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Author Topic: My initial Radeon HD 7970 mining benchmarks  (Read 43858 times)
1onevvolf
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January 05, 2012, 02:46:23 AM
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The mailman brought my brand new Radeon HD 7970 today and of course one of the first things that I wanted to try with it was to see how well it can mine Smiley

I've noticed that there's an almost complete lack of benchmarks for this card on the web (the only one I've seen has been the 414MH/s result from tom's hardware) so I've created an account to share my results here.

I'm using cgminer-2.1.1-win32 as my mining software and figured that this would be a plug-and-play deal, but I ran into a couple of initial snags. The first thing I noticed is that the card would report that it was hashing but would never get any accepted results. I was unable to get the phatk kernel working, however I found that by using the "--kernel poclbm" option and editing line 36 of poclbm110817.cl the following way to disable BFI_INT that I would start getting accepted hashes:

Code:
-#ifdef BFI_INT
+#if 0

With those two changes to the default configuration of cgminer hashes start to get accepted, but the 290MH/s hashing performance with the default settings (-g 2 -v 2 -w 128) for this kernel were slower than the 310MH/s from the trusty OC'd HD5850 that this new card replaced, so I played around with the --gpu-threads, --vectors and --worksize settings and here's a small table with the results:

--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 1 --worksize  32 : 224MH/s
--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 1 --worksize  64 : 448MH/s
--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 1 --worksize 128 : 446MH/s
--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 1 --worksize 256 : 448MH/s

--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 2 --worksize  32 : 141MH/s
--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 2 --worksize  64 : 285MH/s
--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 2 --worksize 128 : 283MH/s
--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 2 --worksize 256 : 284MH/s

--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 4 --worksize  32 :  66MH/s
--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 4 --worksize  64 : 133MH/s
--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 4 --worksize 128 : 133MH/s
--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 4 --worksize 256 : 133MH/s

(Note: all of these results were using the standard 925MHz core and 1375Mhz mem clocks)


Given these results I figured that -v 1 -w 64 was probably the best kernel setting so I tweaked the number of threads:

--gpu-threads 1 --vectors 1 --worksize  64 : 448MH/s
--gpu-threads 2 --vectors 1 --worksize  64 : 467MH/s
--gpu-threads 3 --vectors 1 --worksize  64 : 474MH/s
--gpu-threads 4 --vectors 1 --worksize  64 : 472MH/s
--gpu-threads 5 --vectors 1 --worksize  64 : 473MH/s
.
. (No apparent trend so I skipped these...)
.
--gpu-threads 8 --vectors 1 --worksize  64 : 473MH/s


So the best settings I could come up with for the day were -g 3 -v 1 -w 64 giving a hashing rate of 474MH/s! Not too shabby considering the card is using stock speeds! And its roughly a 15% higher hashrate than what was reported at tom's.

I'll continue experimenting with other settings over the next few days, but this initial testing makes me wonder what a kernel rewritten specifically for GCN (using the 16-wide SIMD, among other things) could do.


**** UPDATE ****

Someone suggested that I give a recent version of the DiabloMiner a try since it should have decent support for GCN, so I did.

~650MH/s with the default diablominer settings and the card OC'd @ 1125/975MHz:



~530MH/s at standard clocks:

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January 05, 2012, 02:51:35 AM
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How did you acquire an HD 7970?

Interesting first post.
simonk83
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January 05, 2012, 02:52:15 AM
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Thanks for that.  Where'd you get the card from?
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January 05, 2012, 02:53:45 AM
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474 is already nice!

And I'm sure that GCN optimized kernel should pass 500 Smiley

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January 05, 2012, 02:58:48 AM
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How did you acquire an HD 7970?

Interesting first post.

Thanks! I did a google shopping search for the card on a whim and surprisingly found it in stock at a nice on-line store in Spain called pccomponentes.com

Ordered it on Jan 2nd, and it arrived on the 4th.

(Edited dates. Didn't notice it was past midnight already Smiley
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January 05, 2012, 03:04:38 AM
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How did you acquire an HD 7970?

Interesting first post.

