MSI – AMD Radeon R7 370 4G Review

Overview

This week I review the MSI Radeon R7 370 4G video graphics card (model: R7 370 GAMING 4G). This card is similar to the XFX R7 370 I reviewed previously, but includes 4 GB of GDDR5 memory instead of just the 2 GB found on the XFX model. While I do not think this will have much impact on the actual mining performance, it does provide some amount of protection against mining coins such as Ethereum which has a 1.4 GB and growing DAG file, that needs to fit into the graphics card’s memory in order to be mine-able.

Regarding Ethereum, which is the most profitable GPU mine-able coin at the moment, there is still some question as to which will occur first; the hard limit of 2GB being reached by the DAG file rendering 2 GB cards useless for Ethereum mining, or the switch of the Ethereum code base to use PoS for generating new coins. If the PoS phase were to be delayed, and assuming ETH mining is profitable several months from now, a 4 GB card will be able to continue mining once the DAG crosses the limit.

Another consideration is that 4 GB cards will retain a higher resale value once they are no longer useful for mining. The current premium for choosing 4 GB over a 2 GB card is around $20, so you can make up your own mind if it is worth the extra cost or not.

MSI R7 370 009The MSI R7 370 comes attractively packaged in a heavy duty double boxed configuration. The outer-box is a heavier cardboard than some of MSI’s competitors uses, and while maybe just a cosmetic feature for some, I appreciated the more robustness, as the thin cereal box wrappers used by other manufacturers tend to rip easily if you are not extremely careful when opening the end flaps.

MSI R7 370 012
While much of this is definitely falling in nit–picking territory, I have often resold my cards after using them and these small attention to details can be beneficial. By keeping all of the little accessories, dust caps, electrical terminal covers, and original packing materials in like-new shape, I have been able to fetch a $10 – $20 premium on the used market, compared to sellers without the packaging. Of course a ripped box, or missing dust cover in no way affects the condition of the video card, but buyers notice these small details and maybe figure if you kept this stuff in god shape you may have took good care of the card as well.

MSI R7 370 013
Carefully removing the inner box reveals yet another nicely packed container, which includes the drivers CD, owners manual, warranty card, and accessory’s all packaged in a black cardboard “envelope” with an attractive MSI logo. This cardboard envelope serves a dual purpose, not only as a place to stash the accessories but also acting as the protective cover for the remaining components. Under this layer there is a black foam pad to separate the video card from the rest of the packaging and to provide additional protection.

After removing the black foam pad, we are finally able reveal the actual video card, nestled in a custom-fit foam bed specifically for the GPU. The card is visible through its semi-transparent standard anti-static bag.
MSI R7 370 015

 

Features

Some of the highlighted feature set for the R7 370 Gaming 4GB listed by MSI are as follows:

TWIN FROZR V – TORX FAN

Combines the aspects of a traditional fan blade which maximizes downwards airflow and air dispersion to the massive heat sink below them and a dispersion fan blade which intakes more airflow to maximizes air dissipation to hear sink. The Advanced Dispersion Blade design generates 19% more airflow without increasing drag for supreme silent performance.

SuperSU Pipe

Enhanced dissipation efficiency SuperSu Architecture is the best cooling solution for graphics cards. The GPU is cooled by a massive nickel-plated copper base plate connected to Super Pipes (8mm heat pipes) on the MSI GAMING series graphics card. Additionally, the new heat pipe layout increases efficiency by reducing the length of unused heat pipe and a special SU-form design.

MILITARY CLASS COMPONENTS

One of the deciding factors in performance is the quality of the components used. That is why MSI only uses MIL-STD-810G certified components for its Gaming cards because only these components have proven to be able to withstand the torturous circumstances of extreme gaming and overclocking.

MSI HI-C CAP

MSIโ€™s Hi-c CAPs are tiny, and super-efficient capacitors. Their small footprint allows the installation of heat sinks and their high efficiency (93%) actually reduces the total thermal footprint of the card.

MSI SUPER FERRITE CHOKES

Super Ferrite Chokes use a Ferrite core that is Super-Permeable. This allows the Super Ferrite Chokes to run at a 35 degree Celsius lower temperature, have a 30% higher current capacity, a 20% improvement in power efficiency and better overclocking power stability.

MSI SOLID CAP

With their aluminum core design, Solid CAP’s have been a staple in high-end design mainboard designs and provides lower Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) as well as its over-10-year lifespan.

 

While there is a lot of marketing speak in there, let’s take a moment to look at some of the more relevant features of the MSI R7 370 video card that directly pertain to mining.

