Archive for the ‘Tests and Reviews’ Category

dice-default-cgminer-performance

Today we’ve been playing with the TechnoBit DICE Bitcoin ASIC miner to see what is the actual performance we are getting with the default settings as well as to see what is the overclock limit of the device. We were again on a quest to find out how exactly we should overclock the DICE from the options available in the cgminer config file as apparently the version provided for the DICE also contains settings for other ASIC miners, but the ones we need to tweak are the “hexminerr” settings as they are the ones for the 1-chip DICE as well as the other 4-chip RockerBox ASIC miner that TechnoBit has. Below you can find the description about the available options that are available as description.

Rocker (HEXR) new cgminer config options:
–hexminerr-asic-diff – Use at least 16 here and make sure your pool worker min difficulty is configured accordingly in order not to loose hash rate
–hexminerr-pic-roll – Default: 60 or 90. MicroChip PIC work internal roll count – Reduces dramatically USB load – Range 0-255. Please use at least 10 or 20 here
–hexminerr-chip-mask – 255 enable all chips
–hexminerr-voltage – core voltage Default: 690
–hexminerr-options chip_count:frequency – Default: 4:650

Apparently the description is referring to recommended values for the 4-chip miner as does the default settings in the config file set for the DICE version of cgminer provided by TechnoBit, though they will work with the single chip DICE as well. By default the values set in the config file are 720 mV (0.72V) for as voltage instead of the “default” 0.69V value and the operating frequency is 915 MHz. With these settings we’ve managed to see a hashrate of about 170-175 GHS as reported by cgminer and the mining pool averaged for a long period of time.

dice-power-usage-idle-load

With the standard settings for operating frequency and voltage the DICE miner does manage to consume about 98.4W of power, though with some additional overclock the power usage does rise. Overclocking the device does take some time and effort as it seems that even though it may start running at a higher voltage and frequency that you set in a few minutes it may stop responding and you need to unplug and then plug the USB connector and restart the miner. IF you experience such a problem you might want to try increasing the pic-roll value a bit and see if that will help with the USB issue when working at a higher operating frequency. Do not that rising the pic-roll value may be just a temporary solution that will extend the time before the miner stops responding again. Some guidelines for overclocking, 1000 MHz should be possible with a voltage of about 0.74V with a power usage of about 115W and expected average hashrate of about 190 GHS. You may also try going for a maximum of up to about 1150 MHz with up to 0.8V that should get you at around 135W of power usage and expected hashrate in the range of 200-205 GHS, but be careful and try not to go for higher as it may be dangerous to try and push the miner more. Do note that your results may vary from unit to unit, also do note that the power usage values we cite here are for the actual power consumed by the miner on the 12V line and not the power usage at the wall. The total power usage measured at the wall may depend based on the power supply you are using and what efficiency it will have, but you need to add additional 10-20% to the cited figures to get the expected power usage at the wall.

technobit-dice-miner-1

If you remember back in December last year we have mentioned the announcement of the 150 GHS TechnoBit Dice Desktop USB Miner / Blockchain Lottery Device, based on a single Spondoolies Tech RockerBox ASIC chip. This device caught our attention as it was an affordable solution for enthusiasts and people that are interested in Bitcoin ASICs and mining to get to know things. We were hoping that it will be an affordable, small, silent and easy to setup and use device that could be of interest to home users that are not into Bitcoin mining for profit, but just for fun or out of curiosity. At the beginning of this month we have ordered one unit to try it out ourselves and write a review, it was supposed to be initially shipped on 10th, but then again the date was moved to 19th and a few days later it was finally shipped and we just got it today. Here we need to mention that TechnoBit did not let the users that have ordered it know of the delay, just silently updated the dates their website, though they are quick to respond when you contact them. Thank god that the miner was not time critical as it is not a very powerful in terms of hashrate device, so a bit of a delay is not an issue here, but what about if you order one of their other more powerful miners? And so we got the device, this is actually our first ASIC miner from TechnoBit, although they have been on the market for quite a while and have quite a lot of products that they build themselves based on ASIC chips produced from other companies. So our experience with the DICE is also our first experience with the manufacture as well, what you should know is that the company is based in Bulgaria which is in the European Union, so if you are from an EU country there will be no delivery delays as soon as the item is shipped or additional customs charges.

