Fremin the miner's life

Mining Crypto-coins as diversification investment in Japan

Temperature and sound level measurement of Radeon Rx vega 64

      2017/12/19

In previous entry I summarized software settings for mining by Vega 64, next I checked hardware of the GPU: temperature and sound level.

How the Vega 64 is "hot" and "noisy"

By using an infrared thermometer, I check the temperature of my Vega 64 mining at 200W power consumption.
Then it's 50 to 60 degrees Celsius at vent part, which can be the cause of low temperature burn.

As for its sound level, it was 61 dB at 2,300 rpm fan speed and about 72 dB at 3,800 at 10 cm distance from the GPU.
It's the almost the same or even more noisy than a home vacuum cleaner.

Cleary it's noisy then countermeasures will be surely required.

Measuring instruments

You can find infrared thermometer and noise level meter by following links.
Both are less than 20 US dollars and affordable.

Comment link
This is a gun-type infrared thermometer.
You pull the trigger, set the infrared laser beam to measuring point then you will find the the temperature of the surface with few seconds.
The range of the temperature is from - 50 to + 550 degrees Celsius and emissivity is fixed value 0.95. These specification will be enough at this measurement.
Comment link
This is a small, 3AAA battery-powered and easy-to-use noise level meter.
The measuring range is from 30 to 130 dB, +/-1.5dB Accuracy with 0.1dB Resolution, and 31.5Hz to 8.5KHz frequency response with A-weighting curve.
These specification will be sufficient as well as the infrared thermometer above.



Sponsored Link

Measurement

Caution

This infrared thermometer uses the class 2 laser, so do not gaze the laser by the naked eye.

About noise level, although the following case is very unlikely, if the measurement result is above 80 dB, especially over 85 dB, you need countermeasures of sound insulation / isolation immediately. Otherwise you will have noise-induced hearing loss.

For reference, in Japan we have rules regarding noise level, issued by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. If the sound level of a working environment is above 80 dB, such the place must be monitored and controlled in business.

I believe you have similar rules or regulations in your country.

Temperature measurement

It's very simple to use. You pull the trigger, set the laser point with few seconds then you will get the temperature.

The Distance to Spot Ratio is 12:1. So if you want to measure tiny spot, you set the thermometer very close to the point.

For example, the measuring circle is 3 mm, the distance between the measurement surface and the laser gunpoint is 36 mm.

The check points are the bottom of the slot (red) and middle part of the vent (yellow).

The result was about 50 degrees Celsius at the red circle,

And it was about 60 degrees Celsius at the yellow.

Countermeasure

Reducing the Power limit (PL) of GPU by Wattman or MSI afterburner is one of the easy solutions.

In my case of Vega 64, the temperature became 36 and 44 degrees Celsius respectively, by Secondary mode of hardware switch and 50 % power limit condition by Wattman.

Following screenshot of GPU-Z shows the condition. Since the temperature of the GPU is 50 degrees Celsius and HBM2 memory 58, I think there is a moderate correlation.

If you don't want to squeeze the PL then alternative will be increasing fan speed and add on more fans besides the GPU.
However both will be the cause of increasing noise, so you pay attention about that.

Noise measurement

It's very easy to use as well. You just press the measurement button at the measuring point.

At this time I set the noise level meter at 10 mm far from the GPU, and measured from 2,300 RPM to 3,800 RPM, at 500 RPM interval.

(1) 2,300 RPM

(2) 2,800 RPM

(3) 3,300 RPM

(4) 3,800 RPM

The summary with wattman setting is as follows:

MIN MAX Fan speed [RPM] Sound level [dB]
2,000 4,900 2,300 61.4
2,500 4,900 2,800 68.4
3,000 4,900 3,300 70.7
3,500 4,900 3,800 71.6

In my feeling, my Vega 64, which has AMD manufacturer's reference fan, becomes obviously noisy when its fan speed is over 2,500 RPM.

So my recommendation is to make air flow construction that makes the GPU fan speed below 2,500 RPM, if you put the mining rig with Radeon Vega near your work desk.

Countermeasure

You put the mining rig away as far as you can feel "it's NOT noisy" in your working space.

Concerning the concrete figure, below 50 dB at least, even less 48 dB is better in my personal feeling.

Basically, more the distance from the noise source, less the sound level.

Based on my experience, some try and error will be needed about the distance and overall condition, because the mining rig has not only the GPUs but multiple noise sources such as CPU fan and power supply unit(s), and you will also hear environmental noise simultaneously.

In general, it is said that 50 dB is the one good indication: a lot of people feel the sound above 50 dB noisy. So the below 50 dB can be the first target.

Of course the hearing sense is different with each person, so I strongly recommend not to compromise to make the environment you feel comfortable noise level.

In my case, the 50 dB sound environment is still "noisy" for me, then about 48 dB is "OK".


Since mining crypto coins requires multiple GPUs which is both the source of heat and noise, the potential danger of using personal computer will do increase and even reveal.

For your safety, my recommendation is to confirm how you mining rig is actually hot and noisy by yourself then take countermeasure against issues step by step.

 -