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Author Topic: PS3 miner?  (Read 74047 times)
jkminkov
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March 20, 2011, 01:11:16 PM
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just wondering if PS3(Playstation 3) is capable of mining bitcoins and which kHash/s, it can run Linux, has OpenCL drivers - http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/opencl

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FnuGk
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March 20, 2011, 04:03:46 PM
 #2

well the ps3 is just a computer so if you let it run linux it should very well be able to do some mining

and please let us know how many khash/s that cell can put off Smiley

My bitcoin address if you feel like giving things away Smiley
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Jered Kenna (TradeHill)
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March 20, 2011, 04:19:37 PM
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Would be nice if it hashed decently. Plenty of PS3's that are sitting unused most of the time.
Also personally I'd like to see it because of what Sony is doing about Geohot and the hacking.
It's BS that you were supposed to originally be able to run Linux and Sony took it away.
Might work out well though, a lot of PS3 users want to help out Geohot with donations.
If he accepts BTC and they generate it on their PS3's it could work out well for everyone involved.
Bitcoin could get a lot of publicity from this and Geohot could get a lot of donations he wouldn't have.

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FnuGk
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March 20, 2011, 04:58:25 PM
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just wondering if PS3(Playstation 3) is capable of mining bitcoins and which kHash/s, it can run Linux, has OpenCL drivers - http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/opencl

The PS3 is good for about 2 TFLOPS, which could put it on par with an ATI 5850 core, about 250 Mhash/s. But under full load a PS3 can pull a bit over 200 Watts, which puts it at a slight disadvantage to a 5850 pulling more like 150 Watts. There may be ways to optimize PS3 power consumption but I am not aware of research in this area.

Cost wise, a 5850 can be had for $170 retail and probably less on the after-market, whereas a PS3 is about $200. There is really no reason it could not be done, and if you can find a way to beat those numbers it could be a good way to go. But it is still hard to beat the 5870 or 5970 for cost/performance.


remember with the ps3 you get a fully working system while with the 5870 and 5970 you have to buy the rest of the system (CPU motherboard etc.)

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TurboK
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March 20, 2011, 05:01:49 PM
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How can the PS3 do 2tflops? Last time I checked, the numbers were waaaay lower, something like 25gflops per core.

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tcatm
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March 20, 2011, 05:04:51 PM
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A PS3 does (in theory) about 10..15 Mhash/s. IIRC the SPEs lack a rotate instruction which slows mining down a lot.
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March 20, 2011, 07:49:20 PM
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has anyone figured out how to get the ps3 to mine for bitcoins?
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March 20, 2011, 09:33:32 PM
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How can the PS3 do 2tflops? Last time I checked, the numbers were waaaay lower, something like 25gflops per core.

I've seen a lot of different figures bandied about, and I am presuming they are talking about single-precision flops... But if you are right then it wouldn't really be a very competitive option...
The only figures I've seen were 25.6gflops per core in single precision (~170glops total), or ~20gflops TOTAL in double precision. 2tflops is absurd, that would mean the PS3 is on par with a Radeon 5850, a product that came out over 3 years later.

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ArtForz
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March 21, 2011, 02:04:05 AM
 #9

It's not that hard to calculate.
We have 6 SPEs available, each can do one 4*32 bit vector op/clock. clocked at 3.2GHz.
6 * 4 * 3.2G = 76.8GINTOPs

No native bitrotate, no ch()-like opcode, so we need about 6350 ops/bitcoinhash.
76800M / 6350ops/hash = ~ 12.1 Mhash/s

Not THAT bad for a >5 year old design.
About on par with a modern CPU, completely outclassed even by a midrange GPU.
PS3: 12.1Mh/s, ~80W, ~$250
HD5770: 156.8Mh/s, ~110W, ~$130

bitcoin: 1Fb77Xq5ePFER8GtKRn2KDbDTVpJKfKmpz
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urizane
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March 21, 2011, 08:12:22 PM
 #10

Also, nobody has said to try working with the GPU yet, which wouldn't do you any good.  The GPU in a PS3 is essentially what I have in my old laptop, a modified nVidia 7950 GT.  No CUDA or OpenCL even remotely possible, so all of the mining work would have to be done on the Cell.
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March 30, 2011, 07:14:34 PM
 #11

Interestingly, a PS3 miner is just what I've been working on. I wrote it largely to teach myself how to program for the Cell Broadband Engine, but it's been an interesting experience learning about Bitcoin as well.

I don't imagine what I've written is completely well optimized yet, but my current estimate is about 7.5 Mhash/s across all six SPEs. I also don't have a good statistics gathering method yet, so this may not be accurate.

The mining architecture is a Ruby front-end (JSON RPC client) with a custom extension library to run the SPE contexts, and native SPU code for the back-end mining. I couldn't get Bitcoin itself to run on the PS3 because Bitcoin is heavily dependent on the little-endian environment and the PowerPC on the PS3 is big-endian.

I may release the code at some point if there is interest. I'll let you know if I manage to improve on the performance.

Cell Miner (https://github.com/verement/cellminer) — Donations: 18xDLQsJ94ihhx5YovqAhVY2b9SC5b81h
verement
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April 03, 2011, 03:24:07 AM
 #12

So after a round of optimizations I'm measuring 18.8 Mhash/s using just the SPEs. I'm thinking about throwing in an extra thread to use the PPE as well.

Cheers.

