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AMD 18.3.4 drivers blockchain fix (Vega + xmr-stack 2.3.0)

Discussion in 'Crypto Currency & Mining' started by chaosophy, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. chaosophy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 3, 2007

    Posts: 1,558

    Location: London

    Fixed Issues

    • Some blockchain workloads may experience lower performance than expected when compared to previous Radeon Software releases.


    Hopefully this is worth a thread, as it could probably go in various other threads but might be missed. But I noticed the above fix listed in the release notes of the latest AMD drivers, so thought I'd give them a go.

    As someone who mines part time on their daily PC along with other duties, gaming etc I'd ended up doing a dual boot of Win10 on separate SSDs, one with the latest drivers for gaming and one with the blockchain drivers from last August to boot into to mine on overnight. Which was workable but a pain if say using my normal boot for other things but still wanting to mine a bit in the background in between gaming but not wanting to reboot all the time.

    The good news is that these latest drivers, 18.3.4 with the above mentioned fix, now give the same perf as the blockchain drivers from last year with the added benefit of things like savable wattman profiles etc !

    They also seem to have fixed a couple of other issues that I was having on the other blockchain drivers, though I'd just updated to xmr-stack 2.3.0, so not sure if it is a combination or not.

    First issue is that I no longer get the hash rate drop when turning the monitor off, or having power saving set to disable the monitor. Previously I was just setting the screen saver to blank but leaving the monitor on.

    Second issue is that I also no longer get the hash rate drop when using HWiNFO, which is great as it was a pain monitoring temps and getting the fan profile correct previously as hash rate would drop when using HWi requiring a restart of the card.

    I also seem to be drawing about 30W less power for the same hash as before, so all in all I'm pretty chuffed. Though again, I've just switched to the latest xmr-stack, so this may also be part of that.

    As above, I'm only really a part time miner who's been dabbling and haven't extensively tested this so please do your own testing before switching your whole farm over ! :D


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Mynight

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 16, 2013

    Posts: 5,361

    I have never been able to get stak working with the vega dual threads. Hopefully this works similar for cast so I can stop dual booting for games/mining!

    Thanks :).
     
  3. chaosophy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 3, 2007

    Posts: 1,558

    Location: London

    Yeah, hopefully it works with other miners don't see why not. I mainly use xmr-stack as it does both GPU and CPU and I use the OcUK build from the OcUK pool thread as it has no dev fee. :)

    You've probably seen it a million times but for dual thread on xmr-stack I use...

    Pre 2.3.0 ...

    "gpu_thread_num" : 2,

    "gpu_threads_conf" :
    [
    {"index" : 0,"intensity" : 1920,"worksize" : 8,"affine_to_cpu" : 1,"strided_index" : true},
    {"index" : 0,"intensity" : 1920,"worksize" : 8,"affine_to_cpu" : 1,"strided_index" : true},
    ],


    2.3.0 ...

    "gpu_thread_num" : 2,

    "gpu_threads_conf" :
    [
    {"index" : 0, "intensity" : 1920, "worksize" : 8, "affine_to_cpu" : 1, "strided_index" : 1, "mem_chunk" : 2, "comp_mode" : true},
    {"index" : 0, "intensity" : 1920, "worksize" : 8, "affine_to_cpu" : 1, "strided_index" : 1, "mem_chunk" : 2, "comp_mode" : true},
    ],
     
  4. AKAK

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 29, 2018

    Posts: 274

    Is the only difference that it has a "comp_mode" setting in xmr? Can you avoid manually switching the driver mode on RX series cards?
     
  5. chaosophy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 3, 2007

    Posts: 1,558

    Location: London

    Vega never had the compute mode switch in the drivers that other AMD cards had.

    The comp_mode setting shown above is from the new version of xmr-stack and is one of the new config options added along with some other fixes and support for the upcoming monero7 PoW.

    From amd.txt...

    /*
    * GPU configuration. You should play around with intensity and worksize as the fastest settings will vary.
    * index - GPU index number usually starts from 0
    * intensity - Number of parallel GPU threads (nothing to do with CPU threads)
    * worksize - Number of local GPU threads (nothing to do with CPU threads)
    * affine_to_cpu - This will affine the thread to a CPU. This can make a GPU miner play along nicer with a CPU miner.
    * strided_index - switch memory pattern used for the scratch pad memory
    * 2 = chunked memory, chunk size is controlled by 'mem_chunk'
    * required: intensity must be a multiple of worksize
    * 1 or true = use 16byte contiguous memory per thread, the next memory block has offset of intensity blocks
    * 0 or false = use a contiguous block of memory per thread
    * mem_chunk - range 0 to 18: set the number of elements (16byte) per chunk
    * this value is only used if 'strided_index' == 2
    * element count is computed with the equation: 2 to the power of 'mem_chunk' e.g. 4 means a chunk of 16 elements(256byte)
    * comp_mode - Compatibility enable/disable the automatic guard around compute kernel which allows
    * to use a intensity which is not the multiple of the worksize.
    * If you set false and the intensity is not multiple of the worksize the miner can crash:
    * in this case set the intensity to a multiple of the worksize or activate comp_mode.


