Archive for the ‘Tests and Reviews’ Category

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is the latest addition in Nvidia’s lineup of high-end gaming GPUs, but here we are more interested in another aspect for using these video cards – crypto mining. Tomorrow, March 10th, the sales of the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti should start priced at $699 USD, though initially there will be only Founders Edition models only with availability of non-reference designs expected to start showing for sale in April. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is based on GDDR5X memory clocked at 11 GHz, so the memory timings might not be the best for memory-based crypto algorithms, but the serious number of CUDA cores is there to compensate in terms of performance. Do note that the TDP of the new cards is set at 250W, though we expect that you should be able to lower the Power Limit a bit and get a better results than at stock settings.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Specifications:
– Graphics Processing Clusters: 6
– Streaming Multiprocessors: 28
– CUDA Cores (single precision): 3584
– Texture Units: 224
– ROP Units: 88
– Base Clock: 1480 MHz
– Boost Clock: 1582 MHz
– Memory Clock: 5505 MHz
– Memory Data Rate: 11 Gbps
– L2 Cache Size: 2816K
– Total Video Memory: 11264MB GDDR5X
– Memory Interface: 352-bit
– Total Memory Bandwidth: 484 GB/s
– Texture Rate (Bilinear): 331.5 GigaTexels/sec
– Fabrication Process: 16 nm
– Transistor Count: 12 Billion
– Connectors: 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI
– Form Factor: Dual Slot
– Power Connectors: One 6-pin, One 8-pin
– Recommended Power Supply: 600 Watts
– Thermal Design Power (TDP): 250 Watts
– Thermal Threshold: 91° C

We have managed to do some quick testing of the new GTX 1080 Ti and the results do seem promising. Starting with the currently more profitable algorithms on NiceHash and benchmarking with their NiceHash Miner that uses various fast performing miners (the miner used is noted after the algorithm). Not all of the latest and highest performing miners may be included, so we also ran some additional tests using the Claymore ETH miner that managed to provide a stable hashrate of about 31.8 MHS with stock settings of the card as well as the latest EWBF CUDA miner that managed to squeeze a bit more at about 625 H/s from the GTX 1080 Ti.

You can use these numbers as a reference, including the expected daily profitability if selling the hashrate form a GTX 1080 Ti on NiceHash that their miner also reports. Hopefully we are going to be able to run some more benchmarks in the next couple of days and play around to see what the GPU is capable in terms of overclocking, though with the pretty high boost frequency and a TDP of 250W you should not be expecting a lot more at least from the Founders Edition version that is launching first. Do note that properly powering and cooling six of these GPUs in a mining rig is not going to be as easy as with GTX 1070 Founders Edition for example that consume much less power and are a much more popular choice by miners using Nvidia GPUs.

Do note that with the launch of the GTX 1080 Ti, Nvidia is also going to have a new pricing for the GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition and GeForce GTX 1080 partner boards that will get a bit more cheaper. There is no word on reducing the prices of the GTX 1070 as well however. Furthermore two new models with higher clocked video memory should be available soon, the GeForce GTX 1080 with 11 Gbps along with the already available 10 Gbps model as well as GeForce GTX 1060 9 Gbps along the already available 8 Gbps versions. The faster memory variants might be of interest especially for the miners that are into mining crypto currencies based on algorithms that are more memory dependent such as ZEC or ETH for example.

The enterprise segment is constantly upgrading their hardware and this fuels the second hand market with interesting and very affordable yet pretty powerful hardware that can also be used for crypto mining. The latest wave of hardware getting replaced and available at a really affordable prices are the first generation of Intel 2011 E5 dual CPU Xeon workstations and servers. This means that you are able to easily acquire a very nicely priced second had server system with two 8-core processors such as Intel Xeon E5-2650 v1 getting 16 physical or 32 logical cores with Hyper Threading. The big question here however is if systems like that that may be acquired cheap are really worth using for crypto mining as they only come with a lot of CPU power, but no GPU capable of being used for mining as for server needs not much GPU power is required generally. We have picked up one such cheap systems off eBay with dual Xeon E5-2650 processors and put it through some benchmarks to gent a better idea on what to expect…

Currently it seems that the only worthwhile CPU-based algorithm to check is the CryptoNight and using the what seems to be the fastest CPU software available at the moment – the XMR-Stak CPU Miner for Monero (XMR). Running the XMR-Stak miner on all 32 logical cores has managed to get us an average hashrate of about 523 HS (hashes per second). The result may not seem that bad for CPU mining, considering that it is a bit slower than a single high-end GPU and the power used by the system is about 150 Watts, so again similar to a more recent higher-end GPU.

