Archive for the ‘Mining Hardware’ Category

If you were surprised by yesterday’s announcement from Bitmain with their 15 GHS X11 ASIC miner, then the new X11 ASIC from Innosilicon will surprise you even more. The Innosilicon A5 DashMaster is claimed to be capable of delivering up to 30.2 GHS X11 hashrate with just 750W of power usage, that is double the performance with lower power usage compared to Antminer D3. Of course we’ve seen before Innosilicon pre-anounce specifications of ASIC miners that end up too much with the actual product not able to deliver what was initially offered, still even if they deliver slower hashrate and higher power usage than what is currently cited it could still be an interesting product. What is really important here is what the price will be as Bitmain did manage to offer a really sweet deal price wise for their 15 GHS X11 miner, no word on pricing for the A5 DashMaster yet though.

For the moment there are still not that much details about the A5 DashMaster ASIC, the information about it is published only on the copany’s Chinese version of the website, nothing on the English site yet. Innosilicon A5 DashMaster should start shipping in early September according to the information on the website, so you can expect that around September time the difficulty of DASH will be already sky high. Other manufacturers of X11 ASIC miners such as Baikal, iBelink and PinIdea are also working on new products or have recently launched such. Of course they are not with the performance of the latest announcements from BitMain and Innosilicon, but could still be interesting products. For example Baikal’s miners support multiple algorithms and not just X11 like most others do.

Update: The information about the new Innosilicon A5 DashMaster X11 ASIC has been published on the English website of Innosilicon as well and there is another interesting piece of information also available. It seems that the miner is capable of achieving about 38 GHS when overclocked with a power usage of about 1250W. The company is taking pre-orders with the shipping expected to start on September 20th and the miners will come with 6 months of warranty.

BitMain has released their first X11 ASIC miner for DASH and the initial batch was sold out in no time. It is no wonder as the specifications of the device claim 15 GHS X11 hashrate for 1200W of power usage, essentially killing all other competition currently on the market offering X11 ASIC miners. The price of the BitMain Antminer D3 ASIC is $2699 USD (1.12020985 BTC or 59.30564711 LTC) at the moment, so pretty attractive for the performance you get even with no power supply included in the price. Shipping is supposed to start around 15-25 September according to the latest update from Bitmain. There is not much information or details available as the launch of the new ASIC miner from BitMain was pretty surprising. They were so in a hurry that even the photo of the new miner on the official website is actually that of an L3+…

Specifications of the Antminer D3:
– Hash rate: 15 GH/s X11 (Variation of ±5% is expected)
– Power consumption: 1200W (at the wall, with Bitmain’s APW3 PSU, 93% efficiency, 25°C ambient temp).
– Dimensions of the miner: 320x130x190 mm

To visit the official product page of the Antminer D3 X11 ASIC miner for more details…

We have been playing around with the AsRock H110 Pro BTC+ motherboard for crypto mining with support for up to 13x GPUs and we can already share some feedback based on our experience with it. So far we have tried running the motherboard with thirteen Nvidia GPUs of the same model – namely GeForce GTX 1070 under Windows and Linux. AsRock recommends that you use a mixed combination of 8 + 5 GPUs under Windows and we can confirm that we were not able to make more than 8x GTX 1070 GPUs work properly under Windows. Adding a 9th or more video cards makes Windows unstable and even if the driver gets properly installed as soon as we run a miner the system freezes, running multiple instances of miners on just a few cards each does not help. With Linux-based mining distributions however we had no trouble running the motherboard just fine with all 13x Nvidia GPUs out of the box.

Running 13x GPUs on a single motherboard brings up a lot of potential problems with you connecting everything up and making it work. It does require more space than a regular rig designed for just 6 to 8 GPUs, even though we actually managed for squeeze 12x GTX 1070 GPUs in such a rig for the sake of testing only, the last card was a bit too much however, so it remained on the top of the frame. Again this setup was just for testing things up and not for a production mining rig that will run 24/7, so make sure you have a larger frame for 13x GPUs when using the AsRock H110 Pro BTC+ motherboard.