Thanks! I did a google shopping search for the card on a whim and surprisingly found it in stock at a nice on-line store in Spain called pccomponentes.com

Ordered it on Jan 2nd, and it arrived on the 4th.

(Edited dates. Didn't notice it was past midnight already Smiley

Nice score for you.  Utterly stupid for "pc componentes".  AMD generally frowns on early releases.  Likely the carton had a giant red tape across it saying "not for retail distribution until January 9th".  Maybe it wasn't in Spanish?  Smiley

Still pretty sweet.
1onevvolf
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January 05, 2012, 09:04:04 AM
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The card has been running stable for 4hours now and averaged 467MH/s at stock speeds over that timeframe.

Just took a stab at overclocking the card and it pushes an average of 568MH/s @ 1125MHz. The overdrive panel won't go any higher so that's it for the time being. The stock cooler keeps the card at around 81C in my PC with automatic fan speeds.
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January 05, 2012, 09:27:14 AM
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...467MH/s at stock speeds...
...568MH/s @ 1125MHz...

I already said that somewhere around the forum, the 7970 will kick some serious ass!
And let's wait for GCN optimizations...

81°C at 1125? That's awesome.
Any chance of you measuring the card's power draw? (If you have a kill-a-watt just measure the machine's power draw in idle and during mining. The delta is the 7970's power draw).
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January 05, 2012, 10:36:51 AM
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How did you acquire an HD 7970?

Interesting first post.

Thanks! I did a google shopping search for the card on a whim and surprisingly found it in stock at a nice on-line store in Spain called pccomponentes.com

Ordered it on Jan 2nd, and it arrived on the 4th.

(Edited dates. Didn't notice it was past midnight already Smiley

Total BS. We are not dumb. You work for AMD. They have finally waken up to this slice of the market. Just wait and see what Nvidia got in store for later on probably when they also wake up as well. Post the link on the exact site if you are not selling us BS. Who gets a card that is going to be released in 9 Jan today ? Newbie account too. LOL. AMD PR fail just like their drivers and QC. We had the CPU bug for ages. If it wasn't for the integer performance I would have gone to the green side long ago. Hopefully they got a Nvidia mining card in stock too at that pccomponentes.com fake site. Searching for 7970 brings up NOTHING.

Power figures are essential and prices. Sucks still if the cost and power is too damn high. 5XXX still the best for now at US prices.

Somebody needs to ring the damn bell over at N-"we-don't-care-about-mining"-vidia. Needing to have the X server active to mine = fail.
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January 05, 2012, 10:53:06 AM
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Total BS. We are not dumb. You work for AMD. They have finally waken up to this slice of the market. Just wait and see what Nvidia got in store for later on probably when they also wake up as well. Post the link on the exact site if you are not selling us BS. Who gets a card that is going to be released in 9 Jan today ? Newbie account too. LOL. AMD PR fail just like their drivers and QC. We had the CPU bug for ages. If it wasn't for the integer performance I would have gone to the green side long ago. Hopefully they got a Nvidia mining card in stock too at that pccomponentes.com fake site. Searching for 7970 brings up NOTHING.

Power figures are essential and prices. Sucks still if the cost and power is too damn high. 5XXX still the best for now at US prices.

Somebody needs to ring the damn bell over at N-"we-don't-care-about-mining"-vidia. Needing to have the X server active to mine = fail.
Here's what I read:
Blablabla drama blablabla I MAD blablablabla AMD FAIL blabla I JELLY blablabla GO NVIDIA blablabla.
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January 05, 2012, 10:59:55 AM
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Total BS. We are not dumb. You work for AMD. They have finally waken up to this slice of the market. Just wait and see what Nvidia got in store for later on probably when they also wake up as well. Post the link on the exact site if you are not selling us BS. Who gets a card that is going to be released in 9 Jan today ? Newbie account too. LOL. AMD PR fail just like their drivers and QC. We had the CPU bug for ages. If it wasn't for the integer performance I would have gone to the green side long ago. Hopefully they got a Nvidia mining card in stock too at that pccomponentes.com fake site. Searching for 7970 brings up NOTHING.

