Reuben's Guide to Mining Dash with an AMD GPU on Windows

BolehVPN

Active Member
Nov 24, 2014
195
306
123
Guides are very scattered on this so I thought I'll document the process:

In this guide we will be using:
  1. SGMiner
  2. Wolf0's binaries (these give a huge boost in hashing over the standard SGMiner)
  3. Windows
  4. Any one of the following AMD GPU families
    1. Cape Verde: 7730/7750/7770
    2. Pitcairn: 7850/7870/R9 270/R9 270X
    3. Tahiti: 7870XT/7950/7970/R9 280/R9 280X
    4. Hawaii: R9 290/R9 290X/R9 295X2
Step 1: Install SGMiner

Download the latest binaries from Nicehash. Extract it to a folder of your choice.

Step 2: Create a configuration file for SGMiner

There are many custom configurations but I will keep it as basic as possible to make it work well. I am unsure if the other settings make a real difference.

Make a new file in the same folder as your sgminer and name it sgminer.conf

Code:
{
"pools" : [
    {
        "url" : "stratum+tcp://pooladdress:7903",
        "user" : "walletaddress or username depending on pool",
        "pass" : "x",
        "algorithm": "darkcoin-mod"
    }
],
"xintensity" : "64",
"worksize": "64"
}
Replace the pools with your relevant details. Please do support P2Pool nodes instead of regular pools since they keep mining decentralized and the network protected from 51% attacks! Pick a node with low latency from this list of Dash P2Pool Nodes.

If you want more advanced configurations for the very best results, please look at this doc (Work in progress) that shows tested settings.

The main thing you want to try playing about is xintensity.

What is xintensity?

Intensity correlates with the size of work being submitted at any one time to a GPU. The higher the number the larger the size of work. Generally speaking finding an optimal value rather than the highest value is the correct approach as hash rate rises up to a point with higher intensities but above that, the device may be very slow to return responses, or produce errors

'xintensity' is a new setting that replaces the older 'intensity' setting.

This new setting allows for a much finer grained intensity setting and also opens up for dual
gpu threads on devices not previously able to. Note: make sure to use lower thread-concurrency
values when you increase cpu threads.

It is simply a shader multiplier, obviously based on the amount of shaders you got on a card,
this should allow the same value to scale with different card models.
6970 with 1536 shaders: xI:64 = 98304 threads
R9 280X with 2048 shaders: xI:64 = 131072 threads
R9 290 with 2560 shaders: xI:64 = 180224 threads
R9 290X with 2816 shaders: xI:64 = 163840 threads
6970 with 1536 shaders: xI:300 = 460800 threads
R9 280X with 2048 shaders: xI:300 = 614400 threads
R9 290 with 2560 shaders: xI:300 = 768000 threads
R9 290X with 2816 shaders: xI:300 = 844800 threads

It's now much easier to control thread intensity and it potentially allows for a uniform way
of setting the intensity on your system. I'm very interested in constructive feedback, as I
do not have access to a lot of different card models.

This change has been tested on 6970, R9 290, R9 290X - all with equal or better speeds than
regular intensity setting after a little tuning, but your mileage may vary. Don't fret it, if
this doesn't work for you, the regular intensity setting is still available.

Try xintensity 64 first and play around with the number to see which gives you the best performance with the lowest error rate. Or you can Google around for your card with the recommended xintensity setting.

Do not change the worksize setting.

Save sgminer.conf in the same folder as your sgminer.exe.

Step 3: Create a dummy binary and then replace it with Wolf0's binaries
  1. Doubleclick sgminer.exe and it should run. It will create a .bin file which also shows the family of your card. For example for my R9 290, the file it created was darkcoin-modHawaiigw64l4ku0.bin. Take note of this file name!
  2. Download the corresponding binary from Wolf0's Reddit thread that fits your AMD GPU family.
    1. Tahiti
    2. Hawaii
    3. Pitcairn
    4. Cape Verde
  3. Rename the downloaded Wolf0's binary to the same name as the .bin file created by SGMiner by default. Overwrite the sgminer's .bin file with the Wolf0's binary.
Step 4: Run SGminer and start mining!

All you have to do now is double click sgminer.exe and it should start hashing and show something like the screenshot below. This screenshot is from 2 x R9 290 with a total hash of about 13Mh/s

If you have a Crossfire setup, please do remember to disable Crossfire in your ATI Catalyst settings or else it'll go funky.



