CryptoCurrency Mining with GPUs *spawn*

Discussion in 'Architecture and Products' started by CarstenS, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. CarstenS

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    Apparently, Radeon RX 580/570 are in tight supply because of a newly resurrected interest in cryptocurrency mining, which in turn is due to the skyrocketing exchange rates.
    https://www.computerbase.de/2017-06/radeon-rx-580-570-mining/

    While good for AMDs sales of GPUs if they can ramp up production fast enough, is it only me or can this also be a bad thing for AMD at the same time? Because! Nominal market share is rising because of sales numbers, but market share with gamers might not rise as fast or even drop if, as Computerbase voiced it's concerns, people buy a Geforce instead when the respective Radeon is out of stock.

    Steam HW survey (as biased or incomplete as you might deem it based on your personal perference/experience), seems not to see a surge in Radeon use:
    http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/videocard/?sort=chg
    (sorted by %-change in April from March) and RX 5xx does not even show up, while RX 460, 470 and 480 see a mild increase (+0,06/0,05 percentage points)

    I am a bit worried here.
    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Kaotik

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    As long as Steam claims one OEM HD 8800 card, on market for a year, is used more than all the HD 7800's, sold several years, I'm not giving it any weight really.
     
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  3. CarstenS

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    But nothing really on-topic?

    Because it's really about the RX580/570 shortage allegedly caused by mass buys from mining farms and it's implications for AMDs market- and mindshare with gamers. Even if you do not believe steam - and of course you are free to quote different sources - that was the main point, with steam only being one indicator.
     
  4. Anarchist4000

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    I've seen 3 steam hardware surveys in the past couple years. All after booting from Linux to windows. Can't say I put much stock in those results.

    Does Wanna Cry accept Etherum? Can't help but think this boom has something to do with malware or a country skirting financial restrictions.

    As for the shortage, would have been a good time to release Vega or Raven.
     
  5. ToTTenTranz

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    IIRC, mining was a substantial problem for the 7000 series too. But mining doesn't seem to be a problem that persists for too long for each graphics card.
    Regardless, IMO the RX580 / 570 were such bad deals for consumers compared to the late RX400 with 3rd-party coolers that I don't even think these shortages are making any real difference in marketshare.


    It's the topic you brought up yourself...
    Steam's Hardware Survey has been brought up several times in this forum and most facts (like the one @Kaotik mentioned) point to its charts being completely bogus, at least regarding graphics cards.

    According to Steam's Hardware survey, the AMD GPU that rose the most in global marketshare during April was the HD 8470D. That's a pre-GCN iGPU from the 32nm Richland APU for socket FM2 that went on sale in 2013. Right after that is the similar 8370D from another APU of the same family.
    The HD7700 series rose more in global share than the GTX470.

    The sheer ridiculousness of this data puts away all credibility of that survey.
    And no, there's no other public survey of graphics cards that I know of, other than the ones we see in enthusiast sites with equally non-plausible results (e.g. more AMD cards than nvidia).
     
  6. CarstenS

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    Ok, so you two don't like the steam HW survey. Got it, thank you for your participation.

    Apparently, Radeon RX 580/570 are in tight supply because of a newly resurrected interest in cryptocurrency mining, which in turn is due to the skyrocketing exchange rates.
    https://www.computerbase.de/2017-06/radeon-rx-580-570-mining/
    While good for AMDs sales of GPUs if they can ramp up production fast enough, is it only me or can this also be a bad thing for AMD at the same time? Because! Nominal market share is rising because of sales numbers, but market share with gamers might not rise as fast or even drop if, as Computerbase voiced it's concerns, people buy a Geforce instead when the respective Radeon is out of stock. I am a bit worried here. Thoughts?
     
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  7. ImSpartacus

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    • Short term: Sales & higher prices help get cash to AMD.
    • Long term: The mining craze eventually ends and cheap used GPUs flood the market, stunting new sales.
    This already happened with Hawaii a couple years ago. It's one of the reasons Hawaii dropped in price so hard. It's not good when the used market forces you to sell an unused 438mm2 GPU with a 512-bit bus for $200-300.
     
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  8. DavidGraham

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    Yep, that is a problem that seems endemic to AMD GPUs during the past several years, if not enough gamers buy AMD, then their brand recognition dwindles, every potential buyer AMD loses, goes to NVIDIA, which helps their market share and developer relations/game optimizations efforts subsequently, as developers prioritize optimizations to their hardware based on the surveys.

    And Steam actually shows this phenomenon quite well. Steam numbers for recent GPU generations are in line with JPR numbers, NVIDIA has roughly 4 times the gaming market share as AMD. In fact, we previously concluded that the tool still remains an important indicator for hardware uptake rate and trends, and it shows data we have seen in real life, like the popularity of 970, 960, 750Ti, Intel Graphics ..etc. AMD's irregularities are affected by several trends: like dwindling market and mind share, which causes low sales (eg, Fury line), people migrating from AMD to NV (eg, R9 200/HD 7000 owners buying Maxwell and Pascal cards which causes downspike of R9 200/HD 7000 percentages), non gamers buying large quantities of GPUs (eg, miners buying the R9 200 series), which won't show in the survey. That and several other factors as well, which when taken into account explains a lot of what seems like major defects. That makes the survey very much relevant in the gaming spectrum.
    I think the higher prices goes to retailers and not AMD.
     
