Archive for the ‘Tests and Reviews’ Category

gawminers-hashlets

A few days have passed since the introduction of the GAW Miners Digital Cloud Miner – the Hashlet and we’ve been testing it since the sales of the cloud miner have started and we have purchased a 5 MHS Hashlet. So now it is time to do a report on our experience using the miner and of course the thing that probably most of you are wondering about – the profitability you can expect. We already have some numbers to share, even though at the moment the Litecoin and other Scrypt-based crypto coins are not very stable in terms of price and the trend if going down and not up. With the current unstable market situation you need to be careful and wise when doing a decision to invest into a mining service or ASIC miner, unless you believe that things will soon improve and the prices will get back up as many people into crypto currencies do.

hashlet-zencloud-dashboard

After purchasing a 5 MHS Hashlet, a relatively quick and easy process, though it sometimes might take a bit more time than we needed, we have moved to activating our hashrate in the ZenCloud website. The ZenCloud service is that is also used by GAW Miners for the hosted ASIC miners, including the Scrypt and SHA-256 devices, however since we haven’t used the service before it is new for us. If you have purchased a hosted miner you may already be familiar with the service and how it operates, but we’ll go through the important things for the people that are new to it like us. One very important thing to note is that the Hashlet is a digital cloud miner for mining Scrypt crypto currencies in a multipool and you are getting paid in Bitcoins.

The main Dashboard panel is the place where you get all of the basic details that you need when you login to your account – information such as the current hashrate or what was the last payout that you got. Do note that the Hashlet gets current and hourly hashrate reported, however the generated payment is credited to your account once every 24 hours. The Dashboard page gives you the total amount of coins earned for the last 24 hours, however the actual amount you get is a bit lower due to this number not reflecting the deduction of the maintenance fees. On to top right of every page you can see what is the current amount of BTC you have in your account since the last payment and their average USD value based on the current Coinbase exchange rate.

hashlet-zencloud-miners

The Miners panel from the menu on the left is where you actually add the Hashlet that you have purchased by redeeming the ZenHardware code that you have received and then you get to see the Hashlet you have purchased, but unless you set a mining pool it will not start to mine. Setting a mining pool could be a bit confusing at first as you need to drag the pool icon from the Altcoin list of pools on the right over the Hashlet, or you can use the Batch Update pools if you have more than one Hashlet to make it easier.

Once you drag the pool icon over tha Hashlet, below you will see the icon of the pool appear and the expected daily payout from that pool based on the estimation for your hashrate from the previous day. Obviously the highest payout is the ZenPool as GAW Miners have promised, but you can alternatively select to use Clever Mining, Multipool.us, NiceHash, TradeMyBit or WafflePool as alternatives. The important thing here however is that regardless of which pool you choose you are not setting worker information and you are only getting paid in BTC directly, so you cannot mine some altcoins and get them in your account with the Hashlet – only direct Bitcoin payments. Below you can see what are the current 24 hour estimated for 5 MHS Hashlet with the different supported pools.

5 MHS Hashlet Current Pool Profitability per 24 hours:

Clever Mining – 0.00237291 BTC
Multipool.us – 0.00218895 BTC
NiceHash – 0.00251380 BTC
TradeMyBit – 0.00230103 BTC
WafflePool – 0.00245989 BTC
ZenPool – 0.00309374 BTC

These numbers show that the ZenPool gives a bit over 20% higher profit as compared to the second most profitable pool in the list, and how exactly do they manage to get the extra profit apart from the lack of pool fee we do not know. Do note that these numbers represent the expected profit without the maintenance fee, so what you actual get credited in your account may be less. You can however also get more depending on the price fluctuations on the specific day of mining, especially if the prices the previous day were low. Even though we seem to be seeing pretty close numbers from day to day so far.

hashlet-zencloud-balance

The Latest Activity panel is kind of history log on what have you been doing in the control panel, logging the time and the action you have performed. The next panel called Balance is that one you will want to use more often as it shows the list of your financial transactions – the mined coins and the maintenance fee. It can be a bit confusing as it apparently shows first the maintenance feed deducted and then the full amount of mined coins added the same as in the Latest Activity. This way it seems that for the first day we have not been deducted any fee, even though we have mined for just a few hours as you can also see from the amount of mined coins.

