Ethereum Hashrate Performance Drop Might Be Coming – AMD and NVIDIA GPUs Tested

If you are mining Ethereum you might have noticed that your hashrate recently dropped if you are using AMD Radeon RX 400/500 series cards. Seeing your mining hashrate drop is nothing new for Ether miners and it is usually due to the growing DAG (directed acyclic graph) file size. The Ethereum DAG is a key component for the proof of work algorithm and is generated for each epoch at around every 30,000 blocks. Back on June 1st, 2017 we were mining on DAG epoch #126 and three weeks later we have already moved onto DAG epoch #130. When the move to DAG epoch #130 happened it seems that the AMD Radeon 400/500 series cards took a performance hit while the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1000 series cards and older AMD Radeon 200/300 series cards did not.

The bad news is that the AMD Radeon RX 470/480 as well as the Radeon RX 570/580 cards took the biggest performance hit. These cards use the AMD Polaris GPU and over the past several days the community has tried to find ways to overcome the Polaris hashrate drop that recently happened. Claymore’s Dual Ethereum AMD+NVIDIA GPU Miner is one of the most popular miners out there and it appears that Claymore can’t ‘fix’ the hashrate drop on the ‘miner software level’ according to a recent post.

“I see the speed drop. I checked possible workarounds, at least for Polaris, they failed. So probably this hashrate drop cannot be fixed, at least on miner software level.” – Claymore

We’ve reached out to AMD and shared some of our benchmark data and hope to they are looking into this issue as well. Chances are they are looking into a solution at the driver level! While we wait for AMD’s response we fired up Claymore’s Dual Ethereum AMD+NVIDIA GPU Miner v9.5 and test seven AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards to see how the perform on future DAG epoch numbers. We did this by running Claymore’s miner in benchmark mode to check the hashrate on our GPUs on future epoch numbers. You can try this out yourself by specifying “-benchmark x” where x is the epoch that you’d like to run.

Claymore Benchmark Mode

We tested DAG epoch 130, 140, 150, 170 and 199 on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060/1070/1080 ‘Pascal’ GPUs as well as on the AMD Radeon RX 470/480/580 ‘Polaris’ GPUs and then the AMD Radeon R9 Nano ‘Fiji’ GPU.

ethereum mining dag size

The results were pretty startling to be honest. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060/1070/1080 hashrate barely budged in our performance testing, so NVIDIA card owners or those that have one ordered should be happy. The AMD Radeon RX 400/500 card owners won’t be too happy to see what the benchmark shows will happen. The hashrate on the AMD Radeon RX 580 that we are testing is 27.0 MH/s currently and that will drop down to 25.6 MH/s by DAG epoch #140 and then 22.7 MH/s at DAG epoch #150. This is around a 16% performance drop in the hashrate in the next 90 days assuming the Ethash DAG changes every 4.5 days.

If you look way out into the future you can see fairly large hashrate drops by the time you get to DAG epoch 170 and 199, but we wouldn’t freak out just yet. The AMD Radeon R9 Nano with the ‘Fiji’ GPU has some small gradual performance decreases up until DAG epoch 170, but takes a performance hit around DAG 199.

AMD might be able to work some magic on the driver side. AMD and NVIDIA are both rumored to be working on bringing dedicated mining GPUs to market here soon, so now that they are spending money to focus on miners we can likely assume that driver support will be improving. If a magic driver fix is not possible get ready to see people selling Radeon RX 400/500 series cards and switching to GeForce GTX 1060 and GeForce GTX 1070 models!

Other GPU Stories on Ethereum Mining on Legit Reviews:

The Best GPU For Ethereum Mining – NVIDIA and AMD Tested

Silent Ethereum Mining On EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 at 22 MH/s

GeForce GTX 1070 Ethereum Mining – Small Tweaks For Great Hashrate and Low Power

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  • Duncan

    Good…now maybe GPU prices might start to come down again – £200+ for a f*cking 4GB 470!!

  • Psyclist

    Sure am glad I hung onto my 290X’s , 32.5Mh/s each still. Didnt realize GDDR5X takes such a performance hit on the 1080!

    • Geoff Pritchett

      Care to email me and discuss some 290x stuff? Those are what im running and for what you can pick them up for right now i believe its one of the best cards out there!

  • RH92

    Wow impressive and interesting results to say the least . AMD has certainly the pace when it comes to mining but Nvidia seems to have the endurance .

    1060 is the new 470 i guess lol . Can’t wait to sell mine at 500bucks 😉

    • IHike

      Glad that 6 weeks ago when I was struggling to find RX570s and 80s and was looking for alternatives I decided to switch to 1060 and 1070s that were still available relatively cheap. More expensive than a retail price RX but at least they won’t fall off a cliff in 3 months. People worry about difficulty and forget about the DAG and the fact AMD and Nvidia are sold out world wide, the recent difficulty climb will likely level off soon (many AMD cards running close to 30% slower and 3GB 1060s will likely be obsolete by early 2018). There is a finite number of GPUs out there that can do this stuff cost effectively. Even the new Vega card launches in August really are not supposed to provide much inventory till early 2018 and any new Nvidia GPU models will like be 6-12 months away.

      • RH92

        Agree 100% with your analysis .

        • Andreas Brisner

          So you would say to stay with Nvidia and not go with AMD RX570’s ? I have 12 570’s incoming in about 2-3 weeks.

        • RH92

          Well considering RX 400/500 series take a big hit starting from DAG 150 (about 3 months )

        • Andreas Brisner

          But they are a lot cheaper than GTX 1060. But I should keep the 1060’s I’ve bought and not return them then..