MSI R7 370 018
The Advanced Dispersion Blade claiming 19% more airflow over the heatsink and surrounding area sounds promising. After operating 4 of these cards in an open air rig, and leaving the fans on the automatic setting, I can attest to the fact that these cards do indeed run quieter while still keeping the GPU temperatures in the 50-60 C range. Perhaps the “SuperSU” heat-pipes help this aspect, this is a rather hard aspect to measure but anything helping to keep the card cool will help with mining.

MIL-STD-810G certified components are a good thing, as when used for mining these cards will be running hard 24/7 over several months, perhaps years without the routine shutdown that most gaming rigs would enjoy. This means sustained heat, stress, and overall hard work so having heavy duty components will hopefully help with stable, long lasting, and reliable trouble-free operation.

MSIโ€™s Hi-c CAPs, Super Ferrite Chokes, and Solid Caps all claim to be superior and aid in keeping temperatures lower. Again the two main trouble spots for mining, and probably high end GPU’s in general, seem to be heat and reliable components that can take the abuse. So anything helping to achieve this end is a plus.

MSI R7 370 020A more directly observable feature of the MSI R7 370 is the single 6-pin power connector. This indicates the card will draw less power than a similar one with a 8-pin or dual 6-pin connectors. As excess power consumption eats into the profits, cards that can use less power and still provide the same overall hash rate are a big plus when it comes to mining. MSI lists the R7 370 as having a power consumption of 150 watts.

The MSI R7 370 comes with 4GB 256-bit of GDDR5 memory, has 1024 stream processor, and its core clock is set to 1020 MHz, with a “Boost” clock of 1070 MHz. The memory clock is listed as 5700 MHz, or a setting of 1425 MHz on the bus.

On the next page we will look at setting up the MSI R7 370 cards in a mining rig.

23 Comments

  1. Let me start off by saying this review was a bit more challenging than the previous two. The XFX and Gigabyte cards pretty much performed exactly as expected, so there was not a lot of room for interpretation of the results.

    This review on the other hand threw in a few curveballs that I still need to investigate, which brings me to this post. I was debating whether to delay the review until I worked through the identified issues or publish what I found.

    I decided to go with the later route, as this would be exactly what someone new to mining would encounter. So while the review may seem a bit jumbled toward the end, it does show that mining isnโ€™t always buy the components, plug it all in, starting mining and everything works perfectly and as expected.

    So I will continue to update this review as I find out more information. Let me know in the comments if you would prefer this method, or should I just wait and post a more clean review once all the facts are squared away. Since this site is geared toward helping the user, I appreciate your thoughts.

    Thanks,
    CryptoYeti

    • Updating this comment after one week of running the rig. After working out some of the issues the hash rate has settled down to about 58 Mhash/sec on average. The first week it earned 6.8 ETH on the pool, which averaged out to around $70, even considering the falling ETH price. This would up the ROI to about 8 weeks total, but still reasonable considering both the increasing mining difficulty and decreasing ETH price.

      The next couple of weeks should be interesting as if the price keeps falling and difficulty keep rising, the days of easy profits will be coming to an end. Thus more power efficient cards such as the MSI will become even more important for people mining with higher average electrical rates.

        • From the article:

          In this case with the 4 – R7 370 GPUs installed, we are getting slightly less than 60 MH/s, or roughly 15 MH/s per card

          At the time this was written, I was able to get 19 MHash/sec out of each card, but you are correct that the current speeds you can obtain from these cards is slightly lower due to the ever increasing DAG file size. I would say I am getting an average closer to 15 MHash/sec per card right now.

          • Yes, you are correct, must have been tired when I made the comment. Thanks for pointing the error out.

            I have corrected the numbers, and to be clear to everyone the current average hash rate of the R7-370 is around 15 MHash/sec.

  2. Very nice article, I am happy to have stumbled across it.
    I ordered 6 MSI R7 370 cards a couple of days ago and will use this thread alongside building my rig.

    • Thanks for the comment!

      Nice, you will need to let me know how that works out. I am considering adding at least one more card to the current rig as the power draw is so low, to bring it to 5 GPUs. I will have to look into motherboards that support 6 cards, as most of the ones I have now will only support up to 5 GPU’s.

      At the low 125 watts per card while mining (including system overhead) for the MSI model R7’s, you should be able to easily power 6 with a 850 watt power supply.

      • ASRock has a couple of cards that supports up to 6 graphics cards.
        I’m using their H81 BTC as it seems to be reliable and the cheapest.

  3. Hi Admin, Thank you so much for this website!! hopefully I can build one rig ๐Ÿ™‚ do you know where I can find a good tutorials to build the same GPU like you build but using linux? thank you!!