The Balance panel is also the place where you can either deposit or withdraw BTC in your account. Both buttons however do have some weird rounding applied as per the current Coinbase exchange rate that makes entering an exact value real pain in the ass, and while it may be useful when depositing BTC, it is really annoying when withdrawing as you want to enter an exact value that you have in your account. If you are wondering why you would need to add BTC in your account, the reason is simple – to purchase more Hashlets from the ZenMarket panel instead of going through the standard purchasing procedure that you need to go over if you do not yet have a ZenCloud account.

hashlet-maintenance-cost

We’ve been talking about the fee, but we have not yet mentioned what exactly is the maintenance fee that you need to pay for the Hashlet digital cloud miner. It has been set to $0.08 USD per MHS per day, so for our 5 MHS Hashlet we need to pay 40 USD cents per day for the fee from our total mined coins. Our profit for the first day of mining (only a few hours actually) was lower than $0.40, however we were not deducted a fee for that day and after that for the next two days we have managed to get the fee to be about 1/4 of the total mined coins or with other words close to 25% with the current not so favorable Scrypt prices. Obviously since the Hashlet is not time limited cloud mining contract, the time that it should expire is when the mined coins are not enough to cover the fees as this would make the miner unprofitable and you would not want to actually have to pay to be able to continue mining instead of making money from it. This is the way we understand and expect things to go with the Hashlet as this piece of information regarding the lifetime of the digital miner is not clearly described by GAW Miners yet.

Below you can see what the actual earnings are by days that we have accumulated in our account from mining so far with the 5 MHS Hashlet. Note that these are the values with the maintenance fee already deducted from them. The first number in BTC represents the total account balance after that specific day, the number with plus in the brackets shows the actual mined coins for the specific day other than the first one (this is minus the fee) and in the end of the line you can see the average estimated USD price of the available coins.

Day 1 (only few hours of mining)
– 0.00061710 BTC ~ 0.31 USD

Day 2
0.00314709 BTC (+ 0.00252999 BTC) ~ 1.48 USD

Day 3
0.00580333 BTC (+ 0.00265624 BTC) ~ 2.83 USD

Day 4
0.00825451 BTC (+ 0.00245118 BTC) ~ 3.90 USD

Day 5
0.01116123 BTC (+ 0.00290672 BTC) ~ 5.84 USD

Day 6
0.01366939 BTC (+ 0.00250816 BTC) ~ 6.92 USD

Day 7
0.01627877 BTC (+ 0.00260938 BTC) ~ 8.27 USD

So the current actual profit for 5 MHS Hashlet is equivalent to about 1.20-1.30 USD per day after we deduct the maintenance fee from the mined coins. That would mean we’ll need around 65 days (a little over 2 months) to get a return of the investment of $79.99 USD for purchasing the 5 MHS Hashlet if the conditions remain the same – something that will hardly happen. We already know that the network difficulty will most likely continue to increase, but what we don’t know yet is what is going to happen with the price of LTC and other Scrypt-based crypto currencies in the next 2-3 months. So in fact we can ROI faster or slower than that number of days, depending on a lot of factors, but breaking even in just about 2-3 months does not sound like a bad thing as after that you can expect to actually make some profit. How much actually depends on the purchased hashrate and the current market conditions when you have earned enough to cover your initial investment. Do note however that since you are getting paid in BTC, if the Bitcoin exchange rate for example doubles you can instantly lower the time for ROI, but if the opposite thing happens the time will double. And as we usually do recommend, do not invest more than you can afford to lose if things do not go the way you planned it. It is also not a wise idea to invest all in just one place, so think about spreading to multiple services.

