Performance Tests Show AMD Radeon RX Vega Graphics Cards Love Mining XMR Monero
We’ve talked about mining Ethereum extensively here on Legit Reviews, but there are over 1,300 different coins that you can have in your crypto portfolio. Bitcoin and Ethereum have become household names in recent weeks now that everyone is talking about the rise of cryptocurrency in general. When it comes to mining coins the options are far fewer and there are a number of different algorithms being used. One coin that is being discussed more frequently here lately in the AMD GPU mining community is Monero or XMR. Monero has a total market cap ~$5 billion USD, making it the Worlds 11th most valuable cryptocurrency.
Monero uses the CryptoNight proof-of-work algorithm that does not appear to do well with custom ASIC development. That is good news for anyone that owns a PC as you can mine it with a normal GPU or CPU for the foreseeable future. Monero, an open-source cryptocurrency created in April of 2014, was trading at around $326 when we published this article. AMD Radeon RX Vega owners seem to be doing pretty well mining Monero if you look at the Reddit comments, but it was a Tweet from Chris Hook, Sr. Director, Global Product Marketing at AMD, that caught our attention last week.
Miners are using AMD Vega GPU powered products and are getting impressive performance numbers on the CryptoNight algorithm. Many are following The Definitive Mining Guide For Monero and Vega by hallae on Reddit to get over 2000 H/s on a Vega 64 graphics card. For example installing the AMD blockchain beta driver only and creating a custom powerplay table in the Windows registry like it is shown in the guide we just linked will get you results like this:
- AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition ($749): 1800H/s (Usually starts around 2100H/s and drops to 1800H/s after a bit)
- AMD Radeon Vega 56 ($409): 1940H/s
- AMD Radeon Vega 64 ($500): 2030H/s
- AMD Radeon Vega 64 Custom Board Partner Card (using reference vBIOS): 2050H/s
We just had to try this out for ourselves on our AMD Radeon Vega 64 Liquid Cooled model!
Our system consists of the following hardware:
- ASUS Z170 Deluxe Motherboard – $225 shipped
- Intel Celeron G3930 Processor – $43.99 shipped
- Drevo X1 Pro 64GB SSD – $39.99 shipped
- 16GB DDR4 2400MHz Corsair Vengeance Memory – $179.00 shipped
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled – $799 shipped
- Corsair AX860iW Power Supply – $181.99 shipped
- open air case (aka table)
We used the XMR-STAK-AMD miner (Cast XMR miner will get you higher hash values, but many don’t use it since the code is not open) and we were able to get a 15 minute average hashrate of 2009 H/s from a single Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card. For comparison sake a typical NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 will do 700 H/s, a GeForce GTX 1080 will do around 650 H/s and a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti can do around 900 H/s. AMD VEGA GPU powered cards are a beast when it comes to the CryptoNight algorithm! What does 2009 H/s from a single Radeon RX Vega 64 mean in dollars?
We still need to work on our custom powerplay tables in Windows, but for one Vega64 card we are making just over $5 per day or about $156 of profit per month by mining. That is with the system getting 101 Watts at idle and then using 321 Watts at load. We’ll be working on getting that number down with registry edits here shortly. You can play around with the XMR profit calculator on CryptoCompare yourself to see about what your dream mining rig will bring in.
If you look at the profit per day mining on a Vega 64 at 2000 H/s on Monero (XMR) you make about 51% more than mining Ethereum (ETH) at 40 MH/s.
Here is a screen capture for those that might be wondering about what settings we are using. We are using OverdriveNTool and GPU-Z to overclock our Vega GPU and to monitor power consumption. We have the core clock down to 1200 MHz at 905 mV and the HBM2 memory is clocked at 1100 MHz with 900 mV. The GPU temperature it at 47C with the HBM temperature at 50C. Not bad temperatures, but keep in mind this is the liquid cooled card and we have the minimum fan speed for the water cooler bumped up to 1500 RPM.
The bad news is that it is extremely hard to find AMD Radeon Vega 56 or AMD Radeon Vega 64 graphics cards. For example, the Gigabyte Radeon RX Vega 56 could be purchased directly from Amazon in October/November for $409.99 shipped. That card has been out of stock for weeks as you could make your back mining with that card in under three months at current prices and difficulty levels. We couldn’t find any Vega 56 or Vega 64 cards in stock for under $1,000 on Amazon or Newegg when we published this article, but we did find that Newegg is selling Radeon Vega Frontier Edition 16GB HBM2 video cards for $739.99 shipped and has them available with a limit of 1 per customer.
If you happen to have an AMD Radeon Vega graphics cards sitting around in your gaming PC, we highly suggest looking into mining with it when you aren’t gaming. You should also look into other alt coins as there are more things to mine out there than Ethereum. AMD Radeon VEGA cards are really good at CryptoNight, so give coins like Monero and Electroneum a closer look!
We are in the era of the Gamer/Miner and who doesn’t want to make money from that PC they already have built. Mine with what you got and if you want to make even more money fill up those empty PCIe slots with more cards to bump up the profits!
12/25/2017 Update: We got a change to play with the Soft Power Play Table in the Windows Registry and it made a huge difference. We went from around 320 Watts when mining Monero down to 180 Watts with one Vega 64 Liquid Cooled card in the system. The cards temperatures also dropped down nicely! Best of all, the profits went up as we are using less power and the price for XMR is up to around $350 now. This card will get around 44 MH/s mining Ethereum, which comes out to $4.40 per day versus the roughly $5.50 a day that we get with Monero. Good stuff!