AMD’s latest budget GPU for mainstream consumers, the Radeon RX 6500 XT, is not the greatest choice for mining ether (ETH) tokens, and gamers who are actually able to get one can thank AMD for that, as the company made an intentional effort to make them undesirable for miners.
This is according to comments from Laura Smith, CVP of Radeon graphics, who told journalists in a recent roundtable discussion about how the Radeon RX 6500 XT was optimized for gaming and bluntly stated that the budget GPU was not attractive for cryptocurrency mining. Smith’s statements can be backed up by the specifications sheet of the Radeon RX 6500 XT, which seems neutered in a few ways that include the utilization of 4 GB rather than 8 GB of memory and a 64-bit memory interface rather than a 128-bit one.
“I would suggest that there’s a lot of dynamics that are involved in the availability of the GPUs,” Smith began before going into how AMD designed the Radeon RX 6500 XT specifically for gamers. “We have really optimized this one to be gaming-first at that target market. And you can see that with the way that we configured the part.”
“Even with the four gigs of frame buffer. That’s a really nice frame buffer size for the majority of AAA games, but it’s not particularly attractive if you’re doing blockchain type activities, or mining activities. And so we’ve tried to make some real gamer-first transitions for the things that we don’t control but we have influence over to optimize that card to be as accessible as possible to that use of gamers.”
Despite the slower memory interface, AMD’s Radeon RX 6500 XT does feature a relatively admirable 2815 MHz maximum boost frequency, which is even higher than the Radeon RX 6900 XT. The Radeon RX 6500 XT will be available beginning on January 19, 2022, from the usual manufacturers.