Power figures are essential and prices. Sucks still if the cost and power is too damn high. 5XXX still the best for now at US prices.

Somebody needs to ring the damn bell over at N-"we-don't-care-about-mining"-vidia. Needing to have the X server active to mine = fail.
Here's what I read:
Blablabla drama blablabla I MAD blablablabla AMD FAIL blabla I JELLY blablabla GO NVIDIA blablabla.

I don't like being tricked. This is clearly an AMD rep trying to pass off as a casual miner. This is deception and I don't take very kindly to that.

Now they suddenly wake up and include mining as a feature but until now we had to put up with crap drivers and CPU bugs etc.

Sounds like a lot of hypocrisy going on at AMD HQ. Hopefully Nvidia wakes up to bring some competition into this game because I am sick of AMD and their crap and failing fans and all that LQ BS.

Competition and Nvidia coming on board would be really excellent. I am sick of putting up with AMD's BS just because they are the only player in the GPU market. I hope Nvidia make a dedicated folding / mining card without display output and all those useless components and really owns AMD and teaches them not to be complacent in regards to mining, drivers, CPU bugs and all the crap they could do till now ( if Nvidia hopefully also wakes up ). 
bulanula
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January 05, 2012, 11:42:28 AM
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I doubt its a Rep. Might be a hoax...

LOL. Gotta admit they tricked me with this one. I really believed it. Probably a hoax with all the people saying 7970 and CGN suck at mining. Good one !
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January 05, 2012, 12:33:59 PM
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The card has been running stable for 4hours now and averaged 467MH/s at stock speeds over that timeframe.

Just took a stab at overclocking the card and it pushes an average of 568MH/s @ 1125MHz. The overdrive panel won't go any higher so that's it for the time being. The stock cooler keeps the card at around 81C in my PC with automatic fan speeds.

If you can use a kill-a-watt and measure power at the wall.  If you measure idle, load, load overclocked that will give us the load of card @ stock and overclocked.
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January 05, 2012, 01:06:15 PM
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Quick google shopping search led me to: http://www.excaliberpc.com/611611/sapphire-radeon-hd-7970-3gb.html

$647.22 (with shipping) for 568Mh/s doesn't get me very excited. Even when optimize IMHO you will most likey be paying $1/Mh just for the cards while they are in their release stage.

Edit: I would also like to hear power draw numbers.

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January 05, 2012, 01:20:17 PM
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Any chance of you measuring the card's power draw? (If you have a kill-a-watt just measure the machine's power draw in idle and during mining. The delta is the 7970's power draw).

I'm afraid I don't have a kill-a-watt, but if it helps the power draw has been pretty well tested on the review sites and I assume that my card is running within the same ballpark.

I've done some further testing with the overdrive panel and managed to underclock the memory to 950Mhz which hopefully will lower the power draw and temps. The slider in the interface claims to go all the way down to 150Mhz but I can't seem to get it to recognize settings any lower than 950Mhz.

Something else I noticed is that the base plate gets quite hot during mining. I'm not sure whether its because the temperature sensor on the 7970 is being optimistic with its 81C reading or if the new heatsink design is doing a great job at spreading heat but the base plate is a lot hotter to the touch than my 5850 (which would only get hot near the VRMs). It makes me kind of worried that the VRMs or memory might be getting too hot so until GPU-Z starts to report other temperature sensors apart from just the GPU sensor I'm going to stick with manually setting the fan speed from the overdrive panel. Currently I have it at 60% speed giving an average temp of 69C @ 1125/950Mhz.

I understand all the skepticism about these results. Believe it or not I don't work for AMD or any other PR firm. I also wish that NVidia would crank out better numbers considering that my second miner is a workstation with a Quadro 5000 series that pushes 55MH/s.

When I ordered the HD 7970 I also thought that it would arrive on the 9th at the earliest and couldn't believe it when I got a message that it was in transit the next day. I got lucky I guess. The card has been de-listed from the website since, I don't know if its just out of stock because of "limited availability" or if the AMD marketing dept made a call. However doing google shopping searches shows at least one other vendor in my area with the card.

