AMD VEGA FRONTIER EDITION review

AMD VEGA frontier

Ethereum miners seeking a more modern GPU from AMD will have undoubtably heard of AMD’s Vega. The VEGA was built on an entirely new architecture and it got a lot of attention brought to the line. The enthusiasm went away after AMD released the Frontier Edition of the Vega GPU, as it wasn’t up to the standards of previous Vega GPUs in terms of Ethereum mining. Let’s take a closer look at the Vega Frontier Edition, and see what this card would be like for mining Ethereum.

VEGA FRONTIER

GPU Features for Ethereum mining

Basic specs:

Power
: 300 W
Hash Rate
: 29.0 MH/s

vega frontier base

Modded specs:

Power: 200-250 W
Hash Rate: 33 MH/s stable / 40 MH/s peak

Ref: Forum.ethereum.org

ega frontier modded mining interface

PROS AND CONS

The Vega Frontier Edition was not intended to be used for gaming or for mining. In fact, it was meant specifically for those in certain fields needing specialized hardware for visualization. That being said, it should come as no suprise that this GPU is not really meant for mining or gaming, because, after all, it isn’t.

Many gamers have been leaving negative reviews on this card, though this says less about the card than it does about the state of of availability of gaming GPUs. When used for gaming or mining, the price is not worth the performance the card provides. The biggest two reasons that gamers are buying this card are the facts that miners have been buying all the good cards to increase their profit margins, leaving gamers in the dust to pick at what’s left, as well as good old fashioned lack of research. The Vega Frontier is not meant for gaming, and is a rather specialized piece of hardware meant for use in visualization software.

For those working in this field, the Vega Frontier is a rather affordable card. AMD was very open about the intent for this card as well, leaving the information needed to decide it is not meant for gaming or mining right there for anyone with the inclination to research to find.

 

The MSRP of AMD’s Vega Frontier Edition is $999, and there are already a wide variety of game worthy GPUs available in this price range. It is easy to fool yourself into thinking that for this amount of money you could get around 70MH/z when mining Ethereum, though this is far from accurate. A more accurate hash rate is around 28 MH/s using a 300 W draw. Admittadly, the hash rate is pretty bad.

There is a plus side to the Vega FE, however. It is suprisingly good at dual mining. The Vega FE is a bandwidth powerhouse, it turns out. The Vega FE has enough bandwidth and memory to process the Ethereum DAG without insane clock speeds.

As stated before, this card was not meant for gaming or mining. It tends to overheat quite quickly, and doesn’t seem to run any cooler than 85 celsius. The fans are always at full throttle while the GPU is handling mining tasks, which leads to a very noisy system. In fact, the Vega FE is hands down one of the most noisy GPUs that on the high end market.

There are also some compatibility issues with various mining software. The Vega FE does not work with zCash, Claymore Dual Miner and Nicehash, but it does work with Ethminer 0.9.4.1, Genoil and Claymore 9.7.

The Vega Frontier Edition: Not For Mining Or Gaming

The GPU that comes stock in most prebuilt PCs on the market never make great mining GPUs. This is why miners have to upgrade their GPU to a sufficient model. The Vega FE has a high price, but this doesn’t make it a high end mining GPU. It has a pretty bad hash rate and runs quite hot. It uses too much power to be profitable without major modifications.

There is a Vega card that is meant for gaming that would be a much better alternative to the Vega FE for mining. The RX Vega is cheaper and provides a better gaming performance, which indicated more suitability for Ethereum mining operations.

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