Mining XMR Monero With AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Cards – Over 2050 H/s

AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics cards do very well on the CryptoNight proof-of-work algorithm and miners are using them to mine Monero, Electroneum, Sumokoin, Bytecoin and Karbo. This is because the profitability is better on those coins than Ethereum that uses the Ethash proof-of-work algorithm. It’s tough to find an AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card due to this. You might get lucky and find some in-stock at Amazon or Newegg, but it is tough. If you switch tactics and look for used AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 cards on eBay you’ll quickly find that they are selling for well over $900.

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 eBay

Paying close to $1,000 for a new or used AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 is crazy considering you could pick one up for just under $570 direct from Amazon in November 2017. What is the mining alternative to the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and Vega 56 cards?

AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition For Blockchain Pioneers

Meet the AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition (product page). This card was introduced back in June 2017 for $999 and was targeted at data scientists, immersion engineers, and product designers rather than gamers. AMD must be sitting on a pile of Radeon Vega Frontier Edition graphics cards that they are trying to move as they recently started marketing the card for “blockchain pioneers’ and the street pricing has been slashed to $749.99 shipped at places like Newegg to possibly get them moving.  That doesn’t bode well for resale value, but it should be worth mentioning that these cards are in-stock at $749. They have 64 compute units with 4,096 stream processors clocking at up to 1600 MHz and are loaded up with 16GB of HBM2 memory that has 483 GBps of memory bandwidth at stock speeds. They overclock just like the Radeon RX Vega 64 cards, so you can take that 16GB of HBM2 memory up to the 1050-1100 MHz range on most cards and get over 2000 H/s per card like a Vega 64.

AMD Radeon VEGA FE Mining XMR

We gave up trying to get several AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 cards and managed to get three AMD Radeon Frontier Edition cards and slapped them onto a test system. Our system consists of the following hardware:

AMD Radeon Vega FE Monero XMR Mining For 15 Minutes

After fighting the cards a bit we managed to get all three cards working with pretty good stability and are getting 6,165 H/s on the XMR-STAK-AMD mining utility by overclocking the cards memory up to 1100 MHz at 930 mV. This puts us at roughly 2,055 H/s per Vega Frontier Edition card, which is excellent.  Total system power draw at the wall is around 660 Watts with these settings. We are still tweaking this setup to make it more efficient. Right now we are doing a 24-hour mining test with the P7 core clock at 940 mV and that drops the overall system power down to roughly 620 Watts and the total hashrate to 6,145 H/s.

Monero Mining Profit Calculator

According to the Monero Mining Profit Calculator over at MyCryptoBuddy this setup will make $15.92 per day and after electric costs ($0.10 per kWh) we are looking at a profit of $14.34 per day. Last month when the difficulty was half of what it is now you would have been making around $32 per day in profit. The difficulty is going up, but hopefully the price of XMR will increase to help keep the profits per day up to where miners will be happy. Some Monero price prediction sites are showing that Monero will top $900 in 2018 and $3000 in 2020. We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the price of XMR Monero is going, but if those predictions come close to being right it will make many miners extremely happy.

Radeon Vega Frontier Edition

Hopefully this article helps those that are looking to buy and AMD Radeon RX Vega series card to mine with. Please don’t pay insane prices for AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 or Vega 56 cards when you can purchase the AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition for $749.99 shipped. We’d much rather own the Vega FE at $749 versus a used Vega 64 Air Cooled card for $920+ dollars. The ideal situation would be to find a Vega 64 or Vega 56 card for under $600 like they were back in November 2017. Mining with Vega FE cards is pretty tricky and are best done in a dedicated mining system due to the setup complexity. These cards are great for mining, but they aren’t for the gamer that is interested in mining in their spare time due to the fact that you have to run six month old blockchain drivers among other things.  That said, I’m tempted to pick up some risers and a couple more cards with the hopes of getting 10,000 H/s from this system!

We will end this with some tips for those that actually run out and purchase AMD Radeon Vega FE cards to mine with!

Setting up a single AMD Radeon Vega FE to mine is simple, but setting up more than one of them to mine was a bit tricky. Here is what we learned over the course of a week to get multiple AMD Radeon Vega FE graphics cards together on one platform.

