Posts Tagged ‘Gigabyte

Gigabyte NP106D5-6G is a variation of the Nvidia GP106-100 GPU targeted at miners and based off the consumer GeForce GTX 1060. Originally Nvidia had plans to sell these only to large miners, but apparently big partners such as Asus and now Gigabyte among others also want to sell these to small miners as well, so we actually managed to buy one Gigabyte NP106D5-6G from the retail channel at a price that is slightly lower than that of the regular Gigabyte N1060WF2OC-6GD that it is probably based on.

The Gigabyte NP106D5-6G comes in an anti static plastic bag, no box or any accessories. It has a GPU core running at 1506 MHz Base Clock and 1708 MHz Boost Clock and comes equipped with 6 GB GDDR5 video memory running at 8008 MHz. Just like a regular GTX 1060 GPU, though there are some important differences to note. The mining card from Gigabyte does not come with any mounting plate and that can be a bit of an issue for mounting, even though there are no video output connectors available… ASUS for example has it on their version.

The PCB of the mining card is pretty small and there is no backplate like on the consumer variation of the GTX 1060 from Gigabyte. It is normal, the idea of these cards is to make them cheaper and that needs some cost cutting, though you should still be careful where you cut from and not compromise on important things for miners. There are not warranty stickers on the screws at the back, but who would worry about that when you get the mining card with just three months of warranty instead of the regular 2 or 3 years (depending on the region).

The mining card NP106D5-6G is equipped with a single 6-pin PCI-E power connector for external power, the default TDP is 120W. This means that you shoud not be having much trouble with finding a suitable power supply for connecting 6, 8 or even more of these in a single GPU mining rig.

A quick look at the cooling solution of the NP106D5-6G. There is a small separate aluminium radiator on top of the voltage regulators that are locate on the left side of the PCB. The big aluminium cooling radiator uses a single copper heatpipe that goes through the GPU and memory chips as well – they are both in contact with the cooler. The heatpipe is in direct contact with the GPU and the big surface of the cooler does a pretty good job in keeping things cool.

Here is how the PCB looks like, the GPU is labeled GP106-100-A1 and the video memory is GDDR5 from Samsung. The video memory is really important here as this is a mining oriented video card and you need good chips that can handle overclocking for improved performance and the Samsung ones manage to do quite well in that department.

The final thing we need to note about the Gigabyte NP106D5-6G, a really important thing is about the cooling fans of the card. Gigabyte is popular with their pretty good in terms of cooling capacity and silently operating Windforce fans and it is no surprise that we also find them on this board as well. These fans however are not good for crypto mining and we do not like how they handle 24/7 operation under high temperatures, so we are not big fans of these fans.

The fans are 92mm ones made by Power Logic and are model PLD09210S12HH (12V, 0.40A) and they use bushings instead of bearings (single or dual). These are cheap fans that may start failing withing a few weeks of mining, we have seen that with other Gigabyte cards using the same cooling fans. We don’t mind as much that you get these with just 3 months warranty, but at least when you are making a GPU for mining use more reliable fans that will last longer (like ASUS does on their version of the P106).

All in all we can say that we are not too happy with how Gigabyte approached the situation with their NP106D5-6G mining GPU. They just removed stuff from their consumer GeForce GTX 1060 model and did not address the specific needs and requirements of miners at all. The lack of mounting bracket and the cheap crappy fans in terms of reliability and durability are not Ok. That fact, coupled with the just 3 months warranty, no resell value apart from mining use and just 10% lower price compared to the regular consumer GTX 1060 model does not really help in making this an attractive alternative to smaller home miners.

In the next post we are going to be sharing more details about the actual use of the Gigabyte NP106D5-6G for mining as well as what kind of performance results you can expect from it, so stay tuned…

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.

gigabyte-gtx-750-ti-crypto-mining

The Geforce GTX 750 Ti video cards based on the new Maxwell architecture from Nvidia have generated quite a lot of interest among the users mining crypto currencies thanks to their very good hashrate per watt of used power. And after we have tried a reference GTX 750 Ti board that does perform pretty well and overclocks decently to provide some extra hashrate we are now moving to trying out different non-reference design video cards based on the GTX 750 Ti. Out goal is to find the best choice for overclocking and gaining the maximum possible performance for use the GPU for mining crypto currencies. So we took a Gigabyte GTX 750 Ti (N75TOC-2GI) video card for a spin to see what we can get out of that board…

gigabyte-gtx-750-ti-stock-scrypt

The default Scrypt mining performance with CUDAminer was about 273 KHS, or slightly more than what we got with the reference card at stock frequencies of about 265 KHS. The two advantages of the Gigabyte board were the presence of an external PCI-E power connector and the much better cooling solution compared to the stock cooler. However we have found out that the TDP limit of the Gigabyte was still set at 38.5W in the video BIOS, though with the Power Target limit removal method you can get much higher limit set and avoid the Power Target functionality limiting your performance.

gigabyte-gtx-750-ti-stock-overclock

Overclocking the Gigabyte GTX 750 Ti card to +135 MHz for the GPU and +700 MHz for the video memory brought the Scrypt mining performance to about 303 KHS (the maximum stable clocks for mining), however we were hitting the TDP limit. So we have increased the TDP limit to 65.5W by modifying the video BIOS and flashing the modified version on the Gigabyte board and the result we got with the same overclocked frequencies was up to 322 KHS. Unfortunately the Gigabyte board did not allow for higher GPU frequencies that +135 MHz or to increase the GPU voltage higher than the default value. And while 322 KHS with a silent operation and 42 degrees C of the GPU is not a bad result at all, we are going to be checking out other different GTX 750 Ti boards to see if we are going to be able to get a bit more hashrate than that. So stay tuned for more updates on that…


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