technobit-dice-miner-2

The DICE was well packaged, we have ordered the version that is only the miner and not the other model that includes a controller, so this one connects directly to a computer via USB and you need to run cgminer. You can of course also use Raspberry Pi or TP-Link controller with custom software if you manage to get them work which brings us to one of the important things regarding the DICE. It is no way a product that is easy to use by novice users and the reason for that is the lack of installation/setup manual and clear details about how to make things work including the miner software you need. So a bit of a disappointment on the ease of use side, here TechnoBit are not doing well at all and you need to look for information on forums, including details of the parameters you need to understand in order to tweak the performance or overclock the device. Another thing that we have noticed as soon as we turned on the DICE is that it is not very silent, though the noise coming from the cooling fan is still quite acceptable. Other than that the build quality seems to be good and the miner looks and feels like a solid product, apparently more suited for advanced users than for normal or novice users. Though once you get the hang of things there should be no more problems using the DICE, we have tried running it on the NiceHash service for a bit already and we are getting higher performance than the initially promised 150-160 GHS, the service reports an average hashrate for 5 minutes in the range of 200-250 GHS and so does cgminer locally. Also Make sure that you use a pool where you can set a fixed difficulty as due to the low hashrate that this device has if the pool you use has difficulty auto adjustment and it gets too high your performance may get lower, using 128 fixed difficulty should normally be fine.

nicehashdice-miner-stats


Quick setup guide for TechnoBit DICE on Windows:

Download the Windows version of cgminer with support for DICE
– Modify the cgminer.conf file with the pool settings for the pool that you want to mine at
Download Zadig and run it to replace the unrecognized USB device that you get when you plug the miner with WinUSB driver
– Run the DICE cgminer and it should detect the device and start mining using your pool settings

There is no official source for cgminer with support for DICE available, you need to download the official release and apply a patch to it to add support for the DICE miner. This is for the Linux users as well as the ones that want to use a Raspberry Pi controller for the miner instead of a Windows PC. There is also an official firmware available for the TP-Link controller that you can use as a miner controller, though you probably would want to get a version of the DICE miner with the controller already packaged – this one should in theory be easier to setup and use for novice users. This are pretty much our first impressions from the TechnoBit DICE ASIC miner that we just got and plugged in to test it out if it works. In the next few days we are going to be doing some tests of the device, so stay tuned for additional details and more information in our full review of the unit.

earn-free-bitcoins-visiting-websites

There are quite a lot of sites offering to give you free Bitcoins in return for something that you do, such as visiting websites for example. These are alternative to the so called pay to visit or pay to click services, but instead of giving you USD or another currency in return they pay you in Bitcoin. Since we are getting some questions about such services we have tried to cover the different services that offer their users to pay them BTC in return for visiting websites to check them out and share our experience using them. These services that pay you to visit other websites do work two ways – get advertisers that want to have visitors sent to their websites and are willing to pay for that and pay a percentage of the amount they receive from advertisers to the users visiting the sites. So if you are a normal user that wants to try to earn some free Bitcoins you can try them and if you are advertiser that needs more targeted traffic from people interested in Bitcoin and crypto currencies in general you can become an advertiser. The question however is that if you as an user can actually earn something that is worth the time you will spend, or you as an advertiser if the traffic you get will be what you need. Time to find out…

BitVisits
This seems to be the most professionally looking and working service that pays you to visit websites from the ones we have checked out (not only the listed here), both in terms of look and features. It offers more advanced options to advertisers such as to have a unique campaigns that can be visited only once by user or that can be revisited again in 24 hours as well as more advanced stats. As a user you need to make a minimum of 0.00005000 BTC before you request what you have earned to be sent to you and with the currently available 22 campaigns we’ve managed to earn 6000 satoshi in less than 20 minutes and send a request to withdraw them. With the number of sites available for revisiting in 1 day however you may not be able to earn enough to withdraw them again in 24 hours, but that of course depends on the number of advertisers. The revisitable campaigns available paid about 200-400 satoshi per visit and each campaign needs to be viewed between 10 and 60 seconds before you can continue to the next one – the longer the time the more you will be paid and the advertiser charged for your visit. Have in mind that with this service you need to sign a message with your wallet address to verify your account before you can request a cashout – you need an online BTC wallet or local Bitcoin wallet to do that and that can be a bit of a problem for some users that are not too familiar with Bitcoin.