And this is just a guess, but I think that the difficulty in actually getting the mining software to work with this card is what turned many review sites off of actually posting any bitcoin hashing figures. With cgminer's default settings the performance is lackluster and unless you edit the OpenCL source like I did hashes aren't even accepted, so reviewers probably just chalked it off as software/driver bugs and moved on to other, working, benchmarks in the race to post their reviews.

Hopefully someone else with a HD 7970 card who was having trouble getting the card to mine can apply my tweaks and reproduce the results on their end?
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January 05, 2012, 01:20:54 PM
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Quick google shopping search led me to: http://www.excaliberpc.com/611611/sapphire-radeon-hd-7970-3gb.html

$647.22 (with shipping) for 568Mh/s doesn't get me very excited. Even when optimize IMHO you will most likey be paying $1/Mh just for the cards while they are in their release stage.



I think these will sell at the 475$ to 525$ range but not sure.

Eventually.  List price is $549 and is looks like availability will be tight so expect retailers to mark it over MSRP at least for a month.  If it follows AMD other product cycles you could expect price to drop to $499 in 6-12 months.
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Gerald Davis


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January 05, 2012, 01:27:18 PM
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I've done some further testing with the overdrive panel and managed to underclock the memory to 950Mhz which hopefully will lower the power draw and temps. The slider in the interface claims to go all the way down to 150Mhz but I can't seem to get it to recognize settings any lower than 950Mhz

If you have the time you may want to try uninstalling catalyst completely and use cgminer to control the clocks.  cgminer can sometimes (card dependent) get lower stable memclock that Catalyst.  I have found sometimes Catalyst interferes w/ cgminer ADL support.

Quote
Something else I noticed is that the base plate gets quite hot during mining. I'm not sure whether its because the temperature sensor on the 7970 is being optimistic with its 81C reading or if the new heatsink design is doing a great job at spreading heat but the base plate is a lot hotter to the touch than my 5850 (which would only get hot near the VRMs). It makes me kind of worried that the VRMs or memory might be getting too hot so until GPU-Z starts to report other temperature sensors apart from just the GPU sensor I'm going to stick with manually setting the fan speed from the overdrive panel. Currently I have it at 60% speed giving an average temp of 69C @ 1125/950Mhz.

Weird.  GPU-Z doesn't show the 3 VRM temps?  Maybe GPU-Z needs to be updated to read/parse 79xx bios data.  A side note the reason why GPU-Z has more detailed stats is it doesn't use AMD driver.  It pulls raw data from the card bios and then parses it.  For example VRM temps are available through AMD driver API but they are stored in the bios to handle things like thermal throttling.


Quote
I understand all the skepticism about these results. Believe it or not I don't work for AMD or any other PR firm. I also wish that NVidia would crank out better numbers considering that my second miner is a workstation with a Quadro 5000 series that pushes 55MH/s.

Just ignore them.  There is no reason for you to be lying.  What is the angle?  How could you profit from a lie?  The card officially releases in 4 days so I expect to see at least one other member posting about it in the coming week.
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January 05, 2012, 01:29:49 PM
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Just ignore them.  There is no reason for you to be lying.  What is the angle?  How could you profit from a lie?  The card officially releases in 4 days so I expect to see at least one other member posting about it in the coming week.


Agreed.

http://www.pccomponentes.com/tarjetas_graficas_ati_pci_express/hd_7900/

Simply browsing the site in chrome with translation on led me to this page.
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January 05, 2012, 01:31:53 PM
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530 euro price is too high. 7970 still sucks at power draw and price ATM. 5XXX still the best for now.
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January 05, 2012, 01:39:08 PM
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530 euro price is too high. 7970 still sucks at power draw and price ATM. 5XXX still the best for now.

It is (pre) launch day.  What did you expect.  Huge discounts?  The price of a video card never goes up.  They only go down and thus launch day is always the most expensive day for any card's lifecycle.

I think people have gotten unrealistic expectations from deeply discounted end of life 5xxx products.  The 7000 series was never going to be "cheap". 

If AMD was going to sell it at a discount why even release it.  Just save the tens of millions in R&D and just keep selling lower cost 6000 series.  Smiley
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