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The latest version of Claymore’s Dual Ethereum AMD/Nvidia GPU Miner (v9.8) includes support for Radeon RX Vega, so that’s what we used for our mining benchmark.
All of the AMD cards run in ASM mode, which requires some fine-tuning using the -dcri command line option. Our Radeon R9 Fury X saw its hash rate peak at -dcri 85, while our Radeon R9 390X was optimal at -dcri 20. After experimenting with fine-tuning values on our Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 8GB, we saw slightly higher hash rates using the -asm 2 switch for alternative ASM kernel mode. Radeon RX Vega 64 didn’t seem to like being messed with as much; adjustments from the default -dcri 30 did little to affect performance in a positive way.
Perhaps the most glaring upset in our chart comes from GeForce GTX 1080, which underperforms the lower-end 1070. This is a known issue though, as the Ethereum base code fits the latency characteristics of GDDR5 better than GDDR5X. Both the 1080 Ti and Titan Xp get around that problem with a much wider 384-bit memory interface. So if you could build your card from Nvidia’s parts bin, it’d be a GP102 processor with a 384-bit bus equipped with 9 Gb/s GDDR5 overclocked to 10 Gb/s. If only it was that easy, right?
AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 64 isn’t the mining monster many might have hoped, at least right out of the box under Claymore’s current build.
We know that professional mining outfits take these cards, dig into their firmware, alter clock rates and latencies, and coax much higher hash rates from them. But neither AMD nor Nvidia want to talk about how high they’ve seen hashing performance go. Just bear in mind that our results come from stock cards, before they've been tuned for peak mining performance (an understandably critical step when it comes to exploiting all of a card's potential).
Given the price of Radeon RX Vega 64, we suspect that miners will have better luck scavenging Radeon R9 300 and RX 400/500-series cards off of eBay than spending big on $500+ Vega 10-based boards.
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We waited a year for this? Disappointing. Reminds me of the Fury X release which was supposed to be the 980Ti killer at the same price point ($649USD if memory serves me correctly). Then you factor in the overclocking ability of the GTX 1080 (Guru3D only averaged a 5% performance improvement overclocking their Vega RX 64 sample to 1700MHz base/boost clock and a 1060MHz memory clock). This almost seems like an afterthought. Hopefully driver updates will improve performance over time. Thankfully AMD can hold their head high with Ryzen.Reply
For today's market I guess the Vega 64 is acceptable, sort of, since the performance and price compare decently with the GTX 1080. It's just a shame about the extreme power consumption and the fact that AMD still has no answer to the 1080 Ti.Reply
But I would be much more interested in a Vega 56 review. That card looks like a way better option, especially with the lower power consumption.
Disappointing? what. I'm impressed. Sits near a 1080. Keep that in mind when thinking that FreeSync sells for around $200 less than Gsync. So pair that with this GPU and you have awesome 1440p gaming.Reply
This was an excellent review. The Conclusion section really nailed down everything this card has to offer, and where it sits in the market.Reply
20060001 said:Disappointing? what. I'm impressed. Sits near a 1080.
The GTX 1080 has been out for 15 months now, that's why. If AMD had this GPU at $50 less then it would be an uncontested better value (something AMD has a historic record on both in GPUs and CPUs). At the same price point however to a comparable year and three month old GPU, there's nothing to brag about - especially when looking at power use comparisons. But I will agree that if you include the cost of a G-Sync monitor vs. a FreeSync monitor, at face value the RX 64 is the better value than the GTX 1080.
It`s not a bad GPU, however I would not buy one. I am having an EVGA 1080 FTW that I am living to hate (2 RMAs in 10 months), however even if I wanted to switch to Vega, might not be a good idea. It will not change anything.Reply
However two Vega 56 in CF might be extremely interesting. i did that with two 290x 2 years ago and it might be still the best combo out there.
IIRC, both AMD and Nvidia are moving away from CF/SLI support, so you'd have to count on game devs supporting DX12 mgpu (not holding my breath on that one for the near future).Reply
I game at 4k now (just bought 1080ti last week) and it appears for the time being the 1080ti is the way to go.Reply
I do see promise in the potential of this new AMD architecture moving forward.
As DX12 becomes the norm and more devs take advantage of async then we will see more performance improvements with the new AMD architecture.
If AMD can get power consumption under control then I may move back in a year or two.
Its a shame too because I just built a Ryzen 7 rig and felt a little sad combining it with an Nvidia gfx card.
I'm glad that AMD has a video card for enthusiasts who run 144hz monitors @ 1440p. The RX 580 and Fury X weren't well suited for that. I'm also happy to see that Vega64 can go toe to toe with the GTX 1080. Vega64 and a Freesync monitor are a great value proposition.Reply
That's where the positives end. I'm upset with the lack of progress since Fury X like everyone else. There was a point where Fury X was evenly matched with nVidia's best cards during the Maxwell generation. Nvidia then released their Pascal generation and a whole year went by before a proper response from AMD came around. If Vega64 launched in 2016, this would be totally different story.
Fury X championed High Bandwidth Memory. It showed that equipping a video card with HBM could raise performance, cut power consumption, and cut physical card size. How did HBM2 manifest? Higher memory density? Is that all?
Vega64's performance improvement isn't fantastic, it gulps down gratuitous amounts of power, and it's huge compared to Fury X. It benefits from a new generation of High Bandwidth memory (HBM2) and a 14nm die shrink. How much more performance does it receive? 23% in 1440p. Those are Intel numbers!
Today's article is a celebration of how good Fury X really was. It still holds up well today with only 4GB of video memory. It even beat the GTX 1070 is several benchmarks. Why didn't AMD take the Fury X, shrink it to 14nm, apply architecture improvements from Polaris 10, and release it in 2016? That thing would be way better than Vega64.
edit: Reworded some things slightly. Added a silly quip. 23% comes from averaging the differences between Fury X and Vega64.
Well, that was interesting. Despite its flaws I think a Vega/Ryzen build is in my future. I haven't been inclined to give NVidia any of my money for a few years now, since a malfunction with an FX 5900 destroyed my gaming rig... long story. I've been buying ATI/AMD cards since then and haven't felt let down by any of them.Reply
Let us not forget how AMD approaches graphics cards and drivers. This is base performance and baring any driver hiccups it will only get better. On top of that this testing covers the air cooled version. We should see better performance on the water cooled version that would land it between the 1080 and the Ti.
Also, I'd really like to see what low end and midrange Vega GPUs can do. I'm interested to see what the differences are with the 56, as well as the upcoming Raven Ridge APU. If they can deliver RX 560 (or even just 550) performance on an APU, AMD will have a big time winner there.