Radeon RX 6500 XT is unhealthy at cryptocurrency mining on objective, AMD says


AMD's RX 6500 XT.
Enlarge / AMD’s RX 6500 XT.


AMD will start promoting its newest finances GPU, the Radeon RX 6500 XT, on January nineteenth. Its retail value is $199. However the ongoing GPU scarcity, prompted partly by cryptocurrency miners and scalpers who’re snapping up each card they’ll get, has made it principally unattainable to get any graphics card at its record value over the previous yr. 

Whether or not the 6500 XT might be any completely different relies upon partly on provide, however AMD has additionally apparently designed the cardboard to make it intentionally much less interesting to miners whereas retaining its usefulness as an entry-level graphics card. Chatting with journalists in a press roundtable earlier this week, AMD Radeon VP Laura Smith talked about how the 6500 XT had been “optimized” for video games (a transcript from a now-apparently-deleted PCWorld article is preserved here).

“We now have actually optimized this one to be gaming-first at that concentrate on market,” Smith stated. “And you’ll see that with the way in which that we configured the half. Even with the 4 gigs of body buffer. That’s a very nice body buffer dimension for almost all of AAA video games, however it’s not significantly enticing for those who’re doing blockchain-type actions or mining actions.”

Certainly, for those who take a look at the spec sheet of the 6500 XT, you’ll discover a number of issues that stick out in comparison with the last-gen RX 5500 XT. For starters, there isn’t an 8GB model of the 6500 XT. The 6500 XT additionally makes use of a 64-bit reminiscence interface, which is exceedingly uncommon in fashionable GPUs—you’ll generally see it in low-end devoted laptop computer GPUs just like the GeForce MX 450, however discrete GPUs launched throughout the final couple of generations have principally caught to 128-bit reminiscence interfaces at a minimal. Each of those choices make the 6500 XT unhealthy for Ethereum mining particularly, because it needs more than 4GB of video RAM and really likes memory bandwidth.

To make up for the slower reminiscence interface and assist the cardboard compete with the RX 570-class playing cards that AMD desires it to exchange, AMD has boosted the clock pace of the RX 6500 XT means up. Its most increase frequency is 2815 MHz, up from 1845 MHz within the RX 5500 XT. Even the top-tier 6900 XT solely boosts as much as 2250 MHz—it simply has much more GPU {hardware} and far more reminiscence bandwidth to work with within the first place.

Nvidia has additionally taken steps to restrict its GPUs’ mining capabilities, most notably when it re-issued “LHR” (or Low Hash Rate) versions of the RTX 3000-series cards in mid-2021. However the underlying {hardware} stays able to higher hash charges, and decided miners have used every little thing from alternative BIOSes to special software to buggy drivers to revive all or a part of these playing cards’ mining efficiency. The 6500 XT shouldn’t have these issues—it’s typically not doable to hack extra video RAM onto a graphics card. What stays to be seen is whether or not the design choices that make the 6500 XT sub-optimal for mining additionally make it sub-optimal for gaming.


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