AMD’s New Mining Block Chain Optimized Driver Tested

AMD Helps Ethereum Miners Keep Hashing Performance Stable

AMD has finally released a video card driver for Radeon graphics cards that improves block chain performance! This driver was developed to improve the decreasing hashrate performance with Ether mining as the DAG size slowly increased. We did in-depth coverage on this issue back in June 2017, so take a quick look at that article if you happened to miss it. The DAG performance issue impacts both Polaris (Radeon 400 and 500 series) as well as Vega (Vega 56 & Vega 64) cards, so it was an something that AMD needed to take care of.

AMD has been working on making some mining modifications to their drivers and have finally come up with a solution! We’ve been trying it out on a handful of cards and are happy to report that it keeps all Polaris and Vega cards from having performance issues with larger DAG files!

AMD Block Chain Driver Benchmarks

The Radeon RX 480 went from 24.6 MH/s at DAG #130 and dropped down to 14.8 MH/s at DAG #199. With the new driver the performance went up by a hair and performance at DAG #199 is shown to be 24.8 MH/s according to Claymore’s benchmark script. The performance of the Radeon RX 580, Radeon RX Vega 56 and Radeon RX Vega 64 remained the same at DAG #130 and DAG #199 with the new block chain driver! AMD has greatly improved the DAG performance issue! We did notice that the changes implemented by AMD slightly increased the power draw of the system with the new improvements, but if the hashing power dramatically increases that doesn’t bother us one bit.

AMD mining driver

Room For Improvement

It looks like AMD still has some room for improvement on the new VEGA 56/64 video cards though as we noticed some strange behavior with the cards. When we first start mining performance on the Radeon RX 64 Vega is close to 38.5 MH/s, but it quickly falls down to around 34.4 MH/s after running for a couple minutes. This is on a stock card with no power adjustments or clock frequency changes. If we change the card from the default ‘balanced’ mode to ‘turbo’ the performance doesn’t change at all. We’ve let AMD know about this as we see it as a possible area of improvement and they reminded us that this is a Beta driver and that there could certainly be some additional tweaking needed driver side. We’ve sent this information to AMD’s engineering teams and are currently investigating. If they can resolve the issues they will include it in future Radeon Crimson driver releases!

The AMD block chain driver is available to download today and you can grab it on one of the links below. The official name is Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute Driver Version 17.30.1029 (Windows Driver Store Version 22.19.659.0).

Be sure to check out our previous coverage on Ethereum mining: 

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  • Brice Fleckenstein

    Almost worthless since it does not exist for LINUX – which is the OS used by the BULK of cryptocoin mining machines.
    Up side – it DID fix the existing issue with the RX series cards NOT just Vega.

    DOWN SIDE – it should have shown up for LINUX FIRST.

    GPU mining isn’t done with SHA256 – that algo and it’s associated cryptocoins got taken over by ASIC mining chips/miners MANY YEARS ago.

  • Echo

    Any chance you could test gaming performance on the block chain driver?

    • Juan Ballesteros

      Its not a driver foro gaming. AMD says It on their web. It can Also cancel the vídeo output (not dure about that)

  • NavyCuda

    NO!!!! This mining driver doesn’t support Vega FE!

  • Joeyjoejoeshabadooo

    how does this affect gaming performance
    for us part time gamers part time miners?

    • Still good for gaming tough. I’m using RX 580 8GB

  • Anthony Hunington

    The beta driver does not work on my system, it crashes ANY mining software you try to run with it installed. I re-downloaded and re-installed the Blockchain Compute driver 3 times, even after using AMD’s clean uninstall utility and got the same results. I then proceeded to download the latest gaming driver 17.7.2 and was able to resume mining with zero issues.

  • Juan Ballesteros

    so. is this the most expected driver ever? 34 mh/s when everybody talked about rumors of 70-100 .. I could even accept a 50 mh/s rate, even 45 in the worst case. But 34 is almost nothing, knowing that a rx580 was half of price, and better hashrate/watt …

    • Acácio Da Rosa Florentino

      I think there is a much higher room for improvement, so let’s wait a bit more and see how things are going to be.

    • Athenasius

      The full rumour is that the Mining application has to be vega optimised first, it won’t just instantly take advantage of the new hardware instructions meant for hashing.

      • Juan Ballesteros

        Interesting. Something about the SHA256 algorithm? The instruction V_XAD_U32 is just for that, but, i don’t know how much time will it take for someone can take this advantage on a mining script… And if someone does, don’t are outside a lot of ASICS with this algorithm? If someone can correct me, please.

    • Peagu Robert

      This sounds like a bugfix driver… not a architectural overhaul driver. So let’s not pass hasty conclusion about stuff we likely know nothing about.

  • jack sale

    This driver actually makes one of my RX 580s slower, 29.3 MH/s to ~28 MH/s. Im currently testing it on a different rig before I commit to this update.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      You should also look at future DAG sizes. -benchmark is the command in the .bat file for Claymore’s miner.

    • Antonio Gonzalo

      Plaese, How do you get to 29.3MH/s. ?

  • NavyCuda

    The reason performance falls off is core temp. As soon as vega gets over 60C performance falls off dramatically.

    I’m currently running my Vega FE’s at 1137MHz core clock and 1100MHz HBM2 clock. 55C core temp. 42.1MH/s.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      How do you battle the core temp? Just lowering the power target and core clock?

      • Luis Diego Hamill

        Howdy, please can anyone help me to install blockchain driver. followed AMD instructions, I tried DDU then blockchain driver I still boot up and its as if I have no amd driver was installed???
        THANKYOU !!!https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/25e30f62456a354012acaafe16391031eb17f2f592c0148c4c71a387e4b4cda0.jpg

        • Luis Diego Hamill
        • Nathan Kirsch

          When you used DDU did you run it in safe mode and remove both AMD and NVIDIA before restarting?

        • Luis Diego Hamill

          Thanks for reply, I did safe mode removed booth . I have a Vega frontier . Is my Vega not going to work because u need the RX Vega for this driver?

        • NavyCuda

          It appears the blockchain driver does not work with Vega FE. I’m unable to get them to work with my Vega F’s either.

        • Danny Priest

          You must completely wipe out the registry of all amd files and folders after uninstalling the driver pack. start button the type (regedit) then search for all amd folder and right click on them and delete them and also delete all the files in your program filesx86. also use driversweeper after doing all of those listed. Then reinstall the fresh drivers after a complete restart.

      • NavyCuda

        Just running 1137MHz at stock power level reduces temperatures tremendously.

    • Cryio

      If you game with your Vega FE, that core clock will bring your full Vega 64 to under FuryX performance.

      • NavyCuda

        Maybe? I don’t know and honestly don’t care… Performance is better than the GTX 970 they replaced.

        • Cryio

          For compute stuff, a 380 would’ve been faster than the 970.

  • Not available with Linux 🙁

    • Nathan Kirsch

      I spoke with AMD and they stated that a Linux solution is also under development

      • Roger Yan

        I’m expecting to see the linux driver update asap.

    • Juan Ballesteros

      Can You Tell me why is Linux better for mining? I never used It but i can try

      • estefany moreno

        cheaper, far more stable, an far faster to install and setup, no need for virtual memory, no need for a hard drive, no need to wait for cards to get “recognized”, no “resources” issuess, you can literally just copy it to a pendrive plug it in and be mininig in less than 5 minutes, if you like me have to put together 7 to 10 rigs per week, it would be impossible with windows, just the instalation, config, and card recog takes over an hour IF you dont run into issues.