For more information about the Hashlet Digital Cloud Miner by GAW Miners…

gawminers-hashlet-digital-miner

After the initial announcement of the new Hashlet Digital Cloud Miner by GAW Miners there has been a lot of user interest and when the prices were also announced and the sales have started the interest was so big that the users managed to bring down the whole Shopify network temporary. After that issue was quickly resolved and things were back to normal we have decided to try out how easy is it to purchase a Hashlet and then to do a detailed review of the digital cloud miner as well. But first we are going to do a quick overview of our experience purchasing a Hashlet and since the testing and reporting part will need some more time we are going to post the review a bit later on when we do get enough experience and some results with the Hashlet.

gawminers-hashlet-price-purchase

The Hashlet is essentially cloud mining hashrate for Scrypt mining that mines for you in a multipool to maximize profit and you get paid in Bitcoin. Currently the price per 1 MHS of hashrate for a Hashlet can be purchased for $15.99 USD, with a minimum of 1 MHS and a maximum of 100 MHS packages, though you can also purchase multiple Hashlet units with a hashrate of 1, 5, 15, 25, 50, 75 or 100 megahashes. Remember that this is Scrypt hashrate not SHA-256 hashrate like most other cloud mining services sell in Gigahashes (GHS), here the hashrate and profitability is different as compared to directly mining BTC with a cloud mining service. The Hashlet is designed to be a digital cloud miner for Scrypt mining in a multipool giving you the maximum profit directly converted in Bitcoins. This is utilized by mining for the most profitable Scrypt-based crypto currency for the moment and then exchanging it for BTC, so this way you can get the maximum from the current market prices. The disadvantage is that you cannot mine coins that you decide and you cannot get paid in a specific coin like you can with an ASIC miner for example.

gawminers-hashlet-5-mhs-payment

So when you decide on the hashrate of the Hashlet you want to purchase you add it to the cart, for the purpose of our initial testing we have decided to go with 5 MHS Hashlet, so we have added it to the cart and confirmed that we want to purchase it. We have entered our Billing details and have selected to pay with Bitcoins, though you can also choose to pay with a Credit Card or with a Bank Wire Transfer as well.

gawminers-hashlet-5-mhs-payment-btc

Then we were presented with payment page with 2D Barcode as well as the amount of BTC and the address we needed to send the coins to. The number of coins for the $79.99 USD payment we needed to send for the 5 MHS Hashlet was automatically calculated as 0.16116 BTC with the current Bitcoin price. The payment page had a counter that gave us 15 minutes to initiate the payment and as soon as we sent the transfer from our wallet the page refreshed and said that the payment has been accepted. So this is just to send the payment, not to wait for 6 confirmations before your order and payment gets accepted.

zenminer-cloud-signup

What followed next was a bit confusing as the payment page just said that the payment has been completed and nothing more on what to do or where to go. We expected that we need to wait some more for the Bitcoin transaction to be confirmed before we received further instructions. About 15 minutes later with just 3 confirmations of the Bitcoin transfer confirmed we have received an email with further instructions. We were directed to register a ZenCloud account if we don’t yet have one and got a ZenHardware activation code that we needed to redeem at the ZenMiner website in order to activate our Hashlet. The account registration panel did require the activation code, however it did not automatically activate the Hashlet in our account, we needed to redeem the code inside the control panel after we have registered an account in order to have the 5 MHS Hashlet active and then to also select the pool that we wanted to mine in. Of course we have chosen the ZenPool as it was reporting to give the highest profit as we have been promised for the Hashlet, though we’ve had some other popular multipools available as alternatives as well.

We are going to soon post about our experience using the Hashlet and what profitability you can expect from it once we have collected some data about that, so stay tuned for more information very soon. Meanwhile we can conclude that it is very easy and quick to purchase a Hashlet digital cloud miner, it took us just about 30 minutes from the time we started the purchase process, to do the payment using Bitcoins until the moment we’ve had an active ZenCloud account and had the Hashlet to start mining for us. This is among the fastest, if not the fastest, complete process for purchasing cloud mining hashrate and having it start mining for you from all such services that we have tried so far, and we have tried many.