  1. Clean install of Windows 10 Fall Creators with all necessary drivers
  2. Set the display and system to never turn off in Windows power options.
  3. Follow some of the online guides to increase virtual memory size and other tweaks you feel necessary (two great ones are here and here)
  4. Download AMD Software Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute GPU drivers (link)
  5. Install the drivers along with Radeon Settings and reboot (this goes against many of the online guides, but they aren’t running Vega FE cards and the regedit hacks don’t work)
  6. After rebooting you’ll need to go into Radeon Settings and disable CrossFire in Wattman. It only shows up on one card, so find it and disable it.
  7. Reset Vega drivers with device manager by disabling and enabling each card. You can write a script to do this automatically. If you get errors ensure you are using a 1080P 60Hz display with the HDMI port. A 144Hz gaming display wrecked our hashrate as did a display with NVIDIA G-Sync. We found we had better hashrate stability on HDMI over Displayport.
  8. Run xmr-stak-amd to start mining and verify your performance. It should be around 1700-1800 H/s at this point per card with the intensity set at 2000/2000 per card.
  9. Overclock the Vega FE cards in your system with OverDrivenTool
    1. Keep your miner running. Set your fans. For now, set the Min to 3500. Drop P7 CLK to 1407 MHz. Apply. Wait 30s and observe that H/s is stable. Drop your P7 Voltage by 50 mV. Apply. Wait 30s again, observe H/s stability. Repeat the above 2 steps until you hit 1 V. Depending on your luck, you can go down to 950 or even 900 mV (Rare).
    2. Next is the memory overclock. Keep the voltage the same. Instead of increasing voltage, increase your memclock by steps of 10. If you’re lucky, you should end up in the 1050-1100 MHz range. You can also reduce the voltage here as well, but take small increments. 950 mV is common, 900 mV is lucky.
    3. With 1407 MHZ @ 950 mV GPU + 1100 MHz @ 950 mV MEM, the hashrate should be around 2050 H/s per card. Continue to tweak these settings to get the best performance and efficiency that you can.
  10. Don’t use GPU-Z to monitor temperatures like we showed in the article. It kills your hashrate!
  11. If your hashrate drops drastically it might be due to heat on the HBM. Try to keep it under 70C.
  12. About once a day we notice that our overclocks get dropped from a Vega FE card. We leave OverDrivenTool open and just re-apply a saved overclock profile on the card that went back to stock speeds.
  13. If you need to restart the system or it crashes for any reason go into OverDrivenTool and reset each of the cards. Then disable/enable each card in device manager and then re-apply the OverDrivenTool profile.
  14. Buy a P3 P4400 Kill A Watt power meter ($18.53 shipped) as it will allow you to dial in the system for efficiency and you can see if a cards profile dropped by the power increase.
  15. Don’t want to run a monitor 24/7? Invest in an HDMI display emulator ($8.39 shipped for one or $6.50 each for two)

If you need any help or have any questions be sure to leave them in the comment section below.

Print
  • Michael Clark

    Hey there, did you put the FEs directly on the board in the x16 slots? I’m concerned about the two on the right being directly next to each other without space for the blower fan on the middle card to pull in air. If that’s how you’re doing it, are you seeing any issues with that card heating up or acting up?

  • Bob Jameson
    • Nathan Kirsch

      Is your voltage too low? I can’t drop my P7 state voltage below 945 without impacting XMR mining performance and stability. Try running it at 945mV and see if it holds longer.

      • Bob Jameson

        Yes, it does hold longer like 2 hrs but it drops it off after that. I’ll try to add in more juice to see if that helps. Thanks.

  • Wylie Hobbs

    Have you tested any more FE on a single board? I am planning on loading up a board with at least 6 FE but I’ve read a few places that it might be impossible to keep stable because the FE really wants to be on a 16x PCIe slot. Is that misinformation based on your experience?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      I just got back from CES 2018 and I’m trying to get some more cards in to try out. I also have more risers on order as I want to try them out.

