Checking the Power Usage of the New ZeusMiner Scrypt ASIC Miners

29 Jul
2014

zeusminer-x6-scrypt-asic-miners-1

We have been testing the new Next Generation of ZeusMiner Scrypt ASICs (Zeus Lightning X6, Zeus Thunder X6 and the Zeus Hurricane X6) for a few days already and have already reported our very first impressions. Now we have some more interesting findings and information available to share with you based on our continuing tests, this time we are going to focus on the power usage of the new X6 series of miners that are supposed to be more power efficient – their key feature. What Zeus has done with their ZeusMiner X6 Scrypt ASICs is essentially lowering the operating voltage and power and thus achieving lower power consumption. If this was not also combined with new lower prices as well the new X6 miners would not be so interesting, but their new lower prices (even though you cannot yet take advantage from them directly buying from Zeus due to their pre-order 1+1 bonus promotion) at their distributors are actually quite attractive combined with the lower power consumption.

zeusminer-x6-chip-operating-voltage

We have already discovered that the best operating frequencies of the new miners (there is no recommended frequency published on the official website for the advertised hashrates) seems to be at about 245-250 MHz for the ZeusMiner Thunder X6 and the ZeusMiner Hurricane X6, however the ZeusMiner Lightning X6 does not appear to be handling so well at these operating frequencies. In fact even at 230-235 MHz we are still seeing HW error rate of about 10% or more which in our opinion is a bit too high, but going lower in terms of operating frequency does lead to decrease in the hasrate of about 40-42 MHS. So what is the reason for this difference? We have already suspected that the operating voltage of the Lightning X6 is even lower than what it is on the smaller Thunder X6 and Hurricane X6, but checking out the actual power consumption of the miners and opening them up to inspect them has confirmed our suspicion. Zeus has even made it very easy to spot the difference by putting a label of the actual voltage used by each board and as you can see on the photos, the Thunder and Hurricane X6 miners have 1.1V used and the Lightning X6 has the chip voltage lowered to 1.05V. This is probably done in order to get the total power usage of the Scrypt ASIC miner below 1 KW, but as a result you will need to use an operating frequency of about 220 MHz for low HW error rate and the hashrate you can expect is more like 36-38 MHS and not 40-42 MHs. But this is not the only concern we have with the new miners as Zeus has done some more optimizations, probably with the idea to cut costs further, that we do not like very much.

zeusminer-hurricane-x6-power-usage

We are stating with the power usage of the 9-10 MHS ZeusMiner Hurricane X6, according to the official specifications is should use about 230W of power and a good 250W power supply is recommended, though you probably will not be able to find a 250-300W 80 Plus Gold or Platinum PSU, you can use a more powerful one. Running the Hurricane X6 miner at 250 MHz operating frequency we have measured an actual power consumption of about 276-278 Watts. This is a bit higher than the claimed power usage, and though it may not be such a big of a deal, when you consider that the miner is powered via a single 6-pin PCI-E power connector this raises some concerns.

zeusminer-thunder-x6-power-usage

Moving to the power usage of the 18-20 MHS ZeusMiner Thunder X6 we see on the official website a power consumption of 450W claimed with a good quality 500W power supply recommended. Our tests have shown a different number running the miner at 250 MHz, the number we got is more like 542-546 Watts and that is like 100W more. This is essentially double the power usage of the Hurricane X6 as the Thunder X6 does have twice the number of chips inside, so it is to be expected if both miner run at the same frequency and use the same voltage for the ASIC chips.

zeusminer-lightning-x6-power-usage

Next up is the power usage we have measured for the 40-42 MHS ZeusMiner Lightning X6 Scrypt ASIC. The officially cited power consumption is 980W with a good 1200W PSU as a recommendation. Our tests have shown actual power consumption for the miner at just about 906-914W at an operating frequency of 230 MHz and about 970W measured at the wall (taking into account the PSU efficiency). Here the power consumption is not double the one from the Thunder X6 even though the number of chips inside is doubled and the reason for that is the lower voltage of the chips that is 1.05V instead of 1.1V. It has been lowered as otherwise the actual power consumption should’ve been something like 1100 Watts at 1.1V.

