Why are AMD’s GPUs so good at Mining?

It’s all about the int’s…

AMD Radeon Logo 2013If you’ve ever wondered what secret sauce allows AMD’s Radeon chips to so handily out perform Nvidia’s offerings when it comes to crypto-currency mining operations then look no further than this slide. Basically the performance gap is a product of AMD’s focus on integer compute performance, and Nvidia’s relative lack of interest in that aspect of GPU performance. To be clear this is not a software issue, but rather an architectural design trade-off that Nvidia made to de-emphasize integer compute in order to meet their other design goals.


We reached out to the developers of a few different GPU miners who asked to remain anonymous but were all clear on the fact that until Nvidia’s GPU architecture is redesigned with greater per core integer compute performance their GPUs will always be at a major disadvantage to AMD’s chips in mining applications. Of course integer compute is but one aspect of GPGPU performance and Nvidia obviously has strength in other areas. Nonetheless it’s clear that at least for the foreseeable future AMD is the only game in town for crypto-currency mining.S|A

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Thomas Ryan is based in Seattle, Washington. Thomas first began to appreciate the wonders of the semiconductor industry while doing research on his previous favorite hobby, PC gaming. Having co- purchased his first computer at the ripe old age of 11, with $150 and the help of Craigslist he's been buying and building computers ever since.