for say almost MSRP what’s not to love. Then what if their experience with AMD dispels all the negativity they’ve though of AMD… AMD might win customers!


and is why I bought new cards.
barely working since they've been pushed truly hard.
Nice that you probably can sell such 7970's for a pretty penny as they’re desirable for Mining... More than the perhaps $200 each they might have been garnered if mining wasn’t around.

I didn't really think most Hardware "degrades" from being "push hard"; well as long as the environment/cooling had been sufficient.
 
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#70
Given that AMD had some serious driver issues as late as 2013 and it WAS 2013 a week ago, I'd say discussing their driver issues or potential for driver issues is not unwarranted or unexpected.

I know it hurts you to remember, but frame latency was a driver problem. Not only that, but it wasn't a problem AMD figured out either rapidly or on their own. Certainly, however, it was a widely pervasive and longterm problem they had for years before even acknowledging it.

That's to say nothing to the lack of Crossfire support at the 7970 launch or the impact frame latency had on usability of Crossfire for all of 2012 and most of 2013. It took AMD from Jan 2013 until August 2013 to even release a pre-release fix for frame latency and they haven't even finished a fix for anyone running resolutions higher than 1600p for people NOT buying GCN 1.1-based cards (R9 290/290X, 7790-derived cards) despite spending how many years compelling users to "upgrade" to Eyefinity?

I'd say driver issues are still topic of the day until AMD starts having more frequent YEARS of not having massive driver issues.
So frame latency then. Sub 1% of customer usage base. I was actually going to mention it in my post, something along the lines of "save for the frame pacing issue" but then I thought 'Is anyone really going to grasp at a niche multi-card issue and umbrella all issues under that last bastion of the fanboy wars?'

Well......

Gameplay was choppy, people definitely complained but many played on (since it's not like the bad pacing caused black screens is it ?), some red fanboys even claimed not to notice. It's come to light and being fixed. anything else ? I mean, it's not like the frame latency was caused by faulty cards and led to a class action settlement is it ?
 

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#71
So frame latency then. Sub 1% of customer usage base. I was actually going to mention it in my post, something along the lines of "save for the frame pacing issue" but then I thought 'Is anyone really going to grasp at a niche multi-card issue and umbrella all issues under that last bastion of the fanboy wars?'

Well......

Gameplay was choppy, people definitely complained but many played on (since it's not like the bad pacing caused black screens is it ?), some red fanboys even claimed not to notice. It's come to light and being fixed. anything else ? I mean, it's not like the frame latency was caused by faulty cards and led to a class action settlement is it ?

Actually, yeah, since I am part of that niche, I have those issues. It IS a valid point of contention that influences my current purchasing, after all. My 7970 Crossfire isn't perfect...so there's no way I'd expect R9 290 Crossfire to NOT have the same problems, since AMD was so adamant about the problems not being hardware-related....

Many games still have frame latency issues, or other problems, since day one, and switching between single-GPU and Crossfire doesn't work right without rebooting, those issues present a large problem for me. I have 429 games in STEAM alone...and about 10% maybe work right in Eyefinity and Crossfire.

So, my PSU blew up. I need to buy a new one. Might as well buy new GPUs at the same time...but only 10% of my games work right with my 7970's....might as well give NVidia a shot and deal with other issues.
 
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#72
Its possible, being on different architectures that the results would be different in CFx... But perhaps I have a glass half full approach seeing as how this never affected me as bad. But then again, I have like 15 games in steam of which I play one really (use the others for GPU reviews, LOL!).


Well, at least AMD are moving in the right direction. I'm not surprised it'd be better passing frames via PCIe than via a silly PCiex1 bridge...

And it is very much a small market, but at the same time, you can't blame me for wanting to get what AMD advertised but didn't deliver, either. 7970 Crossfire Eyefinity is still very much broken, and is why I bought new cards.

I just wonder what will happen when the mining craze slows down, and all these AMD cards get dumped on the used market, barely working since they've been pushed truly hard.
Oh no, most certainly I can't blame you for wanting them to get it right!

Your last part.. Damn good question there.. some unhappy people when they crap out sooner rather than later. I know that will be my question when I see them come up FS...
 
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#73
The issues with dual-GPU and Eyefinity and the 290 cards are still there, unfortunately, although not as prevalent as they were with the original GCN cards.

I do have a bitter taste in my mouth since Eyefinity hasn't worked right since day one, IMHO, and I've owned Crossfire and Eyefinity in all it's incarnations since it launched. It'd be great if it worked perfectly, but it doesn't.
Besides the lack of 5760x1080p settings in some games, I haven't experienced Eyefinity issues with my old solo 7950 OC and later 7970 OC + 7950 OC config (not listed in my system specs).

I use RadeonPro to mitigate the microstutter issues
http://www.radeonpro.info/2013/03/crossfire-microstutter-afterburner-vs-radeon-pro/
 
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#74
Actually, yeah, since I am part of that niche, I have those issues. It IS a valid point of contention that influences my current purchasing, after all. My 7970 Crossfire isn't perfect...so there's no way I'd expect R9 290 Crossfire to NOT have the same problems, since AMD was so adamant about the problems not being hardware-related....

Many games still have frame latency issues, or other problems, since day one, and switching between single-GPU and Crossfire doesn't work right without rebooting, those issues present a large problem for me. I have 429 games in STEAM alone...and about 10% maybe work right in Eyefinity and Crossfire.

So, my PSU blew up. I need to buy a new one. Might as well buy new GPUs at the same time...but only 10% of my games work right with my 7970's....might as well give NVidia a shot and deal with other issues.
From
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crysis-3-performance-benchmark-gaming,3451-6.html

Geforce GTX 690 has it's own microstutter issues.
 
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cadaveca

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#75
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