Radeon R9 280X Litecoin mining and Sweet Spot for 700KHash/sec (part 1)

Radeon R9 280X Litecoin mining and Sweet Spot for 700KHash/sec (part 1)

Radeon-R9-280X-Litecoin-mining-and-Sweet-Spot-for-700KHash

With the scarcity of the excellent Radeon 7950 for mining Litecoin, the focus has been shifted to some other good alternative graphics cards. Radeon R9 280X, which is essentially a rebranded 7970 is another good option for GPU mining. I have managed to get my hands on a few Gigabyte R9 280X, MSI R9 280X and PowerColor R9 280X.

 

You can check out the tutorial on How to build your own Litecoin mining rig with Radeon R9 280X if you are interested.

 

After some tweaking, I have managed to get the Gigabyte R9 280X to produce around 700KHash/sec per card. Let us look at how to configure the Gigabyte R9 280X for higher hashrate and possibly lower power consumption.

 

How to optimize Gigabyte R9 280X for Litecoin mining

Radeon-R9-280X-Litecoin-mining-and-Sweet-Spot-for-700KHash-02

Undervolting

Since the 280X is a rebranded 7970, it is possible to undervolt the cards using the VBE7 method that i have outlined in the previous tutorial: How to modify video BIOS to undervolt GPU in Linux. My Gigabyte cards run completely stable at 1094mV, so if you are using my undervolting method, simply replace the 1081mV that i have recommended for 7950 with 1094mV.

 

18/12 Update: Further tweaking shows that the card is stable at 1075 mV.

 

CGMiner settings

These are early test results and i expect it to go even higher with some tweaking. But this should give you a good start with acceptable hashrate for the time being.

 

For this test, i am using BAMT version 1.1 with the latest AMD Catalyst drivers installed and CGMiner 3.7.2. You may learn more about setting up BAMT in my tutorial: Litecoin BAMT version 1.1 – Easy USB Linux mining distro.

 

I get the best result from this CGMiner configuration:

-g 2 -w 256 -I 13 --lookup-gap 2 --thread-concurrency 8192 --gpu-engine 1020 --gpu-memclock 1500

Radeon-R9-280X-Litecoin-mining-and-Sweet-Spot-for-700KHash-04

This configuration gets me around 700KHash/sec on each card with a low reject ratio. I have read about others obtaining hashrate as high as 750KHash/sec on other brands and configurations, but with my limited testing, this is the result that i got without compromising stability.

 

For other brands of R9 280X, you can try 1060MHz or 1080MHz for the core clock speed as a lot of people are getting good hashrates with that setting.

 

 

I will try to get the configurations for the MSI and PowerColor cards for you all after i am happy with the output from Gigabyte.

 

20/12 Update: As promised, here is part 2 of the tutorial on MSI and PowerColor cards: Radeon R9 280X Litecoin mining and Sweet Spot for 700KHash/sec (part 2)

31/12 Update: Here is my updated CGMiner configuration for Gigabyte card: Litecoin Mining – Gigabyte Radeon R9 280X Sweet Spot for 730KHash/sec


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  • Mark Newbegin

    I have some of the powercolor cards. I would love to see the settings for that

    • shadowin1126

      Honestly, the Gigabyte cards are easiest to set, and jumped to 700+KH/s with some minor tweaking. Trying to get a higher hashrate on the PowerColor and MSI cards. All these cards run much cooler after undervolting and MSI need to be flashed to the latest ROM prior to undervolting. Stay tuned.

    • HamiltonS

      I would love to see some settings on the Powercolor cards. I have two of them and the mine at 550 and 610 Kh/s.

      • shadowin1126

        Update: With my settings, i see the hashrate reached around 660KHash/sec @75 degree on my PowerColor card. Would need to do more tweaking.

  • zfei

    Never mined before, but I have 2 Gigabyte R9 280X on their way. Currently I only have a 700W PSU and a legacy motherboard that has one PCIe 2.0 x16 and one x4 slot. Do you think I need to replace them? By the way, what “vardiff” would you set for pool mining (two cards)?

    • shadowin1126

      Your PSU is capable of supporting both of your R9 280X. Since i have just built 280X mining rig, you can learn more on setting up your own mining rig here: //rumorscity.com/2013/12/15/how-to-build-your-own-litecoin-mining-rig/. I wouldn’t worry too much about Variable Difficulty (Vardiff) since you will be using a mining pool, usually the pool would monitor and adjust the difficulty of work sent to it to optimize the work done. Drop me a line here if you need further assistance.

