Monday, March 8th 2021

AMD is Preparing RDNA-Based Cryptomining GPU SKUs

Back in February, NVIDIA has announced its GPU SKUs dedicated to the cryptocurrency mining task, without any graphics outputs present on the chips. Today, we are getting information that AMD is rumored to introduce its own lineup of graphics cards dedicated to cryptocurrency mining. In the latest patch for AMD Direct Rendering Manager (DRM), a subsystem of the Linux kernel responsible for interfacing with GPUs, we see the appearance of the Navi 12. This GPU SKU was not used for anything except Apple's Mac devices in a form of Radeon Pro 5600M GPU. However, it seems like the Navi 12 could join forces with Navi 10 GPU SKU and become a part of special "blockchain" GPUs.

Way back in November, popular hardware leaker, KOMACHI, has noted that AMD is preparing three additional Radeon SKUs called Radeon RX 5700XTB, RX 5700B, and RX 5500XTB. The "B" added to the end of each name is denoting the blockchain revision, made specifically for crypto-mining. When it comes to specifications of the upcoming mining-specific AMD GPUs, we know that both use first-generation RDNA architecture and have 2560 Stream Processors (40 Compute Units). Memory configuration for these cards remains unknown, as AMD surely won't be putting HBM2 stacks for mining like it did with Navi 12 GPU. All that remains is to wait and see what AMD announces in the coming months.
Sources: Freedesktop, via Phoronix, VideoCardz
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50 Comments on AMD is Preparing RDNA-Based Cryptomining GPU SKUs

#1
Minus Infinity
So these d!ckheads can't even supply GPU's to the public and will now divert precious silicon to crypto-scum.
Posted on Reply
#2
hat
Enthusiast
Minus Infinity
So these d!ckheads can't even supply GPU's to the public and will now divert precious silicon to crypto-scum.
More likely, salvaging chips that wouldn't go on a "gaming" card because they were defective, and sticking them on a "crypto-scum" card.
Posted on Reply
#3
lynx29
I really don't understand Nvidia and AMD on this one... limited amount of silicon, limited amount of factory time... just keep making gpu's for gamers and let the miners deal with it, you can't supply them with enough, you never will be able to until the price crashes again... at least with regular cards people on a budget can buy a miner card during a crash, but with these specific miner cards they won't be able to do that... either way AMD and Nvidia won't be helping gamers get gpu's, so just make them for gamers only...


really quite sad to see this. oh well, at least my rig is done being built. i do think it's a crappy business move though. the silicon foundries are already too busy and can't keep up with anything, why add another SKU at all...
hat
More likely, salvaging chips that wouldn't go on a "gaming" card because they were defective, and sticking them on a "crypto-scum" card.
doubtful, this is your assumption... any evidence to back that up? also doesn't explain TSMC factory time which is allocated to the max for good chips, not enough time for even the good chips, so even if your argument is true, it doesn't bypass my argument. there are plenty of good chips ready to go, TSMC just is overloaded.
Posted on Reply
#4
hat
Enthusiast
lynx29
I really don't understand Nvidia and AMD on this one... limited amount of silicon, limited amount of factory time... just keep making gpu's for gamers and let the miners deal with it, you can't supply them with enough, you never will be able to until the price crashes again... at least with regular cards people on a budget can buy a miner card during a crash, but with these specific miner cards they won't be able to do that... either way AMD and Nvidia won't be helping gamers get gpu's, so just make them for gamers only...


really quite sad to see this. oh well, at least my rig is done being built. i do think it's a crappy business move though. the silicon foundries are already too busy and can't keep up with anything, why add another SKU at all...
Then miners will just buy the gaming cards.