Cell Miner (https://github.com/verement/cellminer) — Donations: 18xDLQsJ94ihhx5YovqAhVY2b9SC5b81h
yunk3r
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April 03, 2011, 04:18:16 AM
 #13

Interestingly, a PS3 miner is just what I've been working on. I wrote it largely to teach myself how to program for the Cell Broadband Engine, but it's been an interesting experience learning about Bitcoin as well.

I don't imagine what I've written is completely well optimized yet, but my current estimate is about 7.5 Mhash/s across all six SPEs. I also don't have a good statistics gathering method yet, so this may not be accurate.

The mining architecture is a Ruby front-end (JSON RPC client) with a custom extension library to run the SPE contexts, and native SPU code for the back-end mining. I couldn't get Bitcoin itself to run on the PS3 because Bitcoin is heavily dependent on the little-endian environment and the PowerPC on the PS3 is big-endian.

I may release the code at some point if there is interest. I'll let you know if I manage to improve on the performance.



could you release the code once you are done with the optimization.

thanks in advance 
mcdett
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April 03, 2011, 06:24:15 AM
 #14

I don't have a ps3, but I'll opine on it anyway.


I'm guessing that the best way to mine with a ps3 is booting some sort of optimized ubuntu distribution --> http://psubuntu.com/

Then installing bitcoind with ps3 optimized compiling.  The gpu should be good for something?!

Sony would never let people create a ps3 branded miner.

verement
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April 04, 2011, 02:14:05 AM
 #15

It's not that hard to calculate.
We have 6 SPEs available, each can do one 4*32 bit vector op/clock. clocked at 3.2GHz.
6 * 4 * 3.2G = 76.8GINTOPs

No native bitrotate, no ch()-like opcode, so we need about 6350 ops/bitcoinhash.
76800M / 6350ops/hash = ~ 12.1 Mhash/s

Not THAT bad for a >5 year old design.
About on par with a modern CPU, completely outclassed even by a midrange GPU.
PS3: 12.1Mh/s, ~80W, ~$250
HD5770: 156.8Mh/s, ~110W, ~$130

I liked this analysis, but it turns out to be incorrect. The Cell's SPU does in fact have both a native bit rotate (ROTI) and a Ch()-like opcode (SELB).

Since I'm currently measuring 21.471 Mhash/s with my Cell implementation, I guess you could work backwards and calculate 76800M / 21.471 Mhash/s = ~ 3577ops/hash.

However, I think you're right that it is still outclassed by a midrange GPU.

Cell Miner (https://github.com/verement/cellminer) — Donations: 18xDLQsJ94ihhx5YovqAhVY2b9SC5b81h
Syke
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April 04, 2011, 04:54:15 AM
 #16

Since I'm currently measuring 21.471 Mhash/s with my Cell implementation, I guess you could work backwards and calculate 76800M / 21.471 Mhash/s = ~ 3577ops/hash.

However, I think you're right that it is still outclassed by a midrange GPU.
Outclassed by a factor of 10.

Buy & Hold
JackRabiit
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April 04, 2011, 03:07:26 PM
 #17

So heres a question, Both of my old PS3's Lockup after 5mins of gaming, From my experiance, this is the GPU crashing, So this makes me wonder, since the PS3 miners seeminly are not using the GPU, wouldnt that allow me to use my damaged PS3 to mine?

FnuGk
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April 04, 2011, 03:14:00 PM
 #18

So heres a question, Both of my old PS3's Lockup after 5mins of gaming, From my experiance, this is the GPU crashing, So this makes me wonder, since the PS3 miners seeminly are not using the GPU, wouldnt that allow me to use my damaged PS3 to mine?

well if it works fine with no load on the gpu i cant see why it shouldnt be able to do cpu mining just fine

My bitcoin address if you feel like giving things away Smiley
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verement
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April 05, 2011, 08:19:11 AM
 #19

I've added an option for using PPE threads in addition to the SPEs, however the results are somewhat underwhelming. The Cell PPE is effectively a dual-core processor, but even with two PPE threads I only see about an extra 500 Khash/s.

There may be some PPE optimizations I'm missing, but otherwise I'm currently maxed at about 21.983 Mhash/s using all six SPEs and two PPE threads.

For those interested, I've put the source code online:

  https://github.com/verement/cellminer

Feedback and donations welcome. (Donations to: 18xDLQsJ94ihhx5YovqAhVY2b9SC5b81h)

Cheers.

Cell Miner (https://github.com/verement/cellminer) — Donations: 18xDLQsJ94ihhx5YovqAhVY2b9SC5b81h
allinvain
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April 07, 2011, 05:16:12 AM
 #20

I've added an option for using PPE threads in addition to the SPEs, however the results are somewhat underwhelming. The Cell PPE is effectively a dual-core processor, but even with two PPE threads I only see about an extra 500 Khash/s.

There may be some PPE optimizations I'm missing, but otherwise I'm currently maxed at about 21.983 Mhash/s using all six SPEs and two PPE threads.

For those interested, I've put the source code online:

  https://github.com/verement/cellminer

Feedback and donations welcome. (Donations to: 18xDLQsJ94ihhx5YovqAhVY2b9SC5b81h)

Cheers.


21 Mhash/s is not to bad I guess...it's not GPU but hey anything extra is a good thing. The downside is that given the PS3's power consumption that has rate may not be economical for the majority of people.

I wonder though how people with the recent generation PS3s would be able to run this miner. I'm assuming that one needs to have linux installed on the PS3 to make this work; no?

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