BTCClicks
Another good get paid to click service for visiting advertisers crypto oriented websites, you need to do a quick registration to be able to start visiting ads and getting paid. The standard pay per click rate is 129 satoshi for 10 second visit, though the actual amount you earn can vary – higher or lower depending on ad and the time you need to spend on the advertiser website. This service has an interesting option that allows you to pay for premium membership to double your earnings for 3, 6 or 12 months, something we have not seen elsewhere. To withdraw your earnings you need to get a minimum of 1000 satoshi and do it to a Xapo wallet (if you don’t have one yet, you can make a new wallet and you will also get a bonus of 0.00005 free BTC in it), or a minimum of 10000 satoshi to withdraw direct to your BTC address (there is 1.5% fee for direct withdraws). In about 10 minutes we were able to visit all of the available ads and earn about 3500 satoshi, so it was a quick and easy to do it and we were able to request a withdraw. There seems to be new ads appearing all of the time, so no need to revisit every 24 hours, you can check it more often to get more offers to click on. For advertisers there is no need to register on the website, you can advertise for a minimum of 397 satoshi per visitor for 10 second visit, up to 200 seconds for 2658 per visitor, ads are apparently approved very fast after payment.

VisitBit
An easier to be used and less advanced in terms of features service as compared to the one above that will get you on the track of getting paid for visiting websites faster. Here you get paid between 30 and 200 satoshi per visited website depending on the time you need to spend before going to the next website (10 to 60 seconds per website). The minimum amount you need to get before you can get paid is 0.00005825 BTC and it took us a bit over an hour to reach that amount and be on the track to get paid. The service relies on Microwallet for the transactions and there is a small fee that you will be charged by that additional service for the payment. What we don’t like however is that you don’t get information on how much you have collected so far and how much each website will earn you directly, you need to go to microwallet’s website to check your current balance using the same wallet address on both sites. If you are interested in advertising on the service you can get a visitor for as low as 100 satoshi for a 10 second limit on the visit. There seem to be quite a lot of campaigns so you can continue earning by visiting websites for quite a while if you have the time.

BitVisitor
A simple to use pay to visit websites service giving you Bitcoins in return that can get you stared quickly on your way to earn some free BTC, but we don’t like very much the way what you are getting paid for each visit is realized and the time you need to spend before you can visit another website. The first one to two websites can reward you with a few hundred satoshi for the visit, but then each next visit lowers the value and you quickly get below 100 and going down to 10. In 24 hours you can “start again” with a higher payout and go to lower again, but what makes it even worse for the visitor not being able to earn that much per day is the fact that you need to stay 5 minutes on a website before you can go to the next one. In order to get paid you need to meet a minimum of 6000 satoshi, but in two days we have managed to reach just about 4000 satoshi, we of course gave up visiting websites when the payment goes too low. This on the other hand is good for advertisers who want to have some crypto users who will have enough time to look at the websites they visit with just 100 satoshi as a minimum bid for a visitor.

MyCoinAds
A typical service paying in Bitcoin you to visit advertiser websites, what is interesting here though is that you are being paid 1437 satoshi per visit or so it may seem at first as the website uses one more zero for the balances than is typically supported by Bitcoin. So in reality you are being paid 143.7 satoshi for a 30 second visit per site. There is also another catch, with the number of ads currently available you will be able to earn a bit less than 5 thousand satoshi in about 30 minutes, but you need to earn at least 10000 to be able to request a payout. So in two days it might be possible to make about 0.0001 BTC and that does not seem as good a you might’ve though initially, still you might want to give it a try, though it seems the ads are based on unique visits only and not resurfable. If you want to advertise your crypto website on the service you can do so at a price of 287.3 satoshi per visitor as apparently half of that amount goes as payment to the visitors, the ads are automatically approved and you start getting visits after the payment is confirmed.

BTCVic
One more PTC (Paid-To-Click) service where you get paid in Bitcoins (BTC) to view sites. The service gives you 500 satoshi just for signing up and starting to use it. There is 15000 satoshi as a minimum withdraw amount and in less than 5 minutes we’ve managed to collect a total of just 1320 satoshi with the reason for the small amount being that there are not that many ads available to click on. If you want to advertise you can do it at at 404 satoshi per visitor for 10 second visit, up to 200 seconds at higher price option available. The ads are automatically approved after the payment is confirmed.

Now, for some general conclusions about the services above and other similar ones. As you can see the minimum amount of BTC you need to collect before it can be sent to your wallet is hovering around 6000 satoshi or 0.00006000 BTC. This may not seem very little if you are looking it this way, but if you convert that amount to USD with the current exchange rate for BTC you will get something like just $0.015 USD, yes, this is 1.5 US cents. Spending like 20 minutes as an experiment to get back this may seem OK, even an hour once may still be acceptable as an experience trying things out, but doing it day after day seems really pointless and still a lot of people do seem to be doing it. So the ones that actually make money are the service operators of such websites and the advertisers that get cheap targeted traffic to their websites.


top