And, again, it's not a farfetched idea that the GPUs going on these mining cards are defective in some way that they wouldn't quite make the cut to go on a full gaming card. So really they're salvaging silicon that otherwise would have went to waste and giving it to miners. This actually helps increase availability for everyone.
lynx29
doubtful, this is your assumption... any evidence to back that up? also doesn't explain TSMC factory time which is allocated to the max for good chips, not enough time for even the good chips, so even if your argument is true, it doesn't bypass my argument. there are plenty of good chips ready to go, TSMC just is overloaded.
I believe this is what was being said last time we were seeing crypto mining cards. It's a common practice in the silicon industry to see chips not good enough for the intended product to go to some lessor product. Intel F/KF series is a perfect example. Bad iGPU, so they make a new SKU to sell the chip with the bad iGPU.

Not sure what you're saying with your argument about TSMC. Just because they're overloaded doesn't mean they are making 100% good chips. In all manufacturing, not every part is perfect. Why wouldn't you be trying to find ways to use the less than perfect parts, if you could?
Posted on Reply
#5
TheLostSwede
lynx29
I really don't understand Nvidia and AMD on this one... limited amount of silicon, limited amount of factory time... just keep making gpu's for gamers and let the miners deal with it, you can't supply them with enough, you never will be able to until the price crashes again... at least with regular cards people on a budget can buy a miner card during a crash, but with these specific miner cards they won't be able to do that... either way AMD and Nvidia won't be helping gamers get gpu's, so just make them for gamers only...


really quite sad to see this. oh well, at least my rig is done being built. i do think it's a crappy business move though. the silicon foundries are already too busy and can't keep up with anything, why add another SKU at all...



doubtful, this is your assumption... any evidence to back that up? also doesn't explain TSMC factory time which is allocated to the max for good chips, not enough time for even the good chips, so even if your argument is true, it doesn't bypass my argument. there are plenty of good chips ready to go, TSMC just is overloaded.
Uhm, do you even have the first idea about chip manufacturing? Based on your comment here, it doesn't seem like it.
Yes, TSMC are damned good at what they're doing, but even they have defect rates. It might only stand at 0.09 defects per square centimetre on the 7nm node, but that's enough for it to be flawed chips. Their 5nm node apparently improves upon this, but it doesn't mean it's flawless.
This is obviously why all companies have chip binning at a certain point.
It doesn't work as you seem to think it does, this is why both AMD, Nvidia, Intel etc. have multiple SKUs of the same chip, as this is a means of recovering chips with slight flaws in them.
The chip flaw could be anywhere really. So say you get a chip flaw in the display output bit, that could never become a GPU, but it would be fine as a mining chip. There might be another flaw that means the chip has half of its PCIe lanes disabled or the video encoder or just about anything else that's relevant to a GPU, but not a mining chip.
So it's very possible that both AMD and Nvidia has stacks of these chips that were going to be junked, that they're now screening to see if they can be used for these stupid mining cards.
It's literally a gold mine for these companies as they can recover parts that would otherwise have been useless to them and only incurred a cost.
I mean, they make a lot more on selling defect chips to miners, than making keychains out of them.

www.anandtech.com/show/16028/better-yield-on-5nm-than-7nm-tsmc-update-on-defect-rates-for-n5
Posted on Reply
#6
1d10t
TheLostSwede
Uhm, do you even have the first idea about chip manufacturing? Based on your comment here, it doesn't seem like it.
Yes, TSMC are damned good at what they're doing, but even they have defect rates. It might only stand at 0.09 defects per square centimetre on the 7nm node, but that's enough for it to be flawed chips. Their 5nm node apparently improves upon this, but it doesn't mean it's flawless.
This is obviously why all companies have chip binning at a certain point.
It doesn't work as you seem to think it does, this is why both AMD, Nvidia, Intel etc. have multiple SKUs of the same chip, as this is a means of recovering chips with slight flaws in them.
The chip flaw could be anywhere really. So say you get a chip flaw in the display output bit, that could never become a GPU, but it would be fine as a mining chip. There might be another flaw that means the chip has half of its PCIe lanes disabled or the video encoder or just about anything else that's relevant to a GPU, but not a mining chip.
So it's very possible that both AMD and Nvidia has stacks of these chips that were going to be junked, that they're now screening to see if they can be used for these stupid mining cards.
It's literally a gold mine for these companies as they can recover parts that would otherwise have been useless to them and only incurred a cost.
I mean, they make a lot more on selling defect chips to miners, than making keychains out of them.

