Posts Tagged ‘ASIC DASH Miner


THe first X11 ASIC miner on the market was iBeLink DM384M that was released about a month and a half ago in a limited 50 units first batch and we were lucky enough to purchase one of the first units available from Dual Miner. We have since tested and played quite a lot with the device and we have since shared a lot of things we like about the device and some that we don’t. With opening pre-orders for the next batch it is time to share a few more things that we do not like about the iBeLink DM384M, so that people that might be considering to order the device be well aware what to expect from it. The next batch that is up from pre-order is expected to start shipping by the end of next month, so a lot can happen before the devices start shipping including a competing product becoming available for order without so much waiting time.


But lets get back to the iBeLink DM384M X11 ASIC miner and what we don’t like and should have happened in the timeframe of about a month and a half since the first batch of devices started shipping. On the software side, still no source code of the cgminer is available for users to modify and integrate in sgminer, bfgminer or another software miner or even compile for Windows or other operating systems. The fork of cgminer available is only in a binary form for Raspberry Pi and even the binary is not usable for custom setups as it apparently has built in protections that don’t allow you to use it in other environment than the one you get it preinstalled on (the RPi shipped with the miner). You can get inside the Linux shell on the Raspberry Pi controller of the miner and try to add another root account or change the password for an existing user, but you will not get very far. Thanks to the built-in protections in the cgminer it will refuse to run if any modifications in the environment such as changed passwords or new users are detected and so far iBelink has not released the password for the device so you cannot ssh to it using an existing user. So the only thing left is apparently for somebody to brute force the password of the device as iBeLink simply does not give us another option.

Still on the software side, there has not been a single update to the web-based interface that is available for the user to control and monitor the device and that software does need some fixing and new features. The numbers you get reported are a bit weird and confusing, so you might have trouble getting a good idea on the status of the hardware other than if it works and how well it works – you will have to monitor poolside for the real performance. But that is not the big issue, there are features that are simply needed and not available and apparently will not be introduced such as password protection for the web interface or load balancing pool strategy to help you spread the high hashrate among lower difficulty coins for example. This might not have been that bad if if users had the access to the divide that would allow them to modify the software themselves and add features that they may need, unfortunately iBeLink locked this option out. We have already seem modified and improved firmware for various ASIC miners made by users that add missing features or improve the performance and reliability of the hardware, but for the moment we are not going to be seeing this happening for the iBeLink DM384M X11 ASIC.


Enough with the software, let us get started about the hardware and what to expect on that side from the iBeLink DM384M X11 ASIC. Solid build, adequate performance as per the official specifications, but noisy and at a level that simply makes it not suitable for use by home miners. Server grade chassis, cooling fans and even power supply ensure long term reliability unless you put it in a very hot environment where you might have trouble with any other hardware anyway. If you are considering to modify the miner to make it quieter and usable for home miners that do not want the excessive noise from the cooling solution, then you will have some more trouble. Half of the noise of the device is coming from the power supply and you will be having trouble replacing it with a standard ATX PSU that is much more silent. The reason for that is the non-standard power connectors used by the blades with the chips that the power supply uses, a 12-pin power connector that may be found on some other server products, but not with the same pinout. Apart from the 12V yellow cables and the black ground cables you have a single 3.3V orange cable on every connector, so you would need to do some modifications to the regular power supply to make it compatible. Or you can just desolder the cooling fan of the standard power supply and add in quieter fans to keep it cool, but that would limit you with the length of the power cables as they are designed to be long enough for the standard chassis of the device. Adding enough less noisy, but still powerful enough fans to each of the blades can provide enough cooling and much less noise when compared to the standard cooling setup, but you will need to take the blades out of the standard chassis.