      • Mark Newbegin

        I just wanted to see from above you were talking about updating the drivers. Was that updating the drivers that come with BAMT? the version im using supports my R9 280x natively, does it still need to be updated? it shows as a 200 Series card.

        I’m trying to find an easy way to remotely manage my 2 rigs so I can change the pools they are mining on, with BAMT is that easy to do? I know I can probably just SSH to it, but then its editing the config file name to cgminer.conf or making a different script to run if I’m mining another coin.

        How do you change between coins, are you renaming the cgminer file and just naming the other differently.

        If I was mining LTC, then I rename my cgminer.conf to something like LTC-cgminer.conf and then change the name of DOGE config file, that I Have named something like… DOGE-cgminer.conf, to cgminer.conf and I restart the mining because the script runs the cgminer.conf file.

        I know I can write other scripts to mine DOGE and LTC and other cryptos but this is how I Have been changing for right now, its probably stupid, but it works… LOL

        • shadowin1126

          You can do it easily when you SSH to your rig. After connecting remotely through SSH, type the command ‘screen -x’ without quote. Here, you can see your miner progress just like you are sitting in front of the rig. Then hit ‘p’ for Pool Management. Then you can do things like, Add Pool, Switch Pool. Hope that helps you.

  • What is the revision and firmware of the gigabyte card?

    • shadowin1126

      BIOS version 015.038.000.003.003435

  • asturking

    Hi, can you post your cgminer.conf? I think that i doing it right but i only can get about 650 kh/s

    • shadowin1126

      What card are you using? Gigabyte can reach 730KHash/sec with some tweaking. Here’s my conf:

      “intensity” : “13”,
      “vectors” : “1”,
      “worksize” : “256”,
      “kernel” : “scrypt”,
      “lookup-gap” : “2”,
      “thread-concurrency” : “8192”,
      “shaders” : “0”,
      “gpu-engine” : “900-1055”,
      “gpu-fan” : “75-100”,
      “gpu-memclock” : “1500”,
      “gpu-memdiff” : “0”,
      “gpu-powertune” : “20”,
      “gpu-vddc” : “0.000”,
      “temp-cutoff” : “90”,
      “temp-overheat” : “81”,
      “temp-target” : “75”,
      “api-mcast-port” : “4028”,
      “api-port” : “4028”,
      “auto-fan” : true,
      “expiry” : “120”,
      “gpu-dyninterval”: “7”,
      “gpu-platform” : “0”,
      “gpu-threads” : “2”,
      “log” : “5”,
      “no-pool-disable” : true,
      “queue” : “1”,
      “scan-time” : “30”,
      “scrypt” : true,

      • asturking

        Yes, i have the Gigabyte too. I have undervolted it to 1.094v to gain stability but right now i getting only 560 with one, the other gigabyte are fine. Im using bamt 1.2 and the bios is 015.038.000.003.003435, same like you

        • shadowin1126

          Remember to update your drivers as well. I have PowerColor & MSI R9 290X which improved to 750KHash/sec & 720KHash/sec respectively only after i have updated my drivers. //rumorscity.com/2013/12/08/amd-display-driver-update-for-r9-290x-on-bamt-litecoin-miner/

          Below is the screenshot of my Gigabyte cards.

          • asturking

            Thanks! I have done it changing the config of the slow gpu. When i come home i will try to update the driver to check stability

          • shadowin1126

            Glad that you managed to reach 700+ on both cards. I plan to compile BAMT with the latest drivers and release it for download. Then hopefully the others would be able to reach the higher hashrate for R9 280X cards as well. I am having good hashrate with MSI, Sapphire, Gigabyte & PowerColor

  • GN545

    Getting 800+ Kh/s across (4) R9 290X cards (3.2M/h with 3200+WU) in a standard server case is completely possible despite what some are saying on the internet. Here is a picture of my results after countless hours of tweaking. You can see the time stamps, device manager showing the cards, and the fact that mining is working to the wallet. I solo mine, so there is no shares or anything like that. This is in a standard server chasis and stays below 85C on all boards. I have been able to get up to 1M/h on one card, but never with 4 in the machine at once. I have heard that some people have broken the 4M/h mark with (4) 290X cards, but never seen proof.

