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Which GPU Is Best for Mining Ethereum? AMD and Nvidia Cards, Tested

Results: Modifying GDDR5 Frequency

We know that graphics memory performance is of critical importance when it comes to mining Ethereum. Let's see how GDDR5 frequency affects hash rates. Again, we're maintaining the same scale from one graph to the next for more accurate comparisons.

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Preliminary Observations

  • The modified XFX Radeon RX 480 sees its power consumption jump up under the Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute driver. Above 2100 MHz, we were hitting the card's power consumption limit, and the GPU/voltage began to throttle, forcing performance the wrong direction. We worked around this by increasing the card's power limit in WattMan.
  • The performance of MSI's Radeon RX 470 Gaming X begins to fall at 1775 MHz. This is a consequence of crossing a GDDR5 timing threshold with the original BIOS. Its timings at 1775 MHz are quite a bit worse than those applied below 1750 MHz, and the frequency increase cannot compensate. That's not the case with our modified BIOS, which uses those same aggressive timings above 1750 MHz!
  • The Radeon R9 390 sees no speed increase; its limiting factor is the GPU.

Analysis

  • Overall, the hash rate increases alongside graphics memory frequency. Overclocking GDDR5 is more effective on our GeForce cards than our Radeons.
  • Power consumption increases slightly with graphics memory clock rate.
  • The GDDR5 overclocking headroom on our GeForce GTX 1060s is outstanding. With a stock frequency of 1900/1950 MHz, they're stable all the way up to 2400/2450 MHz!
  • With respect to Radeons, BIOS modifications improve performance slightly, but power consumption rises a bit, as well.
  • The Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute driver also improves performance slightly.

GDDR5 frequency and timings are, unquestionably, the most influential variables in determining Ethereum mining performance. Keeping this in mind, choose the card with the highest graphics memory frequencies.


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