        • Andreas Brisner

          The RX570’s are 300 USD each. GTX 1060 is 370 USD each.I get about 36-42 MH/s out of 2x 1060’s

          Rx570’s should give 28-30 according to tests I’ve seen.

        • Andreas Brisner

          “that will drop down to 25.6 MH/s by DAG epoch #140 ”
          “then 22.7 MH/s at DAG epoch #150.”
          So it will reach performance of 1x GTX 1060 in 3 months time.

          Before then they will mine a lot more than Nvidia GPU’s can do in the same time, right?

          Looking at my stats now, I have 3 machines with 2x GTX 2060. They have average hashrates at 40.9, 44.4, 41.1..

          It looks to me that it might be beneficiary to use RX 570’s either way?

        • RH92

          Sure 570’s should run faster than 1060’s (especially when optimised ) before DAG 150 but after DAG 150 they will also loose their value much faster than 1060’s . So the real question for me is can you achieve ROI before DAG 150 or not ? If i take into account you paid 300 for each and that you should be able to mine at around 26MH/s nowadays with those , it apears that il will definitely take you more than 3 months to achieve ROI ( 3600$ / 950$ per month = 3,79 months ) .

          1060’s will for sure need more time to achieve ROI but they will give you stability in performance and will loose their resell value much slower than 570’s . To me resell value is important as much as hashrate because you never know when things are going to crash ( if they do ) . But 370$ for a 1060 is also not an ideal price if you ask me so yeah …

          In this situation if i was you i would keep those 570’s ( since you have ordered ) and mine as much as i can till DAG 150 and then resell them all as quickly as i can before their value starts to drop dramaticaly . But that’s just me , it’s up to you to decide what’s good or not for you 😉

          Also may i ask what 1060’s are you running and what’s your OC profile on those ?

        • Andreas Brisner

          Somewhere out of this public area we can talk? Some info I’d rather not disclose in public. If you have steam my username is my name with underscore in between.

        • RH92

          Can’t find you on Steam on that name but what would you like to talk about ?

        • Andreas Brisner

          You asked about what 1060’s , what oc profiles etc 🙂

        • RH92

          Oh ok yeah sure but still can’t find you on steam with that name . My name on steam is raldi92 so shoot me message 🙂

        • Andreas Brisner

          I actually just noticed that the RX570 cards I ordered “maybe” will be available 2nd of august… Bleh.. Considering just canceling the order..

          If they really go to s** in 90 days, I might as well order the cheapest RX570’s.. I was hoping to get them mid july.. but nooo .. 😛

          GTX 1060’s are so expensive.. Also I can’t see GTX 1070 being worth $540 (cheapest I found), even at 30MH/s.

          Cheapest RX570 is $245 and cheapest 6GB 1060 is $353.

          Seems to me like ROI is like 4-5 months at minimum

        • RH92

          Yeah prices have gone crazy in the US . It’s a shame but quit predictible . Here in EU ( France in my case ) you can easely find 1060 6GB at around 260 euro and 1070 at 400-420 euro .

          About ROI yeah it seems imposible to achieve it before 3 months this being with 570 or 1060 so yeah if price where not so high for 1060 in the US it would have been the obvius choise but with such a high price it’s not an easy decision to make . If you have to stick with 570 i agree with you go for the cheapest option at $245 rather than $300 .

        • Andreas Brisner

          Hey RH, I’m in Norway btw..

          How long do you think 3GB cards will be useable? I’m considering returning the 6GB $375 cards for $275-$300 3GB cards. Is that a bad idea in your opinion?

        • RH92

          Hey man , oh ok my bad , i thought you lived in the US since you talked about USD . Are those normal prices for Norway ?

          Peoples estimate that 3GB will be obsolete by 2018 so again it depends how long you plan to mine with those , without forgeting that those 3GB cards will loose their resell value even faster than 6GB 570’s .
          My point of view is peoples don’t buy those cards simply to achieve ROI but also to generate some revenue after achieving ROI so if we take that into account 570 6GB doesn’t seem to be a safe option for the long term let alone 3GB version .

          If you can find 1060 6GB at $350 as you said in your last post then go for it . It’s the safest option for the long term for sure . This is my honest opinion .

  • Bob

    Is that chart accurate? Do 1070s really perform better than 1080s with ethereum mining?

    • Wayne Anderson

      Yep the ddr5x memory in the 1080 series may be better for gaming but worse for mining compared to the standard ddr5 in the 1070 series

      • Nathan Kirsch

        ^^ Yeah, the 1080 and 1080 Ti do not make good mining cards due to the GDDR5X memory being used on them.

  • Antonio Montana

    I remember people getting laughed at for going nvidia for mining… What are the actual dates for the epochs benched?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      The exact dates are unknown, but based on 4.5 to 5 days per new DAG epoch you come up with

      DAG 140: In about 42-45 days
      DAG 150: In about 87-97 days
      DAG 170: In about 177-197 days
      DAG 199: In about 300+ days if we are still PoW and not PoS by then

      • NoName

        In november 1, start PoS

        • Nathan Kirsch

          PoS has already been pushed back a number of times and no date has been firmly set. It doesn’t look like it’s moving to PoS all at once anyway.

        • NoName

          I’m doing Ethereum mining and the difficulty is getting bigger. We did not go through November.

        • Nathan Kirsch

          I’m planning on switching to nicehash or a competitor when that comes.

        • Ark0

          how does PoS would work? All the Miners would be driven away? How the network would process the Blocks if miners are driven away?