Archive for the ‘Mining Hardware’ Category

zeusminer-scrypt-asic-miners-chips-board

Zeus Integrated Systems, another Chinese company developing what they call ZeusMiner has announced that they have received the first sample batch of their Scrypt ASIC chips and have started building the first prototypes of the so called ZeusMiner mining rigs. The Scrypt ASIC chips that Zeus is making are apparently based on 55nm manufacturing process and should be able to deliver 1 MHS of Scrypt mining hashrate with something like 10-12W of power consumption according to the specifications. What is more interesting is that Zeus promises to start delivering by the end of this month (May), though the prices of the miners are not that attractive with the current crypto currency market prices.

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The ZeusMiners Scrypt ASICs will apparently be available in four flavors: 1.2 MHS Blizzard available for $199 USD, 18 MHS Cyclone for $2999 USD, 36 MHS Thunder for $5500 USD and 72 MHS Lightning for $9999 USD. The smallest ZeusMiner Blizzard could be an interesting solution and could easily replace the smaller 5-chip Gridseed ASIC miners due t the higher performance and similar price, especially if it turns out to be easily overclockable. The ZeusMiner Blizzard apparently consists of 4 chips with 300 KHS hashrate per chip and about 3W of power usage, so we see something similar to the Gridseed Infinity USB miner design. And we are going to be picking up one of these small units for sure if/when they become available in order to be able to review it.

hashra-lunar-lander-scrypt-asic-miner

With that said we are still waiting to see the first devices actually available on the market and be able to test them, before talking more about if they will be worth purchasing. What we can say is that at the moment ZeusMiners seem to finally start looking like an actual product and a one that will be available on the market soon, though we do not claim this for sure or endorse the company before we see the actual product. We see that some of the Gridseed distributors we have posted about hereon the blog are already listing the ZeusMiner products on their websites such as Hash-Master for example and others have already announced what seems like their own branded miners that are most likely based on the ZeusMiner Scrypt chips judging form the listed specifications. You can check the GAWMiners Scrypt Miners as well as the Hashra Lunar Landers for more information. These two companies are planning for early June availability, so shortly after the date that Zeus plans to start delivering.

To read the latest update from ZeusMiner regarding the current status of shipping units…

bitmain-antminer-s2-sha-256-asic

The Chinese company BitMain has started shipping the third batch of their AntMiner S2 SHA-256 ASIC miners with a hasrate of 1 Terahash for mining Bitcoin. The new batch of S2 miners is priced at $3199 USD (7.387 BTC), the company has started shipping the first two batches of their new Terahash Bitcoin ASIC miners at the start of this month, but the problem is that even at the current price putting the numbers inside a calculator does not give out promising results. With the current exchange rate of Bitcoin you are not going to be able to even get a return of the investment in the hardware you have made. You would need an exchange rate of about $650 USD in order to be able to break even by the end of this year and this everything going on lately things are a bit uncertain. Thus investing in Bitcoin ASIC devices may not be the best choice at this particular moment, especially if you are going to be paying with BTC for them. And with the current market situation investing in Scrypt ASIC miners does seem riskier as well, so people are already very careful in what they put their money into.

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On the thermal image above you can see how things look on one of the PCBs of the new Gridseed G-Blade Scrypt ASIC in terms of temperature, the GC3355 chips of the device run pretty cool at about 40-50 degrees Celsius. These are the thermal images of the voltmodded Gridseed G-Blade ASIC that we have posted about. Do note that the thermal images are of the modified device with the additional cooling heat sinks attached to it, so the temperature of the voltage regulators is lower and the overall PCB temperature as well. You can use these if you plan on doing a voltage modification to your miners in order to see what are the possibly weaker spots – the components that get hot, in order to improve their cooling and to make sure that you will not overheat and burn your ASIC miner. We do recommend extreme caution when voltmodding the G-Blades as they are already pushed pretty close to their maximum by Gridseed and you do not have a lot of headroom for further gaining some extra performance. The power part of the Blade Miners is clearly not designed to handle much increase in the voltage, even though the GC3355 chips are just asking for more as we’ve seen with the smaller 5-chip ASIC devices from Gridseed.

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Take a look at how hot the PCB gets (around 50 degrees Celsius) near the power connector and that is with about 85W of power consumption per PCB, a clear sign that the connector used is not the perfect choice for powering the G-Blades and while with the stock setup it might be Ok, you should be careful when you voltmod. Do note that we already have a large motherboard chipset heat sink attached to that side of the PCB and it does lower the overall temperature as well. It is placed on the back side of the PCB where the voltage regulators are and it helps to reduce their temperature, because the airflow from the cooling fan does pass through it as well and helps to keep it quite cool.

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Looking at the side of the PCB where the voltage regulators are placed, thanks to the heat sink we have placed directly on the three VRMs their temperature is quite Ok, but there are other components that might have some issues with heat. These are the choke on the left of the voltage regulators on the photo and the 16V capacitor below the regulators as they both get to about 70 degrees Celsius in terms of temperature. And while they still do seem to work fine in the long run this may cause some issues, so you might consider replacing the capacitor with a more serious one.

Again we are going to advise you to be very careful should you consider doing a voltage modification to the new Gridseed G-Blade miners as it can be dangerous and you can easily damage your expensive miner. The modification here is not as easy as just replacing one resistor as you need to do cooling improvements as well and you are not able to push things too much to be on the safe side, so the hashrate increase is also not that big as compared to what you are getting without the modification. So you might really want to reconsider if it is worth doing the modification at all, we are probably not going to be modding another G-Blade for a while until we see how the voltage mod will handle on the longer run in its current state.


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