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Author Topic: totally noob question  (Read 469 times)
coin4mining
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July 25, 2013, 04:38:49 AM
 #1

what is ASIC, FPGA?
where could I download linux driver/sdk and other requirement for nvidia gpu (8400 GS precisely)?

thanks.
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cp1
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July 25, 2013, 04:44:54 AM
 #2

In relation to bitcoins:

ASIC is a product that can only mine bitcoins.  It has no other uses.  They are the cheapest and fastest miners.
FPGA is older technology to mine bitcoins.  It has other uses, but really no other uses for the average user.
Nvidia GPUs aren't useful for mining bitcoins -- they're much too slow.  Everyone uses ATI graphics cards.

Guide to armory offline install on USB key:  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=241730.0
coin4mining
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July 25, 2013, 04:59:03 AM
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yes I know, I read everyone here making guide for ATI GPUs, but no one made Nvidia one. I only have found that 8400 GS card in the pile of my used machines, so as a noob I think why not try this one first before I invest a new GPU...

what do you recommend, mine alone or mine at pool?
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July 25, 2013, 05:02:09 AM
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ASIC, or Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, does pretty much what the name suggests. It does one calculation very efficiently.
FPGAs, or Field-Programmable Gate Arrays, are kind of a cross between GPUs, which are able to do relatively general computing, and ASICs, which are application-specific. FPGAs can usually do a small set of related tasks.
GPUs, compared to the two above, are most like a CPU. GPUs can do all sorts of different things, but in BTC mining, a lot of their hardware and instructions are going to waste, often even getting in the way of doing the actual mining. Nvidia and AMD/ATI do have their own "specialties," and this is why Nvidia cards are significantly worse at BTC mining than a similarly-priced ATI card, even though the Nvidia card could outperform the ATI card in other areas.

ASICs and FPGAs aren't really technological progressions beyond GPUs, just specialized hardware which has taken over the mining ecosystem due to their high efficiency, and the very specialized task required to hash in BTC.

You would be better off not trying to mine with GPUs, as difficulty is soaring (35-50%/month) due to ASICs finally being delivered. Unless you have free electricity, you'll be paying much more for BTC than just snagging them off an exchange or from a peer.

With all that said - for Nvidia, you need drivers with CUDA (Idunno how Nvidia packages work -- maybe they all their drivers have them), and a CUDA GPU miner, such as Poclbm.

@ latest Qs: You would probably NEVER find a block in your lifetime mining alone, so definitely go with a pool. Idunno if BitMinter supports CUDA, but you might want to try their one-click miner and see if it works for you @ http://bitminter.com/ (it uses Java, but at least for OpenCL and the Avalon FPGAs I ran with it, is usually on-par with performance with other less-user-friendly applications -- it's been around a long time... I wouldn't hesitate to trust the program's integrity, fwiw)

ETA: You might be able to mine an altcoin profitably -- something like Litecoin. Its difficulty is seeing the effects of BTC mining becoming too costly now that ASICs have been developed for it, and with an Nvidia card, it's very unlikely to be profitable - but I sure don't know dick about altcoins -- I barely know anything about BTC mining. Fwiw. Smiley

Don't mix your coins someone said isn't legal
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July 25, 2013, 06:09:53 AM
 #5

I believe someone has quite a bit of reading ahead of them Smiley.


As far as mining hardware basics(ASIC,FPGA,GPU):

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining


Here's a comparison between them which should help explain why GPU mining is becoming unprofitable for the difficulty and power consumption:

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_Hardware_Comparison


As far as pools, I believe it's a good idea and all the mining software I've used always asked for a pool address and username/pass. I'm really not sure how to go about it solo, which is only a good idea if you have some serious hardware. Here's a link which lists some popular ones and compares them:

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Comparison_of_mining_pools

At this point I wouldn't worry too much about picking which one specifically. If you just want to test it out some of them don't even require signing up and let you use your bitcoin address as the username.



I've never tried to mine on Linux, but I'd assume OpenCL + CUDA come with the proprietary Nvidia drivers. At least they do on Windows. After that it's pretty much just run the program and enter your pool info and it should start going at it extremely slow in your case. 1.6Mh/s.  Undecided

Mining software and the operating systems they're available for:

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_software


The last time I attempted to mine on my GTX260, futile endeavor mind you, I just ran BFGminer from the command prompt and entered my pool's address and my login details and it started mining away.


Hope all that helps Smiley 


coin4mining
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July 25, 2013, 06:40:18 AM
 #6

wow.. thanks for the responds...  Smiley Smiley

I think I have to read them all first.. before asking another questions  Grin
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