What Features are Missing from the iBeLink DM384M X11 ASIC Miner
The iBeLink DM384M is the first to market X11 ASIC miner and while it is a pretty good product, there are still some things to be desired. In terms of hardware the X11 ASIC miner offers a solid build and reliable performance making it pretty capable for mining in a data center even in not so favorable conditions even when the environment temperature is not the best. The power usage is at a good level for the high performance it offers of 384 MHS for X11 mining, but the noise level makes it inappropriate for home miners. Temperature wise the situation is good thanks to the powerful server grade cooling used to keep the miner operating stable as you can see from these thermal images of the device in operation. Pretty much what is missing in terms of hardware is the presence of thermal sensors and fan control available for the users, the first is not hard to implement considering that the built-in controller of the miner is a Raspberry Pi. Fan speed control and failsafe could be trickier to implement as it would also need to be able to ignore users settings if the conditions require it and even to shutdown the miner in case a fan fails. Not to mention that implementing fan speed control and monitoring would not be very usable without the miner having thermal sensors, but the current implementation with server grade fans is good enough and should provide long and reliable operating with adequate cooling.
On the software side however there is much more to be desired, even though the basic web-based functionality you get is a pretty good starting point. we have already mentioned the device uses a Raspberry Pi controller with a modified version of the MineNinja software to provide a web-based frontend to the cgminer 3.5.6 backend. The web frontend provides a lot of numbers to the users, but they do not always seem to be correct, especially in terms of the actual hashrate you are getting from the device, so you need to look at the pool reported speed. Furthermore the web-based control lacks some very basic features such as password protection for access control or the ability to use a different pool mining strategy than the default failsafe one that is available. With big and powerful ASIC miners we often see that the web-based control software offers only pool failsafe options, but no load balance strategy for example. So while this will be fine if you are mining a high difficulty coin, if you go for a low difficulty and hashrate one throwing your full hashrate you will quickly raise the coin difficulty a lot. The cgminer backend does come with support for different pool strategies, so the problem is in the functionality available in web-based interface. Unfortunately for the moment the source code of cgminer or at lest the driver for the device is not yet publicly released, so we cannot have support built in other miners and web frontends. So for the moment the iBeLink DM384M is best for use with high difficulty X11 coins…
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