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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.
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.
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.
Today we got a 27 MHS GAWMiners Falcon Scrypt ASIC Miner based on the 55 nm Zeus Scrypt ASIC chips and we have just finished setting up the device and started testing it. Our initial impressions are quite good so far and once we play a bit more with the device we are going to share all of them with you, so expect a lot more details in the next few days as we continue to test the Scrypt ASIC miner. Aside from the 27 MHS Falcon, GAWMiners also has both a faster model – the 54 MHS War Machine, as well as slower and more affordable models such as the 13 MHS Black Widow and the smallest 1.3 MHS Fury. In fact the Fury is currently probably the most affordable small Scrypt ASIC miner in production, along with the Zeus Blizzard, now that Gridseed has stopped producing their 5-chip GC3355-based miners.
We do need smaller and affordable Scrypt ASIC miners in order for them to be accessible to normal miners that want to mine DOGE for example with no resources to buy a 10K USD Scrypt ASIC miner like the big mining farms can. While the initial price of the 1 MHS+ Scrypt ASICs was not the best at about $200 USD, their latest price is much more reasonable and affordable at $139.95 USD and can get even better if you buy multiple units. This should allow the Scrypt hashing power to remain distributed among many people and not get centralized in the hands of just few big mining farms, otherwise there is a high risk of more and more people going away from Scrypt crypto currencies and moving to other alternatives.
Now back to testing the Falcon. Meanwhile, if you have some questions about the miner we are already prepared to answer them.
It seems that our order for a ZeusMiner Blizzard has been finally shipped yesterday (Order #2054 ), so it seems that the company will most likely be able to do what they have promised. That however does not make the Blizzard an interesting buy other than for testing, and that is precisely why we did order the unit, so that we can review it and try the Zeus Scrypt ASIC chips. Meanwhile Zeus has announced they are going to e releasing a ZeusController image for Raspberry Pi with a web-based interface for their miners and apparently they are also working on offering miner hosting options for customers that request it. With the reports we are seeing on higher actual power consumption than what was previously announced as official specs, a hosted option may not be a bad option if the price is right.
Zeus also announced new prices for Batch 2 orders that are supposed to start shipping on June 15th, the new Hurricane and Thunder miners will also come with new and improved cases. But there is no word on optimized firmwares yet to help users get the best performance/power usage ratio. Also BATCH 1 customers will get an additional 10% off for one order from the second batch, and if you are already an existing BATCH 1 customer, you automatically qualify for the more free stuff If you place an order for the same amount of higher for BATCH 2. It is up to you do decide if it is worth ordering, for us, well we are waiting for our first miner to see how things are actually working.