All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
Two days ago we have published information about the new Gridseed Blade Miner and now we already have some performance results available to share with you. Thanks to MinerEU, an official Gridseed EU distributor, we got not only the information about the new device using 80 Gridseed GC3355 chips earlier, but also had the chance to do some performance testing of the new miner and share the results with you. We were provided with remote access to a system that had the new Gridseed Blade Miner attached and we could test with different pools and settings, as well as by using different miner software. We haven’t yet had physical access to these miners, but we plan on ordering one as they are very soon going to start shipping the devices, around 8th or 9th of April or in just a few days. The new Gridseed Blade Miner (80 Chip) is already available for order at a price of $3000 USD at MinerEU.com. But let us get to the tests and results we have performed of the device using remote access…
According to the official information from Gridseed one 80-chip Blade Miner is equivalent to 16 Gridseed 5-chip USB miners and it is capable of providing a total hashrate of 5.2 MHS. So we have fired up bfgminer with the Blade Miner configured to run at the stock 600 MHz, the default frequency for the 5-chip miners to see what kind of performance we can get. A bit of a disappointment as we got just about 4 MHs total performance from the two PCBs with 40 chips each that combined make the 80 chip Blade Miner. And since the Blade miner has two PCBs with 40 chips each and different power supply and USB connection in the miner software you see it as two separate devices.
If you were hoping that the new Gridseed Blade Miner will be capable of 5.2 MHS as per official specifications at 600 MHz, you will probably not be very happy as it seems that Gridseed has apparently decided to overclock the device and cite specifications at higher clocks. So we went further and ran bfgminer at 700 MHz frequency to see the performance level that we can get and we got a combined hashrate of 4.6-4.7 MHS, so still a bit below the official specifications.
Running bfgminer at 800 MHz has allowed us to get us a bit higher than the official specs of 5.2 MHS, we got at up to about 5.6 MHS with these settings with no HW errors to just a few. This means that you can expect to easily run these miners at 800 MHz with no problems and get a bit over the official specs in terms of hashrate. We went down to 750 MHz just to check that with it we are actually getting around 5-5.2 MHS hashrate from the Blade Miner, so that is around the “default” frequency that the new Gridseed Blade miners are supposed to be ran in order for you to get about 5.2 MHs.
The image above shows the actual poolside reported hashrate, the first result is from a voltmodded 5-chip Gridseed ASIC running at 490 KHS local hashrate and with 64 worker difficulty and autoswitching to the most profitable coin at scryptguild. The second worker is the new Blade Miner running at 256 worker difficulty and manually selected to mine for LTC with a hashrate of about 5.6 MHS or pretty much the same as the locally reported hashrate. We have found out that setting the worker difficulty to 256 or 512 and not using auto switching does provide better results and less stales (higher efficiency) and you can easily compare the number of stale shares to the 5-chip miner and the 80-chip one and see that for yourself.
We also had to try running bfgminer at 850 MHz, a frequency that is the optimal one for Scrypt only mining mode on the 5-chip Gridseed ASIC devices for overclocking without any modifications. Unfortunately the new Gridseed Blade miners do not handle that well the 850 MHz and started producing a bit more than the desirable number of HW errors. As a result of the more HW errors at that frequency the actual performance in terms of hashrate (~5 MHS) decreases as compared to running the miners at 800 MHz, so we do not recommend to go that high with the new ASICs. It is possible that 850 MHz or even a bit more could be achieved after optimizing the cooling of the chips for example, however before actually getting the hardware in our hands we cannot confirm if that is possible or not.
So far we’ve been testing with bfgminer with Gridseed support, the standard miner we used for the smaller 5-chip devices and it works very well with the new miner. It might need a minor tweak to report all local hashrates properly, but the actual performance gets properly reported (the third value) that takes into account the rejects and HW errors. We’ve decided to give a try to cgminer with Gridseed support as well to test with and to find the best frequency in between 800 and 850 MHz that can provide optimum results in terms of hashrate and while minimizing the number of HW errors. We were able to get much better results at 838 MHz as compared to what we were getting at 850 MHz and with some extra hashrate reported poolside. The problem when using cgminer for Gridseed is that the locally reported hashtate is incorrectly reported, though the number of accepted and rejected shares and the number of HW errors seems to be properly reported and poolside performance shows that the miner is properly working and only the reporting is not working right. This should be easily fixable with an update on the software miner code in order to properly report the local hashrate based on the number of chips for each of the PCBs in the Gridseed Blade Miner.
