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What to go with in mining? AMD vs Nvidia

July 18, 2020, 4 p.m.

🤔 The Reds or the Greens?

What are the technologies behind?

Cool AMD and cooler Nvidia, or vice-versa? Which one makes the most money out of the buck?

Answering all these questions in the following article and sharing tips on how to get the best GPU!

GPU architectures

AMD and Nvidia rival each other for the mining GPUs niche.

Companies offer different technologies and approaches to attract customers of different needs. The image below depicts the most recent GPU architectures, one next to another, to understand each's engineering differences.

AMD Navi & Nvidia Turing architecture comparison

The critical distinction between the two (apart from the block construction) is in the task scheduling.

  • Nvidia utilizes a universal platform to plan and compute simultaneously in a two-step cycle; it is called CUDA.
  • AMD went for a process separation with the SIMD and four events in a cycle.

These simply do not affect hashrates or frames per second at all. The video chips and clock speeds do.

Most importantly, even mining cannot overload any of the approaches. In actual use, only architectures do not give any difference in performance because the internal structure and content of the blocks are almost identical. The chips themselves and their frequencies play a much more significant role.

Worth to note, one new color is coming. Intel had been planning to enter the GPU market for quite a while. Last year the Blues finally made an announcement and hosted several presentations regarding the future graphics lineup. It is believed, the cards will receive the combination of architectures and offer a "moderate price tag." Nevertheless, it is only performance, which will determine the sufficiency of the newcomers.

Intel has been developing its GPUs for a long time and finally released its first video cards - Intel Arc A770 and A750. Of course, it will be challenging to keep up with the mastodons of the industry, but the company has taken the first confident steps. The graphics cards are cheap enough to compete with Nvidia and AMD but with compromises.

How do GPU models differ?

Lineups are created to allow every customer to find the perfect video card in any budget.

  • Top-tier solutions lack any weaknesses; they are ready for tough loads.
  • Cheaper options receive worse chips, less memory, and other limitations.

Although, cheaper = worse since it could be practical to find a balanced trade-off between price and performance and benefit from that!

We consider consumer GPUs only since Nvidia Quadro, A, P, T, V or AMD FirePro are inefficient in mining by profit/cost terms

Video memory (VRAM)

Modern GPUs mostly board enough fast memory for any task; nearly every option out on the market has at least 6-8 Gb of GDDR6 or GDDR6X.

It both allows games to load dozens of smooth high-res textures and store bubbling DAG files in mining. Smaller VRAM size is dangerous in 2022-2023.

Found on several AMD cards, HMB2 simply utilizes a different approach to bandwidth and does not affect hashrate in any way

Whether there are Hynix, Samsung, or Micron chips in the VRAM, it says a lot about the GPU.

One can overclock a video card, and it is known, Samsung's go the highest among the competition in the memory field. We have already covered the topic in memory tuning and overclocking and ETHlargementPill articles.

Memory and timings overclocking can grant you up to 10-15% in hashrate!

Nvidia users benefit the most. Nvidia users benefit the most. Overclocking is much more comfortable and user-friendly than AMD, whose users statistically tend to Google for instructions. How to flash BIOS an AMD graphics card?

To avoid wasting time looking for a suitable overclock, use our overclocking database for any graphics card!

Video chips

GPU cores matter the most, be it Nvidia's CUDA or AMD's Streaming Processors.

  • The more of these the chip has, the more powerful and profitable it is.
  • Do not forget about the core clock speed!

Nvidia Turing GPUs comparison

Producers put different chips into different models within the lineup. RTX 2080 Super has TU104 with 3072 CUDA cores, the best configuration the chip has.

Weaker cards with the same chip receive it with the entire compute units disabled because of the rejection procedure.

But old AMD cards cant agree with that simple logic. RX580 is the same RX480, but with a little overlock. For some reason, the marketing team decided to confuse the customers and gave the chip a new name. It is always important to look up for additional details on each card to ensure no one tricks you.

Recent AMD's comparison

Fortunately, current AMD lineups are free of weird marketing decisions. RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT perfectly align with the best-card-with-the-chip and rejected-chip model. And what is cool of AMDs, these often carry a feature to flash the GPU BIOS and bring the weaker card's performance to the top level!

Look at AMD RX 6000 Series family - it is interesting.

In an attempt to capture all the market price segments, AMD released so many budget cards that it became difficult for users to figure out which one to choose!

We decided to simplify the choice for you: if you are going to play and mine, stick out models between the RX 6600 XT and RX 6800 XT.

  • Variants below RX 6600 XT are not capable of anything.
  • Options older than RX 6800 XT are an overpayment that will not give you an advantage.
  • Recommended model for mining is RX 6700 XT. Balance of price, power, and electricity consumption.

A little later, AMD released an updated line of AMD RX 6X50 Series graphics cards. RX 6750 XT, RX 6850 XT, RX 6950 XT… Graphics cards have gotten a little more powerful, but not for mining. The manufacturer increased the memory clock speed but worsened the memory timings, negatively affecting the hash rate.

The newer and more expensive RX 6850 XT will mine worse than the older RX 6800 XT.

Power and cooling

GPU designs vary a lot, and it is OK to ignore the most advanced options. There is almost no difference in hashrate between the top and best-for-the-buck editions of the same video card. Go for ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, or whatever fits in your budget the most. Even the "weakest" heat spreaders and fans run any given card cool. More on that in our video on Youtube:

Red-/Green-only algorithms

Back in 2015-17, one could find AMD-exclusive or Nvidia-only miners, whereas today, nearly every piece of software supports products of either company.

Kryptex packs the most profitable up-to-day algorithms, which are available to both AMD and Nvidia users!

Available algorithms in Kryptex

Kryptex always automatically switches to the most profitable algorithm to get the most out of your GPU!

So, AMD or Nvidia?

None of the producers could be put one above another. Every customer should take "Listen to Your Heart" song's advice and find what fits the best personally. One should better focus on some models comparison, rather than merely fortune on Reds or Greens.

But Nvidia folks are lucky in some ways. The universal driver requires no mode changes to switch from gaming to mining and back. And electricity bills are generally cheaper.

At the end of 2022 - the beginning of 2023, Nvidia video cards hold a confident lead. Nvidia RX 3000 Series took the lead in gaming performance and terms of profitability in mining. The only negative is the price. Mining fever has raised prices that do not want to fall.

We hope that 2023 will be more favorable to consumers 😉

The best video card on the market

Always go for a model, not the producer!

Almost perfect GPU portrait

It is best to use prior experience to guide you through the debris.

Kryptex's Best GPUs for mining page will show you the most profitable video card by daily income or payback, display the perfect hashrates, and help you with the tuning! We update the list regularly.

Need some help? 💡

Ask questions in the Kryptex community on Reddit or Discord.

Our experienced users share their experiences and help each other in difficult situations. Discuss overclocking, firmware and share your ideas!

Or write to Kryptex directly: 💪🏻

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