
September 02, 2012, 05:03:35 AM 

So in my quest to understand a little more about how bitcoin hashing actually works, I had a few questions, and was wondering if someone smarter than me could answer. Looking up what rollntime is what got me into this, and I pretty well understand that concept.
I understand a little bit about what the block header contains when it's being hashed. The 3 main variables that change (while trying to find a new block) are the merkle root, timestamp, and nonce.
The merkle root changes when there's a new transaction across the network, correct? How do these changes get pushed to the miner, and how often? I'm assuming the pool does this? The timestamp changes every second. I understand how rollNtime "moves" the timestamp around to keep the miner busy. And lastly the nonce range. This changes with every hash.
Now from what I understand, it takes ~4GH/s to hash through the entire nonce range every second. After the first second, the miner moves the timestamp ahead one second, and starts the nonce range over, correct?
What about miners faster than 4GH/s? I'm assuming that since they move through the nonce range faster, they can start on the next timestamp even sooner.
I'm assuming that even 2 BFL MRs together can still be kept 100% busy all the time. By the time it goes through all the nonce ranges for many seconds in advance, the merkle root will have changed, and it starts over?
But doesn't this reach a certain point that makes it harder to keep a miner busy? I'm thinking forward to a 1TH/s ASIC. Lets say the network has a solid minute of no new transactions, so the merkle root stays the same for 60 seconds. A 1TH/s miner could go through the nonce ranges for all 60 seconds in less than 1 second. What does the miner do for the other 59 seconds? Rehash what it's already done? Sit idle waiting for a change to happen on the network?
I'm sorry if none of this makes sense, or if my understanding of how all this works is totally wrong. I am a little tired, and I'm going to bed. Any knowledge you could share with me would be greatly appreciated!
