An AMD representive has told PC Gamer (opens in new tab) that the chipmaker, unlike Nvidia, has no plans to pull any shenanigans with its RDNA2 graphics cards in regards to cryptocurrency mining.
When Nvidia announced the GeForce RTX 3060, the company was firm on its decision to implement a hash rate limiter on the mid-range Ampere graphics card to dissuade cryptocurrency miners. (Note that the limiter only applied to Ethash / Dagger-Hashimoto.) So, you can imagine the level of backlash when Nvidia mistakenly released a beta driver that lifted the limiter. In a statement to PC Gamer, AMD Product Manager Nish Neelalojanan stated that "We will not be blocking any workload, not just mining for that matter."
"That said, there are a couple of things. First of all, RDNA was designed from the ground up for gaming and RDNA 2 doubles up on this. And what I mean by this is, Infinity Cache and a smaller bus width were carefully chosen to hit a very specific gaming hit rate. However, mining specifically enjoys, or scales with, higher bandwidth and bus width so there are going to be limitations from an architectural level for mining itself."
The Radeon RX 6700 XT isn't too shabby when it comes to cryptocurrency mining either. The Navi 22 graphics card brings 12GB of 16 Gbps GDDR6 memory across a 192-bit memory interface. While not super impressive, the Radeon RX 6700 XT pumps out a maximum memory bandwidth up to 384 GBps, and we all know how Ethereum loves bandwidth. In our tests, we were able to squeeze a hash rate of 47.5 MH/s out of the Radeon RX 6700 XT, which is roughly the same level of Ethereum performance that we get out of the GeForce RTX 3060 (with its unlocked development driver).
Although AMD isn't putting in any obstacles for cryptocurrency miners, Neelalojanan made it clear that the chipmaker doesn't favor them either. For AMD, gamers are on the top of the priority list. Neelalojanan affirmed that "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 workloads. That all said, in this market, it's always a fun thing to watch."
The Radeon RX 6700 XT is set to launch March 18, starting at $479. Performance-wise, the Navi 22 graphics card goes head-to-head with the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. It also cleans house on the RTX 3060 12GB, thanks to its gaming-optimized Infinity Cache and additional compute resources.