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Posts Tagged ‘Scrypt ASIC Miner

bfgminer-4-2-0-branch-zeusminer-windows

We already had a fork of bfgminer with support for the ZeusMiner devices, however there is now an official branch of bfgminer 4.2.0 that has support for Zeus ASIC chips (source) that you can download and try. The support for the Zeus is still a work in progress, so it will be some time before the support gets integrated in the main branch of the miner, but it is already working quite well. Below you can download a windows binary ready for testing do check the included Batch file example for the options how to run the software so your ZeusMiner will be detected and used in the miner. The default configuration is for ZeusMiner Blizzard (6-chips) running at 328 MHz frequency, also do note that the command line disables the bfgminer to run on any OpenCL devices that you may have, so they will be show as OFF in the list as you can see on the screenshot above. Interestingly enough Zeus has finally have made available the source of their cgminer 3.1.1 for with support for the ZeusMiner ASIC chips on a GitHub repository.

You can download the new bfgminer 4.2.0 zeus support branch binaries for Windows OS here…

bfgminer-4-2-1-zeus-windows

The new fork of bfgminer with support for ZeusMiner’s Scrypt ASICs (Litecointalk development topic) that we have told you about a few days ago is seeing some nice development. The fork that is compatible with ZeusMiner, GAWMiners and Hashra Zeus-based Scrypt ASICs has been updated to bfgminer 4.2.1 and the driver has been reworked a bit including some changes to the command line options that are no longer the same as the initial cgminer release with support for ZeusMiner ASICs.

The latest release even has an option to “override” the maximum frequency of 382 MHz that the ZeusMiner ASICs are apparently limited to, however this only overrides the software check, but does not actually make the miner work at higher frequency (the 382 MHz maximum might be a hardware limitation). Also do note that there might be some issues running multiple miners in a single instance, so you might need to run 5 or more units in a single miner per instance of bfgminer configuration.

Below you can find a windows binary of the bfgminer 4.2.1 that you can try, just make sure to set the right number of chips depending on your miner model as well as the virtual COM port at which the miner is detected. The recommended operating frequency still seems to be 328 MHz for most people as a good balance in terms of performance and HW error rate, though you are welcome to play with it.

You can download the new bfgminer 4.2.1 ZeusMiner binaries for Windows OS here…

gawminers-falcon-scrypt-asic-miner

Today we did took thermal images in order to be able to see how well does the GAWMiners Falcon Scrypt ASIC miner deal with the heat, since we have an unbranded Falcon unit it is essentially the same as the standard ZeusMiner THUNDER X3 inside. With a power consumption of over 900W you might worry a bit about the thermal performance of the device, or at least be a bit curious how good is the cooling and if you are able to possibly improve it would that bring the level of HW errors down a bit.

gawminers-falcon-thermal-image-1

As you can see from the thermal images on the outside the Falcon is pretty cool with the hottest areas barely getting up to about 42 degrees Celsius. The device uses two large 120mm fans that pull the hot air through the case of the miner over the large aluminum coolers inside the case, these fans are very powerful and a bit noisy. In fact they are so powerful that they cause some vibrations of the whole case of the miner and since there are no rubber feet at the bottom of the case the miner might sound noisier if the surface it is placed on picks up the vibrations and amplifies them. Not that the fans are that cool, they are a bit noisy, butt they do their job very well in keeping the device cooler and operating without heat problems of any kind. Actually what you should be more careful with is the cables from the power supply that go to the miner as they may get hot due to the significant power being transferred through them. If they are cool or just slightly hot to the touch they are most likely fine, but if they start to get hotter after you turn on the miner, then you might need to think about getting a better power supply.

gawminers-falcon-thermal-image-2

Opening the case of the Falcon Scrypt ASIC while it is operating may not be the wisest thing to do, especially for longer periods of time as it may permanently damage the device due to overheating. The fact that you have fans pulling air from inside the case means that when you open the top the efficiency of the cooling of the device drops a lot and everything starts to get hotter and hotter very quickly. We did it remove it very quickly just to take the thermal photos and put back together the case in order to measure the temperatures as close as possible to the actual ones while the miner is working normally. As you can see on the left image the four big aluminum heatsinks remain very cool at about 30-35 degrees Celsius while the fans are pulling a lot of air though them. Looking at the boards with the ASIC chips on them things do seem a bit hotter as to be expected, the chips are pretty hot as the design of the miner uses the back of the PCB to transfer the heat to the heatsinks and the chips do not have coolers placed on top of them. Temperatures of about 60-70 degrees Celsius are apparently something that is not a problem for them, though you should be careful not to get the temperatures much higher like for example leaving the miner to work open for some time. The power modules of the boards do seem cooler than the ASIC chips, though they do get a bit hot as well. So there is the possibility for some improvements to the cooling of the device to be improved further and now that we have some thermal images we know where we should focus on, you are also welcome to use these images to work on improving the cooling and possibly the performance of the device.


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