    • hue

      I’m selling my FE due to its inconsistencies (at least when trying to incorporate other Vegas with it). I wouldn’t recommend the FE for mining at this point, unless its the only type of card you can get your hands on.

      • Michael Clark

        Please let me know if you put it up for sale. Thank you

      • Nathan Kirsch

        Have you tried Ethereum? I switched my Vega rig over to ETH rather than XMR as the profit per day was higher despite the higher power draw. I start out at around 42.5 MH/s on Vega FE before dropping to around 41.3 MH/s. I make around $16.50 per day on ETH versus $13 per day on XMR. That is factoring in power costs. (615 Watts XMR versus 750 Watts ETH) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cf6ef7d22b0f0e3038c3db2292cfc8927f90b72048b7614e451a5687156b950c.jpg

    • Dean

      Unless you’re mining in Linux, where you need Atomics support on the motherboard, you shouldn’t have any issues, Vega FE is technically no different than 64 other than clocks/voltages. The only limitation would be on the drivers side – if you can stack 4x 64’s, you can stack 4x FE’s.

  • Robert Pedersen

    Hey Everyone! A couple things.

    I am working with the Vega 56 and Vega 64, slightly different, but I feel like this will be a good forum for answers.

    I am using OverdriveN tool. What I am confused on is this. What numbers on the left (P1-7) should I try and lower/increase and what should I try and get their numbers too? I have a sapphire vega 56, a xfx Vega 64, a Power color vega 56 and a power color vega 64. For my 56’s after booting their base clock for value P7 is showing 1590, and my base clock for vega 64’s are 1630.

    Any help would be great, also, when running the jjs hashmonitor with the xmr stak program I can get the miner to run just fine but the jjs hash monitor can not detect the xmr stak daemon to start but I can load it just fine in my browser. Any tips there would be great.

    • john

      P1 to P7 are clock states. Your card shifts between those clock states based on load and other factors voltage/power/temperature etc.

      • Nathan Kirsch

        When mining XMR the card is in the P7 state for the core clock, so that is the clock you need to be most concerned with for mining!

    • hue

      google @circusdads vega mining guide and follow it to a “t”. If you have those cards ($$RARE-ISH$$), you should tune them up according to this guide.

      I have both of those cards too and get between 1900 (56’s) and 2040 (64’s) per card.

  • Paul Peterson

    I’d love to try this stuff out, BUT… how do you get xmr-stak to work? I just built a new i7 system with just one card in to test, the Vega FE. I keep getting the following output with error: [2018-01-08 20:11:41] : Compiling code and initializing GPUs. This will take a while…
    [2018-01-08 20:11:41] : Selected OpenCL platform index 1 doesn’t exist.
    Press any key to exit.

    This gets me nowhere, and CAST isn’t getting anywhere near these numbers.

    A little help? (No stranger to mining, btw.)

    Cheers!

    Paul

    • David Potter

      Paul, I was getting all kinds of crazy errors with my Vegas in xmr-stak. Try following this guide: http://vega.miningguides.com/ After the steps are followed and hashrate script is edited and run…I hash 1800+ h/s for each card. When the hashrate drops below the threshold, the mining software will reboot automatically. Specifically to your initial error, I believe you need to open the xmr-stak config file and index your gpu (listed in the steps of the guide). Basically, the script can’t find your OpenCL card because you haven’t pointed to it with an index (CastXMR and Claymore typical auto index) Hope it helps.

      • Paul Peterson

        Thanks! That helped alot; however, I had to cherry pick info due to mine being a Vega FE. The salient information was that there needs to be TWO gpu thread calls in the amd.txt file per GPU, which answered the question I had why my output only showed one hashrate for my gpu, not two like theirs did in the article (and the intensity 2000/2000 comment). I appreciate it very much!

        Now to solve the hashrate drop problem without using the fix he had in that guide. With the FE, it would be restarting every 5-10 mins. The hashrate drop is pretty quick. I’m hoping something else will fix it.

        • john

          restarting every 5-10 minutes just kills the 2k hashrate you would get from this card won’t it?

        • Nathan Kirsch

          how far are you seeing it drop? My drop is from 6150 to 5800 or about 5.7% of my hashing power. Might not be worth getting too upset over.

