Sapphire introduces AMD-based mining cards; look ma, no display connectors!
NVIDIA may be working on releasing graphics cards without display connectors or DirectX support, but Sapphire is already putting up their Sapphire Radeon RX 470 Mining Edition and RX 560 Mining Edition cards for pre-orders on OverclockersUK. As far as we know, these are the first mining cards based on gaming GPUs available on the market.
The cards do not feature display connectors (aside from the RX 560 which features a sole DVI connector for some reason), but AMD cards do not need bridges for CrossFire, which means that the RX 470 mining cards may be capable of CrossFire with a standard RX 470 with display connectors. NVIDIA is reportedly disabling DirectX support in their mining cards, so we don’t know if these cards have a similar limitation to prevent users from using these cards for gaming. These cards aren’t cheaper than their standard counterparts at the moment though, so while it could be entirely possible, it doesn’t mean its worthwhile.
Sapphire is offering specific variants of these cards equipped with Samsung memory, which is known to clock higher for higher hashrates. This is a great option for miners who want to get the highest performance from their cards without having to participate in the lottery of VRAM chips. Sapphire is charging a small premium of £10 for the cards with Samsung memory though.
These cards are covered by a shorter 1-year warranty, which is understandable given the constant stress these mining cards will be put under.
Pokdepinion: I would stand behind specialized mining cards if they were cheaper than their standard variants. That will drive miners towards these purpose-built cards, and make the normal gaming cards available for people who actually get these cards to game. As it stands, a lot of popular mining cards are sold out here, causing a price hike that is hurting gamers who are looking to get graphics cards for their gaming rigs.