Archive for the ‘General Info’ Category

With all our efforts failing when trying to find if such a cable exists as a products that you can order and get ready made to be installed we had to make one ourselves. Why would you need a cable like that anyway? With the abundance of SATA power connectors and just a few 4-pin Molex power connectors with all more recent power supplies you can end up with the need to have more 4-pin Molex power connectors, especially when building a mining rigs. Sure, you get plenty of SATA power to 4-pin Molex power adapter cable with the risers you buy for video cards, but they are all single SATA power and that is precisely the problem. Anything that requires a 4-pin Molex power connector can actually have a higher power usage than what a SATA power cable can supply in terms of maximal power rating. The result can be issues with stability and functionality due to overheating and melting SATA power cables due to higher load than what they are designed for.

The solution is just to get a 4-pin Molex power connectors (Female ones) and turn two SATA power to 4-pin Molex power adapter cables into a single dual SATA power to 4-pion Molex power one. This way you can connect two SATA power cables from a single line for peripherals from the power supply to a single 4-pin Molex power and get completely safe with higher power draw components. Do note that you still need to be careful not to connect too much of these adapters to a single power line going to the PSU as you may overload the total capabilities of the cable and/or more likely the ones of the modular power connector that is used to connect the cable to the power supply. More than two dual SATA power to 4-pin Molex power cables on a single cable is not advised with 60W per power adapter cable max load just to be on the safe side, even if they are actually able to handle a bit more.

Some more tips to help you stay on the safe side. Make sure that the peripheral power cables of your power supply are at last 18 AWG or lower number (thicker cables), so that they are able to handle more power. Typically good power supplies use 18 AWG cables for that and AWG 16 for the PCI-E power lines (especially if you have dual PCI-E power connector), but single PCI-E power connector per cable should be just fine with 18 AWG as well. When using two SATA power to 4-pin Molex power cable adapters for extenders make sure that they are also with 18 AWG cables, regardless if you build a dual SATA power cables like we do. There are some extenders that are being shipped with 20 AWG cables on these power adapters and this could cause even more serious issues if you try using them with higher power loads required, so try to avoid using these.

We are getting reports for a new trend that is peaking up recently with all of the shortages with hardware due to the boom in mining. It seems that some retailers will happily sell you their stock of GPUs and will then tell you that they will not give you any warranty or accept RMA in case of a problem if you are going to be using the video cards for mining. At the same time they are happily willing to sell you not only the GPUs, but all other hardware that you may need to build a mining rig. The problem here is that instead of clearly pointing that they will not hold any warranty for products used for mining, they take your money, ship you the goods and then inform you that there will be no warranty if the hardware is used for mining. This is just not the correct way of doing business… though it is hard to confirm what a GPU was actually used for anyway, it sounds more like a threat to the customer than something that can be truly enforced.

The main concerns with hardware used for mining are regarding the GPUs working under heavy load 24/7. This makes them prone to more issues as they hold higher operating temperatures, fans are more susceptible to failure (especially if not good quality ones) and as a result the cards can fail. Base on our experience however if properly cooled and maintained the fact that a good GPU is used for mining instead of occasional gaming is not really a problem. Most of the GPU failures usually happen in the first few days and are often caused by some small defect that is prone to result in an issue sooner or later anyway. All in all it is important that miners take a proper care of their mining hardware in order to ensure its long and reliable operation and if they do it good enough, then the trouble they will have are going to much less than if they don’t…

The problem is that there are a lot of people that are getting into mining that do not care about anything, they just throw a bunch of video cards somewhere and start mining and when there is a problem they just RMA them. They do not care about proper cooling, optimizing settings for efficiency or performance or anything else, they just want to mine and make profit from as easy and as fast as they can. We know for a fact that one of the most common RMA reasons are failed fans of video cards that are under warranty, again here some vendors are to blame as they are putting cheaper and lower quality fans. If you have good dual ball-bearing fans that are well protected from dust and do not have an issue with increased temperature you are much less likely to get into trouble. We are however still seeing cheap fans with bushings instead of ball bearings and not very tolerant to higher operating temperatures being widely used on not so cheap GPUs.

This brings us to the 3 month warranty that Nivida is planning to offer for their GeForce GTX 1060 9Gbps based mining GPU. It seems that they are also worried that a longer warranty might not be cost effective for products dedicated for mining, but then again it also shows that they may not be that ready for properly making mining GPUs… just more cost effective solutions. On the other hand if you look at the warranty that ASIC miners do come with limited warranty. For example the Bitmain Antminer S9 ASIC miner does come with a 180-day warranty starting from the date the unit is shipped to you. Baikalminer has just a 30-day warranty for miners. In general the warranty you get for dedicated mining hardware may vary from none to up to about 6 months period. However this is clearly stated before you buy the product, and not you getting a nice and not so pleasant surprise after you pay for it and get it shipped to you for example.

We are hearing information from different sources that AMD may have more serious issues with supplying enough of its Radeon RX 500 series of GPUs on the market for the next couple of months. It is not all about the increased demand from crypto miners as it seems that that the company may be experiencing some other issues that are causing it to not be able to produce enough GPUs to cover the demand. Looking at Ethereum’s hashrate and difficulty data however does not yet show a significant slowdown in growth, but the reason for that could easily be the move of existing mining power from other crypto coins to ETH.

With AMD GPUs hard to get for a while now miners are looking for alternatives that are good for Ethereum mining and while Nvidia GPUs are generally more expensive, there are some that are interesting for ETH mining. We are talking about the GTX 1070 that can do 25 MHS stock and 30 MHS or even a bit more after some memory overclocking and it can do it with a reduced TDP. As a result some miners have started looking at GTX 1070 as a solution to use for new mining rigs, again it might be more expensive, but with the high profitability mining now with a more expensive GPU than waiting to possibly secure some cheaper AMD cards in some days or even weeks…

Other more powerful GPUs from Nvidia are not so great for mining Ethereum due to the use of GDDR5X video memory instead of GDDR5 that is found on the GTX 1070. The GDDR5X memory is faster in terms of clock speed and offers more bandwidth, but apparently uses less aggressive timings and as a result is not much faster than the “slower” GDDR5 memory. As a result if you are looking at GTX 1080 or GTX 1080 Ti for Ethereum mining their price/performance ratio is really not attractive at all as far as Ethereum mining goes. Nvidia on the other hand is faster on ZEC and many other algorithms, but then again people are currently crazy about ETH. So do your math and think about it and don’t overthrow the GTX 1070 as a good option for Ethereum mining.