So be prepared and know what to expect from the iBeLink DM384M X11 ASIC miner should you consider ordering one or more units. One more last thing before making the final decision, the X11 profitability at the moment is not what it was when the first batch was shipped and there is a chance that it may go even lower once more hardware is available. Unlike the last time when new ASICs were introduced for Litecoin and Scrypt-based crypto currencies, X11 is not that widespread and there are not a lot of strong coins apart from DASH, not even that many X11 altcoins like it was with Scrypt ones. With a limited number of X11 ASIC miners, all big and powerful units, and with GPU miners moving from X11 to other algorithms a centralization of X11 hashrate may as well become a serious problem that can drive away users. But enough with the pessimism, time to get optimistic, as we are probably soon going to be seeing more X11 competition on the market including smaller single chip USB miners to help decentralize things and get X11 ASIC hardware in the hands of many more people.


The iBeLink DM384M is the first to market X11 ASIC miner and while it is a pretty good product, there are still some things to be desired. In terms of hardware the X11 ASIC miner offers a solid build and reliable performance making it pretty capable for mining in a data center even in not so favorable conditions even when the environment temperature is not the best. The power usage is at a good level for the high performance it offers of 384 MHS for X11 mining, but the noise level makes it inappropriate for home miners. Temperature wise the situation is good thanks to the powerful server grade cooling used to keep the miner operating stable as you can see from these thermal images of the device in operation. Pretty much what is missing in terms of hardware is the presence of thermal sensors and fan control available for the users, the first is not hard to implement considering that the built-in controller of the miner is a Raspberry Pi. Fan speed control and failsafe could be trickier to implement as it would also need to be able to ignore users settings if the conditions require it and even to shutdown the miner in case a fan fails. Not to mention that implementing fan speed control and monitoring would not be very usable without the miner having thermal sensors, but the current implementation with server grade fans is good enough and should provide long and reliable operating with adequate cooling.


On the software side however there is much more to be desired, even though the basic web-based functionality you get is a pretty good starting point. we have already mentioned the device uses a Raspberry Pi controller with a modified version of the MineNinja software to provide a web-based frontend to the cgminer 3.5.6 backend. The web frontend provides a lot of numbers to the users, but they do not always seem to be correct, especially in terms of the actual hashrate you are getting from the device, so you need to look at the pool reported speed. Furthermore the web-based control lacks some very basic features such as password protection for access control or the ability to use a different pool mining strategy than the default failsafe one that is available. With big and powerful ASIC miners we often see that the web-based control software offers only pool failsafe options, but no load balance strategy for example. So while this will be fine if you are mining a high difficulty coin, if you go for a low difficulty and hashrate one throwing your full hashrate you will quickly raise the coin difficulty a lot. The cgminer backend does come with support for different pool strategies, so the problem is in the functionality available in web-based interface. Unfortunately for the moment the source code of cgminer or at lest the driver for the device is not yet publicly released, so we cannot have support built in other miners and web frontends. So for the moment the iBeLink DM384M is best for use with high difficulty X11 coins…


The first batch of 50 units of the first on the market iBeLink DM384M X11 ASIC miner were shipped at the beginning of this month and everyone that has preordered is probably quite happy at the moment. The profitability is quite good with selling X11 hashrate at NiceHash still the most profitable choice at the moment, based on our test of a unit we have purchased we can say that the miners are pretty good, even if they do lack some extra features both hardware wise and on the software side. If you re interested in the iBeLink DM384M X11 ASIC miner and you have missed our posts about different aspects of the device that we have published already, then you might want to check them out.


It seems that the company making the iBeLink DM384M miners does not have a very large production capacity and they need some time to make another batch of miners (and probably money from the sales of the first batch). The answer they give at the moment when more units are expected to be available is “we expect to have next batch around mid of May“, definitely a good news for first batch owners and not so good for people that will want to purchase an X11 ASIC now. This low number of devices available however is generally good for the X11 coins as they will not be overwhelmed by a very big wave of new hashrate pouring in pushing out the GPU miners that mine X11. Actually a lot of the GPU miners are currently switching to Ethereum mining because of the better profitability it offers, so the X11 ASIC miners could fill the gap and offer enough supply to cover the hashrate demand. We are looking at at least a few more months before mining X11 with a GPU might become pointless, unless of course we see a bunch of other companies releasing more X11 ASICs on the market. It seems that this is not going to happen in the next few months, so don’t be in a hurry to write out the X11 algorithm as ASIC only yet…