Re: Why the P106?
"Power draw. You are asking the wrong questions. For the extreme miners it is all about power draw. I dont know the specifics but possibly form factor too if it allows cheaper or better cooling."
It doesn't draw less power. In fact, it draws almost exactly the same power as a 1060 when running at ~22Mhs. It can hash slightly faster, but at the cost of more power. I've seen 24Mhs @ 120w per card, 150w at the wall. If your power cost is over US$0.17/KWh, then it's a money loser to run it at higher power.
The P160 has better fans than the entry level 1060. Same heatpipes. Same form factor. If you want a lower or shorter form factor, then there are a range of 1060s for that, my preference is for Zotac. Fans run about 35% for most boxen here, less for the ones in unheated spaces.
The issue remains that it gives a very marginal gain on max speed, no gain on Mhs/watt, and has no real resale value and no warranty. I've had mining cards that ran for 4 years that I could still sell for 30% of their retail price* plus even fairly ancient cards that came with the shiteboxen can still fetch a fiver for someones minecraft box.
If my mining card needs to RMAd as long as I've:
- run it within it's performance envelope
- not buggered with the BIOS settings (encrypted on 1060 and presumably P106)
- run it on compatible and tested hardware (no bloody risers)
- run it in an ESD safe enclosure (case rather than rig)
- used only the manufacturer supplied OC SW
- run it under a "tested" OS
Then my suppliers will replace it anytime within 3 years. Why I'd want to give that up for 4 months warranty for a small potential performance gain is beyond me.
The 1060 was already an amazingly efficient mining card. The 470 has more grunt (and draw) for mining, is in more need of cooling (+5-10 C over a 1060), thus would probably benefit more from a specialized mining only card. But even then, a new 570 4Gb is about 250 euro retail, so any mining card would have to come in under 200 for me to even think about it.
It feels like the responses to the demand for GFX cards are quite odd. Most companies make 3-4 versions of the same chipset and memory combo, with better binning, cooling and more power requirement on the higher end models. Adding another model of fully functional GFX card, with low binned processor, high binned memory and the best cooling, and then pricing it accordingly would seem more logical than making a new range without any cost savings. Or just make more, in response to demand.
Instead it's been used as a price hike. Shortage of supply, price rise, supply resumes, prices kept high.
* x is about 90 cents at the moment. Between 50 cents and 5 euro over the last 6 months
** as an example RX270 2Gb for 50 euro