For a while now, ASICs have been dominating most cryptocurrencies leaving us, GPU miners, with few options to choose from. The latest addition by Nvidia haven’t really made a change in our GPU preferences – the RTX 2080 is considered to be slightly better than the GTX 1080 Ti, though not enough to trigger a new mining gold rush.
The reason is simple – the main innovation of the 12nm RTX 20xx series is the hardware support of Ray Tracing – a technology that allows games to have realistic real-time lighting and reflections. Specs-wise, RTX 20xx cards do not offer that much compared to the 1080 Ti (You can check my RTX 2080 vs 1080Ti mining comparison here, and the RTX 2080Ti one here.)
The upcoming AMD Vega 20 series might bring something new to the mining scene. Unlike the RTX 20xx, the Vega 20 family features 7nm chip technology, which opens a lot of possibilities. AMD has officially confirmed that they will be releasing their next-gen GPUs in late 2018 and 7nm CPUs in 2019. The first ones to be released will more likely be the professional cards, followed by the models that are meant for gamers (and probably miners?).
According to AMD official specs, the AMD Vega 20 will feature 53% higher performance than its predecessor the Vega 10 (20 TFLOPS vs 13 TFLOPS). Clock-wise, the Vega 20 is rumored to feature 30% higher clocks than the Vega 10 (1250 MHz vs 950 MHz). With a 100% bigger 4096bit memory bus and 300% wider 1.28 Terabyte/s memory bandwidth, the Vega 20 might be pretty interesting for memory-intensive algos.
Will the AMD Vega 20 Be Good for Mining?
While no one knows for sure whether these new cards will be good miners, we do know that 7nm ASICs proved to be superior to those with bigger die size. Even though the first 7nm ASIC by the Japanese company GMO Group was pretty much a failure, the 7nm ASICs that followed it proved to be quite revolutionary. When configured properly, 7nm chips feature lower power consumption and better performance than its bigger predecessors.
This means that unlike the RTX 20xx series that are meant for gaming, the Vega 20 Navi might be more like a powerful all-purpose GPU with unseen computing power and memory bandwidth. My only concern is price. The Vega 56 and 64 initial release price was pretty insane in the beginning and we might see the same scenario happen to the Vega 20 family.
While I am not 100% positive that the upcoming Vega cards might be the new big thing, I do look forward learning more about the cards and hopefully getting one for testing as soon as I can. Who knows, maybe Vega 20 GPUs will become the RX 470 of 2019? AMD has been lagging behind lately, though that does not necessarily mean that they don’t have a comeback planned.
Whatever is the case, I do expect the Vega 10 family cards to drop in price once the new generation is released. While Vega 56 and 64 GPUs aren’t the best miners now they might become pretty interesting for the average miner if their market price drops by 20-30%.
Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.
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