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AMD Working on Ethereum Mining Hashrate Drop Fix for Polaris GPUs

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In my previous articles I have talked a lot about AMD Polaris GPUs incoming Ethereum mining performance drop due to DAG file size increase.

Polaris-based GPUs include the RX-400 and RX-500 series. The mining community is aware of the upcoming hashrate drop and many members are looking to mine coins other than Ethereum. However, things might change since there has been word that the issue might be fixed soon.

Yesterday, Claymore posted on Bitcointalk that AMD is working on a driver fix for their Polaris-based GPUs. While this won’t allow 4 GB GPU’s to hash after the DAG file size reaches the 4 GB mark, it will help all Polaris-based GPUs to avoid/ fix the expected 30% hashrate drop.

The DAG epoch issue: it seems AMD fixed it for Vega in drivers and now they are working on Polaris. New drivers will be available soon, may be in two weeks or so.Claymore

Possible Causes

Looks like AMD took the upcoming hashrate drop issue seriously and is cooperative towards miners. This is actually interesting news since many people speculate that GPU manufacturers are against the idea of gaming GPUs being used for mining. There is even a video where Gamer Nexus asked several GPU and power supply manufacturers to share how those feel about mining.

The main concerns manufacturers have is that:

  • The lack of GPUs on the market is motivating PC gamers to switch to consoles
  • Cryptocurrencies are volatile, which means that GPU mining might lose its profitability anytime. If that happens, markets will be flooded with second-hand GPU’s, which will slow down sales of new GPUs.
  • People who purchase mining rigs do not spend their money on accessories. This means that GPU manufacturers do not get the extra money from selling keyboards, mouses and headsets.
  • Miners are not as loyal to one manufacturer as gamers are. At least half of the interviewed manufacturers prefer to get one loyal customer for 10 years than to make a one-time sale of 10 GPUs.

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All of this makes me conclude that AMD’s attempt to fix the DAG file size issue for their older cards is probably a rumor. If it is not, then it means that AMD is not against mining as other companies are. Maybe the company wants to gain the respect and loyalty of the mining community, so it can count on us as customers for future mining-oriented products.

Or maybe they simply don’t want you to post your used RX 400/500s on eBay. However, Ethereum is not the only coin that can be mined with GPUs, and any experienced miner will think twice before posting their fully-functional GPU rig on sale.

In Conclusion

Whatever is the case, there is something going on what the mining community is not aware of yet. If this is not a rumor, then this is definitively great news for me and for anyone who owns Polaris-based GPUs. I will keep you updated on this.

Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.

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  • Osman Yeter

    Thank You <3

  • disqus_rPjSybGo80

    How long until the 4 GB mark?

    • Battal

      Currently 2.7GB
      3GB Around Apr/2018
      4GB Around Sep/2019

      • Pedro Lucas

        Which means, by that time, profitability is loooooong gone and no one mines this algorithm anymore. Besides, there will be a flood of cheap GPUs before that, the 1060 3GB.

      • sebastian

        thats too optimistic, 3gb nov2017, 4gb sep2018

        • XeonFX

          Dag file size increases at fix rate, so its sep 2019.

      • Joe Mc

        Claymore’s benchmark option shows 3GB Nvidia cards no longer working no later than EPOCH 180 which is around Feb 2018 by my estimation.

  • Dr Robert

    Today AMD release new drivers, but no notes about mining.

  • Miguel Ángel Fernández Mateos

    my rx480 (6GPU)and rx580 (6GPU)nitro plus 8gb have gone from 180mh / s to 166mh / s in just 1 month and a half

  • disqus_rPjSybGo80

    This maybe does not belong here, but still I would like to ask.
    The graphics card lets say GTX 1070 costs 600 USD.
    We have a growing dificulty.
    So I entered the hash rate of GTX 1070 (about 31) into the “future profits” estimaton calculator that thakes into consideration the future growth of dificulty.
    Here is the link: http://www.mycryptobuddy.com/EthereumMiningCalculator/path?hashrate=31&power=150&chartView=profits

    This shows that in 6 months I will only make about 150USD at the current ETH price (170 USD in 12 months).
    Even if ETH price doubles (to 400 USD) i will still make only 350 USD in 6 months (450 in 12 months).

    So the profitability is not realy great. Im I missing something here?

  • Gogo

    Hey…why did you remove my last comment?

