All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
Today we have built a 6-card mining rig using Gigabyte GeForce GTX 750 Ti (N75TOC-2GI) video cards that are based on the latest Nvidia Maxwell architecture promising very good performance for mining with low power usage. Our own initial tests of the GeForce GTX 750 Ti as a single card for mining have shown very promising results as well, so we’ve decided to see what we can expect from a mining rig and put together 6 cards with PCI-E x1-x1 extenders on an AsRock H81 Pro BTC motherboard with Intel Celeron G1820 CPU and 4GB of RAM running Windows 7.
The result we’ve got from the 6-card mining rig for mining Scrypt with CUDAminer was a total of 1480 KHS as hashrate. Then after overclocking the video cards to the maximum stable result we managed to get (+135 MHz for the GPU and +610 MHz for the video memory) we’ve managed to increase the total hashrate to about 1615 KHS. We went as far as to increase the power target limit from the default 38.5W by modifying the video BIOS of the cards. With the modified video BIOS we have managed to get slightly more than 1700 KHS with a lot of extra power used by the whole system that made it not worth it the so little extra increase in the hashrate. Just to be sure that the x1-x1 PCI-E risers (not powered) might be the cause of slight performance drop we’ve replaced them with x1-x16 USB 3.0 powered extenders, though that did not change the performance we got from the cards.
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 750 Ti video cards we used for the mining rig do have an external PCI-E power connector, however it seems that unlike AMD graphics with OpenCL, when using Nvidia-based GPUs with CUDA for mining the use of a x1 PCI-E lane to access the video card does introduce slight performance drop and if you multiply the 10-15 KHS less per card for a 6-card mining rig it is not so little. So it is important to know that if you are going to build a GTX 750 Ti-based mining rig you will be getting slightly lower hashrate if you are using PCI-E extenders as compared to what you will get with cards inserted in x16 PCI-E slot directly. Also there is some variation between cards in terms of the maximum overclock supported that results in different maximum frequencies that you can achieve, for example if one card is able to do +135/+700 MHz for the GPU/VRAM the second one could be maximum +100/+600. This means that in a 6-card mining rig you will need to either sync all of the cards and use the same lower settings for overclocking the GPUs to ensure they will run stable or to not have the settings synced and find the maximum for each of the cards.
Another interesting thing we have noticed is that while the use of T5x24 kernel for a single card with CUDAminer for best results, for a 6-card mining rig the use of T10x24 might sometimes provide slightly higher hashrate than T5x24, so you should try with both and see what works better in your individual case. Tomorrow we are going to be doing some more testing of the 6-card GTX 750 Ti mining rig that will be focused mostly on the power consumption as this is also a very important thing when talking about crypto currency mining.