AS expected the power supply is one of the biggest issues with 13x GPU mining rig and more specifically the number of available connectors that are needed to provide power to the GPUs and the PCI-E extenders. We have used a 2000W Leadex power supply that has plenty of connectors and even then they were not enough for all the GPUs. 12 of the GTX 1070 cards were with a single 8-pin PCI-E power and only the 13th was with a single 8-pin and 6-pin power connector…

Even the 2000W Leadex PSU does not have that many 8-pin PCI-E power connectors, not to mention the need of SATA/Molex power connectors for the extenders per power line to be on the safe side. You are looking at minimum two power supplies with enough power connectors and try to avoid using power splitting cables, apart from maybe a second 12V CPU line that can be safely used for provide one or two extra PCI-E power connectors (depending on the PSU). Going for video cards that have two PCI-E power connectors or need more than about 150W of power is not a wise thing for this motherboard as things will get even more complicated.

There were some concerns regarding the PCI-E connectors on the motherboard placed too close to each other and possibly shorting when you insert the PCI-E extenders in them. It seems however that this is actually not an issue, even with connectors being dangerously close and pushing them by hand they are still not shorting – the USB connectors are saving the day by touching each other and preventing shorts. Still with the varying type and size of USB cables used with PCI-E extenders it will still be wise to put some insulation tape on the back of the small PCI-E boards that go into the PCI-E slots just to be on the safe side.

AsRock H110 Pro BTC+ comes pre-configured in the BIOS and is ready to start mining without any additional changes needed from the users. Of course you might still want to enable the automatic Power On function after power loss for example and do some minor tweaks yourself, but even if you just install the GPUs and turn on the power it should work out of the box. This is really important thing for mining motherboards to make the life of miners easier and not to have them go through many settings and change them in order to make thing work properly for more GPUs.

As already mentioned we were not able to get more than 8x Nvidia GTX 1070 GPUs work properly under Windows and at the same time we did not have any trouble with some Linux-based mining distributions we have tried. So 8 + 5 GPUs of different kinds (Nvidia/AMD) under Windows, but no 13x of the same kind seems to be possible for the moment, at least not out of the box and with any of the tweaks we have tried to make things work. With Linux no problems with just 6 or 8 or the full house with 13x GPUs, all worked just fine and mined without problems. You can try the KopiemTu Linux mining distribution, or the more recent nvOC distribution. While for Linux-based 13x AMD GPU mining rigs you might want to try the ethOS Mining OS or the more recent rxOC distribution.

We are yet to try using the AsRock H110 Pro BTC+ motherboard With 13x AMD GPUs, but we are expecting to see the same problem under Windows as with the Nvidia GPUs and a problem free experience when using a Linux-based mining distribution or if you manage to install Linux yourself and make it usable for mining (this usually requires more advanced users). While a mixed setup of AMD and Nvidia GPUS user Windows may seem like an interesting idea we are not that much fans of such setups as in our opinion they are more prone to potential problems. Still feel free to experiment and try it out yourselves even with a mixed setup of GPUs if you insist on staying on Windows and using 13x GPUs.

The use of the AsRock H110 Pro BTC+ crypto mining motherboard seems to present more challenges and with the shortages of GPUs and other hardware it can be even more difficult to build properly a 13x GPU mining rig. Still it offers an interesting opportunity for miners that are building AMD Ethereum mining rigs or Nvidia ones with the mid-range cards such as GTX 1060 or GTX 1070. The only problem at the moment with this particular motherboard is that it is nowhere to be found at the recommended prices and at the places you can buy it is at speculative price that is pretty much double than what it should normally cost. The speculative high price can be a deal breaker as well for many users that are considering using this motherboard for 13x GPU mining rigs.


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