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Author Topic: Why is AMD GPU more efficient than nVidia GPU at mining?  (Read 3936 times)
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April 21, 2011, 04:00:52 AM

For a similarly priced GPU from AMD and nVidia, it is very clear that AMD has a significant lead in hash rate for BTC.
Anyone care to explain why?

I know AMD has more "stream processors" than nVidia "cuda cores", but I don't think they can be compared directly.
Otherwise AMD would have several times the performance than nVidia on games and GPGPU applications. However, this is not the case.
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Garrett Burgwardt
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April 21, 2011, 04:03:53 AM

As I understand it, AMD GPUs are built in a way that they are better at fixed point calculations, at cost to their floating point mathematic power. Nvidia cards are built with a focus on floating point.
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April 21, 2011, 04:05:21 AM

More shaders.

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April 21, 2011, 04:07:25 AM

I know AMD has more "stream processors" than nVidia "cuda cores"
And only this important.
sha256 uses integer math operations. More stream processors - faster calculation.

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April 21, 2011, 04:13:28 AM
Last edit: April 21, 2011, 04:26:34 AM by mrb

More shaders that account for a 2x-3x advantage and presence of a native integer rotate instruction that accounts for another 1.7x advantage, see:
Why are AMD GPUs faster than Nvidia GPUs?

The reasons games are not 2x-3x faster too on AMD GPUs is because they have a harder time fully utilizing the superior number of shaders (AMD's VLIW microarch is hard to exploit), whereas Bitcoin, being what we call an embarrassingly parallel workload, has no problem exploiting them.
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