    2.3.0 Changelog:
    • AMD backend
      • Add compiler cache (speedup startup time) #1131
      • Add new - memory pattern (new tweak option) #1109
      • Add Mesa OpenCl support #1101
      • Reduce register usage #1080
      • Fix AEON auto suggestion #1030
    • NVIDIA back-end
      • Increase Volta hashrate #1014
      • Reduce startup time #1121
      • Reduce memory foot print #950
    • Other
      • UAC prompt will be displayed only when it is needed now.
      • Support for Monero POW change #1200
      • Support for Sumokoin POW change #1200
      • Add command line option --benchmark BLOCKVERSION #1200
      • Native support for different cryptonight forks #1200
      • Support for pool-generated configs (see above)
      • Slightly less paranoid TLS sercurity settings
     
  6. AKAK

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 29, 2018

    Posts: 274

    Ah it isn't a compute mode switch that it looks like then! Thanks.
     
  7. chaosophy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 3, 2007

    Posts: 1,558

    Location: London

    np.

    If that is what you are after I think cast-xmr has a force compute option.
     
  8. Davedree

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 27, 2010

    Posts: 3,026

    I shall give this a try and let you know how it goes. I put up with workarounds for the -100 hash bug if monitor has been turned off and then turned on. Hoping the driver fixes the restart device (1300hash instead of 1880hash) from first startup. Also the voltage control is terrible with these Blockchain drivers when gaming, so if it addresses that more than anything I'll be happy.
     
  9. lmfy2k

    Soldato

    Joined: Feb 12, 2004

    Posts: 6,725

    Location: Manchester

    Any feedback from non vega cards users ? Any improvements over blockchain drivers?
     
  10. FreeStream

    Capodecina

    Joined: Apr 10, 2004

    Posts: 13,179

    RX560 still plodding along on ETH at 13.4MH/sec. So there doesn't seem to have been any changes!
     
  11. Combat Fighter

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2009

    Posts: 4,991

    Location: No Mans Land

    Just to confirm these new drivers also work with cast-xmr so I’ll be switching over to these later on.

    Be nice just for saving the disable/enable drivers after a restart!

    :cool:
     
  12. chaosophy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 3, 2007

    Posts: 1,558

    Location: London

    TBH the driver reset on first start up I've not tested as I just have a batch file that uses devcon.exe to disable/enable Vega and then start mining.

    Wattman settings like voltage, clock speeds, fans etc seem fine with this set though not massively tested them outside of my normal settings.
     
  13. chaosophy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 3, 2007

    Posts: 1,558

    Location: London

    I think the non Vega cards have been fine with 'current' drivers for a while now, what with the compute mode switch etc. For some reason Vega never got the fix in the current release until these.
     
  14. Combat Fighter

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2009

    Posts: 4,991

    Location: No Mans Land

    With these drivers you don't have to reset after a restart any more (it's been confirmed elsewhere).

    So no need for your batch file.

    ;)
     
  15. chaosophy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 3, 2007

    Posts: 1,558

    Location: London

    Cool, nice to know. Will give it a test. Ta. :)
     
  16. Combat Fighter

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2009

    Posts: 4,991

    Location: No Mans Land

    Just tested the new drivers vs the old blockchain drivers.

    Hash rate is slightly down on each of my Vega's by at least 40-50 h/s.

    Also even though I applied the powertables, when opening OverdriveN most of the powertable settings get greyed out (I tweak some of the settings with my own profile within OverdriveN) when you apply settings.

    And powerdraw is slightly up, might be because of the powertables/OverdriveN not working properly.

    So. . .

    Switched back using the old blockchain drivers and all working fine (better hash, power and overdriveN working properly)

    Needless to say I'll be staying put for now with the blockchain drivers until things get updated.

    One thing to note you don't have to reset the drivers after rebooting with the new drivers which is the only plus I can see for now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  17. Davedree

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 27, 2010

    Posts: 3,026

    +1 above,
    No longer need to restart device, yay.
    Voltage control in overdriveNtool now holds the undeevolt in games (previous block driver it wouldn't hold the undervolt for very long then would run at 1.15v). Yay.
    Mining in Cast I see the same hashrate as before despite Blockchain status disabled , but I must confirm power consumption when I get a chance, haven't done so due to power meter on other rig.
    Haven't tested monitor on/off hash drop yet either.

    Will update to let you know the results.
     
  18. Combat Fighter

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2009

    Posts: 4,991

    Location: No Mans Land

    I presume your not using the vega powertables reg if overdriventool is working with the new drivers as most of the settings get greyed out for me when I change a setting and apply.

    With the old blockchain drivers all the voltages are editable when I apply settings, hence I’m sticking with them (plus hash rates are better as well with cast-xmr and older drivers)
     
  19. Davedree

    Mobster

    Joined: Mar 27, 2010

    Posts: 3,026

    I don't use ptbles now,(used to when I started mining) , so that's probably why you're seeing a difference. I'll have a mess around to see if I can see the same bug.
     
  20. chaosophy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 3, 2007

    Posts: 1,558

    Location: London

    Hasn't that always been the case though, which is why people where doing things like using spreadsheets to generate reg files?
    Have you tried you recreate/reimport the reg key and then use the 'PPT Table editor' in OdT?

    I just reimported my custom reg key and voltages are fine, in fact I'm using less power than before (though as before, this may also be down to the newer xmr-stack).