We need to run the numbers through an XMR mining calculator and doing just that on Cryptocompare shows that we are actually going to be mining with profit, but the profit isn’t going to be that much. With the current rate it would take a couple of years just to earn back what we have paid for the hardware itself. Not very interesting to CPU mine with such a system, but this is just at the moment, with some new and interesting developments for coins that are only CPU mineable appearing things might look very different… especially if you get a couple of these dual CPU systems to have handy. For the moment however you might want to check them out if you have some other computational needs than crypto mining as the price they can be acquired for is really attractive and again they are still pretty powerful as far as CPU performance goes.


The Brave browser is an interesting relatively new project for an open-source web-browser being developed with user’s privacy, security and performance in mind as well as with some interesting ideas to actually award users of the browser as well as allowing users to support their favorite websites without having to watch annoying ads on them. We like the idea, especially considering that the rewards part is also based on Bitcoin for the payments, so Brave is also supporting crypto currencies. A couple of months ago we have tried the browser in an earlier stage and there were still a lot of things that needed work, so we gave it another try with the most recent version. We already tried the ad and tracking blocking functionality and it has worked well even before, but this time the focus was a more recent feature that is still in beta – the Brave Payments feature. If enabled (off by default) it allows users to donate Bitcoins to their favorite websites where they do spend a lot of time and enjoy the content they find. As already mentioned this is powered by BTC transactions, so you need to actually have some Bitcoins and be willing to donate them…


If you want to try the Brave Payments beta feature you need to open up the Brave browser’s settings and go to the Payments tab, where you will find an off-on switch that would allow you to enable the feature. The basic control panel here allows you to select a monthly budget from a dropdown menu (5 USD to 20 USD) and see what amount in USD you currently have (deposited in Bitcoin). Once you enable the feature you will get a Bitcoin wallet address generated for you where you can deposit BTC that will be used to support your favorite websites.


There are multiple ways to obtain Bitcoins available, but after you have a hold of some you need to send them to the BTC wallet address you get shown when you click on the Add funds button in the Brave Payments window. Bitcoin transactions do require 1 confirmation on the network before the USD balance becomes available in your account.


When you start using the Brave browser you will see a list of websites ranked by the time you spent on them, in this list you can choose which sites you want to support using the Include switch (it is ON by default, though it should probably be OFF for new ones). The monthly budget you set, provided that you have available balance in your Brave BTC wallet is going to be distributed each month to all of the websites you decide to support, getting split according to a percentages based on a combination of how many pages you visit and how much time you spend on each site. Payments from users to website publishers are being made once a month.

Site owners that want to be able to receive funds from users supporting them through the Brave browser will need to verify themselves. According to the information available that will happen once there are at least $10 USD in BTC available for them from users with confirmation/registration emails being sent to the domain owners and the webmaster of the website. We are yet to go through that procedure to see how it goes, but the rest we have tried does seem to work pretty well already.


The Advanced Settings menu allows you to do some important things such as the minimum page time before logging a visit as well as the minimum visits fro publisher relevancy. You will most likely want to increase these values from their default lows in order to filter out random websites that you visit just once for example. The other very important functionality in this menu is the ability for backing up and recovering your Brave BTC wallet, this is something that you would want to make sure you backup just in case as you will be holding some amount of BTC in it if you will be using the Brave Payments feature.


For the moment the only way to take advantage of the Brave Payments beta feature is if you deposit some coins in your Brave wallet, but in the future the Brave browser will allow you to also earn while suing the browser if you want to. The standard functionality of the Brave browser is to block ads, but it can also replace them with Brave ads and for seeing these both website publishers and users might also have an additional stream of income. Above is the table with the percentage share for profit that will be coming from replaced ads, 55% go to the publishers and 15% go to the people that actually see the ads using the Brave browser. For the moment however there are still no replacement ads available apparently, but in the near future we may actually see that functionality becoming available in beta as well, just like the Brave Payments feature now.

For more information and to try out the Brave browser and the Brave Payments feature…