        • Athos Rache
  • disjohngo

    I’m a novice miner. Been mining for several weeks with a GTX970. I’m looking at the Vega Frontier as a good add to my old system which I’ve rebuilt in another room with Ubuntu. Is it possible to run a GTX 970 and a Vega FE on the same system? I’m not in it to win it but would not mind earning a profitable mining income while I’m at work. Or should I run the Nvidia GTX 970 on the Ubuntu rig? (sounds confusing as I reread this).

    • Nathan Kirsch

      You can, but depends on the coin and mining software. If you wanted to mine something like Ether it would be super easy with Claymore miner with nothing special needed on your end.

  • Richard

    Many thanks! I got stable 2100H/s. OverdriveNTool is essential and the device manager trick saves much time over the HBCC toggle. Other than turning everything off in my AMD console and using OverdriveNTool, there is nothing else custom about my setup. I believe temperature is the biggest factor. When running above 70C, I had about a 10% error rate and much slower, inconsistent H/s. GPU = 1600Mhz @ 950mv… Mem = 1100Mhz @ 950mv. I was able to set my mv at 900 for both without issue, but I didn’t see any difference in power or H/s, so I just left it at 950. If I lower the gpu Mhz down to default (1382Mhz), I only see a difference of about 50H/s and very little change in wattage. I only have one Vega FE card and my computer is running 60W idle and 310W mining. So 250 watts total for the card? I don’t know how else to gauge power consumption. I would love to get that down under 200 watts like some were saying, even if I had to sacrifice some H/s.

  • Lee Aguiña

    I have a Vega 64 at 1105 MHZ 35%+ power and its stable but it Says 2000hz for a little than drops to 1900 than stays stable at 1695 so people who say they get 2000hz only show the highest they are getting not the sable amount so yeah if i could get 2000h stable it be great buts its only 1695

    • Richard

      Not true. I get stable ~2090H/s. Follow his directions. However, I would say don’t let your temps get over 65C. Set the target temp in OverdriveNTool to 65.

    • hue

      My vega 64’s are very stable at ~2030-2040. Temps low, nice and quiet(ish). The hashrate begins quite high when I start xmr-stak, then settles in to 2030, but this is due to the difficulty being adjusted for the chosen pool port. Nothing to do with the unit itself (or at least thats what i’ve been told)

  • jeremy Del Castillo

    Hi Nathan,
    Do you think this system can be scaled with 5cards per board? I know Vega 64’s have stability issues after 5 cards. I’d love to make a rig like this because like you said, the FE is cheaper and easier to come by. Plus your performance numbers seem very close to a Vega 64. Cool results though. Thanks for the post.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      I’m off to CES 2018, but I will try more when I get back!

      • Alex

        I read somewhere that the card does not behave properly with raisers on PCI-e x1 slots. Perhaps you are running your three FE on the x16 in your Z170. Very keen to know what happens if we plug one of them in the x1. My motherboard only has a single x16 😛

        • Nathan Kirsch

          correct, I’m running it all on the boards x16 slots, but two are x8 electrically.

    • Adrian Pritchard

      I just built a rig with 6 x Vega FE. Everything works..ish.. they hash at 9150 on XMR Stak. My other rig which is 6 x Vega 64 hashes at 12722. Hopefully AMD will release better drivers and the miner guys can optimize for the 16gb vram.. until then, I’m still happy 🙂

      • Wudafuxup

        Those number are pretty horrible. I have 8 vega 64s hashing 16080 at 1390W and 6 vega frontiers hashing 12480 at 1040W. I believe I am the first ever to be able to run more than 3 vega frontiers on risers. I will release a youtube video showing how to bypass the disable/enable in the next few days until I can verify everything is working properly.

        • Alex

          Looking forward to the youtube 🙂

        • Adrian Pritchard

          let’s see it 🙂 I think I subscribed to your chanel on youtube. I’m now running 2 x 6 x Vega FE Rigs.. all on risers 😉

          What are you mining on it?