We’ve confirmed that the power consumption numbers on the ZeusMiner website are not entirely correct, they are lower on the smaller miners and higher ton the top miner compared to what we have measured. That however is not the actual problem here, the problem and the thing we did not like much is the fact that Zeus has reduced in half the number of PCI-E power connectors available to power the new miners. As you should know by specifications power supplies are designed to supply 75W over the 6-pin PCI-E power connector and 150W over the 8-pin PCI-E power, even though the actual hardware is usually capable of supporting higher power as these were originally designed to power video cards. The 18 AWG wires used normally in most power supplies (some use 16 AWG) and the connectors should be capable of 8-10A over a single 12V wire and with 3x 12V lines on both 6-pin and 8-pin PCI-E power connectors this should in theory easily cover up to 300W. The problem however comes from the fact that PSU manufacturers are not required to design their products to handle so much power over a single rail for PCI-E power connector and most don’t do it, even if they do supply some extra over the 75W/150W requirements they have. So 300W per single 6-pin PCI-E power line can be a bit overkill for an ASIC miner running 24/7 and the easiest way to confirm that without special equipment is to check the wire by touching it after the miner is started. if it quickly gets hot, then things are definitely not Ok, though it is just a bit warmer to the touch it might be fine.

Having 278 Watts of power provided to the ZeusMiner Hurricane X6 over a single 6-pin PCI-E power connector is something that raises some concerns, so you should be extra careful what power supply you are using. With the ZeusMiner Thunder X6 the situation is very similar, though here you have two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors with each transferring about 273 Watts of power. Things are a bit better with the ZeusMiner Lightning X6 that has 4x 6-pin PCI-E power connectors with each one getting just about 228.5 Watts. So what ZeusMiner should have done is actually double the number of PCI-E power connectors on their miner to distribute power more evenly to each board and to lower the load on each of the PCI-E power lines. We do recommend to be extra cautions when you are setting up the new miners and check the cables to make sure that they are not getting very host quickly after you turn on the miner as this may potentially lead to damage of the hardware – both the miner and the power supply and this is something that you will want to avoid.



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21 Responses to Checking the Power Usage of the New ZeusMiner Scrypt ASIC Miners

tonyc

July 30th, 2014 at 16:39

Very informative and unbias post thank you, one of my fav Crypto site!

Basilisk

July 30th, 2014 at 21:16

Thanks for the information. Now, which are the power supplies we recommend with these features? Thanks.

Note: It’s not about spamming, is knowing that what we buy and not fail.

admin

July 30th, 2014 at 21:43

Most good 80 Plus rated Gold and Platinum power supplies that can handle the measured load at 12V + 20% extra should be just fine, though you should still check if the cables are getting hot… Corsair, Seasonic, EVGA, Thermaltake, XFX, Cooler Master… there are a lot of brands making good high quality power supplies.

Ralph

July 30th, 2014 at 21:52

I receive a Blizzard Hurricane X6 from Zeusminer!

I measure 80 DB noise. 240 Watt@240Volt Platinum PSU

Downloads (not made by me but zeusminer)
Drivers and CGMINer for the Hurricane X6 or other X6 Divices (Blizzard X6 etc..)
Download CGMiner X6: http://goo.gl/BBHQtj
Download CP210x_VCP_Windows: http://goo.gl/BBHQtj

Raspbery Pi Software:
ZeusController FOR Raspberry Pi V5.0 4G (X6 series special) http://goo.gl/BNG8dp

How to i configure the scrypt .bat !?
cgminer.exe -o [i]stratum+tcp://eu.wafflepool.com:3333[/i] -u [i]1AfU5bTT1BJKjus6VpFJh4kFqeULnEE8Jf[/i] -p [i]d=1024[/i] -S //./COM[i]44[/i] –chips-count 64 –ltc-clk 245 –nocheck-golden
@pause

Please do not forget to change chips-count for your X6 Miner.
Bij de Blizzard X6 chips-count 24
Bij de Hurricane X6 chips-count 64
Bij LIGHTNING X6 chips-count 256
Bij Thunder X6 chips-count 128

Made a nice video whit a review: http://youtu.be/j_HybV03C_M

My website for more info: http://www.bitcoinupdate.nl/home/the-new-zeusminer-blizzard-x6-review

Scott

July 30th, 2014 at 21:52

The EVGA G2 80Plus 1000/1300w models are rock sold and will power any of these with no issues. With that said, it is rather disappointing to see the lack of progressive innovation on the part of Zeus. Ever since they started cutting corners by reducing the power MOSFET’s used on each PCB (thus reducing the robustness), I have lost faith.