For more information about the Hashlet Digital Cloud Miner by GAW Miners…

zeusminer-blizzard-x6-1

ZeusMiner Blizzard X6 is the smallest of all new lower power usage Scrypt ASIC miners from Zeus, it is the successor of the previous Blizzard units, but unlike the bigger models this one actually has more chips running at lower frequency. The end result is higher hashrate of the new unit as compared to the performance of the older miner that also comes with higher power consumption. The old Blizzard units offered 1.3-1.4 MHS with 6 chips at about 50 Watts of power usage, the new Blizzard X6 uses 24 chips at lower operating voltage and frequency and should provide 4 MHS at 100W. This means almost three times the hashrate with just two times the power usage, so it does not sound like a bad improvement. It is interesting to note that the Blizzard X6 was initially announced at 3.6 MHS and now the official specifications state 4 MHS.

zeusminer-blizzard-x6-2

Unlike with the older Blizzard that included a PSU and USB cable in the package, the new ZeusMiner Blizzard X6 does not include these anymore. We have received our unit with just the miner, no micro-USB cable in the package or a power adapter, not even a 4-pin Molex or 6-pin PCI-E adapter for powering the device with an ATX power supply. This left us a bit disappointed, but was probably done to save costs and make the price of the miner lower. We could’ve gone easily without a PSU, but the USB cable and a connector for a computer PSU is something that must be in the package as not everyone will have these already available like we do.

zeusminer-blizzard-x6-3

The Blizzard X6 cooling design is not perfect, but apparently it works pretty well delivering enough cooling performance with not so loud level of noise. We have measured the power usage of the new miner to be about 106W with the device running at 235 MHz at the wall and the level of noise from the cooling fans was at just about 45 dBA. Looking at the board with the chips we have noticed that the Blizzard X6 also uses 1.1V voltage and the maximum recommended operating frequency is 248 MHz, though you probably would want to use a lower number to get less HW errors.

zeusminer-blizzard-x6-thermal-images

Here are two thermal images showing the operating temperature of the ZeusMiner Blizzard X6 during normal operation. The temperatures of the aluminum cooler used to cool the chips is just about 36 degrees at the hottest place, in fact the highest temperature we’ve measured was at the power connector of the device. Initially we’ve powered the miner from a 4-pin molex connector, but that got the cables too hot, so we’ve changed the power source to use a 6-pin PCI-E power connector as an input. So be extra careful what source of power you are going to use as a single 4-pin molex connector might not be able to handle well the ~100W load, preferably use dual molex connectors or a PCI-E one.

zeusminer-blizzard-x6-cgminer

We have tested running the ZeusMiner Blizzard X6 at different frequencies and the one that seemed to provide the best results with our unit was 235 MHz, though you may have varying success with lower or higher frequencies, so we do recommend to try going up to about 250 MHz. At 235 MHz operating frequency the Blizzard X6 was able to provide about 3.8-3.9 MHS with about 4.5% of HW errors. We already know that the Zeus Scrypt ASIC miners do actually have higher number of HW errors compared to most other ASIC miners, however we do not like to push our hardware too much and get like 10% of HW errors – something that is easily achievable if you try to push the new X6 miners to about 250 MHz.

zeusminer-blizzard-x6-poolside-hashrate

A look at the average poolside reported hashrate from the LTC Rabbit Scrypt mining pool using the new fixed difficulty port with 1024 difficulty for Scrypt ASIC miners and the Blizzard X6 running at 235 MHz operating frequency. We’ve seen that the actual pool hashrate has varied between 3686 and 4164 MHS for a 24 hour period of time, but the average should be about the advertised 4 MHS rate.

The ZeusMiner Blizzard X6 Scrypt ASIC miner is not the best choice for investment, especially now with the current low LTC price, at least not for people interested mostly in the fast ROI. In fact the Blizzard X6 is intended for the people that are mining as a hobby or just for fun, it is also a good way to get some experience with Scrypt ASIC mining, if it is something new for you, without having to invest too much into hardware and only focus on the profit. The Blizzard X6 is also a great choice for the modding community, just like the previous version of Blizzard – doing experiments with overvolting and modifying the cooling solution. It is a fun little and affordable Scrypt miner to play with and experiment with, but not something that will get you quick return of investment or even make you profit. So think carefully what you are getting this miner for and should you really invest some cash into it or not, though the same applies for the larger ZeusMiner Scrypt ASICs as well with the current market situation.


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