15-Way NVIDIA/AMD OpenCL GPU Linux Benchmarks Of Ethereum Ethminer

Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 5 June 2017 at 02:49 PM EDT. Page 1 of 3. 16 Comments.

With the Ethereum cryptocurrency generating lots of buzz recently due to its rising valuation and being excellent for mining on GPUs, here are some Ubuntu Linux benchmarks when testing many different GeForce and Radeon graphics cards with the Ethminer OpenCL support, including performance-per-dollar and performance-per-Watt metrics.

Ethereum has been generating a lot of interest recently by many parties, including Phoronix readers. One of the extra benefits of being a Phoronix Premium member is priority access for email responses from me for interesting technical inquiries or benchmarking requests. One of the requests that came in this weekend from a new lifetime member who joined for the Phoronix 13th birthday with our discounted special had requested some benchmarks of Ethminer on different GPUs under Linux. Thus I set out to learn more about this GPU-friendly cryptocurrency.

Fortunately, Ethminer has a benchmark mode, runs nicely on Linux, and can easily be deployed on Ubuntu via a PPA. After some initial tests and being pleased with Ethminer as a benchmark, there's now an Ethminer test profile so you can easily automate your Ethminer benchmarking via the Phoronix Test Suite (https://www.phoronix-test-suite.com/). There's support for running Ethminer on the CPU or running it on a GPU via OpenCL. It's as easy as running phoronix-test-suite benchmark ethminer if you have Ethminer present on your system and running Phoronix Test Suite 7.2.

With the test profile in place, it can be benchmarked in a fully-automated and standardized manner via the Phoronix Test Suite. From there we make use of the PTS modules for performance-per-Watt monitoring (interfacing with a WattsUp Pro USB power meter for system AC power use) as well as performance-per-dollar metrics on relevant newer cards still available for retail via Amazon.

- Radeon R9 290
- Radeon RX 480
- Radeon RX 560
- Radeon RX 580
- Radeon R9 Fury
- GeForce GTX 780 Ti
- GeForce GTX 960
- GeForce GTX 970
- GeForce GTX 980
- GeForce GTX 980 Ti
- GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
- GeForce GTX 1060
- GeForce GTX 1070
- GeForce GTX 1080
- GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Of my available GeForce and Radeon cards for benchmarking, I benchmarked the newer ones but the selection was further limited by Ethminer needing around 4GB of VRAM or greater. But even with some of my older AMD GCN 4GB graphics cards, Ethminer wouldn't run on all of them. The NVIDIA driver in use was the 381.22 release while AMDGPU-PRO 17.10 provided OpenCL for the AMD graphics cards atop this Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS installation. For additional reference, the result file also contains a CPU-based run with the Core i7 7700K processor.

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