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Unofficial AMD Driver Fix for Ethereum DAG Epoch Released

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It is not news that AMD is working on a new driver release for their Polaris-based GPU’s that would allow them to solve the mining hashrate dip due to DAG file increase.

Some days ago, an unofficial driver release became available for download. The release is nothing more than AMD’s beta version of the driver. However, it appeared on Bitcointalk forums rather than on AMD’s official website.

As always, there are mixed opinions on this new driver. Some people downloaded and tried it, while others claim that this unofficial release is unsafe. Personally, I’ve tried it on my rig of RX 580/570/560/470s (Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580 4GB, MSI RX 570 4GB, Sapphire Pulse RX 560 4GB and Sapphire Nitro+ Rx 470 4GB) to see what the fuzz is about.

In this article, I’ll try to systematize all the data I was able to gather so far.

Hashrates

Apparently this new driver does affect hashrate positively in some cases. The most positive changes are:

RX 580

  • From 27.2 to 28.1 MH/s
  • From 24.5 to 28 MH/s
  • From 28.5 to 29.6MH/s

RX 480

  • From 20 to 21 MH/s while dual mining ETH and Siacoin.

No change in power usage

RX 470

  • From 25.5 to 27-28 MH/s

Though in this case there were some stability issues. Also, the user who achieved those results was not able to undervolt the card.

Now, many people complain that the driver does not work for them; others claim that they are not able to undervolt the card after upgrading to the new release. I did noticed though that most of the issues are caused by the fact that they do not install the drivers on a freshly installed windows.

To add more, it is a good idea to try the drivers on a freshly installed windows were there are no traces of your wallets or passwords.

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Overclocking and Undervolting

Despite popular opinion, this driver does allow you to undervolt your cards. However, it is done differently than when using an official AMD release.

Apparently, you can undervolt the cards by using only the 4.4.0 beta 16 version of afterburner. Some users also noticed that AB does not always reflect voltage changes straight away.

You can also use Claymore v9.8 to overclock your RX 470/480 cards. The tool, however, won’t work with the RX 570/580 ones.

Safety

Some users are concerned about the safety of this new driver. The main concern is the possible presence of backdoors. However, this is a signed AMD driver, which means that in theory it cannot be hacked. The main reason why people panic is because it takes a bit of patience and time to install and configure it properly.  That being said, it is still a good idea to install the driver only if you do pool mining.

Installation

The installation process is rather straightforward and simple.

USE THIS DRIVERS ON YOUR OWN RISK!

Here is a list of the files you’ll need:

1 Download tools

2 Installation

  • Uninstall drivers with DDU in safe mode
  • Install the freshly-downloaded driver through the Device Manager
  • Install the atikmdag patcher
  • Install MSI Afterburner
  • Restart and tweak your rig

Here are my tests for Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580 4GB, MSI RX 570 4GB, Sapphire Pulse RX 560 4GB and Sapphire Nitro+ Rx 470 4GB

Stock clocks and BIOS

Using mixed drivers from this tutorial on #138 DAG epoch

Hashrate

Temps and Power Draw

Using AMD Beta Drivers

Hashrate

Temps and Power Draw

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The results (stock clocks and bios)

Before

  • RX 580 23.970 Mh/s
  • RX 570 21.190 Mh/s
  • RX 560 11.700 Mh/s

After

  • RX 580 24.750 Mh/s (+0.8 Mh/s)
  • RX 570 22.000 Mh/s (+ 0.8 Mh/s)
  • RX 560 11.700 Mh/s (+ 0.4 Mh/s)
 So.. if you decided to use them, make sure you will send a donation to our robinh00d who released this driver fix

ETH: 0x09f940b37fa11fe953e483af9e185098a6b48862
BTC: 1HrYKRUNusUGYBKZbV9jHqhbkpDFBpoWz4 

In Conclusion

Most people prefer to wait for the official driver release by AMD. While this unofficial beta release is signed by AMD, many community members prefer to play it safe and wait for the driver to appear on AMD website. Both approaches seem equally reasonable, especially considering that soon AMD might post the official version of the driver on their website.

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

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