All About Bitcoin and Litecoin mining and other alternative crypto currencies
A new Windows binary release compiled from the latest Git source code of the ccMiner 1.5.56-git SP-MOD fork of the Nvidia GPU miner optimized for the latest Maxwell-based video cards by SP (source). The latest version includes optimizations for Quark and Qubit for faster performance as well as support for the C11 algorithm from tpruvot’s implementation and the bitcredits algorithm form djm34’s implementation. The SP-MOD fork of ccMiner is designed for Nvidia Maxwell GPUs such as the already available GTX 750, 750 Ti as well as the newer GTX 960, GTX 970, GTX 980 and GTX 980 Ti and GTX Titan X. The Windows binary release we have made available here is with support for Compute 5.0 and Compute 5.2 GPUs or with other words only for Maxwell-based cards compiled with CUDA 6.5 and VS2013.
Here is something interesting that is not originally intended to be used as a GPU mining rig, but for a powerful compute oriented machine – an 8x GPU AsRock Rack Barebone populated with eight Nvidia GeForce GTX TITAN X video cards and two 14-core Intel Xeon processors. These powerful rackmount systems are designed for use with Nvidia Tesla cards for high-performance CUDA applications, but you can put in GeForce cards as well such as the TITAN X and have them all running at PCI-E 3.0 x16 speeds (no SLI support is available).
So we took one of these interesting systems and ran a quick test with the latest ccMiner to see what kind of performance we are going to get for crypto currency mining. It was out of curiosity as the system is not intended to be used for GPU mining – the whole things is just way too expensive to probably ever see ROI let alone make some profit from mining. Interestingly enough the 8x GPU configuration requires the use of Windows Server or compatible Linux distribution, with Windows 7 or 8.x we were having trouble making all 8 GPUs work properly (Error code 43 on the 8th card). Apparently there is a solution to make all 8 cards work fine under these consumer versions of Windows as well, all you need to do is some registry modification and you should be fine.
As you can see from the screenshot the system runs fine with a total hashrate of about 190 MHS mining Quark (98 MHS total on X11 and 25MHS total on Lyra2RE) on all eight GeForce GTX TITAN X GPUs. This means that a single TITAN X card gets you about 24 MHS for mining Quark-based crypto currencies and ll of the cards manage to provide optimum performance. Notice that the fans are turned all the way to 100% for best performance, because otherwise the cards are easily hitting the thermal limit with their fans running on auto at about 50-60% and as a result they throttle down and you loose performance with the GPU frequency dropping down to 1000 MHz. Again this is not a system designed for crypto currency mining, but for compute applications, we were just curious how well it will perform for crypto mining and it does a great job with some tweaking. Of course since the whole thing is designed to be in a server room the noise level is not relevant, though it is quite high as expected thanks to the 8 GPU fans and the other 8 chassis cooling fans that are 24W each when running at maximum RPM.
Maybe if GPU mining picks up to a large scale level like it is happening with Bitcoin mining and is profitable enough we might be able to see solutions like these used, but for now these are limited to businesses using them for high-performance CUDA applications. Think along the lines of 3D design, visual effects rendering, medical imaging, energy exploration or scientific simulations etc.
We’ve already covered a few games for both Android and iOS mobile devices that award players with BTC in some way and we have just discovered another such game. Oh Crop! by Loud Panda Interactive is a free game for Android-based devices (not available for iOS) with a simple concept where you fly around and try to avoid enemy plants trying to kill you, you can collect in-game coins and power ups that can help you survive longer and even kill enemies. The goal of the game is to survive as long as possible and score as higher as possible. Oh Crop! comes with a simple and intuitive gameplay relying on the smartphone or tablet’s accelerometer or a virtual joystick for the movement of your in-game character. It is one of those simple, yet fun and addictive games and the fact that you can get some Bitcoins as a reward makes it even more addictive.
In order to be able to get BTC rewards you need to make it into the Top 15 best scoring players into the Leaderboard, the game apparently has cycles lasting a few days each with new Leaderboard for each. There is a reward that is split among the Top 15 players in each cycle and the higher you score, the bigger your reward will be. AS a reference, the last place in the Leaderboard can have something like 2000 score and gets a reward of about 3.5 mBTC and the top player scored over 12000 points for a reward of about 57 mBTC (1 mBTC is equal to 100000 satoshi or 0.001 BTC). Have in mind that as a novice in the game you will have hard time scoring even a thousand points, so you will need to get into the game in order to get in the Top 15 players in the leaderboard and be able to with some BTC as a reward.
In order to be able to get your Bitcoin reward, if you manage to get one, you will have to setup an account in the game. This is as easy as entering a username and an e-mail address, though the mail address is not required. You also need to type the BTC wallet address to which the rewards need to be sent, the easiest way is to copy and paste it in the respective field in the game otherwise you can easily do a mistake and type it incorrectly if you try to enter it manually. Unfortunately there is no support for a web-based wallet where you can use your email address as an ID for sending you coins or an integrated 2D barcode scanner to easily set your BTC address in the game.