  • Roderick Warren

    I hope this is true, I mean why would AMD want to send all their business to NVIDA? 🙂

  • blarg

    The assertion that AMD wouldn’t want to fix the firmware because gamers are going to consoles, because MSI doesn’t get to sell keyboards, brand loyalty, and cryptocurrency volatility are a load of hogwash. I don’t think the author of this article understands how business and money works. A traditional gamer buys 1 graphics card every 3-4 years. Someone just getting into mining will buy 6 at minimum and sometimes hundreds. Do you know why RX580s and RX570s are completely sold out…everywhere…for months on end…with no end in sight? Yeah, miners did that. Why? Because AMD cards are an excellent price/performance ratio. Why would AMD shut down its cash-cow graphics cards business to miners just because gamers can’t get their hands on one? No, they’re going to fix the firmware and I’ve thought this would happen since long before Claymore said anything yesterday, and they’re going to do it because it’s good for business.

    1. AMD doesn’t care who buys their cards. They just want to make $.
    2. If gamers are going to consoles, AMD makes ever MORE money. AMD makes all of the CPUs and GPUs in XBOX ONE and Playstation 4. They get to sell GPUs to miners and CPUs/GPUs to people driven to consoles.
    3. If AMD doesn’t fix drivers, miners will remember and buy nvidia next time.
    4. AMD will therefore fix its driver problem

    • Well.. you said exactly what i wrote in this article, but in a different way 🙂

      • Cergorach

        It goes a bit further then this, if AMD doesn’t fix the DAG issue with the RX4xx/5xx cards there will come a time soon where the DAG forces AMD miners to sell their cards way early and move to Nvidia. That means flooding the market earlier then necessary and only with AMD cards. AMD is motivated for miners to mine as long a possible on their cards, that gives AMD more time to get their new generation of cards on the market and well supplied for gamers looking for new cards.

        Then either miners move enmass to the new AMD card and the older still pretty good cards become available on the 2nd hand market. OR the new card sucks for miners and it’s for all the folks that can’t get cards at the moment.

        Now imagine if AMD doesn’t fix this issue and all those mining cards become available on ebay, that’s going to impact the value of the AMD cards. If then new AMD cards are released, almost no one will buy it when they swim in the RX580 cards for $150/card…

        • Alex

          True, though AMD RX 400 and 500 can be used to mine other cryptocurrencies. Even if Ethereum dissappears as a coin tomorrow, I won’t sell my RX rigs. These GPUs are extremelly good and I will have to have a damn good reason to even consider selling them.

    • Alex

      blarg, I wonder whether you watched the video where Gamer Nexus interviews big companies (AMD, Nvidia and others). I am far from the thought that Gamer Nexus would fake the interviews; they get nothing from lying to begin with.

      From what I see, the author bases part of their arguments on Gamer Nexus’ video. If I were you I’d watch it, being the case you haven’t done that already.

      Now, you are of course right that AMD manufactures GPUs both for PS4 and Xbox1 . However, according to my calculations, manufacturing gear for PC gamers is way more lucrative. Here are a couple of reasons:
      1. By selling GPUs for PC’s, AMD can release new models and make new sales as often as they see fit. Now, new consoles cannot be released every year. Mostly because game manufacturers will go nuts. PC GPU’s are a different story.
      2. Being a third-party manufacturer always means that the company gets a fraction of the $$ they could make if they sold the GPU’s directly to the end customer. How much a PS4 costs? 300 USD if we take the slim version. This includes the controllers, headsets and so on. How much does AMD get from each PS4 sale? I doub that they will get more than 90 dollars. I really doubt it. Now, a VEGA GPU FE costs $ 1000! A gaming VEGA will cost around $ 600. AMD gets most of that money.
      3. There is no warranty that Microsoft or Sony will hire AMD again for their next generation of consoles. Also, manufacturing pieces for consoles does not promotes them as a brand. I doubt that a lot of people know who made their consoles’ GPUs, especially when it comes to PS4, where Microsoft did everything to hide AMD participation.

      Last but not least #2: “If AMD doesn’t fix drivers, miners will remember and buy nvidia next time”. Nope. Nvidia was hated by miners since the beginning of times. However, gamers switched to it in a heartbeat as soon as it became a better alternative than AMD. I agree with the interviewed companies that we, miners, are way less loyals than gamers.

  • Ti
  • PieterSielie

    Can we get a link to where claymore made his comment about amd driver fix?

  • PieterSielie

    Damm i really hope amd can do something about this, would really love to keep my cards until January or so, gives me some time to save up for the next round of cards.

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