[UPDATE4] AMD RX Vega 64 Eclipses Polaris In Ethereum Mining Efficiency By 2X – Achieves 43.5MH/s At 130W
It's still early days for Vega, but miners aren't wasting anytime exploiting the immense compute capability of AMD's new graphics cards. Rumors erupted just weeks ahead of the GPU's launch earlier last month about its incredible cryptocurrency mining capabilities. Although the touted figures at the time were too fantastical for the real world and the rumors were quickly proven to be false.
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Blows Away Polaris & Pascal In Ethereum Mining Performance & Efficiency
However, given enough time to tweak and optimize miners have already managed to push Vega's mining efficiency. One redditor shared his incredible achievement earlier today, pushing both of his RX Vega 64 to deliver more than 43.5MH/s with each card pulling no more than 248 watts from the wall. By comparison, in our Ethereum mining performance roundup the RX 480 yielded just under 25MH/s whilst pulling roughly 160 watts.
The RX Vega 64 owner achieved this mighty feat by configuring his RX Vega 64 cards to run at a core clock of 1000MHz, with a power target of -24% and the memory overclocked to 1100MHz. The user also claims that similar results can be attained with the significantly less expensive RX Vega 56. If true, this would make it the most profitable graphics card for Ethereum mining in existence.
The owner reports that power consumption for the whole card when measured via the power supply sensor, excluding other PC components, amounts to roughly 130W per card.
Our Vega Can Do Even Better
We received delivery of our RX Vega 64 review sample just a few days ago and attempted to replicate the redditor's findings with great success. Our resident labmaster and chief Keith May managed to push Vega to output no less than 43.8MH/s, running at a core clock of 1137MHz with a core voltage of 0.98mv and a memory clock of 1100MHz.
[Update 6:35 PM Sunday, September 3, 2017 ]: We finally got to do some power measurements of our own, using a power meter. Our test bed idles at 138 watts and the entire system consumes an average of about ~385 watts under load while mining. This yields a delta of 248 watts, which is obviously significantly higher than what the redditor claims to have achieved with his system.
[UPDATE 2 10:14 AM Monday, September 4, 2017]
With some more tweaking we managed to get the power down to ~330 watts and Vega 64's power down to around ~200 watts. Which is a big improvement but still significantly higher than the figures claimed by the redditor. We were also unable to match his HWInfo power readings, no matter what we did.
For some reason HWInfo reports HBM power as high as 130 watts on our test bed, and GPU power as low as 86 watts. Which leads us to believe that the software is incorrectly reading the sensors.
[UPDATE 3 9:42 PM Monday, September 4, 2017 Eastern Time (ET)]
The reddittor updated his post with additional measurements and screenshots after his results were being called into question. He has now published power readings from the wall to prove his 130 watt per card figure.
Each of the two Vega 64 cards has been configured to run at 1000 MHz Core and 1100 MHz HBM with a power target of -24%.
The power pulled from the wall by the entire system at idle is 158.5 watts and at load amounts to 445 watts. That's a delta of 286.5 watts which rounds up to just over 143 watts per card.
This is measured directly from the wall, using a power meter. Considering that the HX1000i power supply being used is rated at 92% efficiency. No power supply on earth is 100% efficient, because the simple fact of the matter is converting a high voltage low current power source to a low voltage high current power source requires energy. The power supply's sensor adjusts for this deficit and reports that each card is effectively pulling 130 watts directly from the power supply unit.
This is whilst the power supply itself is pulling slightly more than that from the wall due to the 8% of lost efficiency. As the power meter below demonstrates.
[UPDATE4 8:18 PM Wednesday, September 6, 2017 Eastern Time (ET)]
We've finally managed to replicate the redditor's findings and hit that magic 130 watt figure.
Vega graphics cards are already experiencing shortages world wide due to increasingly high demand from miners and Radeon gamers looking to upgrade. If you're looking to grab an RX Vega graphics card you will want to place an order as soon as you possibly can and if you're lucky enough you'll get one next month.
Another feasible alternative for gamers is to consider the Vega bundles that AMD is offering. For an additional $100 over the MSRP of the standalone graphics card you get two games and a $100 discount on a FreeSync display. Thankfully, unlike the standalone cards which are out of stock everywhere, these bundles continue to be available and are probably your best bet to grab a Vega card if you're a gamer.