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Author Topic: Convert Dell Precision 670 to Passable Mining Machine?  (Read 4302 times)
Slimquick
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June 13, 2011, 05:37:11 AM
 #1

Hre are the specifications:

Dell Precision 670
Windows XP
2x 2.8 Dual Core Xeons (4 cores total)
4GB ECC Ram (16GB max)
150GB 15k Raptor system drive
500GB Swap/storage drive
160GB hardware raid. 2x 160gb Raid 1
PNY 9800 GTX+ 512MB DDR3
Dual layer DVD burner
600 W power supply

I think this particular model supports two graphics cards but not SLI. I only have one card, currently. Any thoughts?

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June 13, 2011, 05:40:27 AM
 #2

You don't need SLI or CrossFire for 2 GPU mining. An issue that you have to take into account that I ran into with an old Foxconn board (c51xem2aa). Although PCIe 2.1 video cards are suppose to be backwards compatible with PCIe 1.0 slots the board would't post with 58xx cards. It was probably a bios issue but there hadn't been a bios release since 2008.

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June 13, 2011, 05:42:30 AM
 #3

just throw in two good ati cards in there via pci-e and let them mine, dont crossifre..thats what I did with one of my rigs..the dell xps 630i

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June 13, 2011, 05:47:38 AM
 #4

Hre are the specifications:

Dell Precision 670
Windows XP
2x 2.8 Dual Core Xeons (4 cores total)
4GB ECC Ram (16GB max)
150GB 15k Raptor system drive
500GB Swap/storage drive
160GB hardware raid. 2x 160gb Raid 1
PNY 9800 GTX+ 512MB DDR3
Dual layer DVD burner
600 W power supply

I think this particular model supports two graphics cards but not SLI. I only have one card, currently. Any thoughts?

That is a fine system for mining, with possibly the power supply being an issue if you want to run 2 cards. You need around 25 amps on the 12v rail per card. So 50 amps total if you want to run 2 cards. Most older power supplies have a lot of their amperage on the 3.3v and 5v lines but not on the 12v lines. Yours may or may not be like this.

Also, you need to find out what version the PCI-E slots are. A lot of motherboards with v1.0/1.1 slots will not recognize the ATI 5000/6000 series cards. Some do, some don't. You might have to chance it if you have v1.0/1.1 PCI-E slots.

Mining is all about using ATI video cards. The rest of the system does not matter. As long as the motherboard has PCI-E v2.0 slots then you are good. Crossfire/SLI is not needed in mining. Potential cards are 5770, 5830 or above, 6850 or above, 6950 or above. The sweet spot right now with available cards through places like newegg is probably 6870's or perhaps 5770's, depending on how much you want to spend. If you can find 5830's for a reasonable price they are the bomb. Sold out most places though.

BTW, if you haven't guessed, your NVidia card is pretty useless for mining. Smiley
Slimquick
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June 13, 2011, 06:20:27 AM
 #5

Hre are the specifications:

Dell Precision 670
Windows XP
2x 2.8 Dual Core Xeons (4 cores total)
4GB ECC Ram (16GB max)
150GB 15k Raptor system drive
500GB Swap/storage drive
160GB hardware raid. 2x 160gb Raid 1
PNY 9800 GTX+ 512MB DDR3
Dual layer DVD burner
600 W power supply

I think this particular model supports two graphics cards but not SLI. I only have one card, currently. Any thoughts?

That is a fine system for mining, with possibly the power supply being an issue if you want to run 2 cards. You need around 25 amps on the 12v rail per card. So 50 amps total if you want to run 2 cards. Most older power supplies have a lot of their amperage on the 3.3v and 5v lines but not on the 12v lines. Yours may or may not be like this.

Also, you need to find out what version the PCI-E slots are. A lot of motherboards with v1.0/1.1 slots will not recognize the ATI 5000/6000 series cards. Some do, some don't. You might have to chance it if you have v1.0/1.1 PCI-E slots.

Mining is all about using ATI video cards. The rest of the system does not matter. As long as the motherboard has PCI-E v2.0 slots then you are good. Crossfire/SLI is not needed in mining. Potential cards are 5770, 5830 or above, 6850 or above, 6950 or above. The sweet spot right now with available cards through places like newegg is probably 6870's or perhaps 5770's, depending on how much you want to spend. If you can find 5830's for a reasonable price they are the bomb. Sold out most places though.

BTW, if you haven't guessed, your NVidia card is pretty useless for mining. Smiley

I noticed that about the Nvidia. :-)

Here is the documentation I have about the slots:

Quote
Dell Precision 670 computer
   

 

PCI – connector
one

connector size –
120 pins

connector data width (maximum) – 32 bits

PCIX

connectors –
three

connector size – 188 pins

connector data width (maximum) – 64 bits


PCI Express x16
   
connector – one

connector size – 164 pins

connector data width (maximum) – 16 bits


PCI Express x8 (runs at x4 only)
   
connector – one

connector size –
98 pins

connector data width (maximum) –
4 bits

Do I have to make special considerations for the slower PCI Express card slot?

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Fakeman
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June 13, 2011, 11:53:53 AM
 #6

Sounds like a lot of hard drives, if you care about power consumption you might think about what is worth disconnecting to save the extra watts. The amount might be small compared to the GPUs but every bit counts when you are running 24/7. The 15k system drive would be pretty power hungry and the performance is not really needed for mining.

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June 13, 2011, 02:49:53 PM
 #7

I'm using an old Precision 690 chassis to host my two 5830's, one at ~310 MHash/s and the other at ~290 Mhash/s.

Like the others said, pull out all the extra bits -- I removed firewire, SAS controller, extra drives, RAM extenders, all but two DIMMs, and one of the CPUs.

Basically for a dedicated mining rig these parts serve no purpose but to waste electricity by making pointless heat.

Slimquick
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June 15, 2011, 08:42:59 PM
 #8

Thanks, everyone. I spent some time looking through my computer documentation and apparently the system only supports graphics cards with no more than 512 MB of memory. It seems like this would limit my options; I'll have to look through some of the guides people have kindly written to see which card is best.

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