The good news is that you have some headroom for overclocking the new Blade Miner and squeezing some extra performance out of the box over the standard 5.2 MHS. Then there is also the possibility of implementing an easy voltmod in a similar manner as with the smaller 5-chip Gridseed ASIC devices on the bigger Blade Miner and getting some extra boost in performance up to about 8 MHs. Before actually getting the hardware in our hands and trying out we cannot confirm if this is real option or not, but we already suspect that it might be possible. You should not have any problems starting to use the new Gridseed Blade Miner as soon as you receive the device in your hands as it works with the already available software for the smaller miners and if you are familiar with them you should be up and running in no time, especially if you consider the information about the different clocks and hashrate we have provided based on our remote testing. Do note that the Gridseed Blade Miner that we have tested is an earlier unit, so there is a chance that the upcoming units that should start shipping in a few days might be doing even better, though there is no guarantee for that.
We are already remotely testing a second Gridseed Blade Miner ASIC device, again remotely in order to compare two of the devices and see if they would behave differently and is there some variance from unit to unit. We are soon going to post some results from the two Blade Miners and these should also be able to give you a good idea on what hashrate you can expect from two of these ASIC devices, so stay tuned for more information soon.
Just a reminder to submit your entries in our ongoing photo contest for a chance to win a 5-chip Gridseed ASIC miner provided by our partners GAWMiners. All you have to do is submit a photo showing the Strangest Place to Mine and you could get an ASIC miner as a reward this week, furthermore you could also play and win in the next three weeks of April as well by participating in the photo contest as each week there will be a different theme of the contest and another Gridseed ASIC device as a prize. So do not miss your chance this week, you still have a few days to submit your entry.
If you remember the story from last month about an supposedly upcoming 19.2 MHS Scrypt ASIC based on Gridseed chips that was briefly put for preorder on aliexpress by a Chinese seller with not a lot of details, then you would be interested to read this exclusive information hat we just received. We just got some real and exclusive information and photos of the upcoming Gridseed Blade Miners from MinerEU.com, an official Gridseed EU distributor. It seems that the new Gridseed Blade Miner will be officially released next week and we already have some real photos and information about the specifications of the hardware.
The new blade miner will still use GC3355 ASIC chips, the same same as in Gridseeds USB miners. There are 2 PCB panels in each Blade Miner and each panel has 40 GC3355 chips, or you get a total of 80 chips on a single Blade Miner device. Each PCB of the miner has own power socket and USB port to control it, so it is like having two miners in a single package with. The official Scrypt mining hashrate is 5.2 MHS (2.6 MHS for each PCB), but we believe we should be able to improve that hashrate a lot as what we did with their USB ASIC miners by overclocking and modifying them.
We should note that apparently Gridseed is no longer advertising the new Blade Miners for use for BTC (SHA-256) or Dual Mode mining, instead they are intended for use for Scrypt mining only. Using these devices for BTC mining could create power and cooling issues and the resulting hashrate you could expect is definitely not worth it compared to what you should be able to get in Scrypt only mode… especially after overclocking and maybe voltmodding.
The new Gridseed 80-chip Blade Miner is equivalent to 16 Gridseed 5-chip USB miners, the official total hashrate is quoted as 5.2 MHS or about 65 KHS per chip, so there should be some room for improvement with overclock and possibly voltmod. The total power usage at default frequency should be around 64-70W for each panel or a total of about 140W per Blade Miner. The device should be compatible with the already available software miners such as cpuminer, cgminer and bfgminer with Gridseed support as it essentially uses the same way of communication with the computer as the smaller 5-chip devices.
If you are eager to get your hands on these new Gridseed Blade Miners, you can order from MinerEU now and expect a delivery probably sometime next week (deliveries are scheduled to start around April 8th). Due to limited availability at the moment, the new miners are not yet publicly listed in their online shop, the order link is intended for their resellers. You can see the official product page of the new Blade Miner on MinerEU’s website with photos and specs, link below. We are going to be ordering one of these devices to be able to play with it more and meanwhile we have been invited to test the new miner by MinerEU, so more details will follow very soon.