        • Naveed Ahmed

          Hi how to use on risers ? I had problems with disable enable 🙂

        • Jeff

          Yes plz show. I need all the help I can get thx so much in advance

        • john

          Yea right. Running 8 vegas for few seconds and having sustained hash rates are totally on different levels.

        • James Dubois

          Posted the video yet? What’s your YouTube channel?

        • hue

          Enabling/disabling Frontiers on risers is no big deal. Are you all ready?

          1. right click on windows icon
          2. device manager
          3. right click on the FE
          4. disable
          5. wait for a few moments
          6. right click on display adapters
          7. scan for hardware changes
          8. restart windows
          9. repeat steps 1-3
          10. enable

          the pita is having to restart windows in between the disable/enable. gets old after awhile

        • Spam Tester

          This leaves the FE @1500H/s, just like not disabling/enabling in the first place. The whole point of disable/enable is to get to 2000H/s. Am I missing something?

    • hue

      I’ve had no stability issues with 6 vegas. I think thats an urban legend or some issue with motherboards that use that “m.2” (or whatever its called) connection rather than PCIe’s. Get a mobo with at least 6 PICe slots and you’re fine

      • jeremy Del Castillo

        I have the Asus Z270-a and can’t seem to get it running stable at 5 cards plus.Do you think its the mobo I’m using or my settings?

    • Athos Rache

      The issue is MOBO related. Dont use gaming boards with Vega!
      Ga H110 DA3 !

  • Alex

    Hi Nathan,
    How are you doing with your 3 FE after running them for a few days?
    Are they stable at 2000+ H/s? Mine should be on the way, just wondering if you have any extra tips. Anyone tried using them on Linux so far to mine XMR?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      I get a dip from around 6100 H/s down to 5700 H/s and it’s solved with a restart of the mining utility. The lower the core voltage the more frequent the drop it appears. The overclock has ‘dropped’ out once since the article was posted, so just had to apply it to one card one time. I’ve been playing with Windows Task Scheduler to start the miner and then have it repeat every so many hours.

  • unsivilaudio

    The only time Vega makes sense is if you live in a region where electricity is expensive. Otherwise stick to Polaris based gpus for Cryptonight, most bang for the buck.

  • hue

    I’m only able to get ~1490 H/s out of my FE. I have a rig with 2, Vega 64’s and 1, Vega FE. Please see the specs below and let me know what I should be doing differently.

    Thanks!

    Specs:

    * AMD Blockchain driver installed

    * No soft power play tables for FE (64’s using the 1100MHZ, “circusdad” tables)

    * Restart all cards in device manager
    The FE is tricky. Has to be disabled, then rig turned off, then reenabled after starting up.

    * OverdriveNTool settings:

    [Profile_3]
    Name=VegaFE_OC
    GPU_P0=852;800
    GPU_P1=991;900
    GPU_P2=1084;900
    GPU_P3=1138;900
    GPU_P4=1150;900
    GPU_P5=1202;900
    GPU_P6=1212;905
    GPU_P7=1400;900
    Mem_P0=167;800;0
    Mem_P1=500;900;0
    Mem_P2=800;950;0
    Mem_P3=1070;900
    Fan_Min=4000
    Fan_Max=4900
    Fan_Target=75
    Fan_Acoustic=2400
    Power_Temp=85
    Power_Target=0

    * xmr-stak settings: (Index 1 is the FE)

    “gpu_threads_conf” : [
    // gpu: gfx901 memory:3920
    // compute units: 64
    { “index” : 0, “intensity” : 1920, “worksize” : 8, “affine_to_cpu” : false, “strided_index” : true },
    { “index” : 0, “intensity” : 1920, “worksize” : 8, “affine_to_cpu” : false, “strided_index” : true },
    { “index” : 1, “intensity” : 2016, “worksize” : 8, “affine_to_cpu” : false, “strided_index” : true },
    { “index” : 1, “intensity” : 2016, “worksize” : 8, “affine_to_cpu” : false, “strided_index” : true },
    { “index” : 2, “intensity” : 1920, “worksize” : 8, “affine_to_cpu” : false, “strided_index” : true },
    { “index” : 2, “intensity” : 1920, “worksize” : 8, “affine_to_cpu” : false, “strided_index” : true },
    ],

