Fortunately, just as we were expecting, AMD has released a new beta driver that provides a nice boost to block chain compute performance. The new test driver is aptly named, “Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition Beta for Blockchain Compute”. That sure is a mouthful, but what does it entail? AMD offers the following caveats to consider before installing the driver:
- This driver is provided as a beta level support driver which should be considered "as is" and will not be supported with further updates, upgrades or bug fixes
- This driver is not intended for graphics or gaming workloads
- Optimized performance for Blockchain Compute Workloads
That last point is all we needed to hear before we decided to break out our Ethereum benchmarking rig, so without further ado, here’s what we found:
As you can see, we’re getting some pretty significant gains already (at stock speeds) with this beta driver. We wouldn’t be surprised if there are even further optimizations to be found, once AMD is ready to go with a production driver, but we’ll take what we can get right now. We did have one performance anomaly that we ran into, however. When cranking up the memory speeds, the Vega 56 actually vaulted past the Vega 64, cranking out 36.48 MH/s. That’s not bad for a card that's supposed to retail for $399.
As for power consumption, here’s how things panned out (total system power based on our test system here):
- Radeon RX Vega 56 Stock = 288 watts
- Radeon RX Vega 56 1900MHz Memory = 290 watts
- Radeon RX Vega 64 Stock = 360 watts
- Radeon RX Vega 64 2GHz Memory = 361 watts
Another positive attribute of this beta driver release is that card temperatures while mining have decreased across the board. Take the Vega 64 for example; temperature measurements taken on the back of the card dropped from 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 143 degrees. In addition, overall power draw was much more stable and with lower peak draw than we had seen with the previous driver's performance.
We should mention that the instability and crashing, while mining, that we saw with the previous driver used for our Radeon RX Vega review has been resolved with this release. With all things considered, we’re encouraged by AMD’s commitment to mining performance and we look forward to seeing what the future holds – even if we don’t hit that magic 100 MH/s mark.