So, we were able to place our hands on an AMD Radeon RX 470 video card. And not just some GPU, but the best of this series – 8GB Sapphire NITRO + AMD Radeon RX 470. We decided to check its suitability for mining Ethereum – ETH and other popular cryptocurrencies using various mining algorithms. RX 470 Sapphire NITRO + 8GB has the best mining performance among RX 470 series, as it comes with a 2000 MHz (8 Ghz )clock frequency. In other words, the frequency is the same as in older models, for example, the RX 480.
RAM is especially important for Ethereum production. However, this video card has many pros such as an 8-pin PCI-E connector, good cooling system and a 1260 MHz graphics processor clock speed. The only drawback is that its price is almost the same as that of the 8 GB RX 480.4 GB. RX 470 is equipped with a slower memory, therefore, Ethereum mining will be slower than with 8 GB NITRO +, though other algorythms are performed at nearly the same speed.
The Sapphire NITRO + AMD Radeon RX 470 8GB for Ethereum mining by default is about 24.5 MHS, which is almost the same as the Radeon RX 480. Don’t forget that this Sapphire model uses 8 GHz RAM, while RX 470 4 GB come with 7 GHz or 6.6 GHz RAM, so the Ethereum production is slow. Sapphire NITRO+ allows you to overclock the GPU to a maximum of 1260 MHz, although 100% of the graphics processor load is not that important for mining ETH and you can reduce power consumption without dropping performance. What really put us off is that the fan blades rotation is by default very slow to make the GPU quiet.
During Ethereum mining on the RX 470 we managed to set the fan speed at 1300 rpm, and as a result, the GPU temperature reached 70 degrees Celsius. So increasing the temperature manually looks like a good idea, especially if you are mining coins whose algorithms use graphics processor resources more intensively, unlike Etherium, which is more dependent on memory. Also, the Sapphire NITRO + default power consumption seems to be slightly higher than that of RX 480.
The attempt to overclock Sapphire NITRO + AMD Radeon RX 470 8GB did not go as well as we expected because we hoped to overclock the 8 GHz video memory to at least 8.8 or 9 GHz, like the older the RX 480. Unfortunately, we managed to achieve only 8.2 GHz (2050 MHz) using the AMD WattMan and a maximum of 8.4 GHz using the ASUS GPU Tweak II. We are sure that we chose the right programs for AMD RX series, however, the overclocking limit disappointed us. We are not sure whether this was due to the fact that Samsung’s GDDR5 memory chips are not capable of operating at higher frequencies without problems, or because of the security measures that make the RX 470 even after the overclocking slower than RX 480.
The RAM clock rate limit effects only Ethereum mining and we were not able to achieve the maximum hashing power. With a maximum 8.4 GHz (2100 MHz) RAM, we got about 25.8 MHS for E5thereum production, or in other words, about 1.3 MHS more than with default settings. We still need to understand RX 470 model 4 GB Ethereum productivity and overclocking limits.
After the release of AMD Radeon RX 480 the drivers prevented the users from mining various cryptocurrencies. Sgminer crashed all the time. Since the RX 480 does have a new architecture, there’s you will not be able to use old drivers at all. Although there are still problems with some algorithms and mining programs the situation has significantly improved. Most people use the RX 480 to run for Ethereum mining without experiencing software difficulties. However, for various reasons, many users switched to mining other cryptocurrencies. Above you see a table of hashing power for popular algorithms with Nicehash support, which have been tested using various mining programs.
As you can see, the AMD Radeon RX 480 card using NiceHash miner show a 0 MHS hashrate. At this point, Neoscrypt, WhirlpoolX and Blake256r14 algorithms still experience some problems and the demonstrate a zero hashrate. We looked into only NiceHash algorithms, however, there are many others. Please note that Sapphire Nitro + RX 470 8GB in terms of performance has approached RX 480 8 GB characteristics. In some cases, better results have been achieved due to optimization. There are more chips for streaming data processing, which gives RX 480 an advantage in comparison with the RX 470. Unfortunately, unlike RX 480, the RX 470 can’t go any higher, because it simply stops working.
We would like to delve into algorithms a bit more. The LBRY Sgminer caused the video driver to crash, so we could not understand the hashrate. As for SiaCoin Sgminer, we saw a 906 MHS hashrate for Siamining pool using the Stratum protocol, so we did not experience any problems. We hope that the new AMD RX series will be optimized for mining in the future. Soon a new AMD GPU, the RX 490, will be released, and it will also be interesting for miners.