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  9. monstercameron

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    I remember the last mining bubble and bust but I don't remember the flood of used cards argument.
     
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  10. Ryan Smith

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    The good news for AMD right now is that this has come after Polaris has been on the market for nearly a year. So it's not immediately after a hardware launch (RX 500 being more of a refresh) and demand from enthusiasts is a lot lower since they like to buy at the start of a cycle. AMD still loses out on sales to gamers, but they don't incur the PR hit with gamers. However if this persists to Vega RX's launch, then it's going to be the 290 series all over again. The situation is by no means dire, but CarstenS is right to be worried.

    AMD needs to seriously consider whether they want to configure future consumer cards in such a way to throttle their performance in crytocurrency computation. All of these cards are going to get sold regardless, but price discrimination would help AMD get more money for their products and at the same time avoid alienating consumers. (And after the most recent Vega announcement, they can't really afford a worse relationship with enthusiasts)

    Correct. Higher prices are the right thing to do - sell these cards for what you can get for them - but it hurts AMD when retailers and partners make all of the money from doing so*. AMD can raise their own prices, but due to the complex distribution system, this takes time and screws things up once the bubble pops.

    * To be clear, retailers and partners deserve to profit as well. But they shouldn't get it all; AMD needs to be able to share in the bounty in the good times

    Edit: I just realized my 20th anniversary giveaway winners are making out like bandits. They're getting their Polaris cards right as this insanity is peaking :eek:
     
    #10 Ryan Smith, Jun 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
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  11. CarstenS

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    That is actually a very good point - something akin to the very first Titan inkarnation. And that could be exactly why there is a Frontier Edition in the first place. Which would also give AMD more time to get the drivers to where they want them to be, because the pure compute side of things will be a bit less complicated than the plethora of gaming special snowflakes that eacch need individual love from the driver gang.
     
  12. Alexko

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    What about making cards especially tailored to the cryptocurrency market?
     
  13. Esrever

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    In what way would this be better than just making more cards?
     
  14. ToTTenTranz

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    100% agreed they should, but is this even doable? The mining software uses standard OpenCL code, so what can they do?



    AFAIK mining software uses very little RAM, so I guess they could launch mining editions with less dense VRAM chips (e.g. use cheaper 2Gb GDDR5 chips?). They could also disable display outputs, video codecs, use only PCI-Express x4 connectors and a loud blower cooler.
     
    #14 ToTTenTranz, Jun 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  15. Alexko

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    I don't really know what cryptocurrency mining needs, but if it's lots of bandwidth a little memory (for example) then AMD could make a 1~2GB edition of the RX580 with faster RAM, and perhaps a slightly lower price. It would be attractive to miners, but they couldn't really flood the market with used cards afterwards since no gamer would want a fast GPU with so little memory.

    Of course, that low resale potential might make the card less attractive to miners in the first place. Perhaps there are other things AMD could tune to make it more enticing to them.
     
  16. Esrever

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    If removing ram is all that's needed, any AIB partner could do it already. But in the end the constraints as still on the ability for AMD and partner to get cards out. What incentive does AMD have to spend money on making a new product and then selling it for less?
     
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  17. DavidGraham

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    Not to mention that flooding the market with used cards don't necessarily translate into marketshare for AMD, as used cards attract certain mindset of gamers, those usually seek better deals with previous gen high end cards. A cheap mid range GPU will not interest them as much. Many people find cheap used cards suspicious and unreliable. As opposed to a reasonably priced high end GPU, that the original user was keen on keeping it as close to it's original state as possible.
     
  18. lanek

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    The problem in that, is Nvidia is behind, but not by so much, so if AMD throttle the performance of mining, It is Nvidia who will sold thoses card ( or partner ).
     
  19. Razor1

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    anyone that uses the r290 or 390 mining killed AMD, hasn't been paying attention to market share, market share numbers for those two generations were down for AMD, doesn't matter who would be buying those cards, if it was miners those numbers sold should have shown up in JPR's and Mercury's Q numbers, they never did, so it was low supply period.

    Miners might have caused lower supply for gamers, but they had nothing to with the over all market, AMD just wasn't able to produce enough cards at the time to even reach the % they were selling at prior.
     
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  20. Ryan Smith

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    Admittedly I don't know the algorithms well enough to name a specific handicap. But perhaps there's a specific instruction or two that's really only used by cryptocurrency mining; a bit rotate or such?

    That's a really good point. I didn't realize NV cards were that close on this generation.

    Though the irony is that NVIDIA is probably better suited to handling this anyhow; besides a much larger volume to start with, they have a lot more experience enforcing market segmentation. Which I suppose puts AMD in a no-win scenario...
     
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