Archive for the ‘General Info’ Category

ethereum-logo

There are just about 57000 blocks left before we reach the Ethereum hardfork planned for block 1150000 when Ethereum will move to the next phase called Homestead. Do note that Homestead is the second major version release of the Ethereum platform, which includes several protocol changes and a networking change that requires the hardfork. The Ethereum clients with support for the Homestead are already available for download and it is recommended to upgrade any Ethereum nodes or local wallets if you are using such at this time in order to be ready for the hardfork.

The initial Go version of Ethereum (geth) for Homestead is release 1.3.4, but there is already 1.3.5 and the initial C++ version of Ethereum (eth) for Homestead is the version 1.2.0 with version 1.2.2 already available with some fixes. Do not wait for the last possible moment or after the 1150000th block is here in order to avoid any possible issues resulting from the hardfork. A large number of the Ethereum nodes have already been updated, but there are still some that are running older versions of the software that are not ready for the hardfork. Hopefully all of the Ethereum mining pools and the nodes running 24/7 on the network will be ready for the hardfork that should hit in a little over a week from now.

To download the latest Ethereum Go client geth version 1.3.5 (Homestead)…
To download the latest Ethereum C++ eth client version 1.2.2 (Homestead)…

nvidia-smi-power-limit

There are a number of tools available that can allow you to monitor and control various aspects of your GPU and most fo them do come with nice graphical user interface to make things simple. When mining however you might want to have easy console command control over the GPU behavior to be able to execute commands that change things from a Batch file fro example right before a given miner software is stated. For Nvidia GPUs there is the Nvidia System Management Interface (nvidia-smi) command line utility that can help you do that in a simple and effective way, we have already showed an example using it to control the power state of the GPUs for getting some extra performance with non-overclocked video cards that are not running at the maximum power state when doing compute tasks such as mining for crypto currencies. Now it is time to show you some more useful tricks for using the nvidia-smi to check and modify the maximum TDP (Power Limit) that a given GPU can use as well as how to monitor constantly the GPU temperature and power usage and possibly log them in a file if you need that recorded for some further analysis.

The nvidia-smi utility is part of the video drivers and you can find it installed in the folder “C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\NVSMI\” on Windows, so you need to run the command line (cmd) and navigate to that folder in order to be able to issue commands. You then need to run nvidia-smi with some specific parameters based on what you need it to do such as specifying which GPU you need to play with by ID and then the command that needs to be sent or the data read from it.

So if you want to see what is the power limit of the first Nvidia GPU in the system:

nvidia-smi -i 0 --format=csv --query-gpu=power.limit

If you do not include the i parameter followed by the GPU ID you will get the power limit of all of the available video cards, respectively with a different number you get the details for the specified GPU. Then comes the fun part, changing the power limit to a lower value in order to reduce power consumption without affecting the performance or with slight decrease to get better power efficiency while mining. So in the following example we set the power limit to 175W for the first GPU down from the maximum of 275W that is has preset in the BIOS:

nvidia-smi -i 0 -pl 175

nvidia-smi-temperature-report

The next useful thing we want to be able to do via the console is to check the temperature of an Nvidia GPU and have it reported each second with the ability to also save the results in a text file should we need to do some additional analysis of the results. Using nvidia-smi to read the temperature of the first GPU each 1000 ms (1 second) can be done with the following command:

nvidia-smi -i 0 --loop-ms=1000 --format=csv,noheader --query-gpu=temperature.gpu

In order to stop the reporting of the temperature in degrees Celsius you need to press CTRL + C. If you need to have the result recorded to a text file you can run the following command:

nvidia-smi -i 0 --loop-ms=1000 --format=csv,noheader --query-gpu=temperature.gpu > temperature.txt

nvidia-smi-power-usage

The same way you can get the temperature of a GPU in the system reported you can also have a report on the current power draw of each Nvidia GPU in Watts for example every second. The reporting of power usage is very accurate and does not require any hardware as it is already implemented on a hardware level in the more recent Nvidia-based video cards. What you need to do is to run the following command:

nvidia-smi -i 0 --loop-ms=1000 --format=csv,noheader --query-gpu=power.draw

In order to stop the reporting of the temperature in degrees Celisus you need to press CTRL + C. If you need to have the result recorded to a text file you can run the following command:

nvidia-smi -i 0 --loop-ms=1000 --format=csv,noheader --query-gpu=power.draw > powerusage.txt

The reporting of the current power usage can be very helpful when tweaking your Nvidia-based video card for achieving the best power usage / mining performance ratio and also in order to compare power usage between different crypto algorithms. The nvidia-smi tool has some other useful features that may be handy for users, do note however that the changes you make with it are not permanent, they will need reapplying if you restart your computer, but you can automate them with a simple batch file by running a command right before you start up your miner software.

raspberry-pi-3-model-b

Most crypto currency miners should be very familiar with the Raspberry Pi, the small and inexpensive Linux-based “computer” that is often used to run big ASIC miners without the need of a dedicated powerful PC. The RPi however can be used for other things such as running a full Bitcoin or other crypto currency node with the help of a large USB drive or running a wallet for PoS for example. So the announcement of a new faster Raspberry Pi 3 could be of interest to a lot of people, especially considering the fact that the new model comes with built-in WiFi and the price remains the same as with the old model 2 – $35 USD, with the RPi 2 still available for anyone that needs it.

Raspberry Pi 3 Specifications:
– Processor: Broadcom BCM2387 chipset, 1.2GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A53, 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1 (Bluetooth Classic and LE)
– GPU: Dual Core VideoCore IV Multimedia Co-Processor. Provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode. Capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure
– Memory: 1GB LPDDR2
– Operating System: Boots from Micro SD card, running a version of the Linux operating system or Windows 10 IoT
– Dimensions: 85 x 56 x 17mm
– Power: Micro USB socket 5V, 2.5A

Raspberry Pi 3 Connectors:
– Ethernet: 10/100 BaseT Ethernet socket
– Video: Output HDMI (rev 1.3 & 1.4 Composite RCA (PAL and NTSC)
– Audio Output: Audio Output 3.5mm jack, HDMI,
– USB: 4 x USB 2.0 Connector
– GPIO Connector: 40-pin 2.54 mm (100 mil) expansion header: 2×20 strip providing 27 GPIO pins as well as +3.3 V, +5 V and GND supply lines
– Camera Connector: 15-pin MIPI Camera Serial Interface (CSI-2)
– Display Connector: Display Serial Interface (DSI) 15 way flat flex cable connector with two data lanes and a clock lane
– Memory Card Slot: Push/pull Micro SDIO

The dimensions and layout of the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B are the same as with the RPi 2 Model B including the connectors, so it should be compatible as a direct replacement for the older unit if you are already using it for a project. The faster CPU can be a good upgrade for tasks requiring more processing power such as running a crypto currency node, the GPU is the same as with the old model, but clocked higher and you get WiFi and Bluetooth built-in for easier wireless network and peripheral connectivity.

For more details about the announcement of the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B…


top