    • Thanks!

      There is some mixed information out there on mining Ethereum with Linux, so I do not have an ready reference to give you atm. I was thinking about creating a Linux based rig for my next project, so maybe this will give me the impetus I needed. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • I have played around with overclocking and see almost no improvements in hashrates, while at the same time increasing the power consumption slightly in the process. So instead if trying to improve my profitability by overclocking, I am taking the opposite approach and seeing how far I can under-clock, and under-volt, before losing any hash-rate compared to stock settings.

          Like with the overclocking attempt, the results aren’t very dramatic as compared with other coins and their mining algorithms, but I have managed to save up to 10% off the full rig load by adjusting memory timings and voltages. This may not be a big deal with a small number of rigs, or low cost electricity rates, but for people with a lot of rigs and/or higher electrical costs, I feel this approach will yield more benefits in the long run.

          • I would love to know what values you found to work for you on the underclock and undervolting. I am in the same mindset as you are that the more efficient the rig the better the chance of profitability over the long haul. I just setup a 6 gpu R7 370 MSI rig and now would like to tweak the voltages and speeds down if possible to reduce that power draw and keep those GPU’s cooler this summer. I would love to hear your feedback on this. Thanks for the great article. I will try dropping the work settings and see if that does the same for me. I was only seeing about 13mhs per card this past week in testing so I would love to see a little better numbers if possible.

  4. make sense ๐Ÿ™‚ could you help me on setting up that rig? and where can I buy those cables connectors? I see that you are not using usb risers. do you have skype or email so we can communicate? thank you!!

    • Those are 1x to 16x PCIe riser extension cables. I usually get them off of eBay, they are about $4 each shipped from the US (if bought in multiples of 5+), or even as low as $2 each if you can wait for shipping from China.

      I like using the non-powered versions as I have less trouble overall. There are some USB ones that can extend the cable further, but those can be somewhat flakey depending upon quality. These usually work just fine when used in rigs I have setup, and the power draw when mining Ethereum isn’t as strenuous as some other algorithms where you have to worry about burning out your motherboard connectors because of too much current.

  5. I have a few of these card and cant change the voltage.
    Even after lots of searching i didnt find a bios Editor.
    Can you help?

  6. Hello, Iยดve been trying many different drivers and I cannot get my hashrate above 15 MH/s per card.
    Do you have the SDK installed? And if so, which version?
    I also need to add the following to my batch file for ethminer, otherwise I get a “No GPU device with sufficient memory detected” error:
    –opencl-device 0 -t 6 –opencl-platform 1

    • With the increasing DAG file size while mining Ethereum, the hash-rate will go down over time in inverse proportion to the DAG size. I have checked my miners and indeed this rig is now averaging a built lower than when I first wrote the article, but I am still able to average over 15 Mhash per card.

      The current setup for this rig is I am using Qtminer pointing at Ethermine.org with the following launch string:

      setx GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR 0
      setx GPU_MAX_HEAP_SIZE 100
      setx GPU_USE_SYNC_OBJECTS 1
      setx GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT 100
      setx GPU_SINGLE_ALLOC_PERCENT 100

      qtminer.exe -s us1.ethermine.org:4444 -u 0x2e211cBb49cF051Cc427Daa107AD0076B29E6902.Miner08 -G --opencl-platform 1

      The AMD driver version is 16.4.1, running on Windows 7 (64 bit) with 8 MB system memory.

      • I am also using ethermine.org, and was using qtminer, but I tried using genoil’s ethminer this past week and that seemed to help a little with hash rates, but still not where they should be. You might give Genoil’s 1.07 a try and see what that does for your rates.

  7. So most of the internet claims that they only get around 15mhs how come you end with up something over 16 mhs even more like 17/18/19mhs?

  8. Very intuitive article. Although I knew most of the technical side already, your mindset and calculations make allot of sense and it’s written with precision and passion. Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Now, while contemplating my next rig, I have read in a couple of forums (somewhere) that the Strix R7 370 has been reporting slightly higher hashrates than the XFX and MSI versions. Are you finding the same results, even if it’s just by a few hashes?

    Many thanks dude, great blog and keep up the good work.

    • Hi, thanks for the comment.

      I can confirm the MSI does seem to be less than both the XFX and Asus Strix by about 1 MH/s or so. I believe this is mainly due to the more conservative settings MSI uses. I know there fans hardly wound up at all until I pushed the cards with some overclocking. Nice for a quiet room, bu not so much for mining. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I just got in some more MSI cards though, the 4 GB RX 470 models. I will be doing a full review, but so far they are looking like capable performers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*