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Frequently Asked Question: What's an ASIC, FPGA?
So you're sick of just mining on your GPU, and not a fan of the electric bill after a month of mining? There has to be a better option out there than your loud GPU in your gaming computer. There is! Shortly after GPUs became popular for bitcoin mining, enterprising folks started looking at other things they can re-purpose to mine bitcoins more efficiently. Around mid-year 2011, the first devices sprang up that are called FPGAs or Field Programmable Gate Arrays. These are nothing new to the hobbyist community, they've been around for a while for crackers and other security-conscious folks looking at ways to defeat cryptographic locks. Hey! I know something that uses cryptographic calculations to secure its network! BITCOINS! Yep, so some miners developed their own boards and slapped some FPGA chips on them (most commonly the Spartan-6), and wrote specific firmware and "bitstreams" to more efficiently calculate bitcoin hashes. The first generations were sort of slow, but still they had better efficiency than a GPU. Some of the latest generation included the Icarus boards, Cairnsmore, x6500, and ModMiner Quad. In early 2012(i think my timeline is right), Butterfly Labs(BFL) was selling their own FPGA miner that hashed at 800 Mhash/s using 80 watts and only cost US$600 amazing! These grew very popular, but people could see that FPGAs still weren't the most efficient way to hash their shares. BFL then announced that they would be designing their own chips that would be orders of magnitude faster than anything ever seen. These would be the ASICs (or Application Specific Integrated Circuit)everyone is raving about. ASICs are--as the name implies--specifically designed for one thing, and one thing only. Bitcoins. This is all it can do, and can't really be repurposed like an FPGA to other applications. Who wouldn't want a US$150 "Jalapeno" that hashes at 3.5 GIGAhashes/s using only power from a USB port?? Crazy! So summer 2012, BFL says they will ship before Christmas. Various things happen and we now still don't have any confirmed ship dates from BFL. A few other companies have sprouted up, ASICminer which I believe is developing their own chips to mine themselves, but in a responsible way as to not threaten the network with a sudden influx of hashing. bASIC was a fiasco that was developed by the creator of the ModMiner Quad(which is actually a fantastic miner, I own one, and love it.) where he took many preorders, promised lots of people amazing ASIC performance, but in early 2013 the stress of the whole endeavour got to him and he gave up, refunded money(I think it's still being refunded now, or maybe it's been cleared up already.) Avalon is the only company we know has ASIC mining hardware in the wild. It is not certain exactly how many are out there, but they have been confirmed by independent sources. The Avalon units are expensive(75 BTC) and have been in limited production runs (or batches) of a few hundred units that were pre-sold out very quickly. All of this info is gleaned from the Custom Hardware forum over at bitcointalk.org over the past year or so I've been involved in bitcoin. I may have some facts wrong, but this is the gist of the situation and hopefully gives you an insight on the state of the hardware war against bitcoin Thanks for reading!
Want to invest in bitcoin but willing to accept more risk for more return? Maybe investing would be right for you!
As we all know, companies such as AsicMiner are currently kicking butt with their asics by releasing the eruptor blades and Erupter USB sticks for mining. This combined with their 28% or so of total hashing power for the entire bitcoin network is resulting in fantastic growth over the past few months, and their dividends are doing quite well. If you are interested in shares of AsicMiner , check out either Direct Shares or Pass Through shares, which is just one share of AsicMiner. You can find them in auctions on bitcointalk as well as sites such as BTCT.TO
There are other shares too, such as AMC which just recieved a few Avalons they purchased a while ago. Keep in mind that the owners relations with others on the forum is quite poor and very unprofessional, so I would still consider it rather risky.
There are also companies which are not based on bitcoin but experimenting with it as a source of capital, such as KenilWorth on bitfunder, who are a mining company which finds raw material deposits and then sells them to another company (I think). The people with that company are VERY responsive on bitcointalk and seem to be very professional.
You can even if you wish bet on funds which are reliant upon BFL's shipping, such as HaveLock's Investments Mining Fund. The owner of that fund is also rather response on bitcointalk and is a very down to earth person from what I have seen. For example, they just purchased a single Jupiter rig from KnCMiner in an effort to diversify so if BFL fails they will not be destroyed.
They are also other funds out there which are designed to represent an amount of Mhash/s per each share, for example RedStarMining which aims to have 180 Ghash/s eventually, with each share containing 2.818 Mhash/s.
Also, a very cool thing about these funds is that they are very present on bitcointalk in the securities section, so you can see up to date discussion about each fund. For example, for red star mining, here is their thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=63257.0 You can even get a fund in an exchange, such as Crypto-Trade! Though, they seem to be having some major issues with their site for a while now, which is unfortuntate.
