Archive for the ‘Tests and Reviews’ Category

A month ago we have shared our negative experience with Giga Watt’s Miner Hosting Services and we just wanted to update you on the topic and still warn you to stay away from their miner sales and hosting services. Our December and January batches of miners that we have paid for back in November last year are still not deployed and not working and up until a few days Giga Watt was still selling new mining hardware for who knows when to be deployed (they have apparently stopped). Our disappointment with their services continues and it will get even worse for sure and they are just delaying and delaying month after month…

The WTT tokens are a bit better, but our disappointment extends there as well. There is still no price-varying real market for renting the tokens (you cannot use the tokens when your miners do not get deployed for months already). You still need to rent out all your tokens and you cannot rent them all even at the lowest price, so you are losing on that as well… no matter how much tokens you get you can rent maximum about 70% at the lowest price or less if you increase the price. Recently the company has risen the prices for electricity with 20% “in favor of the token holders”, but nothing really changes that much, at least your tokens should earn you a bit more. So we would also recommend not to go investing in WTT tokens now.

Last year when Giga Watt (the former MegaBigPower) announced their WTT token sale we were pretty excited about it and not only participated, but spread the word about it. With the good track record we were expecting big things to happen, but now, 9 months later we are really disappointed from our experience with Giga Watt in general and would want to warn everyone to stay away from their services. It is all but a delay after delay after another delay and things not happening for months after they take your money and in the world of crypto delays with months are not something that anyone wants as things change quite rapidly.

Let us see why we are not happy. First we were promised tokens that represent actual power capacity in the Giga Watt facility, of course they needed some time to build that capacity, so as a result there were more than a few month delays until the release of all of the tokens. Unfortunately letting users know how is development progressing during all this time has been less than well done with just a few scarce updates instead of constant updates on progress. We were promised market for these tokens that would allows us to profit from holding and leasing them to users needing power to host their miners and if there is a demand we could get higher price. Well, guess what, even at the lowest price of 4.2 cents you are not able to rent more than 60% to 75% of your tokens, regardless of how many they are and this has been like that from the start months ago.

In the end you have some 30 or more percent of your tokens free all of the time, so why not purchase some of the miners sold by Giga Watt and have them hosted at their facility to actually utilize the free tokens for something. Great idea, right, or so we thought and wanted to try it out a couple of months ago, so around the end of November last year we have purchased the following ASIC miners: Antminer S9 13.5 TH/s – PSU Included Batch 6 January and Antminer L3+ – PSU Included Batch 6 December. With these descriptions one would expect that the L3+ would go online in December or January latest and the S9 in January or early February. Guess what, it is already mid March and our miners purchased and paid for are still not online in Giga Watt’s facility.

We were pertinently waiting and waiting for something to happen, but our patience ran out completely at the beginning of February and the reply we got from Giga Watt was that our miners “should be deployed in February”. Well, they were not deployed in February and at the end of the month we were pretty pissed off already, so asking what is going on we got a reply that “Batch 6 hardware is expected to start the deployment process in March”. It is already mid March and we are still waiting for our miners to be deployed, even though earlier this month Giga Watt has released more tokens, meaning that they have additional power capacity already.

There are two more weeks by the end of the month although we do not have high hopes that we are going to see our miners getting deployed in that time frame, but even if we do see them we are clearly already very disappointed and not only will not recommend Giga Watt’s services, but will warn people not to rely on them at all. We are really disappointed from Giga Watt not delivering on time and on their promises and disappointed customers do not get compensation or refunds, so just stay away from them and save the trouble. We do plan to sell the tokens we own and move on, apart maybe from the ones needed by our miners if we ever see them getting deployed this month, or maybe the next one or who knows when.

For people that have been into mining for a couple of years already when it comes to mining rig frames there are not much secrets, they have already figured out what works best for their needs and have tweaked their designs a lot since the start. For people that are new or are just getting started with mining it is much easier to go for a readily available mining rig frame and add the hardware to it than to start figuring out the whole thing from the scratch. That is why we always love to check out some of these professional mining rig frames that have been improved and refined over time and are available for miners to help them get started faster and with better results by just adding the mining hardware. What we are going to be looking at now is one such product called BITMINE RIG-V6 (rev04) made by and available for sale.

The BITMINE RIG-V6 (rev04) is a compact and easy to assemble and use mining rig frame for a single power supply and a up to 6x GPUs. It is a clever modular design that can easily be extended to 8x GPUs with an additional module and a second power supply, or up to 12x GPUs with a second frame. The price of the mining frame is 179 EURO for the standard version and there are discounts available for purchase of multiple units as well as for payment with crypto currencies (multiple supported). The frame comes mostly pre-assembled, so you will just need a few minutes until you are ready to start adding the mining hardware in it. The package contains all that you need probably besides a Philips screwdriver, though you probably won’t have trouble finding one of these at home anyway.

The mining frame has a lot of clever ideas implemented, so that you can quickly and easily add or remove hardware to it without the need of tools or at least without many tools for the most part. There is a handle on top to make thing easy to move the whole thing around, even with its pretty compact size it is still much easier with a handle. The GPUs are mounted with reusable plastic holders where the screws usually go and their backplane locks in place on the other side in the frame, and at the back is a plastic holder to keep the GPU stable in place. The design is planned for a 2.5-inch SSD drive that attaches to a plate that you clip on the main frame on top of the PSU, though you can still use an M.2 SSD or a hard drive and place it somewhere in the build. There is a metal holder available for the PCI-E risers to make sure they do not move too much and cause stability issues or GPUs disappearing on a random base due to bad contact.