    * Output:
    HASHRATE REPORT – AMD
    | ID | 10s | 60s | 15m | ID | 10s | 60s | 15m |
    | 0 | 1012.1 | 1015.6 | 1016.9 | 1 | 1012.3 | 1017.3 | 1017.1 |
    | 2 | 737.4 | 736.9 | 730.2 | 3 | 736.0 | 737.3 | 730.1 |
    | 4 | 1016.8 | 1018.5 | 1018.3 | 5 | 1020.7 | 1018.4 | 1018.3 |
    —————————————————–
    Totals: 5535.4 5543.9 5531.0 H/s
    Highest: 5564.2 H/s

    • Nathan Kirsch

      I have been unable to successfully match Radeon RX Vega cards and Radeon Vega FE cards in the same system. I tried it for a couple days and gave up. I need to note that in my tips. Performance is all over the place, but when I was fighting that setup I was on a G-Sync spare monitor and ditching that for a ‘normal’ 1080p 60hz HDMI display did wonders for me. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/28d6c23eefba0a6134238ff09d154c8998ee1fc619563bccece9bda5c60e3b4c.jpg

      • Naveed Ahmed

        Did exactly as your guide step by step it gives 1490 everytime I have to disable restart and renable or it gives an error. what am I doing wrong have reinstalled windows twice just to make sure I didn’t have any issues with anything

        • Nathan Kirsch

          Are you mixing and matching different cards in the system? Please list your full system specifications.

        • Naveed Ahmed

          I have 3 vega fe only in the ststem i have a 1080 tv connected by hdmi also tried a 1080 monitor on hdmi

        • Nathan Kirsch

          and you did everything else mentioned? If it gives an error how are you getting the 1490 per card? Is it the Error 43 on the graphics card?

        • Joe

          In my experience the enable disable does not work unless the card is plugged into the PCI x16 slot directly. Have you had any success using risers?

        • Serge

          Awwww man that is going to be a game breaker… If you can’t disable/enable the cards on risers they are worthless for any form of serious mining.. I just tried it and it does disable/enable when plugged directly into the 16x slot… Might have to return these if I can’t figure something out.

        • Nathan Kirsch

          Are your risers using a 6-pin to 6-pin connector?

        • Nathan Kirsch

          I just have three Vega FE cards, so not tried x1 risers yet. When I get back from CES 2018 I’ll try it out. Sadly, that will be a week from now.

        • Naveed Ahmed
        • Jeff

          Looks great! Money making machine!

        • Miles

          Nice machine. Can I ask what motherboard and case you are using? I’d like to do something similar.

        • Naveed Ahmed

          Asus rampage extreme with carbide air 540

        • Miles

          Thanks for the info. How’s the noise level? I’m looking to put in next to my desk. I heard the FE’s can be pretty loud.

        • Naveed Ahmed

          Tried but failed on risers need to be on motherboard slots directly

        • Naveed Ahmed

          Risers didnt work only got 2kh on x16 slot that to not set on gen 1

        • Jeff

          I am having same problem Nathan. Wont go over 1450 only have one card that is attached with a riser

        • Nathan Kirsch

          Just curious are you using the USB risers or a ribbon riser? You can get a ribbon 1x riser and cut the back out with a razor blade to fit a x16 card. I did this trick back in May/June when everything USB sold out and they worked great.

        • Jeff

          Usb Riser. And I actual got mine too work last night. I had to run the Monitor through it and I got the 2nd thread to run properly. Not sure which of those 2 fixed it. But then went to bed and it crashed it looks like….

        • Nathan Kirsch

          Are any on riser cards? Others have noted they are having issues with risers.

    • Alex

      Hi Nathan,
      How are you doing with your 3 FE after running them for a few days?
      Are they stable at 2000+ H/s? Mine should be on the way, just wondering if you have any extra tips. Anyone tried using them on Linux so far to mine XMR?

    • Naveed Ahmed

      Card needs to be on x16 slot on the board. You can mix but the fe will not work on risers to get u the 2kh on the board you will get 2100 h stable