Posts Tagged ‘BTC ASIC

bitmaintech-antminer-s1-asic

The Chinese company Bitmain has shown to all other competitors in the field of Bitcoin ASICs how they should do their business successfully and keep all of the clients happy and coming back. The company is still shipping very fast 180 GHS ASIC devices that are on stock and with a price getting lower and lower over time. Currently you can purchase a single 180 GHS Antiminer S1 ASIC that easily overclocks to 200 GHS for 0.998 BTC and the price even includes express shipping. Really unbeatable price for something that will arrive on your door in about a week from China and you will be able to start mining with it. We are already eager to see the company come up with the next generation of ASIC chips using 28 nm technology and offering higher performance with even better performance per watt of power consumed.

For more information about the Bitmain 180 GHS Antiminer S1 Bitcoin ASIC miners….

gridseed-dualmining-on-windows-success

The 5-chip Gridseed GC3355-based ASIC devices that support Dual Mining for Bitcoin and Litecoin are not that easy to be used in the Dual Mode, because you need to have two different software miners running at the same time. There is a bit of specifics in what and how you need to do in order to mine both BTC and LTC at the same time and after a bit of tinkering we have managed to finally make things work as they should under Windows. You need to download a special modified version of cpuminer for Scrypt (LTC) mining and a modified version of cgminer for SHA-256 (BTC) mining. We have compiled the two software miners and you will find the download links below. You will also need the Zadig software in order to replace the virtual USB to COM driver with WinUSB driver for the cgminer to detect and work with the BTC mining side of the ASICs.

zadig-gridseed-dualminer-usb-config

– Download and run the latest version of Zadig
– From the Zadig interface select Options and choose List All Devices
– From the Dropdown list of devices select CP2102 USB to UART Bridge Controller and click on Replace Driver with the WinUSB driver selected
– If you have multiple 5-chip GC3355 DualMiner USB devices connected you may need to repeat the procedure for all of them
– Download, edit and run the BTC.bat file from the modified cgminer 3.8.5 for the Gridseed ASICs to start the miner working on BTC
– Download, edit and run LTC_ONLY.bat file from the modified cpuminer for Gridseed ASICs to start mining for LTC (check what your COM port is and edit it). You need to add the parameter “dual” (without the quotes and two dashes in front) to the command line in order for the Dual mode mining to start working

It seems that there are some ASIC devices that may be using different virtual USB to COM drivers other than the CP2102 that our unit has (for example ST32 Virtual COM Port), unfortunately we don’t have any of those to test with. You can however try to make things work by replacing the other driver with WinUSB, just select the right name from the dropdown box (do not try to rename drivers, it is pointless) and Replace it with WinUSB (you may need to unplug and plug the USB cable to the miner after that). If after installing the WinUSB driver over the virtual USB to COM driver the ASIC does not work with cgminer, you just need to uninstall the driver from the Device Manager and unplug/plug the USB cable to the device for it to install the original USB to COM driver and it should be functioning again with cpuminer (note that this way you may have it running on a new COM port).

This is it, you should have the miner running both SHA-256 (BTC) and Scrypt (LTC) mining withe the two software miners and the total power consumption should be about 60W. Note that you may need to lower the operating frequencies a bit for when mining the Dual BTC/LTC mode as the chips get hotter. If you want to mine only BTC you can stick only with running the modified cgminer, for LTC only you need the modified cpuminer without the dual option in the command line. The most attractive aspect of the Gridseed 5-chip GC3355 ASIC however remains their very low power consumption for Scrypt mining only mode, so think again if you really wan to run them in the Dual Mining more or for BTC only and not in LTC only mining mode instead.

block-erupter-cube-thermal-images

The Block Erupter Cube Bitcoin ASICs are the latest products (though already a few months old) to come out from the company ASICMiner – the same company that made the small USB sticks for mining Bitcoins. These ASIC devices are capable of 32 to 38 GHS (stock and overclocked) and come with a small form factor, but with a relatively high power consumption to be good choice to continue mining for much longer. We got our hands on one of these devices and decided to check it out and report some interesting things we’ve found out about it and that you will probably not find anywhere else. Like for example the thermal images of the miner in action that you can see above that give interesting insight into the operation of the miner. You can see that inside of the device can get pretty hot, while the outside aluminum case remains pretty cool, so the cooling is apparently quite effective in moving air through the chips to keep them operating problem free even when overclocked, even though the chips temperature can go as high as 80 degrees Celsius. Another interesting finding is that the safety fuse on the back of the device can get pretty hot, so e careful with the fuse while the device is working.

block-erupter-cube-power-consumption

The inside of the Block Erupter Cube Bitcoin ASIC consists of a main control board and six modules with chips, each of the boards with chips has 16 chips and the total number of chips inside the device is 96. These are the same chips that are found on the Block Erupter USB devices, so they are not very power efficient nowadays as compared to other alternative solutions available. As you can see the idle power consumption of the ASICMiner Block Erupter Cube is 130W and having the device overclocked to run at 38 GHS the power consumption can go up to about 350W (measured at the power outlet). The high power consumption is with the relatively low hashrate already is what is making these a bit outdated and in a few more jumps in the Bitcoin difficulty.

block-erupter-cube-web-interface

The Block Erupter Cube devices comes with a built-in web management interface that also allows you to switch between the normal and overclocked operation mode with a click of a button. The web interface lets you enter the pool settings, so the device can operate without the need of a computer, however it only supports getwork and not stratum. And with stratum pools you need to use a stratum proxy in order to be able to connect to a stratum pool and that needs to be installed on a computer. We have managed to get about 37 GHS stable hashrate from the unit we have tested in the overclocked state and it was running stable and reliable for the whole week of testing that we did. And while the Block Erupter Cube ASIC miners do have some specifics, they do look nice and well built and already can be found quite cheap, pretty soon there will no be much point in mining for Bitcoins with them, unless you don’t pay for the electricity used. So do not get very tempted by a too attractive price for a Cube miner and better consider another ASIC alternative for mining Bitcoins that provides higher hashrate and uses less power.


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