www.anandtech.com/show/16028/better-yield-on-5nm-than-7nm-tsmc-update-on-defect-rates-for-n5
Not to mention all these production come in "batch", not some rolling conveyor belt you could produce every time. That said, more likely higher margin to sell these chip as "mining card" rather give'em laser lock and put them notch below stack. I don't see this a "solution" though, more like a band aid for the time being, as process mature and gold rush ended, everything will back to "normal".
Posted on Reply
#7
ZoneDymo
tsk tsk AMD, why u do dis, again, if they just make some dedicated card on something like 12nm or whatever Global Foundry's for example can handle and have them make it....then sure, but RX5700 is also 7nm which means TSMC has to do it which means it eats away at...well everything AND agian these cards are useless once this boom is over so E-Waste....come on!
Posted on Reply
#8
Chomiq
ZoneDymo
tsk tsk AMD, why u do dis, again, if they just make some dedicated card on something like 12nm or whatever Global Foundry's for example can handle and have them make it....then sure, but RX5700 is also 7nm which means TSMC has to do it which means it eats away at...well everything AND agian these cards are useless once this boom is over so E-Waste....come on!
Doesn't TSMC have like 3 different 7nm nodes?
Posted on Reply
#10
IceShroom
Are guys sure the patch is for crypto-mining not for this, Radeon Pro V520 www.amd.com/en/products/server-accelerators/amd-radeon-pro-v520 ???
Minus Infinity
So these d!ckheads can't even supply GPU's to the public and will now divert precious silicon to crypto-scum.
You wont be able to find GPU's from both AMD/Nvidia if you spend all of your time whining in forums.
Posted on Reply
#11
Fluffmeister
So just a multi-billion dollar corp after profit too.

Who'd of thought.
Posted on Reply
#12
Chomiq
Fluffmeister
So just a multi-billion dollar corp after profit too.

Who'd of thought.
People seem to forget how AMD promoted blockchain application for Vega or RVII during previous mining craze.
Posted on Reply
#13
Fluffmeister
Chomiq
People seem to forget how AMD promoted blockchain application for Vega or RVII during previous mining craze.
Definitely, I remember the Vega FE marketing updated to attract "Blockchain pioneers".
Posted on Reply
#14
Dammeron
hat
More likely, salvaging chips that wouldn't go on a "gaming" card because they were defective, and sticking them on a "crypto-scum" card.
Let's just say it will be like that - what do You think will happen, when the demand is too high? They'll just start using normal chips. AMD already did it at least once, with Phenom II CPUs - they used defecive chips for Phenom II X3 CPUs, but when the production couldn't satisfy the demand, they just started using fully functional X4 chips with 1 core software-locked.
Posted on Reply
#15
TheDeeGee
Gamers!... We got gamers here!

See, nobody cares.
Posted on Reply
#16
ShurikN
But why RDNA, chips that should go into gaming cards, and not CDNA, chips that were designed for this crap. Especially since they, most of the time, don't have video processing and outputs by default.
Posted on Reply
#17
Chomiq
Fluffmeister
Definitely, I remember the Vega FE marketing updated to attract "Blockchain pioneers".
Yup, yup, yup. Even now:


Posted on Reply
#18
yotano211
Fluffmeister
So just a multi-billion dollar corp after profit too.