Originally the stand can work fine with GPUs at up to 150W TDP each, for more you would need to add extra cooling fans and the frame has space for three 140mm fans. The compact design means that the GPUs are pretty close to each other, but they are fine if they do not use too much power and the extra fans can help move the hot air better. GPUs with single turbine fan will probably work better as they direct the airflow better and help prevent the formation of hot air pockets, though video cards with two or three regular fans will work fine if their cooling solutions are not larger than two slots. More powerful in terms of performance and consuming more power GPUs with 2.5 slots or even lager coolers are pretty much not recommended for this mining frame as you would have a hard time properly cooling them.

When you assemble all of the hardware, before you add all the cables things are looking pretty good and clean. The assembly time is quite short as there is nothing hard attaching the motherboard, the PSU, the SSD and the video cards. The design of the frame makes sure that everything is easily accessible, so adding the cables should not be a problem at all, making sure things look clean and pretty after that, well that is an entirely different story. Then again cabling has always been the major problem when building not only mining rigs, but even when assembling a regular computer where you normally just have a single video card and much less power and other cables.

When you get to the part where you connect the cables you will quickly see why the design of the frame is compact and why everything is made the way it is. You should not be using PCI-E risers with USB cables shorter than 60 centimeters, otherwise you might have trouble connecting everything. As for the power cables, the design with the PSU at the bottom should be just fine for pretty much all power supplies as far as the length goes, though if you add an extension module for 8 GPUs without a second power supply you might actually have issues with cable length. Cables are messy at first and you will probably need to spend some time figuring out what to go where for the best results, the good thing is that you get some Velcro and cable ties bundled with the frame to help you organize things a bit.

Now for some potential issues and things that might use some improvement or at least you should be aware of to avoid them and get a workaround solution ready. The bracket holding the PCI-E risers to the motherboard works pretty well with both types of risers (straight up and angled USB connectors), though it may not work that great on all motherboards for various reasons. For example if you use a motherboard designed for more than 6 GPUs like the AsRock H110 Pro BTC+ you need to use specific slots and still the sixth PCI-E riser will not be held by the bracket. The same goes for other mining motherboards from Gigabyte or Asus and others that are designed for use with more than 6x GPUs, though with standard six GPU mining boards everything should be fine. If you are using a 2.5-inch SSD and place it on the supplied bracket that holds it on top of the power supply you may notice that the screws holding it might be angling the drive a bit as they touch the PSU, but the bigger problem is that the whole bracket that slides into the frame is pretty loose and that can cause possible issues if/when it detaches from the frame. The feet of the whole frame may not be that great as well, there are four plastic holders used for the GPU attachment as well, but the problem is that they are very small and they take up all of the weight. If you place the frame on not so even surface it may be shaky and unstable as the contact surface is very small. Using rubber feet with larger surface area would to the job of insulating the frame from the ground and providing a more stable support, including even vibration dampening. The extra fans that you can mount on the back of the frame to improve cooling are nice and all, but since they come at the back of the cards you could have potential issue with a HDMI dummy that needs to be connected to a GPU on some motherboards in order for them to boot up or to switch display resolutions when remote controlling them (depends on OS, hardware configurations and so on). Not serious issues at all, just some areas that may use extra work and improvement and these can be done by the user assembling the mining frame with some clever ideas as well.

Since the BITMINE RIG-V6 (rev04) is great for lower power GPUs such as AMD Radeon RX 470/570 or RX 570/580 as well as Nvidia GPUs such as GTX 1060, GTX 1070, GTX 1070 Ti, GTX 1080 and/or their respective mining editions we were more interested in what happens if you go for more powerful video cards. Our goal was to test especially with GTX 1080 Ti (250W+ TDP unoptimized) as well as RX VEGA 56/64 GPUs (210-300W unoptimized) and as one would expect things did not go that well with cooling these beasts properly. The main problem is the tight space between the cards that does not allow for high enough airflow, even with 3 extra powerful 140mm fans added to improve air circulation. If you optimize the power usage of the GPUs to about 200W or less you should be able to properly cool them down using extra fans, but at the cost of a noisier mining setup. With no power optimizations things are not going to be good, so essentially forget about using these powerful GPUs for mining with this rig unoptimized. Even with Optimized GTX 1080 Ti at 200W and three extra powerful 113+ CFM fans helping we still observed that the topmost video card is about 10 degrees cooler than the others, just because it has access to more cooler air and there are no hot air pockets forming like in the cards below.

Our conclusion is that the BITMINE RIG-V6 (rev04) is a great design for a mining rig frame that you can use at home or in a small crypto mining location. It has clever design and is easy to assemble and use, has some really great features and is extensible to some point via additional modules. It works really well with mid to high-end GPUs, but we are not going to recommend it for the top models used for mining like AMD Radeon RX VEGA or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti as they cannot really be properly cooled the way we like them to (though you can still try on your own risk). The BITMINE RIG-V6 (rev04) is priced decently, though if you buy more than one and pay with crypto you can get extra discount and a nicer price. So we do recommend that you check the BITMINE RIG-V6 (rev04) mining frames, they are produced and shipped from within EU (Italy), so there should be no extra taxes for delivery to any country inside the European Union. The only possible issue at the moment is the fact that the official website is only in Italian, so you can get into a bit of trouble ordering if you do not know the language, but with an online translator you should be fine in going through the order process.

Update: We got a confirmation that the PCI-E riser holder and the SSD plate have been redesigned to resolve the potential issues we’ve mentioned, so you can count these as solved already if you order the mining frame now.

Visit the official Bitmine website for more information about the BITMINE RIG-V6 (rev04) mining frames…