All About BItcoin and Litecoin mining and other alternative crypto currencies
Last month we have done some initial GeForce GTX 980 crypto mining benchmarks with the announcement of the new Maxwell GPUs from Nvidia. Now we got our hands on a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 G1 Gaming video card (GV-N970G1 GAMING-4GD ) and have decided to run some tests to see how well it will fare against a standard reference design GTX 980 again from Gigabyte (GV-N980D5-4GD-B). The reference design GTX 980 we’ve used is running at stock frequencies, including the boost one and the results below are with the card not additionally overclocked, even though it can take quite an increase in the frequency. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 G1 Gaming card however is factory overclocked to a really high frequencies as compared to the stock ones and there is not that much left for the user to add, though some extra overclocking is also possible. The G1 Gaming card from Gigabyte also comes with the company’s Windforce cooler that proved to be a very good and silent cooling solution even when you overclock. Also the GTX 970 model is with a factory increased max TDP level to go along with the overclock the 100% of the power limit actually represents 250W instead of 145W or 165W. This leaves a lot of headroom for more power hungry crypto mining algorithms, even though in our tests not a single algorithm was able to hit 100%. The closes we got was about 90% of the increased TDP reached with the groestl algorithm most others were keeping in the 60-70% of the 250W TDP limit.
The results you can see in the table above are achieved with the ccMiner release 1.4.5-tpruvot using Compute 5.2 compiled binaries. This might not be the single best performing fork of ccminer available, however it is probably the one with most comprehensive support for various crypto algorithms (we tested with all of the supported ones) and with support for Compute 5.2. Some other forks might be able to provide slightly better hashrate on a specific algorithm, but the idea here was to do a comparison between a reference GTX 980 and a factory overclocked GTX 970 to see what you can expect in terms of performance. The results are pretty interesting as the factory clocked G1 card is getting very close to a stock GTX 980 and with some extra user overclock it might even achieve the same results. Considering the fact that the GTX 970 is still much better priced than the GTX 980 we can easily conclude that the GTX 970 and especially GTX 970 G1 Gaming from Gigabyte is a really good choice not only for gaming, but also for mining crypto currencies.
BitMain has revealed a new 63 GHS AntMiner U3 SHA-256 ASIC miner designed for home users as the successor of the previously available USB stick miners that the company offered. The device is apparently made for home users that do not want serious noise levels or high power usage. It is more of an interesting and affordable device for users that are new to ASICs or just for a fun “toy”, don’t expect the U3 USB miner to actually make you some serious profit or something like that. The Antminer U3 is based on four BM1382 ASIC chips resulting in 63 GHS worth of hashrate and is priced at $56 USD per unit or 0.151 BTC at the moment (without shipping). The AntMiner U3 USB miners (connected to a PC via USB, not powered by USB) should start shipping on November 5th, or with other words less than 2 weeks from now. There is however a catch, if you want to order the BitMain AntMiner U3 directly from the manufacturer you will not be able to get a single unit, the minimum order quantity is 20 units. So this kind of defeats the purpose of directly ordering it from BitMain if you are an end user, but we are probably going to see some of BitMain’s partners also offering the miner for people that might be interested in purchasing single units.
BitMain AntMiner U3 ASIC Miner Specifications:
- Hash Rate: 63 GH/s at 0.75V
– Power Efficiency: 0.8 Watt/GH/s on wall at 0.75V
– Voltage: DC 12V input, 6A
– Chip Quantity per unit: 4
– One 80mm fan
– Noise: ~25 DB at 25 °C ambient temperature
– Hashrate and VDD core voltage can be adjusted via cgminer command line
– USB connection
– 12V AC/DC power brick of 6A, but power line not included
– Certificate Compliance: FCC/CE
Note that the noise level of these should be pretty low indeed at just about 25 Decibels, there is no exact power usage quoted, but it should be less than 70W which the supplied power adapter is apparently capable of as maximum. With the cited power usage of 0.8W per GHS the actual power usage should be close to about 50 Watts for the whole unit or maybe slightly more. The devices should be overclockable apparently through the cgminer command line, so there should be some headroom for increasing their hashrate with the expense of a bit more power usage. Again do note that these miners are low hashrate and low powers, designed to be silent and used by home miners just for fun and not as a means to make profit as they many not even be able to get you a return of investment in the foreseeable future.
MinerEU is now offering to its customers from Europe some of the Rockminer SHA-256 ASIC miners available at attractive prices and shipped from UK, so no extra taxes need to be paid. The small 100-110 GHS Rockminer RBOX miners are available for $145 USD new, the 480-510 GHS Rockminer R4 used are available for $190 USD and used Rockminer T1’s with 780-840 GHS are being sold for $330 USD. The prices are good for the Rockminer ASICs, however do note that they do not come with a PSU and with a power usage of about 1W per GHS they are already not so adequate for long term mining, unless of course you do not pay the electricity bill. With their hashrate the Rockminer ASICs could be more interesting for people that want to get one for playing with it, not with the idea to use it for mining for profit.