Who'd of thought.
It doesnt matter is the company is worth $100 or $100 billion, they need to make money to survive.
Posted on Reply
#19
kapone32
Dammeron
Let's just say it will be like that - what do You think will happen, when the demand is too high? They'll just start using normal chips. AMD already did it at least once, with Phenom II CPUs - they used defecive chips for Phenom II X3 CPUs, but when the production couldn't satisfy the demand, they just started using fully functional X4 chips with 1 core software-locked.
As many of us who bought those $50 chips were happy to learn.
Posted on Reply
#21
Darmok N Jalad
What happens to these headless cards if/when mining crashes again? Weren't we stuck with a GPU oversupply last time the bubble burst? Headless or dedicated mining cards solve that problem for the GPU makers. Those castrated cards are now useless for repurposing in the gaming market. Will it just keep demand higher during mining busts by preventing that oversupply from happening again?
Posted on Reply
#22
Metroid
Soon the crypto market will crash and nobody will buy these crypto miner gpus because will not be any resale value unless they are extremely cheap x gaming gpus.
Darmok N Jalad
What happens to these headless cards if/when mining crashes again? Weren't we stuck with a GPU oversupply last time the bubble burst? Headless or dedicated mining cards solve that problem for the GPU makers. Those castrated cards are now useless for repurposing in the gaming market. Will it just keep demand higher during mining busts by preventing that oversupply from happening again?
Yeah, 100% sure we will have a gpu oversupply again just like 2018 after the crypto market crash, rtx 3060ti will be $200~$300, right now 3060ti's are sold for $1300, insane.
Posted on Reply
#23
hat
Enthusiast
Darmok N Jalad
What happens to these headless cards if/when mining crashes again? Weren't we stuck with a GPU oversupply last time the bubble burst? Headless or dedicated mining cards solve that problem for the GPU makers. Those castrated cards are now useless for repurposing in the gaming market. Will it just keep demand higher during mining busts by preventing that oversupply from happening again?
If it crashes and we have a ton of mining cards available for cheap, certain opportunists and hobbyists will grab them.

Again, let's not forget there are applications for cards that might not involve gaming or mining that these cards could be used for.
Posted on Reply
#24
RedelZaVedno
AMD is seriously pissing off it's remaining fan base (me included) in order to squeeze some additional bucks out of the crypto craze. I don't think that's a good strategy as they're making themselves less and less relevant in dGPU space (their dGPU market share shrank to only 16% in 2020). They're neglecting one thing... most of us ATI/AMD buyers buy their GPUs because of favorable price to performance ratio (most bang for your buck), but for some reason AMD decided to stop competing with price after RDNA introduction which would be OK if they could offer better products than NGreedia, but that has not been the case. As someone who has bought ATI Rage 128, ATI R800X Pro, ATI HD 4870, AMD HD 6870, R9 280X and RX480 (& now own 2nd hand 1080TI) in the past, I see zero reason to continue buying AMD over Nvidia products until AMD offers us faster GPU for the same money or slower GPU with substantial price discount compared to Ngreedia.

Willingness to support the underdog goes only so far. AMD GPU division is acting like they're top kids on the block regardless of owning only 16% of "street corners" and inferior stuff to sell. Sure they'll be able to sell their "shit" during product scarcity, but every street dealer will tell you're gonna get your ass beaten up the moment supply catches up with demand : )
Posted on Reply
#25
neatfeatguy
Metroid
Soon the crypto market will crash and nobody will buy these crypto miner gpus because will not be any resale value unless they are extremely cheap x gaming gpus.



Yeah, 100% sure we will have a gpu oversupply again just like 2018 after the crypto market crash, rtx 3060ti will be $200~$300, right now 3060ti's are sold for $1300, insane.
Handful of 3060 Ti went through my local Micro Center last Thursday....I thought hard about it, but figured I'd rather make a little money instead of wasting 2-3 hours of my time getting there early, standing in line with my number, hoping I could be lucky enough to buy one for around $700.

I have yet to catch wind of anything recently coming through there from AMD's side for GPUs. Even if they did get in some 6800 or 6800XT cards, they're all going for around $900+.....no thank you, they can keep their overpriced GPUs and same with Nvidia.
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