All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
Today we’ve received our Baikal Miner ASIC supporting X11, X13, X14, X15, Quark and Qubit algorithms and we can share some photos with you. Our first impressions from the device as well as results from testing and using it will be shared in the next couple of days when we get to play around with it and see how good it will work and if it manages to deliver what is being promised by the manufacturer.
The miner is pretty compact in size and is a little less than 0.5 kilograms in terms of weight. It is well packaged, the build quality is good, though a bit strange in terms of design, and since there is not much weight there should be no trouble with the package, unless of course it gets seriously damaged during transportation. Our package has arrived in good condition and there seems to be no damage to the box that the miner was delivered into.
It is important to know that you will only get the miner itself, there is no manual, power supply or any cables along with it, so the rest you need to provide yourself. There is no need for software as you plug directly the device into your network and control it via web interface. But the power supply is important, you need an adapter capable of outputting 12V at 5A with a 2.5mm barrel size (2.1mm won’t work). You can either use a dedicated power 12V supply or go for an adapter from molex to this type of barrel connector and use a regular computer PSU. You can find an online manual and additional support here. That is it for now, stay tuned for more details very soon.
Bitmain is apparently setting a very ambitious goal of their new miner called AntMiner R4 and that goal is to bring back home mining of Bitcoin. What they are doing in order to get home miners’ attention is trying to make the miner more compact and less noisy while still managing to provide quite a serious hashrate rated at 8.6 THS with just about 845 W of power usage. What will make the most difference for home users however is the price of the new miner and if it is not right, then why would you bring one or even more of these home, guess we’ll know in a few days as sales start at 23:00 (GMT+8) on 29 August when we’ll probably also get an idea about the price of the device.
Bitmain AntMiner R4 Specifications:
– Miner Hash Rate: 8.6TH/s (Variation of ±5% is expected)
– Power Consumption: 845W +9% at the wall (with Bitmain APW5 PSU)
– Power Efficiency: 0.1 J/GH +9% at the wall (with Bitmain APW5 PSU)
– Noise level: 52dB (at an ambient temperature of 35°C)
– Chip quantity per unit: 126 x BM1387
– Default Frequency: 600MHz
– Rated Voltage: 11.60 ~13.00V
– Network Connection: Ethernet
– Operating Temperature: 0°C to 40°C
– Product size: 515mm (L) x 100mm (W) x 222mm (H)
One of the most interesting things that you will notice with this miner is the cooling fan it uses, Bitmain calls is “a groundbreaking custom-design fan” that is intended to reduce the noise coming from the miner. Instead of using traditional computer fans (designed for servers) that are not intended to be silent, but instead to do their job providing good cooling they have opted out for a different design for the R4’s cooling. The fan that Bitmain uses in the AntMiner R4 is apparently inspired by the fan of a silent split air conditioner, so it was designed to make less than half the noise of the standard miner fan. Furthermore the rotational speed is being automatically controlled to ensure it never creates more noise than is absolutely necessary to keep the miner cool and running, so the noise will also depend on the ambient temperature.
Bitmain will be also offering an optional custom-built PSU for further noise reduction to go along with the AntMiner R4 – the Bitmain APW5. The power supply works with both 220V and 110V (the standard in North America) input to deliver 2600W and 1300W, respectively. It has a dynamically controlled fan that runs at full speed only after heat sink temperature is 80°C. The Bitmain APW5 should start selling along with the Antmier R4 miner in a couple of days, do note that this is a 12V only power supply that is capable of delivering a very good efficiency of up to 93%. So it may be a great choice to go along with the R4, unless of course you already have some spare 1 KW or more computer power supplies sitting idle.
Time to see what the AMD Radeon RX 460 is capable of bringing to the crypto mining world. We got a Gigabyte Windoforce OC AMD Radeon RX 460 with 2 GB of video memory to test what hashrate it will manage to provide you with for mining Ethereum (ETH) and other popular crypto algorithms. The Radeon RX 460 is currently the leas powerful model of the new RX series from AMD, it comes with just 896 stream processors, uses x8 PCI-E lines, relies of a 128-bit memory bus and comes with 2GB or 4GB video memory clocked at 7 GHz. The biggest advantage that the Radeon RX 460 has is the low power usage that the card has, below 75W TDP as it does not feature a PCI-E power connector for external power. The big question however is how much performance it manages to provide for the low power usage it has.
Do note that we are going to be using a 2GB video card here and for Ethereum mining that can cause some issues as some of you probably know already. Some video cards with 2GB video memory by default produce an error when you try to mine Ethereum with them, but the good news is that with some extra commands you can still use them. Here is How to Fix Ethminer Not-Working Issues on 2GB GPUs, this trick also does the job for the RX 460 2GB.
Let us see what the Gigabyte Windoforce OC AMD Radeon RX 460 2GB can do when mining Ethereum with the Claymore Dual Miner – about 10.9 MHS average. That hashrate is a direct result from the 128-bit memory and the 4GB versions should do the same as they are also equipped with 7 GHz video memory using the same width of the memory bus. The hashrate is pretty much half of what a Radeon RX 470 with 7 GHz video memory and 256-bit memory bus provides as you can see from our review of a 4GB 7GHz RX 470 here.
The obvious thing to do here is to try and overclock the video memory to see if we can squeeze some more extra performance by going over the default 7 GHz (1750 MHz) frequency. Well, you can go quick a bit overclocking the video memory, however pas the 7 GHz mark it apparently switches to more relaxed timings and thus you don’t actually see increase of the hashrate, but a drop. So overclocking the video memory is pointless for Ethereum mining, though for gaming it should still result in some extra performance increase.
With the stock settings for the GPU and memory when you are mining Ethereum (ETH) you should be below 60W of power used by the video card in total, though you can probably further reduce that with some tweaking while maintaining the same hashrate for mining Ethereum. The default setting for the fans manages to keep the card at 68 degrees Celsius with just the fans rotating at 33%, maxing them out to 100% makes the card a bit noisy, but the temperature goes down to just about 50 degrees.
Here is how the situation looks for other popular crypto mining algorithms, tested with the latest NiceHash Miner. It is as expected, the RX 460 is more than two times slower than the RX 470… but with the 460 having less than half of the Stream Processor of a 470 it is normal that GPU intensive algorithms will be slower. Furthermore, without Ellesmere-specific optimizations for certain algorithms the hashrates produced with the default kernels for some algorithms do seem really disappointing when compared to optimized kernels on 280X and 290X or the 300 series. So while the new Radeon RX 400 series does manage to do quite well in Ethereum mining (memory-intensive algorithm) the new GPUs from AMD are just lacking the raw power to be able to offer really good hashrate for other GPU-intensive algorithms.