To date, AMD has appeared somewhat reluctant towards getting into the mining-specific world of graphics card design. While Nvidia already has models available like the CMP 30HX, so far Team Red and its custom-AIB partners have seemingly been more agreeable to just let their products stand on their own merits. – Following a report via Videocardz, however, a custom Sapphire Radeon RX 570 has appeared online, and with it seemingly featuring masses of modifications, it might represent one of the most unusual mining-specific GPUs around!
Sapphire Radeon RX 570 Mining Card
Firstly, it should be noted that it’s entirely unknown whether this is an official Sapphire product or rather the work of an exceptionally gifted enthusiast. Given the total lack of branding, it would suggest that if this is official, then it’s currently either a concept or work-in-progress design. A closer look at the internal components, however, does reveal a very small Sapphire logo suggesting that if they didn’t make this, then it has at least been created from their standard Radeon 570 graphics card.
The plot does, however, thicken considerably when you take a look at the PCB. It would appear that this ‘mining’ graphics card has utilised two Polaris-based GPU chips which would suggest that the design has taken the relatively basic (but clearly exceptionally complicated) means of simply doubling up on the graphics cards potency to increase its hash rate production.
Achieving an apparent hash rate score of 59.69 MH/s certainly doesn’t make this GPU a market leader and particularly so taking the power consumption (which is still relatively low) into consideration. Given that the standard hash rate for a ‘standard’ Radeon RX 570 is around 26-28 MHash/s, however, this is clearly a pretty significant improvement.
And just in case you needed confirmation that this is a mining-specific graphics card, a quick look at the display output bank shows just one HDMI port. This is a very common feature for most cryptocurrency-based GPUs as, quite frankly, you don’t need a display output to grind Ethereum. And if I remember correctly, the AMD Radeon RX 570 usually comes as standard (excluding MITX versions which may vary slightly) with 3 x HMDI and 1 x DisplayPort.
What’s the Purpose of This Card?
In this regard, you potentially come into a lot of speculation. One theory, as noted above, is that this is just a concept design. Created either by Sapphire or an experienced enthusiast looking to put a pet project together. A sort of ‘let’s see if this can be done’ sort of thing. Another far more intriguing possibility, however, is that Sapphire may be set to dabble more officially in terms of AMD-based mining graphics cards.
Why do this though? And particularly so on a relatively outdated piece of hardware (and certainly in regards to the graphics architecture). Well, again, there may be an answer to that. AMD’s Polaris is old, but it’s still pretty competent. There are still many people out there happily using AMD RX 470, 480, 570, and 580 graphics cards. – With it being superseded now, however, there do come two key advantages. Firstly, we daresay that in terms of stock there is still plenty of it around with both AMD and their custom AIB partners. More so though, it’s likely pretty inexpensive meaning that effectively this could be representative of a ‘budget’ mining-specific graphics card.
It’s an interesting theory. We should note though that there is very little else known about this GPU and, on the whole, I do err towards this being more a concept than a planned upcoming release. Who knows though, perhaps in a few month’s time Sapphire might decide to launch a bold new marketing strategy with it looking to tempt those away from more modern GPUs onto this relatively decent ‘budget’, and perhaps more importantly, available, alternative. We’ll have to wait and see.