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AMD Has No Issues With Users Mining on RDNA2 GPUs

AMD Big Navi GPUs
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

An AMD representive has told PC Gamer 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.

  • hotaru.hino
    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."

    Software optimizations sure, but not availability optimizations.
    Reply
  • gargoylenest
    well, at least they havent reserved a percentage of their chips specifically for miners, which will be completely useless to gamers, as second hand, once the mining craze ends, or they upgrade to newer GPU.
    Reply
  • exploding_psu
    gargoylenest said:
    well, at least they havent reserved a percentage of their chips specifically for miners, which will be completely useless to gamers, as second hand, once the mining craze ends, or they upgrade to newer GPU.

    I still honestly don't understand their reasoning behind that decision. As someone who is currently standing on the sidelines (not doing mining but isn't dying for a GPU upgrade either), the CMP miner cards doesn't sound like a good solution. From what I've read, the cards are based on existing GPU models that has certain amount of defects on their chip, which makes them "unfit for gaming use". Rather than throwing them away, they packaged them to be sold to miners. Sounds like a power move from Nvidia, selling dead stock while somewhat reducing the supply problem.

    But, the CMP cards are useless for gamers, which means the miners wouldn't be able to liquidate their assets to the average gamers when the time eventually comes. So, the miner would keep buying the GeForce cards (or Radeon cards) just for that fact alone. And don't forget the CMP cards don't exactly perform better than the corresponding GeForces they were based on. The shortage continues and the CMP cards probably wouldn't exactly fly off the shelves (emphasis on probably). So called miner cards are targeted to a userbase that likely won't buy them while being completely useless to another demographic.

    Of course, I'd be happy to be proven wrong. Who knows, maybe big mining operations has a different view to them, after all, I'm just a guy trying to look at a situation I don't have full understanding about.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    exploding_psu said:
    But, the CMP cards are useless for gamers, which means the miners wouldn't be able to liquidate their assets to the average gamers when the time eventually comes.
    Yes and no: while CMP cards may have almost no resale value, they also don't cost double MSRP up-front like most GPUs currently do. Depending on how easily they can access GPUs anywhere near MSRP, writing off CMP cards at their end of life may not be such a bad idea.
    Reply
  • escksu
    InvalidError said:
    Yes and no: while CMP cards may have almost no resale value, they also don't cost double MSRP up-front like most GPUs currently do. Depending on how easily they can access GPUs anywhere near MSRP, writing off CMP cards at their end of life may not be such a bad idea.

    Not really. Although there are currently no scalpers for CMP cards, there may be in the near future. CMP cards are not really cheaper than gaming versions. They are also likely to be very rare (to consumers) as well.
    Reply
  • escksu
    exploding_psu said:
    I still honestly don't understand their reasoning behind that decision. As someone who is currently standing on the sidelines (not doing mining but isn't dying for a GPU upgrade either), the CMP miner cards doesn't sound like a good solution. From what I've read, the cards are based on existing GPU models that has certain amount of defects on their chip, which makes them "unfit for gaming use". Rather than throwing them away, they packaged them to be sold to miners. Sounds like a power move from Nvidia, selling dead stock while somewhat reducing the supply problem.

    But, the CMP cards are useless for gamers, which means the miners wouldn't be able to liquidate their assets to the average gamers when the time eventually comes. So, the miner would keep buying the GeForce cards (or Radeon cards) just for that fact alone. And don't forget the CMP cards don't exactly perform better than the corresponding GeForces they were based on. The shortage continues and the CMP cards probably wouldn't exactly fly off the shelves (emphasis on probably). So called miner cards are targeted to a userbase that likely won't buy them while being completely useless to another demographic.

    Of course, I'd be happy to be proven wrong. Who knows, maybe big mining operations has a different view to them, after all, I'm just a guy trying to look at a situation I don't have full understanding about.

    Yes, CMP cards are better suited for those large scale mining farms. These cards are unlikely to be available in retail market as well. So, its not going to make any difference to gaming GPUs.
    Reply
  • Krotow
    hotaru.hino said:
    Software optimizations sure, but not availability optimizations.

    There will be no availability optimizations for long time ahead. Scalpers and miners already did their part in GPU market distorting. More or less performing GPU now cost around 1000$ and above. We can hope for Intel Xe HPG as performing GPU unsuitable for mining, but in reality cryptotrash hoarders will defile this card too. Seems gamers who didn't lost their sanity and don't want to dump obscene amount of money for GPUs with tripled price, may forget about GPU upgrade for next 5 years. And hope for next cryptotrash fiasco.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    pretty useless statement from AMD . miners already knew this since last year where AMD's Infinity cache pretty much allows them to use lower bandwidth RAM to a comparable Nvidia card. this is huge change for mining ETH, where Polaris, Vega, RX 5700 where having overkill memory making them good value for mining .
    Reply
  • hannibal
    Krotow said:
    There will be no availability optimizations for long time ahead. Scalpers and miners already did their part in GPU market distorting. More or less performing GPU now cost around 1000$ and above. We can hope for Intel Xe HPG as performing GPU unsuitable for mining, but in reality cryptotrash hoarders will defile this card too. Seems gamers who didn't lost their sanity and don't want to dump obscene amount of money for GPUs with tripled price, may forget about GPU upgrade for next 5 years. And hope for next cryptotrash fiasco.

    True, but if Intel will outsourse its GPU for TSMC as it seems to be... there will be less capasity to AMD and Nvidia... So more intel gpus... less amd and nvidia gpus.. Situation does not get better that way! We need more companies with leading edge manufacturing capasity... But that is so expensive that Glofo did gice up, as well as every other company other than Samsung and Intel... Nobody else has not enough money to take a risk to start makin 5nm and smaller node chips. And that is the really scary thing! If one or two of those drops out... there will be only one standing. And we allready know that TSMC has increased prices because it can... and it will get worse if nothing happens.
    Reply