A recent small change in the Decred (DCR) protocol has apparently resulted in the old GPU miners not being able to mine anymore, so an update is required in order to continue mining DRC coins. There is already an updated version of ccMiner 2.0 RC3 from Tpruvot for Nvidia GPUs as well as the Nicehash fork of sgminer version 5.6.1 for AMD GPUs. So if you are mining Decred (DCR) and want to be able toc ontinue mining it make sure you update your mining software.

If you want to get more details about the so called Decred Pow Mining “outage”…

Today AMD has announced their new Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 based video cards, a new series which is based on the last year Polaris GPUs with small improvements. The new RX 580 is essentially a slightly improved RX 480 and the same goes for the RX 570 which is an improved RX 470. The new GPUs are still named Polaris, but are now Polaris 20 series instead of Polaris 10 like they were named last year. AMD still relies on the GlobalFoundries’s 14nm FinFET manufacturing process, but the latest production improvements are resulting in better clock speeds for the new GPUs. As a result the new RX 580 and RX 570 based video cards have slightly higher operating frequencies for their GPUs as compared to the first generation Polaris from last year. All other specifications of the new GPUs remain the same as their predecessors RX 480/470 – 2304/2048 stream processors, 144/128 TMUs, 32/32 ROPs and 256-bit memory bus with 8GB and 4GB GDDR5 versions.

The new slightly higher operating frequencies of the Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 GPUs however are resulting in higher power usage, the TDP of the new boards is 185W for the RX 580 and 150W for the RX 570 (up with 35W and 30W from the RX 480 and RX 470). As a result of the increased power usage and higher operating frequencies and somewhat better overclocking potential of the new GPUs we are also seeing the addition of a second PCI-E power connector. This means that most of the RX 580 and some of the RX 570 will now come with one 8-pin PCI-E power and one 6-pin PCI-E power connector (especially in the case of higher-end gaming and OC models). The extra power connector may not be a problem for gamers and enthusiasts, in fact it can be considered as an advantage with better overclocking GPUs, but the increased power consumption and the extra power connector may raise some issues with the power supply for GPU miners.

The only good news is the one regarding pricing, the official recommended prices for the new RX 580 and RX 570 GPUs should be lower with $10 USD than the prices of the previous generation from last year. This means $229 USD for the RX 580 and $169 USD for the RX 570, however we are most likely going to be seeing higher initial prices instead of lower ones with no reference design boards and only custom ones from AMD’s partners. Do expect even higher prices for some Limited Edition and factory overclocked models with more serious boards and cooling solutions. So you might want to take up on your last chance to get some really sweet deals on last quantities of good RX 480 and RX 470 cards while there are still boards available on the market while they are being cleared to open room for the new model line.

The higher operating GPU clocks with the increased power usage may not be beneficial for miners, especially the ones mining crypto coins with more memory intensive algorithms such as Ethereum (Ethash) and ZEC (Equihash), though they may bring some advantage in more GPU-intensive ones. We do plan on doing some tests of the new AMD Radeon RX 5×0 series in the next couple of days, so stay tuned for more information and results…

The crypto currency mining ASIC maker Bitmain is getting ready to launch a new Scrypt ASIC miner with shipping expected to start a bit later this month. The new device capable of mining Litecoin (LTC) and other Scrypt-based crypto currencies is called AntMiner L3+ and should be capable of delivering a hashrate of 504 MHS with a power usage of 800W. With the recent jump in interest and the price of Litecoin we are seeing a bit of a revival of the interest in Scrypt-based coins and this is apparently also the reason why Bitmain has prepared a new more powerful device.

The new Antminer L3+ is essentially double the performance and power usage of the regular AntMiner L3 model announced earlier this year. It offers essentially doubled performance by doubling the number of BM1485 ASIC chips from the 144 units in the L3 to 288 in the new L3+. The English website of Bitmain still hasn’t got the product listed, but their Chinese one has the device already listed with a price of 1.686 BTC per L3+ device that does not include a power supply. The shipping should start sometime in between April 15th and April 20th based on the data on the website. Early May deliveries (May 1st – May 10th) are also possible with a lower price of 1.261 BTC per L3+ device.

Bitmain AntMiner L3+ Scrypt ASIC Specifications:
– Scrypt mining hashrate: 504 MHS
– Power consumption: 800W ± 10% (at the wall, with Bitmain’s APW3-1600 PSU, 93% efficiency, 25°C ambient temperature))
– Power efficiency: 1.6J/MH ± 10% (at the wall, AC / DC efficiency of 93%, 25°C ambient temperature)
– Rated voltage: 11.6 ~ 13.0V
– Chip Type: BM1485
– Chip quantity per unit: 288 chips
– Number of boards in the whole machine: 4 pcs
– External dimensions: 352 mm (L) * 130 mm (W) * 187.5 mm (H)
– Machine weight (without packaging): 4.4kg
– Operating temperature: 0°C to 40°C
– Operating Humidity: 5% RH-95% RH, non-condensing
– Network connection: Ethernet
– Noise level: 75dB

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