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What to Expect from the Coming Soon New AMD GPUs

15 Jun


There is already a lot of speculation about the new AMD GPUs that are supposed to be announced in the next week or so and among all of the unofficial information there is probably a lot that will end up being the truth. So far it seems that apart from the new high-end Fiji GPUs that will use High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) all others will be a refresh of the currently available generation with maybe a bit more shaders or a bit wider memory bus, so you should probably not expect too much out of the net 300 series. The big question is about what level of performance the new AMD Fury video cards based on the Fiji GPU with HBM will be offering. AMD has been hinting that they are targeting a level of performance comparable to that of Nvidia Titan X, but it is not only abut performance, but also about power usage when talking about crypto currency mining and then there is also the cost of the video card. So if the Fiju GPUs that are to be used in the AMD Fury video cards are able to achieve similar performance with a bit higher power usage, but at a significantly better price they may end up be quite interesting. Especially if they do come with a water cooling solution already installed on them, ensuring cool and silent operation – perfect for GPU mining.

However we doubt that the price will be much lower than that of a Titan X and that will make it a bit too expensive for use for crypto mining, just like is the case with the Titan. On the other hand Nvidia has recently released the more affordable and slightly stripped down version of the Titan X in the form of GTX 980 Ti. The good news based on our initial testing was that the GTX 980 Ti was offering a performance very close to that of the Titan X at a much better price making it the more interesting choice for crypto currency mining, especially if you get the card as a gaming / crypto mining solution (mining while not using it for gaming). There is also already some talk that AMD will have two models based on their new Fiji GPU with HBM memory available, so the possibility to get one that will compete with GTX 980 Ti and one that will compete with the Titan X is actually quite high. Based on past experience with AMD GPU mining however it may take some time and maybe some tweaks to optimize the existing OpenCL miners to take full advantage of the new GPUs (not the refresh models). That is especially true considering that the open source miner development for AMD GPUs hasn’t been that active lately, unlike the developers of open source miners for Nvidia GPUs that are doing great job in optimizing and fixing issues constantly. Hopefully the new releases from AMD will finally spark some recovery in the AMD GPU mining ecosystem, well we are going to see pretty soon…

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2 Responses to What to Expect from the Coming Soon New AMD GPUs


June 15th, 2015 at 23:46

At the moment HBM memory is actually just *barely* competitive with GDDR5. Sure it has a lot more pins, but those pins run at only 1/5th the bit-rate as the pins on a GDDR5 chip.

The real advantage of HBM is that it has headroom to grow. The latest 8gbit/sec/pin GDDR5 chips are basically the end of the line. But they’re being manufactured on such a huge scale and all the bugs/quirks have been ironed out so the tech is incredibly cheap.

So we’re seeing HBM appear today not because it offers any advantage, but because it has finally just barely caught up to GDDR5. In a year or two it will take the lead, but as of today it’s not such a big deal.


June 16th, 2015 at 18:03

HBM offers no advantage when it comes to mining. Some GPU algorithms could possibly run with no performance loss on a 64 bit bus!
While there’s no such thing as “a bit wider bus”(at best you can clock ram a bit higher), there’s some chance transitioning to an improved process node might result in decreased consumption.

For everything that is bandwidth-bound, HBM is basically a boon. No idea what the above user is referring to.

I agree with the state of AMD miners. I have tried to spark some interest but after over one year after release nobody ever cared about tweaking the kernels I published or even porting them to big cards but since the 300 will be mostly rebrand perhaps I’ll find time to tweak some algorithms at last.

It seems to me sgminer is being maintained mostly as a “freemium” software.

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