All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
Last week Nvidia has announced a new mid-range GPU, namely the GTX 950 that is being positioned between the GTX 750 Ti and the GTX 960. Interestingly enough the GTX 950 has 128 CUDA cores more than 750 Ti and a TDP of 90W with a price point that is a bit higher than the 750 Ti, so the big question is if the GTX 950 can be the new affordable and low-power usage alternative for mining suceeding the 750 Ti. We took an MSI GeForce GTX 950 Gaming 2G video card and have tested how it performs for crypto mining in various algorithms using the latest ccMiner fork from SP optimized fro Maxwell GPUs as the GTX 950 is Compute 5.2 card. We have also tested using Ethminer for mining Ethereum’s Ether (ETH) coins as these are pretty hot and profitable to mine at the moment.
The table above does not contain results for the following algorithms that are supported by ccMiner: lyra2, skein, yescrypt, whirl, x14, x17 as when trying to test them we have encountered errors or the miner software crashing. We are not sure if this is directly related to the use of GTX 950 and the default intensity settings not working for some algorithms, or just that there are issues with the specific algorithms in the latest code of ccMiner. The TDP result shows how much power the video card uses for each of the algorithm with 100% TDP being equal to 90W of power usage on a normal GTX 950, but on the MSI factory overclocked Gaming model the 100% TDP is actually equal to 110W. As you can see however very fee of the algorithms are getting close to the maximum TDP of the GTX 950, so the actual power usage could be even lower than 90W on most of the algorithms.
Time for an update to our Miner Control based package for GTX 750 Ti GPUs. We’ve included an up to date ccMiner fork 1.5.42-git windows binary from SP (compiled for Maxwell cards with Compute 5.0 and 5.2 only). The GTX 750 Ti package is configured to work with NiceHash, WestHash and Yaamp pools, supporting the more profitable X11, X13, X14, X15, Keccack, Lyra2RE and Quark algorithms. We have also added the WhirlpoolX algorithm as well as Qubit, though it still seems that mining Quark/Qubit is still the most profitable on Nvidia GPUs most of the time as compared to other popular algorithms.
You can download the package below with settings already set for non-overclocked GTX 750 Ti, if you are going to be using it on multiple card mining rigs you need to multiply the hashrate for the algorithms supported. The package will also function just fine on GTX 960, GTX 970 and GTX 980 cards where you would need to set the power usage and hashrate numbers for your respective hardware to get the correct calculations working. To be ready to use it you just need to update the account settings for each pool to reflect your BTC payment address. Do note that the default configuration that we have left is set to mine from time to time for the author of the software (Miner Control) as a donation alternative, but you can change that setting should you wish to.
We have gotten an ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX to test GPU mining with it and also checked the power usage with the various algorithms supported by the latest ccMiner fork from SP that is optimized for Nvidia Maxwell GPUs. The ASUS STRIX is one of the GTX 960 video cards out there with the highest factory overclock, so it is supposed to provide higher performance as compared to the more reference Palit GTX 960 OC card that we have tested recently. Do note that the Nvidia rated TDP of the GTX 960 GPUs is 120 Watts and it seems that the reference cards that are not factory overclocked are more like in the 100W of power usage and the higher clocked models such as the ASUS STRIX GTX 960 do manage to go up to the 120 Watts power consumption mark.
We have used the ccMiner 1.5.31-git Fork by SP for Maxwell, the same version that we used a few days ago, so that we can compare performance with the GTX 750 Ti and the GTX 960 OC card from Palit to the results that the ASUS STRIX card offers. There is a newer version of the ccMiner fork from SP already available that fixes the NIST5 support, though there is not much difference in the performance in the Lyra2 algorithm on the GTX 960 as compared to GTX 750 Ti. Also the Blake, Blakecoin and Penta algorithms that rely a lot on the CPU and do not use much of GPU resources do not seem to provide much better results on the more overclocked ASUS cards. Other than that the ASUS STRIX card does provide some extra hashrate over the Palit GTX 960 and thanks to the higher clocks factory preset for the ASUS its performance gets closer to 2x the hashrate provided from a reference GTX 750 Ti GPU that is not factory overclocked.