All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
With less than two weeks left before the official launch date of the highly anticipated AMD Radeon RX 480 GPUs that are supposedly coming out on 29th of June with a recommended price tag of $199 USD people are getting anxious to get their hands on the hardware. The speculations are that the RX 480 will be doing great for mining Ethereum while also being quite power efficient and at the announced price it could be the killer ETH mining choice for multi-GPU mining rigs. So what could potentially make the Radeon RX 480 not so great choice for mining after all when the cards start hitting the market at the end of this month?
When AMD announced that the RX 480 will be priced at $199 USD everybody was surprised by the good news, yes, it is not top model GPU offering the highest performance on the market, but for the expected performance the price was great. Unfortunately with the upcoming release on the market we are hearing some not so good news that will make the RX 480 less attractive choice for mining and it is entirely related to the price point. It seems that the $199 USD price tag was indeed too good to be true, we are hearing from different sources that the actual end user prices will be more like 20-30% higher than that. Furthermore initially the availability of the new GPUs will most likely not be able to match the high demand that it is expected, so in the end it seems not very likely that will be able to get your hands on an RX 480 on 29th for $199 USD.
A few days ago AMD has also announced two lower-end Polaris-based models – the RX 470 and RX 460 GPUs that should be even more affordable and still manage to provide good performance (for gaming that is). What you should be more interested in however is the AMD Radeon RX 470 that is expected to be slightly cut down version of the RX 480 GPU, retaining the same PCB and 256-bit memory bus. So the chances that the RX 470 might be able to perform very similar in terms of performance for Ethereum mining like the RX 480 are pretty good and with the right price it might be even more attractive for crypto miners. However while AMD says that the RX 470 and RX 460 should be available at the same time the RX 480 launches, we expect that they will be a bit late with about a week or two on the market.
The focus of the RX 480 was mostly put on the Ethereum GPU mining, but we are still on the speculation phase and nobody knows for sure how much MHS the new GPUs will be able to provide. What you should also wonder however is how well these new video cards based on the 14nm AMD Polaris architecture will perform in other crypto currency algorithms and not just buy them because of possibly good Ethereum performance. With the recent issue with the DAO and the drop of ETH price this has become even more important and you should not forget that Ethereum will be mineable for probably up to a year more and then will be switching to PoS…
AMD today unveiled the first of its upcoming Polaris architecture-based Radeon RX series graphics cards – the Radeon RX 480 at a surprising price point, surprising at is it quite affordable compared to what you will have to pay for the latest generation of Nvidia Pascal GPUs. The AMD Radeon RX 480 as well as the other upcoming GPUs are all based on the 14 nm FinFET production process that the Polaris architecture utilizes. As a result what we expect to get is more performance with a lower power usage and at a more affordable price point and AMD delivers just that with the Radeon RX 480. The full specifications are not yet revealed, but we know the cards should be available on the market on June 29th with a price point of just $199 USD for the 4GB edition. The TDP rating of the new RX 480 GPUs is 150W, but we do not know all of the specifications yet, so it is hard to estimate what is the expected performance, especially for mining.
We already know that the RX 480 uses 256-bit memory bus and will come in 4GB and 8GB VRAM models, so the big question that many Ethereum miners are probably already asking is what performance can we expect from the new cards. Since Ethereum’s Dagger-Hashimoto algorithm is memory intensive one the speculated performance for Ethereum mining for the new AMD Radeon RX 480 is somewhere in between 20 and 30 MHS, hopefully around the full performance that Radeon 280x had with 1GB DAG files or around 26-27 MHS or more, but that is pure speculation for now. So we’ll have to wait and see some real numbers, but we are not going to be surprised if the lower priced RX 480 does manage to outperform the Nvidia GTX 1070/1080 at least for mining Ethereum, making the new Radeon the better solution for mining ETH. What you should not forget however is the fact that Ethereum mining is not going to last forever, sooner or later the coin will switch from PoW to PoS and you would have to switch to a different altcoin maybe with different algorithm where the RX 480 might not be the best choice…
In a message from AMD sent to press they have announced that the company has good availability of their AMD Radeon R9 product lineup and there are no more shortages. And not only that you can easily get a Radeon R9 280x now for example, but you can also get it at a lower prices as there is no price speculation caused by shortages. Of course AMD is focusing on gamers, though we all know that the shortages were all caused by people buying the cards for crypto currency mining and not for gaming. Below you can see a quote of the message sent to press:
You’ve seen many articles, discussions online about the AMD Radeon R9 lineup – especially chatter about pricing and availability. As we’ve talked about it before, the demand for the R9 lineup has been nothing but astonishing, and went well beyond our most optimistic expectations. That created a situation where gamers weren’t able to purchase their desired R9 graphics card.
We have good news! All R9 Series products are now available and in stock at worldwide retailers, and street prices have returned to the SEP (or below)! The chart below should help you get a good overview of the current stack and pricing.
Now that product is available and at suggested pricing, these prices will remain stable. No more madness like you saw in Q1.
I’d like to direct your attention to the AMD Radeon R9 280 – which is now available starting at SEP price of 180€ + VAT ($249 in the US). You will see this price in effect right now on a few items with more on the way. You have most likely not had many of these boards in your lab, and we have a batch of samples available from multiple board partners waiting to be benchmarked. Please let us know if you’d like to review one of the AIB SKUs based on the R9 280.
In tandem with the stable pricing and wide availability, we’ve re-launched our Never Settle Forever bundle program to include over 20 titles from which gamers can pick and choose. In addition, we’ve lined up a few brand new games to add to this promotion, and we’ll be sharing more info with you in the next few weeks!
In summary – for all those gamers who were unsure whether to purchase an R9 graphics card, this is exactly the right time to do so. AMD’s performance and enthusiast line-up has never been more competitive. Armed with technologies like Mantle, TrueAudio, the AMD Radeon R9 series of products offer the best performance and value in every segment from 145€ to 1300€!
Should you have any questions, please let me know.
AMD PR team
The reason for enough R9 availability is the fact that due to Scrypt mining moving to ASIC mining hardware people are no longer building GPU-based mining rigs like crazy and thus the demand for the video cards is not so high anymore. Also at the moment on the second hand market you can find some great deals on cards used for mining that still have warranty remaining at some really good prices. So why buy new cards when you can get perfectly working ones at even lower price as so many people are selling their GPUs in order to get Scrypt ASIC miners.
Fear not however, GPU mining is not dead, it is just most likely going to take some more time to be revived yet again with the move to another strong alternative crypto currency that is going to replace Litecoin. In the last few days we’ve seen DarkCoin going pretty well, especially after the release of X11 mining support for Nvidia GPUs. There are however multiple other contenders such as VertCoin for example, so do not be in a hurry to sell your GPU hardware yer, or you might regret it later on.