Archive for the ‘Tests and Reviews’ Category

gigabyte-gtx-980-970-gpus

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.

gtx-980-970-ccminer-hashrate

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.

bitcrane-bitcoin-asic-miner

Have you looked at the specifications of the currently available generation of Bitcoin ASICs lately while considering getting a miner in order to get some coins at home? As Bitcoin network difficulty is progressively increasing every ~13 days, the hardware manufacturers are already hitting the limits of the 28nm production technology and the BTC exchange rate stays at low levels things are not looking good. We have checked what you can expect to earn with some of the SHA-256 ASIC miners for Bitcoin and have done some calculations that you can see below using the current network difficulty as a base.


SHA-256 ASIC Miners for Bitcoin:

Rockminer R3 Box – 450 GHS @ 450W – $185 USD
BitMain AntMiner S3+ – 453 GHS @ 355W – $215 USD
Rockminer T1 BOX – 800 GHS @ 1000W – $349 USD
BitCrane T-110 – 1.1 THS @ 1100W – $1299 USD
Spondoolies-Tech SP20 Jackson – 1.7 THS @ 1100W – $1190 USD
BitMain AntMiner S4 – 2 THS @ 2000W – $1250 USD

Looking at the list of miners above you can see that they are actually not that many options available that you are currently able to order and get very soon in your own hands. There are some miners available for pre-order with next month shipping or Q1 2015 expected availability for example but we have not included these. KnCMiner’s Neptune is also not included as these are not being sold at the moment and even if they did at the last listed price nobody would be buying them anyway. We have not listed some other miners from companies that are supposed to be shipping, but we have not found a single trustworthy review or confirmation from anyone that actually received a product from them.


Expected daily mined BTC with the current network difficulty:

Rockminer R3 Box – 0.006466 daily, 0.04526 weekly, 0.194 monthly
BitMain AntMiner S3+ – 0.006509 daily, 0.04556 weekly, 0.1953 monthly
Rockminer T1 BOX – 0.01149 daily, 0.08043 weekly, 0.3447 monthly
BitCrane T-110 – 0.0158 daily, 0.1106 weekly, 0.474 monthly
Spondoolies-Tech SP20 Jackson – 0.02443 daily, 0.171 weekly, 0.7329 monthly
BitMain AntMiner S4 – 0.02874 daily, 0.2012 weekly, 0.8623 monthly

Do note that the above numbers represent what you can earn with the hashrate that the specific ASIC miner provides with a Bitcoin network difficulty remaining at 35,002,482,026 for the duration of the whole specified period. Also these numbers represent the mined coins and you would need to subtract the costs for the electricity from them based on the power usage for the miner and your electricity prices per kWh in order to get an actual profit you will get. As you can see even 2 THS are already not that much and you are going to mine less than 1 BTC per month with this hashrate and with the current sub $400 USD price for Bitcoin when you subtract the electricity fee (can get to half the mined coins) things do not look promising. So for small time miners Bitcoin mining with ASIC miners is not very interesting anymore and even for larger farms things might not be that bright as you might think, so it is no surprise that some of these are selling their hashrate in the form of cloud services. The only thing that could make Bitcoin mining attractive to normal users again is a significant increase in the price of BTC, so you can be mining now and keeping the mined coins waiting for that to happen…

hashnest-new-hashrate-prices

It seems that Hashnest, Bitmain’s Bitoin cloud mining platform, is having trouble to sell their initial 4 Petahashes worth of Bitcoin hashrate even though they have recently lowered the price per GHS down to 0.001125 BTC from 0.00135 BTC. They still have almost 2 PHS unsold and the reason for that is very simple – with the current BTC price the maintenance fees you need to pay are about 60% of what you are mining with your purchased hashrate. The new lower price was apparently not the only countermeasure they have taken, as we have received 20% increase in our initial purchase of 100 GHS to try out the service when it was announced early last month. We have not seen any official announcement or received anything by email about the increase of the hashrate, but it seems that this is some kind of bonus…

The hashrate we have purchased on 2nd of September was 100 GHS for 0.135 BTC and now, a month later, we are checking how things are progressing with our earned coins for this whole time. What we have earned until 2nd of October in our wallet is 0.0318239 BTC or a bit short of 1/4th of the amount we have paid for 1 month. That however does not mean that we are going to be able to ROI in three more months, because of the constantly increasing network difficulty it will take more time than that, especially if the fees continue to remain as high as they currently are. So at the moment it may not be a wise idea to invest in cloud hashrate at Hashnest and people apparently are aware of that as the service is having trouble to sell the second half of their initial offering of 4 PHS Bitcoin cloud mining hashrate powered by Bitmain AntMiner S2 ASIC miners.


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