Thanks and hope this helps you!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Sub-Ether

Well-known Member
Mar 31, 2014
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Nice one for centralizing the info and making a guide :D.

I will add that the most stable version of sgminer for my setups is no longer listed at nicehash and thats the pre-release version sgminer-5.0-pre-release-2014-07-20-win32.
Also, AMD catalyst drivers 14.7 RC3 is 15% quicker than version 14.7 RC1 using Wolf0's bins, but 14.9 may cause instability issues especially with older cards running together with R9's.
 
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tuppydog

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Ok, man this is great, this is what that other forum was talking about, I just couldn't make sense of it, thanks for the summary!!! As soon as I get the equipment in, I'll let you know how this works, thanks again..!!!!
 
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Sub-Ether

Well-known Member
Mar 31, 2014
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Other versions of sgminer to search for include(do be careful viruses from 3rd partys!!). If the x11mod or darkcoin-mod kernel is missing from the kernel folder, merely paste in from another version of sgminer and it will work fine, and remember to set the correct kernel in your config settings!
sgminer_x11x13mod_03_06_2014
and
sgminer-5.1-2014-12-20-win32
 

tuppydog

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Ok, all my cards I have decided from now on will be Sapphire AMD 7970s (unless you have any recommendations there). I'll give it a shot when I get the gear in. Thanks again..!
 

tuppydog

Member
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Ok, I was just going to ask you that question; on which sgminer works, I think when I tried this before, I was downloading viruses and I could not get any sgminer to work on windows. went to ubuntu, everything worked right away, but I definatly want to try to get better performance out of this and I am way more familuar with windows....
 

Sub-Ether

Well-known Member
Mar 31, 2014
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Ok, all my cards I have decided from now on will be Sapphire AMD 7970s (unless you have any recommendations there). I'll give it a shot when I get the gear in. Thanks again..!
Post back in the mining speeds thread, am interested to see what you get, I nearly bought a 7950 for $150 recently but decided R9 280X or R9 290 is the way to go. and I heard AMD are bringing out the r9 380x range soon, and I advise caution in buying older cards as the chipsets may not speed up as much as the new ones with the latest drivers.
 

tuppydog

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I made a mistake with the buying the 7950, I thought I was getting 7970s, which always work great. The 7950s just don't hash as well, and generate a ton of heat, but always work. I'm loading up windows on a HD right now....haha
 

tuppydog

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One other question, where is a reliable source for these downloads? I just want to make sure I don't get any viruses like last time
 

tuppydog

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I tried various sgminers again to no avail, however, I stumbled onto this youtube site, all speeds have gone up to almost 30% higher...freaking amazing.....


I wasn't endorsing dogcoin, lol, just the process of using wolf0 sgminer, and the huge increase in speed, I haven't even started changing the paramters yet, getting 5.6Mh/s for 7970s where as I was probably getting 3.5 at the most under Ubuntu....
 

tungfa

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Dash Core Team
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Apr 9, 2014
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Guides are very scattered on this so I thought I'll document the process:

In this guide we will be using:
  1. SGMiner
  2. Wolf0's binaries (these give a huge boost in hashing over the standard SGMiner)
  3. Windows
  4. Any one of the following AMD GPU families
    1. Cape Verde: 7730/7750/7770
    2. Pitcairn: 7850/7870/R9 270/R9 270X
    3. Tahiti: 7870XT/7950/7970/R9 280/R9 280X
    4. Hawaii: R9 290/R9 290X/R9 295X2
Step 1: Install SGMiner

Download the latest binaries from Nicehash. Extract it to a folder of your choice.

Step 2: Create a configuration file for SGMiner

There are many custom configurations but I will keep it as basic as possible to make it work well. I am unsure if the other settings make a real difference.

Make a new file in the same folder as your sgminer and name it sgminer.conf

Code:
{
"pools" : [
    {
        "url" : "stratum+tcp://drk.bolehvpn.net:7903",
        "user" : "walletaddress or username depending on pool",
        "pass" : "x",
        "algorithm": "darkcoin-mod"
    }
],
"xintensity" : "64",
"worksize": "64"
}
Replace the pools with your relevant details. Please do support P2Pool nodes instead of regular pools since they keep mining decentralized and the network protected from 51% attacks! Pick a node with low latency from this list of DRK public P2Pool nodes.