    • asturking

      Can you post your full config? Im stucked with 650 kh/s each card

  • H Poole

    This is great, and truly appreciated. I been scouring the net for info on my card, the Asus R9 280x, to figure out where my BIOS switch is supposed to be. Do you know (or does anyone know?) if this card even has a switch? Furthermore, can you help me understand how this would be damaging to my card if I don’t have a switch to flip? I realize that’s the safeguard in case it “doesn’t work,” but if this is a tried and true method on the R9 280x, what should my concern be? Is it simply accidentally entering a voltage that doesn’t fly or entering in an incorrect figure? If I use your voltage of 1075 mV on my R9 280x, should that work? I’m not exactly new to this but it’s been like 15 years since i studied any computer science. Thanks much.

    • shadowin1126

      The dual BIOS switch is like you said, something for you to fall back on in case it doesn’t work. I am having the Asus r9 280X DC II and it doesn’t have a BIOS switch. Of course you can re-flash it to the original BIOS if something weird happens, but i didn’t undervolt my Asus card. I find the Asus runs pretty well around 750KHash/sec at 70 degree without undervolting.

      • H Poole

        Hey there — thanks for the reply. Can I ask about your config for this card? I’m running about 700 KH/s but over 80 degrees, and I’d really like to work it down. Any help or advise you can provide would be a big help.

        • shadowin1126

          You are talking about the ASUS card right? I got it to around 750KHash/sec at 70 degree. Here’s my conf
          -g 2 -w 256 -I 13 –lookup-gap 2 –thread-concurrency 8192 –gpu-engine 1050 –gpu-memclock 1500

          I am on BAMT with CGMiner 3.7.2 and latest drivers.

          • H Poole

            Yup, that’s the card. I’m using your config on cgminer 3.3.4 without BAMT, but I’m about to try the BAMT approach. I also was able to bring temps down like 10 degrees C with just a well-placed 9-inch fan. So that always helps.

          • shadowin1126

            What’s your hashrate now? If that doesn’t bring it up, you can try to update to the latest drivers. That should bring down the temperature and increase hashrate. Here’s how to update your drivers as well as CGMiner 3.7.2 //rumorscity.com/2013/12/08/amd-display-driver-update-for-r9-290x-on-bamt-litecoin-miner/

          • H Poole

            I’m getting about 725 Kh/s and my temps are actually down to about 72-74 C now, without the external fan. I guess they just needed to acclimate to the undervolting, which was accomplished without any hiccups. Will this process work for the R9 280x as well? I’m going to try to update to CGM 3.7.2, but my last attempt was unsuccessful due to a lacking libdev file. Do you recommend the most recent Ubuntu version or stick with the Xubuntu 12.04 I’m currently running? Thanks again.

          • shadowin1126

            I would say 725KHash/sec is pretty good for a R9 280X card. My hashrate is just a bit higher than yours. The most important is to have a stable system, and honestly i find that Asus is the most stable R9 280X with a rather cool temperature. I’m using BAMT, so can’t really comment on whether to choose Ubuntu or Xubuntu.

            Which R9 280X GPU are you inquiring? I find most of the R9 280X works as long as it is not voltage locked.

          • H Poole

            It’s the ASUS Radeon R9 280x DirectCUII. My terminal shows me running pretty consistent hashrates, although my pool sometimes shows that I have a rate of like 2/3 what I expect, given the data on my computer screen. I wonder if that’s an internet connection thing or what. I’m going to upgrade as you recommend to see if I can squeeze out a few more kH/s. I don’t know much about BAMT yet, but I’ve made the bootable USB to get started. I need to do a little more reading, but it sounds like BAMT is its own OS? In which case it doesn’t matter what version of Ubuntu I’m running.

          • shadowin1126

            It is normal for the pool to show a different hashrate than you see on your CGMiner. As the pool has no idea of your actual hashrate, it will only estimate your hashrate based on your submitted shares. That’s the reason you will see the pool showing a hashrate that is jumping around your raw hashrate. Stales and rejects may affect the hashrate too.

            BAMT is a linux distro incorporating CGMiner. Remember to update your drivers for optimal performance if you plan to use BAMT. //rumorscity.com/2013/12/08/amd-display-driver-update-for-r9-290x-on-bamt-litecoin-miner/

  • alyfree

    i can’t set the config of cgminer for two different gpu R9 290 and R9 280x
    How cgminer config to work with Each gpu individually?