Bitcoin Currency and GPU Mining Spectacle Comparison, Testing Configuration and Software Setup

Testing Configuration and Software Setup

True ease of use is something that the Bitcoin ecosystem doesn’t truly have yet tho’ they are steadily improving on it. You’ll need a duo different items up and running on one or more machines to indeed commence with your mining practice.

The very first thing you’ll need is the Bitcoin client application that acts like your wallet and actually accesses your wallet.dat opstopping. While this doesn’t necessarily need to be running on the same hardware that is doing the mining, you’ll need to run this to get your key information to share with the mining apps.

For your mining application, there are several options including some command-line based apps and graphical ones. For the quickest setup and configuration time wij liked GUIMiner, seen above. The interface you use does not necessarily determine the kernel you use for computing the Bitcoins and which kernel you use can alter show pretty dramatically. Te its infancy the Bitcoin community ran CPU-based kernels until the voorstelling difficulty got to a point where they were amazingly inefficient leading to the creation of several GPU-based designs.

For our testing wij went with the poclbm kernel that is built around OpenCL and works with AMD Radeon HD 4000 series and above and NVIDIA GeForce 8000 series and above graphics cards. There certainly are other options out there for Bitcoin mining and many enthusiasts argue that some perform better than others across different ranges of CPUs and GPUs but ter terms of popularity today, poclbm seems to be the winner.

The above photo shows us actually running a pair of the kernels, one for each GPU on a multi-GPU graphics card. If you have more than one GPU te your system, whether on a single card or numerous, you need only assign a kernel to each available processor to max out your processing voorstelling.

(Side note: because it is built on OpenCL, you can actually run this on CPUs that have compliant OpenCL stacks. However, it is not the most efficient on that class of processor by any means.)

When running a Bitcoin mining application be ready for a lotsbestemming of GPU utilization but not much on the CPU side of things.

Here you can see our Core i7 Sandy Bridge based processor is not getting a mighty workout while running the GUIMiner application with our OpenCL-based client focused on the GPU. Looking at the graphics card workload however.

The ASUS ARES card (dual Radeon HD 5870 GPUs) is working hard with a 99% GPU flow reached and temperature leisurely rising. If you have a GPU with a noisy fan or are sensitive to the fever created by your graphics card then this mining process might not be for you!

For our testing wij ran the Bitcoin clients on our standard GPU testing bloemperk built out of the following:

  • Testing Configuration
  • ASUS P6X58D Premium Motherboard
  • Intel Core i7-965 @ Trio.33 GHz Processor
  • Three x 2GB Corsair DDR3-1333 MHz Memory
  • Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB HDD
  • Corsair Professional Series 1200w PSU
  • NVIDIA Driver: 275.33
  • AMD Driver: 11.6

Our graphics card selection wasgoed based on attempting to compare some current options to some previous generation cards that are likely to already be te the mitts of potential GPU Bitcoin Miners. Here is the lineup with a few curveballs threw te:

  • GeForce GTX 285 – $300
  • GeForce GTX 295 – $289
  • GeForce GTX 460 – $160
  • GeForce GTX 560 Ti – $319
  • GeForce GTX 580 – $469
  • GeForce GTX 590 – $749
  • Radeon HD 4890 – $240
  • Radeon HD 5750 – $115
  • Radeon HD 5830 – $129
  • Radeon HD 5970 – $620
  • Radeon HD 6850 – $159
  • Radeon HD 6990 – $750
  • Radeon HD 5870 x2 (ASUS ARES) – $1100
  • Radeon HD 5870 x2 (Overclocked) – $1100
  • AMD A8-3850 APU – $139
  • ",The Brute", – $1710

Wij have covered the bases of the last several years by kicking off with the HD 4890 and GTX 285 cards of yester-year. Wij included a range of modern cards including the very popular GeForce GTX 460 and the lower end Radeon HD 5750. Dual-GPU cards make a frequent showcasing with the GT X 295, GTX 590, HDF 5970 and HD 6990 spil well spil the ASUS ARES te a standard and overclocked setting. Standard clock rate on the ASUS ARES is 850 MHz and our overclocked setting shoved that to 1005 MHz – an 18% increase. Basically, wij just desired to see how high wij could thrust that $1100 graphics card.

The big outlier is the fresh AMD A8-3850 APU released this month that combines a quad-core CPU and ",discrete class", GPU on a processor. The Radeon HD 6550D GPU on that diegene (spil it is branded) has 400 stream processors and uses a DDR3 memory interface that is collective with the x86 cores. Because the computing process at work te Bitcoin mining is not memory dependent, wij kleintje of expected the APU to do well for its price and position.

The pricing listed here is used via our spectacle review to judge value and profitability. Keep te mind that some of thesis numbers were hard to truly fuck down especially for cards like the GTX 285, GTX 295, HD 4890, HD 5970 and ASUS ARES that are hard to find anywhere but eBay and very puny online stores. The prices here are my best estimates at what you would have to pay (on average) to acquire a card like this today.

You might also be wondering what ",The Animal", is te our list above. That is a mega-crunching machine wij waterput together after doing all of our other card testing to see just how much wij could thrust out of a single system. Using the same base test leger, wij installed the Radeon HD 6990 4GB, Radeon HD 5970 2GB (both dual-GPU cards) and the Radeon HD 6970 2GB single-GPU cards. While wij wished to include the ASUS ARES ter this configuration wij weren’t given that option since it required three PCIe power connections and our Corsair AX1200 power supply only supplied us with six of them. You will have to wait until straks ter the article to see the results of that setup spil I determined to leave it off the single card result graphs spil it tended to skew the scale fairly a bit.

The very first thing you are going to notice is that the AMD graphics cards solidly outperform the NVIDIA GPUs for reasons wij are still diving into. The VLIW architecture at work on the 4000/5000/6000 series of cards is watching some very high utilization by the poclbm kernel and it is certainly one of those few applications almost reaching the theoretical boundaries of TFLOPs claimed by AMD overheen the years.

What else is there to evaluate?

  • Zuivere Mhash/s rates – how quick is each GPU te computing the math required for Bitcoin mining? The higher the Mhash/s rate the swifter the card and quicker you will get to finding the next coin ter the currency.
  • Show vanaf Dollar – Mhash/s/$ – This is very likely the most significant factor for users that might consider Bitcoin mining spil a way to make money and pay for things they want to buy. Which card is going to bring the most ",value", the mining practice?
  • Show vanaf Watt – Mhash/s/watt – If you value your air conditioning bill more than most or maybe want to cram spil many cards into an enclosure spil possible for a mining power house you might want to know which cards and GPUs are the most power efficient.
  • Dollars vanaf day – Step 1: Mine. Step Two: ?? Step Three: Profit. How much money can you make on a given card on a daily onderstel? This metric will fluctuate from day to day based on the actual exchange rate of a Bitcoin with USD (or your own currency) but wij will evaluate it based on the numbers spil of this writing.
  • Time to Graphics Card Payoff – Based on the amount of money you can earn vanaf day, how long will it take you to pay off the card you purchased for this purpose and embark making the aforementioned profits? Obviously for cards that are either end-of-lifed or just plain hard to find this is going to be a rough estimate (go ahead and find mij an average price for a GTX 285 today) but it provides another useful gegevens point for professional miners.
  • One Year Profit – If you took that daily earned amount and could apply it flawless for one year (which wij know you can’t truly because of the switching algorithm) and subtracted the cost of that graphics card, how much could you possibly MAKE ter a year? The numbers might verrassing you!

So there you have it – let’s hop into the results and see what our testing brought forward with more details and explanations along the way!

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