All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
Time for a quick look at the power usage of the GeForce GTX 1070, the reference design from Nvidia that has a TDP of 151W set by the manufacturer, making it pretty energy efficient for the performance it provides for crypto currency mining. We are checking the situation with the different algorithms apart from Ethereum, because we already know that the GTX 1070/1080 is far from great choice for Ethereum mining when using Windows and we are testing the mining for other algorithms with Windows 7.
Looking at the results from the different algorithms the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition does seem to be about 30% on average slower (25%-33%) compared to its bigger brother – the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition at the stock settings. The situation with the power usage difference between the two cards is also very similar to the performance difference in the tested algorithms. So the next very interesting question is how well the GTX 1070 will overclock and how will the OCed performance compare to a stock GTX 1080 and an overclocked one. We are going to be posting our results from the GTX 1070 overclock soon, so stay tuned for them.
While we were testing and comparing crypto mining performance we have actually noted that the comparison between GTX 1070 and GTX 980 Ti is actually more interesting as you can see from the table with results. As you can clearly see the GTX 1070 is slightly faster than GTX 980 Ti, but power usage wise it is much more efficient. This can give you a better idea on the evolution of performance and power usage between the previous and this generation of Nvidia GPUs. The GTX 1070 is also a more attractive choice for building multi-GPU mining rigs at the moment as compared to the GTX 1080, though you might want to wait a bit more for the non-reference designs to come out that will allow more serious overclocking and thus even better performance.
Recently we have tested the new Nvidia Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition GPU for crypto mining and it is now the time to see what the little brother in the form of GTX 1070 is also capable of. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition is a little stripped down version of the current top model in the form of GTX 1080, but generally the two are not that different. The GPU on the GTX 1070 is a bit less powerful and the memory is regular GDDR5 instead of the GDDR5X used in the 1080. The cooling solution, the backplate, even the 8-pin power connector are the same on both and that should signal a good overclocking potential for the GTX 1070 and the significantly better price makes it the more interesting of the two for crypto mining. Do note that the TDP rating of the GTX 1070 is just 151W and the power limiter allows you for just 12% increase over the stock limit, so you get 169 Watts max without having to resort to something like BIOS modification for example in order to be able to get serious in terms of overclocking. We are going to cover the overclock for the GeForce GTX 1070 and the mining hashrate with OC in a follow up article, for now we are comparing only the performance at stock settings.
We have already discussed the not so good situation with Ethereum mining on the GTX 1080 and unfortunately things are the same with the GTX 1070. Mining Ethereum under Windows is pointless at this point as the hashrate is very low (issue with the video driver) and although this might be fixed at a later time with a driver update, for the moment the only option you have is Linux. The results under Linux are not great though the GTX 1070 apparently does perform better because of the GDDR5 memory even at lower frequencies as compared to the GDDR5X, especially when you overclock the GTX 1070. We are going to be doing some more testing for this under Linux at a later time in order to see what the new Nvidia Pascal-based GPUs are really capable of for mining crypto currencies based on the Dagger-Hashimoto algorithm like Ethereum, but for now we are focusing on the other algorithms.
The results we’ve got for other popular algorithms besides Ethereum’s Ethash are pretty interesting as you can see from our summary in the table. It is interesting to note that the GTX 1070 is a bit faster in all algorithms besides Decred than the GTX 980 Ti and it does it with a significantly lower power usage. Price wise the GTX 1070 is still a bit more expensive than GTX 980 Ti, but the power savings on the long term should more than justify the difference. With that said we should note that the GTX 980 Ti has never been one of the popular Nvidia video cards among miners due to the pretty high price that it has been keeping. Compare to GTX 970 the new GTX 1070 is significantly faster, and the results of the 1070 were not that close to the ones from GTX 1080 as we’ve hoped they could be. With some overclocking however we expect that the gap in performance between a stock GTX 1080 and the OCed GTX 1070 cloud become pretty insignificant, but that would need some more testing to confirm.
Do note that we have not included results from Lyra2RE and NeoScrypt this time, because with both algorithms the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 did not perform well and would need some optimizations. In fact there is already an optimized version of ccMiner that fixes the performance issues with Lyra2RE that also brings quite big performance boost for older GPUs as well – ccMiner 1.7.6-r6 fork With Faster Lyra2RE, but for Neoscrypt the performance of the Pascal GPUs needs some work.
The new Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (Pascal-based) video cards have been available for about two weeks now and we have finally managed to get one GTX 1080 to play around with it and see how good it performs for crypto crurrency mining. We are starting with Ethereum as the currently most popular altcoin for GPU mining and unfortunately the GTX 1080 does not do great for ETH mining. You should already know that Eehereum is better on AMD GPUs than on Nvidia and the new Pascal GPUs such as the GTX 1080 don’t do great either and there are some issues with them on Windows for the moment. The GTX 1080 cards are using faster in terms of clock speed GDDR5X video memory that might do great for gaming, but apparently it does not do great for memory intensive algorithms such as Ethereum. In fact it seems that the GTX 1080 is slower because of the GDDR5X than the GTX 1070 that uses regular GDDR5 video memory, and when you add the high price of the 1080 it is most definitely not good choice for Ethereum mining like it might be for gaming.
We have compiled a Windows binary of the latest pre-release of Genoil’s ethminer 0.9.41 fork version 1.1.3 (source) with CUDA 8.0 and Compute 6.1 that is used by the new GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 to test with and you can find a download link below. So let us get to the hashrates you can expect from the GTX 1080 by mining under Windows and then from Linux. If you are using Windows 7 or 8.x you will notice that with the default settings the miner will crash when trying to load the DAG file into the video memory of GTX 1080, regardless if you are using OpenCL or CUDA mode. Other OpenCL only miners such as qtminer will also fail with a driver crash, this is a driver issue and even if you manage to not crash the driver you will get a disappointingly low performance. You can run the Genoil CUDA fork of ethminer in CUDA mode with the
-U option and add the following parameters
--cuda-grid-size 2048 --cuda-block-size 128 to prevent the driver crash, however you will be getting less than 1 MHS in terms of hashrate, so pointless.
If you move to Windows 10 the situation is slightly better, but not that much actually. With the latest video drivers 368.39 for Windows 10 you will be able to mine Ethereum, unlike on Windows 7/8.x, but the hashrate you will get is still going to be disappointingly low at just about 4-5 MHS. Again a driver issues, however there is a talk about an upcoming driver update that should fix the problem of low hashrate at least for Windows 10 that is expected sometime next month (we cannot confirm this however).
So the only thing that is left to do if you already got a GTX 1080 GPU or more than one and want to mine Ethereum with it is to go for Linux. Under Linux people are reporting about 23 MHS on average as hashrate for mining Ethereum on GTX 1080, a speed that is a bit higher than what you can get from GTX 970, GTX 980 or GTX 980 Ti, but still a bit disappointing compared to what you can get from high-end AMD GPUs. The GTX 1070 that we already mentioned is doing better for Ethereum should be capable of around 27 MHS under Linux (in Windows they apparently have the same low performance issues for the moment), though we have not yet been able to personally verify that. So even with the low power consumption these hashrates from the GTX 1080/1070 are not that great and when you add in the high price of the GPUs at the moment and the driver issues with Windows, you can pretty much forget about being happy with mining Ethereum with these video cards. They should be better capable for other altcoin algorithms that are not memory intensive like Ethereum and we are off to checking that next, so stay tuned for more results.