The main thing you want to try playing about is xintensity.

What is xintensity?

Intensity correlates with the size of work being submitted at any one time to a GPU. The higher the number the larger the size of work. Generally speaking finding an optimal value rather than the highest value is the correct approach as hash rate rises up to a point with higher intensities but above that, the device may be very slow to return responses, or produce errors

'xintensity' is a new setting that replaces the older 'intensity' setting.

This new setting allows for a much finer grained intensity setting and also opens up for dual
gpu threads on devices not previously able to. Note: make sure to use lower thread-concurrency
values when you increase cpu threads.

It is simply a shader multiplier, obviously based on the amount of shaders you got on a card,
this should allow the same value to scale with different card models.
6970 with 1536 shaders: xI:64 = 98304 threads
R9 280X with 2048 shaders: xI:64 = 131072 threads
R9 290 with 2560 shaders: xI:64 = 180224 threads
R9 290X with 2816 shaders: xI:64 = 163840 threads
6970 with 1536 shaders: xI:300 = 460800 threads
R9 280X with 2048 shaders: xI:300 = 614400 threads
R9 290 with 2560 shaders: xI:300 = 768000 threads
R9 290X with 2816 shaders: xI:300 = 844800 threads

It's now much easier to control thread intensity and it potentially allows for a uniform way
of setting the intensity on your system. I'm very interested in constructive feedback, as I
do not have access to a lot of different card models.

This change has been tested on 6970, R9 290, R9 290X - all with equal or better speeds than
regular intensity setting after a little tuning, but your mileage may vary. Don't fret it, if
this doesn't work for you, the regular intensity setting is still available.

Try xintensity 64 first and play around with the number to see which gives you the best performance with the lowest error rate. Or you can Google around for your card with the recommended xintensity setting.

Do not change the worksize setting.

Save sgminer.conf in the same folder as your sgminer.exe.

Step 3: Create a dummy binary and then replace it with Wolf0's binaries
  1. Doubleclick sgminer.exe and it should run. It will create a .bin file which also shows the family of your card. For example for my R9 290, the file it created was darkcoin-modHawaiigw64l4ku0.bin. Take note of this file name!
  2. Download the corresponding binary from Wolf0's Reddit thread that fits your AMD GPU family.
    1. Tahiti
    2. Hawaii
    3. Pitcairn
    4. Cape Verde
  3. Rename the downloaded Wolf0's binary to the same name as the .bin file created by SGMiner by default. Overwrite the sgminer's .bin file with the Wolf0's binary.
Step 4: Run SGminer and start mining!

All you have to do now is double click sgminer.exe and it should start hashing and show something like the screenshot below. This screenshot is from 2 x R9 290 with a total hash of about 13Mh/s

If you have a Crossfire setup, please do remember to disable Crossfire in your ATI Catalyst settings or else it'll go funky.



Thanks and hope this helps you!
Can you please start working on "rebranding" the guide ?!
that would be great and super appreciated
Tx
 

BolehVPN

Active Member
Nov 24, 2014
195
306
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Unfortunately i think SGMiner is still sticking to the darkcoin-mod name. Have renamed the title but that's about all I can do.
 
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Wolf0

Member
Oct 7, 2014
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Guides are very scattered on this so I thought I'll document the process:

In this guide we will be using:
  1. SGMiner
  2. Wolf0's binaries (these give a huge boost in hashing over the standard SGMiner)
  3. Windows
  4. Any one of the following AMD GPU families
    1. Cape Verde: 7730/7750/7770
    2. Pitcairn: 7850/7870/R9 270/R9 270X
    3. Tahiti: 7870XT/7950/7970/R9 280/R9 280X
    4. Hawaii: R9 290/R9 290X/R9 295X2
Step 1: Install SGMiner

Download the latest binaries from Nicehash. Extract it to a folder of your choice.

Step 2: Create a configuration file for SGMiner

There are many custom configurations but I will keep it as basic as possible to make it work well. I am unsure if the other settings make a real difference.

Make a new file in the same folder as your sgminer and name it sgminer.conf

Code:
{
"pools" : [
    {
        "url" : "stratum+tcp://pooladdress:7903",
        "user" : "walletaddress or username depending on pool",
        "pass" : "x",
        "algorithm": "darkcoin-mod"
    }
],
"xintensity" : "64",
"worksize": "64"
}
Replace the pools with your relevant details. Please do support P2Pool nodes instead of regular pools since they keep mining decentralized and the network protected from 51% attacks! Pick a node with low latency from this list of DRK public P2Pool nodes.