There are tons of such securities available for lots of different styles people could choose, and because of bitcoin buying these shares is a very painless process. But do keep in mind that this is riskier than just holding bitcoin, and there are a good bit of scams prevalent in such securities, but if you keep an eye out and read their associated threads on bitcointalk you will be for the most part safe. Also, investing in companies like AsicMiner increases the network hash rate, making it even harder for a single entity to barge in and get more than 50% of the network hash rate, resulting in an even more secure network! These sometimes even hare shares which cost less than five dollars, so to get started you don't need much BTC at all. And here is the link to bitcointalk for anyone who wants to do more research and look at any other funds which might be of interest. Don't forget that there are some funds which are not exchanged on these sites, for example group buys where each buyer holds a certain percentage of proceeds from a very expensive miner they pool together to buy. As earlier though, be careful.
There is also a really good subreddit for discussing these securities as well as others on /BitcoinStocks ! Edit: Added in bitcointalk threads for each security I listed. Edit: It seems that there are nearly half as many downvotes as there are upvotes. Can anyone clarify?
Prices include shipping and discounts when available.
Edit: Forgot to add the optional mesh side panel with 4x 120mm fans I already have the motherboard, processor, storage and power supply. Remembering that these are Australian prices, how does this build look for a general purpose workstation / folding / gaming rig? It's main goal is for 120FPS on 120Hz monitors in eyefinity (Once you've gone 120Hz you can never go back), and compute (fold/mine) like a mofo, but I also work on it. (Autodesk suite, Premiere, 3DSM, SolidWorks, Inventor and more) I would have liked to have gone a little further here and there, but I have to draw the line somewhere. To be specific where I would have liked to not cut corners:
I really wanted to watercool the whole setup but I haven't decided on phase change or conventional radiators. Additionally, the waterblocks alone come to $660 ($165 each) before you factor in anything else, and while I'd love to spend the time planning the water loop, case mods and chiller, I can't delay putting this rig off much longer, so I'm leaving water for 'Stage 2' when I have the time and effort to modify the case.
On the SSD I would have liked a couple of units like the Corsair Force GT series but they're simply too expensive right now and the SanDisk extremes bench very well and are on a promotional offer that is too good to pass up.
Additional storage would be nice to have but right now I don't need it and I can buy it later when the time comes.
Additional RAM would be nice for having a large RAMDisk but the motherboard and excess cost force me to limit myself to 16GB which should still allow for a small RAMDisk. The Corsair Dominator GT series has that aesthetic appeal but not worth the cost in my opinion.
Individually sleeved PSU cables look gorgeous but the stores here only stock the ones for AX-650/750/850. The AX-1200 set is $106 + shipping and not necessary so I've left it out. I may get them anyway.
Speaking of the case, I really did want the Lian Li PC-X2000F as it just looks absolutely phenomenal to me but I can't justify spending $700 on a case. Secondary choice was the CoolerMaster Cosmos II but the bulk, lack of window and price has me choosing elsewhere.
The power supply will be pushed to its limit while running benchmarks overclocked (apparently can draw in excess of 1500W from the wall or 1200W system draw during Furmark/Prime95) but it's one of the best units on the market and is designed to handle even higher peak wattage (if only slight). I got a really good deal on it while I was planning for trifire and don't see a good enough reason to go to the effort of selling it for a higher rated SilverStone ST1500G when the Corsair unit is only going to be pushed near its designed limit in certain scenarios, and never past it. I have the equivalent of a Kill-A-Watt for Australia and if the unit proves inadequate I can still exchange it later. Downsides are I' going to have to use four of the peripheral power outputs adapted to 6-pin PCI-E as I'm two short. As a bonus, it looks really nice in the 650D.
The motherboard is fairly low-end but I already purchased it for a different build and may as well use it. I had planned for an Asus Rampage IV Extreme that I will go into detail below.
