Tuesday, June 22, 2021

AMD has no plans to limit the mining performance of its cards

A hot potato: Unlike rival Nvidia, AMD has confirmed the company does not plan to nerf the mining capabilities of its graphics cards. Following team green’s introduction of an Ethereum mining limiter alongside the RTX 3060—and rumors that its future products would have the same restrictions—many wondered if AMD would follow suit. But don’t hold your breath: it has no plans to implement something similar.

Speaking about a potential mining limiter during a Radeon RX 6700 XT pre-briefing call, Nish Neelalojanan, a product manager at AMD, told PC Gamer, “The short answer is no. We will not be blocking any workload, not just mining for that matter.”

“That said, there are a couple of things. First of all, RDNA was designed from the ground up for gaming and RDNA 2 doubles up on this. And what I mean by this is, Infinity Cache and a smaller bus width were carefully chosen to hit a very specific gaming hit rate. However, mining specifically enjoys, or scales with, higher bandwidth and bus width so there are going to be limitations from an architectural level for mining itself.”

Nvidia recently admitted that a developer driver it made public to devs under the Windows Insider Program unintentionally removed the hash rate limiter from most RTX 3060 cards. It’s since been pulled, but copies will doubtlessly be circulating within mining communities.

The Radeon RX 6700 XT, which you can read our review of here, offers around the same Ethereum mining performance as the RTX 3060—with the limiter-removing dev driver applied to Nvidia’s card. Though AMD’s flagship RX 6900 XT (55-64MH/s) can’t match the RTX 3080 (~85MH/s) or the beefy RTX 3090 (up to 120MH/s).

Neelalojanan did reiterate that while AMD has no plans for mining limiters, it prioritizes gamers above all others.

“All our optimization, as always, is going to be gaming first, and we’ve optimized everything for gaming. Clearly, gamers are going to reap a ton of benefit from this, and it’s not going to be ideal for mining workload. That all said, in this market, it’s always a fun thing to watch.”

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