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Graphics Cards

Journeyman III

If alt-coin mining doesn't die, can IGPs ever be improved enough to compete in performance? Can PC architecture be changed to facilitate this?

I am currently hanging on to a dying HD 7970 while I wait for GPU prices to drop (hopefully crash - sorry AMD) and I am wondering if there aren't better ways to make this hardware less appealing to bitcoin miners. Bundles don't work because miners buy those as well and simply sell off the components they don't need. They expect an ROI at pretty much any price point. While GPUs are scarce, CPUs are cheap and plentiful and many in the PC enthusiast vlogosphere are advocating people buy the Ryzen 3 2200G for budget gaming builds. Unfortunately, it's still horrible performance compared to dedicated graphics, but does that have to be the case? Can the die size be larger and is there some way to include GDDR directly on motherboards or even as an expandable slot upgrade? Are the performance limitations mainly trace length? Is there no way to improve this using fiber-optics to transport the signal? My theory is miners won't bother buying these as current setups usually involve many GPUs attached to one MB and this graphics solution requires each one to be in a motheboard. There would be much more overhead. Obviously this limits PC building options as well, but I already feel things are quite limited.

So a few other points, I know there are thermal limitations to consider, but with closed-loop coolers already being a part of AMDs toolkit, why not take it one step further and opt for phase-change cooling. Finally, with a more integrated solution, could Cross Fire be improved? If graphics memory was on a shared board, could two GPUs share a single pool of memory? Wasn't this the case with the Fury X2? Maybe not. Anyway, if someone more technical can tell me why I'm wasting my breath I'd appreciate it.

1 Reply

Cryptocurrency mining WILL crash, it's just a matter of when, and it will slaughter both AMD and nVidia stock prices when it does.

But no, IGPs will never catch up to dedicated cards at least in traditional computers, as aside from the thermals, there is the problem of power and space. They will, however eventually, run up to pace with couple of generation old high end cards. Vega M GL inside the i7-8705, for example, is of the power of the mobile RX 550.

Space is the number one problem, as you need a footprint the size of the i7-8705 to fit memory, GPU, and CPU cores all together, which means it's going to be its own socket.

See the source image

Power is another problem, since you will need something along the lines of 150 watts to feed the GPU and memory, and that's on top of what goes to the CPU, and that's a lot of current. It can be done of course, Skylake-X and the FX-9000 series showed it, but that requires beefier components which drives up the price. And of course thermals will be an issue. All this leads up to something which isn't a drop-in replacement for traditional sockets, so while it may be great for consoles, as far as desktop APUs go, it's a no go.