The quadfire dilemma I had not originally planned to go for quad 7970s, the aim was just trifire to push me near that 120FPS for eyefinity, well beyond in the most intensive games for a single monitor and reduce microstuttering. I did not like the idea of the cards trying to peel hot air off the PCB on its sibling card like they were suffocating and suffering from asthma, so I planned on using an Asus Rampage IV Extreme, using slots one, four and seven to allow a one expansion slot gap between each card, in a Raven RV02 (non evo). Then my buddy (who also does Bitcoin mining) pointed out that if I kept the gigabyte board I would only spending an additional $0~ to $200~ (depending if I sold the Gigabyte board) by NOT purchasing the much more expensive Asus board and getting a fourth 7970 instead. We worked out the math and the extra card's Mhash/s would pay for itself in two months. Noise and heat aren't a huge issue as it's only temporary until I sort out the water loop. I'll also be getting a bit more gaming performance (when it works) and my general workstation tasks like rendering (V-Ray RT, SW etc.) will also be happy with the extra GPU compute power. Displays I have a HighGrade triple 24" stand and had to return the monitor I just bought, and am still yet to decide 100% on which displays but I am leaning towards three BenQ XL2420T 24" 120Hz 1080P monitors. Unlike the 120Hz Samsungs, they have VESA mounts and unlike the 120Hz Asus monitors, I'm not paying a premium for Nvidia 3D Vision that I'm not going to use. Really looking for suggestions/recommendations here! The case The 650D can fit a thin 280 rad in the top & 120 on the rear. With the HDD cage removed, 200 in the front or 240 on the floor, perhaps a combination of both with some modification (though unlikely, I enjoy a challenge). I could make it nice and neat, but I think I still prefer a chiller under my house with lines routed through the floor. Thinking of using a quality 1/4HP or 1/10HP Aquarium chiller for the job (only a couple hundred more than a good radiator setup). I'm still not 100% set on the 650D and open to other case suggestions. I appreciate the functionality of the Switch 810 but I do not like its aesthetics or size at all. Caselabs are too expensive once optioned and shipped to Australia. Very open to suggestions here also. Thanks!
I've recently started selling large batches of ASICMiner USB's on bitmit, bitcointalk, and coingig. All sales are going well except for on coingig. I received my first coingig order today, the buyer paid, and I shipped and entered the tracking number into coingig. Supposedly, their escrow service is such that as soon as you enter the tracking number, the funds are released to the seller (minus fees). Well it's now been a few hours and I haven't seen a single satoshi! It's a bit concerning when you're selling products that are hundreds of dollars each. I'd love to hear some feedback from others before continuing with their site - I PM'd the owners on reddit and sent an email on the site and haven't heard back. Barring that, I suppose I'll pull my items off the site tonight until this is resolved. RESOLUTION: I heard back from support this evening and through some detective work on their end, found that payment was made to my bitcoin address but for some reason it wasn't being displayed in my blockchain.info mobile or web wallets. To clear things up: if you sell an item on coingig, the proceeds from the sale (minus fees) are credited to your bitcoin address immediately upon providing shipping tracking number. I can now confirm that happened in this case. Their escrow is different than bitmit's in that bitmit requires a positive response from the buyer before the funds are released to the seller.
I ordered this graphics card and I saw the saphire alternative on this site to see that it has a 27.0 Mhash/s rating. Assuming the conversion from Mhash to Khash is the same from megabytes to kilobytes, I could easily see that got.... 27,000 Khash??? that doesn't see right because that means according to this calculator that would mean I was making over 15 litecoin per day. I seriously doubt it is this easy to produce these. I'm sorry for sounding like an idiot. It's late and I probably am off by a couple zeros.
[Build Help] Desperately Need Your Critical Opinions!
I am building a Bitcoin mining rig. If you do not know what bitcoin is then please learn more here. I would really like some critical opinoins from fellow miners because /BitcoinMining wasn't of too much help. Thank you in advance and if you don't have any experience in mining upvote so others can help!
Already have 160GB 2.5" 7200RPM laptop hard drive. This will get me minimum W/O OCing 692.32 MHash/s and will take me approx. 1 year and 128 days to break even on my hardware. Once I pay off my hardware I will earn $600-$400 a year with it. P.S. will probably overclock the cards to to get better MHash/s. I plan on eventually getting another two 5850's. Used Bitcoinx.com to calculate the profits.
Is it possible to install mhash with apt-get?. I've tried sudo apt-get install php7.0-mhash, but this doesn't work.. Php document says that I must compile PHP with --with-mhash[=DIR] parameter, but I wish I don't have to compile php7.0 from source.. Because I've installed php7.0 by following the instructions here.I wish I don't want to reinstall php7.0. GHash.IO is one of the largest Bitcoin mining pools, which entered the mining market in July 2013 and contributes to over 30% of the overall hashing power making it the #1 pool in the Bitcoin network. GHash.IO charges 0% pool fee and provides 24/7 technical support for its users. October 2016, GHash.IO pool officially closed. The team behind GHash.IO offers development of custom-built pools ... Underneath the hood, Bitcoin mining is a bit like playing the lottery. Roughly every 10 minutes the Bitcoin code creates a ‘target’ number that the mining machines try to guess. Typically we call this finding the next block. Like many things connected to Bitcoin this is an analogy to help things be a little bit easier to understand. I made a PHP script that will let you sort all the available hashes on your system by generation time or by the length of the hash. It shows a general correlation on my system (longer hashes take longer to calculate) but some are faster than others, for example, sha512 makes the (joint) longest hash, but is actually only ninth slowest (from 43 ... Bitcoin Mining Calculator. Got your shiny new ASIC miner? Wondering when it will pay off? If you enter your hash rate below, this page will calculate your expected earnings in both Bitcoins and dollars over various time periods (day, week, and month).
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