Ralph

July 30th, 2014 at 23:55

@ Scott and @admin, I have used a seasonic-platinum-series-760-watt PSU.
Do i have to ugrade my psu for this miner, sinds i see you talking about 1000 and 1300Watt models??
specs: http://www.seasonicusa.com/Platinum_Series_XP2.htm
The 12 volt cable feels slightly warm.

admin

July 31st, 2014 at 01:17

For the Hurricane X6 this PSU from Seasonic is a bit overkill, especially if you do not have anything else connected to it. If the cables are just slightly warm they are probably around 40-45 degrees Celsius which is to be expected with this load on the line, nothing to worry about though.

Ralph

July 31st, 2014 at 01:31

Thanks Admin, they are probably around 35/40Celsius.

No load only the Hurricane X6, well better overkill than under-kill, i have no lesser psu anyway :-)

Basilisk

July 31st, 2014 at 02:47

Thank you Admin, I am thinking to buy an Zeus miner, it is most cheaper.

Ralph

July 31st, 2014 at 04:12

You know what this website is missing?

Dieter

July 31st, 2014 at 15:30

My Lightning X6 uses 1300w at the wall @freq 220 Hashrate 40-42 ghs and 980w @freq 200 with 38-40 ghs. My PSU is only rated 1200 w (gold) thinking about replacing it with 1600w. That give me more room for overclocking that monster. I’m not sure 1300w for 40-42 ghs is a good deal.

Ralph

July 31st, 2014 at 18:36

@Dieter
Congrats with your new Lightning X6

I quote scott on this “Ever since they started cutting corners by reducing the power MOSFET’s used on each PCB (thus reducing the robustness)”

That mean you maybe need to tweak/mod your miner to get huge potential overclocking.

Ralph
Bitcoinupdate.nl

David

August 2nd, 2014 at 20:22

On my Thunder X3 the fans exhaust the air pulling air backwards through the PSU (Seasonic Gold 1250w). When I shut the unit down and remove the cover, the heatsinks are warm, not hot, and the exterior of the PSU is almost to hot to touch. This same PSU running a bigger load in an open-air rig always stayed quiet cool. Any chance my fans are installed backwards? Which way does the air flow in the X6 models?
thanks,
David

admin

August 3rd, 2014 at 18:31

David, it is just that the design with the PSU inside the case of the miner is not designed good enough… and the power supply’s cooling is not working well together with the cooling fans of the ZeusMiner case, so better keep the PSU outside.

David

August 14th, 2014 at 06:18

Rather than modify the case to put the PSU outside, I decided to reverse the case fans, giving the case interior positive pressure and allowing the case fans to help rather than forcibly reverse the airflow through the PSU.

The results: the large heatsinks inside the case are the same temperature (to my touch) and the exterior of the PSU is now actually quite cold, instead of too hot to touch. It’s been working flawlessly for more than 7 days now.

Anyone else have a different experience?

regards,
David

Jose Gonzalez

August 23rd, 2014 at 03:28

So I have a noob question. the Thunder x6 has/uses how many pci-e connectors?

admin

August 23rd, 2014 at 12:12

Jose Gonzalez, the Thunder X6 has 2 PCI-E power connectors.

Jose Gonzalez

August 23rd, 2014 at 19:13

@admin, Well then would i be able to power two of them with one PSU of 1200w ? new to the mining world.. thanks

admin

August 23rd, 2014 at 21:03

Yes, 1200W PSU should be Ok for two Thunder X6 miners.

Hashmaster

October 4th, 2014 at 23:04

What is the best setting for the frequency on a Zeus thunder 3 i have mine running on 328 would b okay to run it on 340……..thanks

admin

October 5th, 2014 at 12:31

Usually 328 MHz turns out to be the best in most cases, though you can test with slightly higher.

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