Ethereum GPU Cryptocurrency AMD/NVIDIA Mining Performance For Christmas 2017

Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 19 December 2017 at 08:00 PM EST. Page 1 of 3. 14 Comments.

With the end of the year quickly approaching, here's a look at how the current AMD Radeon vs. NVIDIA GeForce GPU cryptocurrency mining performance is playing out for Ethereum Ethminer with OpenCL. Tests were done on 14 graphics cards using the latest drivers and in addition to looking at the raw GPU mining performance are also performance-per-Watt and performance-per-dollar metrics.

An Intel Core i7 7740X system running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS x86_64 served as the host for this round of testing. Ethereum Ethminer was obtained from its Launchpad PPA.

On the AMD Radeon side was its latest ROCm 1.6-based OpenCL compute implementation available via AMD's Xenial packages on the ROCm GitHub site. The modern Radeon GPUs I had available for testing were the Radeon RX 560, RX 580, R9 Fury, RX Vega 56, and RX Vega 64. Testing of the RX 550 2GB was also attempted but Ethminer was emitting an error due to the 2GB video memory size.

On the NVIDIA side was the latest 387.34 driver that provides its OpenCL 1.2 support via CUDA 9.1.98. The modern NVIDIA cards I had available for testing included the nearly complete Pascal line-up of the GT 1030, GTX 1050, GTX 1060, GTX 1070, GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1080, and GTX 1080 Ti. While the RX 550 with 2GB vRAM had issues with Ethminer, the GT 1030 and GTX 1050 with 2GB of video memory experienced no troubles. For additional perspective on these numbers for cryptocurrency mining are also runs with the older Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 Ti.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite the Ethminer benchmark was carried out. The Phoronix Test Suite was also logging the GPU temperature as exposed via the respective driver, monitoring the overall AC system power consumption for each test using a WattsUp Pro power meter, and generating performance-per-dollar graphs based upon pricing available from Amazon and NewEgg for the respective retail graphics cards.

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