The main thing you want to try playing about is xintensity.

What is xintensity?

Intensity correlates with the size of work being submitted at any one time to a GPU. The higher the number the larger the size of work. Generally speaking finding an optimal value rather than the highest value is the correct approach as hash rate rises up to a point with higher intensities but above that, the device may be very slow to return responses, or produce errors

'xintensity' is a new setting that replaces the older 'intensity' setting.

This new setting allows for a much finer grained intensity setting and also opens up for dual
gpu threads on devices not previously able to. Note: make sure to use lower thread-concurrency
values when you increase cpu threads.

It is simply a shader multiplier, obviously based on the amount of shaders you got on a card,
this should allow the same value to scale with different card models.
6970 with 1536 shaders: xI:64 = 98304 threads
R9 280X with 2048 shaders: xI:64 = 131072 threads
R9 290 with 2560 shaders: xI:64 = 180224 threads
R9 290X with 2816 shaders: xI:64 = 163840 threads
6970 with 1536 shaders: xI:300 = 460800 threads
R9 280X with 2048 shaders: xI:300 = 614400 threads
R9 290 with 2560 shaders: xI:300 = 768000 threads
R9 290X with 2816 shaders: xI:300 = 844800 threads

It's now much easier to control thread intensity and it potentially allows for a uniform way
of setting the intensity on your system. I'm very interested in constructive feedback, as I
do not have access to a lot of different card models.

This change has been tested on 6970, R9 290, R9 290X - all with equal or better speeds than
regular intensity setting after a little tuning, but your mileage may vary. Don't fret it, if
this doesn't work for you, the regular intensity setting is still available.

Try xintensity 64 first and play around with the number to see which gives you the best performance with the lowest error rate. Or you can Google around for your card with the recommended xintensity setting.

Do not change the worksize setting.

Save sgminer.conf in the same folder as your sgminer.exe.

Step 3: Create a dummy binary and then replace it with Wolf0's binaries
  1. Doubleclick sgminer.exe and it should run. It will create a .bin file which also shows the family of your card. For example for my R9 290, the file it created was darkcoin-modHawaiigw64l4ku0.bin. Take note of this file name!
  2. Download the corresponding binary from Wolf0's Reddit thread that fits your AMD GPU family.
    1. Tahiti
    2. Hawaii
    3. Pitcairn
    4. Cape Verde
  3. Rename the downloaded Wolf0's binary to the same name as the .bin file created by SGMiner by default. Overwrite the sgminer's .bin file with the Wolf0's binary.
Step 4: Run SGminer and start mining!

All you have to do now is double click sgminer.exe and it should start hashing and show something like the screenshot below. This screenshot is from 2 x R9 290 with a total hash of about 13Mh/s

If you have a Crossfire setup, please do remember to disable Crossfire in your ATI Catalyst settings or else it'll go funky.



Thanks and hope this helps you!
I recommend clocking those 290s higher, and dropping their xI to 64. Those hashrates aren't very good.
 
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GunXpatriot

New Member
Apr 29, 2015
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I just want to put my two cents in here, but... I copied in that config file that you made, and then put in Wolf0's binary...

I'm running 2 R9 270's (non-X).

Initial hash rate was 1800+ kh/s per card, about 3600 kh/s between the two.

After using Wolf0's binary, over 3200 kh/s per card, for a grand total of 6400 kh/s... HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? o_o

There are Gods among us, friends. :)

Thanks a lot, both of you!
 
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moli

Grizzled Member
Aug 5, 2014
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@
I just want to put my two cents in here, but... I copied in that config file that you made, and then put in Wolf0's binary...

I'm running 2 R9 270's (non-X).

Initial hash rate was 1800+ kh/s per card, about 3600 kh/s between the two.

After using Wolf0's binary, over 3200 kh/s per card, for a grand total of 6400 kh/s... HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? o_o

There are Gods among us, friends. :)

Thanks a lot, both of you!
Wolf0 is a genius programmer and a nice person. His dash address: Xgq6yJWmmP3ugc3b6ZehndYpf8jVzP4ydS
He's trying to get a masternode if you have any spare coins.