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Sapphire just made a 16GB Radeon RX 570 because it thinks GPU mining is coming back

By Koh Wanzi - on 17 Jan 2019, 2:47pm

Sapphire just made a 16GB Radeon RX 570 because it thinks GPU mining is coming back

Image Source: Sapphire

Cryptocurrency mining profits have pretty much crested and are on their way down. However, a certain manufacturer doesn't seem to be paying any heed to that. Sapphire says that it is preparing a version of the Radeon RX 570 with 16GB of memory, and it's making this specifically for mining.

But first, some context. Sapphire is getting behind Grin, a new cryptocurrency and an implementation of the MimbleWimble blockchain protocol. Grin is also something that has been dubbed a "privacy coin", which means it focuses on secure and anonymous transactions and supposedly addresses some weaknesses of existing cryptocurrencies. 

The company's vice president of global marketing, Adrian Thompson, even wrote a post on Medium to talk about the potential behind Grin, which is basically the whole reason why Sapphire is making a new card. 

Grin will be available with two proof-of-work algorithms, including a primary ASIC Friendly (AF) algorithm called Cuckatoo and a secondary ASIC Resistant (AR) algorithm called Cuckaroo. The profitability of each algorithm will change over time, but the initial stage will favor the AR Cuckaroo algorithm. 

Furthermore, unlike Bitcoin which requires immense processing power, Grin algorithms are reportedly memory bound. As a result, the AF Cuckatoo algorithm could require at least 11GB of memory, while the GPU-friendly Cuckaroo could need more than 5.5GB.

This is where the Radeon RX 570 16GB comes in. Many high-end cards with that amount of memory are prohibitively expensive, so the new Radeon card is intended as an affordable option to mine Grin. Furthermore, Sapphire says the upcoming 16GB card has enough memory to mine both algorithms at once.

"Sapphire will have access to a Grin miner that will port the CUDA miner. Factor in the affordable cost of the Sapphire 16GB RX570 itself, which is a third of the price of competing 16GB cards designed for professional applications, and Sapphire seems to have produced a veritable money printing machine," writes Thompson.

It's difficult to make any judgment about a new cryptocurrency like Grin, but we can only hope that this new wave of so-called privacy coins doesn't spark off a fresh mining craze and another round of supply shortages.

Source: Sapphire (Medium)

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