All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
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.
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.
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.
Bitmain has announced their 3rd generation Bitcoin ASIC miner chip – the BM1384 in conjunction with its 9th product – the Antminer S5 and is getting ready to start shipping the device before the end of the year. The Antminer S5 is the successor of the S3 and the S1 before that, building and improving the design of the previous generation of miners offering higher performance with lower power consumption thanks to the new BM1384 ASIC chips. The Bitmain AntMiner S5 should offer 1155 GHS hashrate with 590 Watt power usage at the wall according to the specifications, though that value may vary based on the power supply that you may pair the miner with (power supply is not included). The first batch of the S5 ASIC miners costs $418 USD and should start shipping on December 27th, the second batch is slightly cheaper at $413 USD per unit and should start shipping on January 4th 2015 or a few days later.
BitMain AntMiner S5 Specifications:
– Hash Rate: 1155 GH/s ±5%
– Power Consumption: 590 W (at the wall)
– Power Efficiency: 0.51 J/GH (at the wall)
– Rated Voltage: 12V
– Dimensions: 298 mm x 137 mm x 155 mm
– Cooling: 1x 12038 fan
– Operating Conditions: 0 °C to 35 °C
– Certified By: FCC / CE
– Network Connection: Ethernet
What seems to be the most notable change in the latest design used by the S5 is the fact that now the miner has the aluminum heatsinks placed directly on top of the ASIC chips, unlike on the previous miners where they were on the back of the PCB and thus were not so effective. This new cooling design is supposed to provide the same cooling efficiency on the new miners that previous generation that had lower hashrate and power usage.
The maker of ASIC Bitcoin miners TechnoBit, using various ASIC chips as a source for their miners, has announced a new interesting product based on Spondoolies Tech’s RockerBox ASIC. The device is designed to be small both in size and in terms of hashrate, but also to be quiet and power efficient. It is targeted at home miners that are mining just as a hobby as it will not be mining a lot of coins at the current Bitcoin network difficulty, but the good price of the miner makes it affordable and easy to acquire to also play out with ASIC miner if you haven’t done so yet. The Dice is delivered with set of Windows/Linux software (cgminer-based) that should allow the use of the device in two different ways – either as an entry level Bitcoin mining device to work with a mining pool or as a personal Bitcoin lottery device with a custom software and do solo mining testing your luck – every 10 minutes, you have a chance of 150/300,000,000 to get 25 BTCs.
TechnoBit DICE Specifications:
– Hash Rate: 150 GH/s at 0.75V and 125 Ghs at 0.69 V
– Power Efficiency: 0.7 Watt/GH/s on wall at 0.75V and 0.6 Watt/GH/s on wall at 0.69V
– Power Usage: 105-108 Watts at 150 GHS
– Voltage: DC 12V input, 9A
– Chip Quantity per unit: 1
– One 80mm quiet fan
– Noise: ~20 DB at 25°C ambient temperature
– Hashrate and VDD core voltage can be adjusted via cgminer command line
– USB connection
– 12V both PCI-E and barrel connectors
– Certificate Compliance: FCC/CE
You can say that the TechnoBit Dice can be a better alternative to BitMain’s U3 ASIC miner. The Dice is more power efficient and provides higher hashrate and you can buy it in the form of a single unit, unlike BitMain who had a minimum order quantity of 20 units while the miner was available for sale on their website. TechnoBit’s Dice will start shipping on December 18th and you can currently pre-order a single unit with a price of 78 EURO with additional 8% discount if you order 10 units, though it is not a very wise idea to go for 10 or more of these for personal use. If you want to have the same power efficiency and higher hashrate you might want to take a look at the bigger Spondoolies Tech ASIC miners that use more than just one RockerBox ASIC chips.