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Author Topic: When GPU mining, does quality of the rest of the components matter?  (Read 1527 times)
st4rdust
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July 09, 2011, 04:05:04 AM
 #1

Example: I am planning on mining BTCs with a nice 6970 PCI-E 2.1 card. I can use it in either of my computers:

1. AMD 770 chipset mobo with one 16x PCI-E slot, single core Sempron, 2x512mb DDR3 800 RAM

2. X58 mobo with several PCI-E slots, core i7 990x 6core CPU, 12gb triple-channel DDR3 2200 RAM

Obviously I'm making up these hypothetical boxes, but it is for the purpose of finding out which one would be more conducive to mining, if any advantage whatsoever exists. If identical GPUs were used in systems 1 and 2, would their hash rates be identical or not, and why? Obviously, a CPU miner would be more productive with the i7, but I believe my post is clear in asking for the distinction of a GPU miner's performance relative to its system.

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Pentium100
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July 09, 2011, 04:09:45 AM
 #2

I am mining with a PC:

AMD Atlonh64 2800+ (1800MHz downclocked to 800MHz to save power)
Asus K8N4-E (nforce4 4x chipset)
256MB DDR400
Fujitsu 18GB 10kRPM SCA HDD, connected to narrow ultra SCSI bus (20MB/s)
ATI HD6870 1GB
Windows XP 32bit

I get ~262MH/s with the card on default speeds (900 core, 1050 RAM) and ~292MH/s when I OC the core to 1GHz. After I updated the phatk kernel, I now get 300-307MH/s. According to mining hardware comparison page the hashrate is normal for my card, so I guess the other components are good enough.

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jeremiahbuddha
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July 10, 2011, 08:26:17 PM
 #3

From what I've read, the GPU's are really the heart of your mining rig, and the rest of your hardware is just there to get your mining software hooked up to your GPU's. The only real consideration in selecting your other hardware is to make sure you have an adequate power supply for your computing needs (bronze level certification for clean power recommended), to make sure that your motherboard has enough pci-e slots for all your GPU's, and to make sure that your case is adequately ventilated so your cards don't overheat.
kaosbit
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July 10, 2011, 09:15:17 PM
 #4

The GPU will do all the important work. The rest of the system just needs to be something sensible. A 20 year old PC with a modem connection WILL slow down your mining efforts, if you can hook it up to a modern GPU at all Grin

But seriously, look to your cooling system, especially in the summer. I managed to literally fry a graphics card once because I didn't. Lesson learned, won't happen again!

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NickW
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July 10, 2011, 11:39:37 PM
 #5

In simple terms; NO.

As long as all of the components are reasonably modern (past 4 or so years). A lot of dedicated mining rigs will have the cheapest possible motherboard with the required PCI-E slots for the number of graphics cards, 1-2 GB of memory, a cheap/spare hard disk and a low end CPU such as an AMD Sempron. This tends to consume less power and runs a mining setup just as well as higher end gear.

Never cheap out on the PSU (power supply). Buy a good PSU from a solid brand such as Corsair, Seasonic, Endermax, Thermaltake or Antec (there's probably a few that I missed). Other notable brands could be OCZ or Coolermaster.

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CodyDewey
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July 11, 2011, 12:46:58 AM
 #6

Certainly stick a good power supply and decent cooling in, the rest doesnt matter that much, other than the GPU of course.
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July 11, 2011, 12:54:22 AM
 #7

I'd just like to add in here:

If you're going to be running multiple cards (which I assume you are), you're going to want to get a motherboard with a chipset that has enough bandwidth to support all of them fully. If you have two PCIe slots running at x8, and the rest running at x1, then that's really no good. I suggest sticking with the x38, x48, x58 intel chipsets for this reason. Something that can hold x16 on both lanes, and more.
CodyDewey
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July 11, 2011, 01:06:17 AM
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I'd just like to add in here:

If you're going to be running multiple cards (which I assume you are), you're going to want to get a motherboard with a chipset that has enough bandwidth to support all of them fully. If you have two PCIe slots running at x8, and the rest running at x1, then that's really no good. I suggest sticking with the x38, x48, x58 intel chipsets for this reason. Something that can hold x16 on both lanes, and more.

In regards to gaming and framerates, yes he will. But in regards to mining even 4x slots will suffice.
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July 11, 2011, 01:33:13 AM
 #9

I stand corrected in that case. Thankyou for educating me.
comnam90
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July 11, 2011, 04:59:56 AM
 #10

An AMD Sepron and 512mb of ram will do, if it can run windows xp, it can mine coins lol thats my general rule of thumb. And as long as the PCIe 16x slot runs at atleast 4x then it will be enough to mine with Smiley
kaosbit
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July 11, 2011, 07:27:48 AM
 #11

Pardon me, "Windows XP", really? Not to start a flame war, but every Windows release has been a resource hogger in its days. If you go for just mining (which I assume you do), I suggest a stripped down version of Linux as OS. From my own experiments with Linux router, this works even on the most ancient kinds of hardware.

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ellipsis
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July 11, 2011, 09:14:13 AM
 #12

bronze level certification for clean power recommended
80 PLUS Bronze is an efficiency rating. You can have a POS 80 PLUS power supply that has a noisy 12V rail or won't run multiple cards, or even one card in some cases.

And as long as the PCIe 16x slot runs at atleast 4x then it will be enough to mine with Smiley
1x is even fine. Mining doesn't need much bandwidth to the card. (You can even use the physically smaller slots with adapters or modifications.)

The only considerations are physical compatibility, GPU-chipset compatibility (5000 and up cards won't run on nv chipsets), sufficient cooling, and a good power supply. If you are only going to run one GPU, you will probably be fine with either computer and there wouldn't be an advantage in either case, unless you are worried about power consumption.

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irosaurus
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July 11, 2011, 12:55:46 PM
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Pardon me, "Windows XP", really? Not to start a flame war, but every Windows release has been a resource hogger in its days. If you go for just mining (which I assume you do), I suggest a stripped down version of Linux as OS. From my own experiments with Linux router, this works even on the most ancient kinds of hardware.

sign Wink if you really just use the system for mining, use linux.

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jamesg
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July 11, 2011, 12:59:31 PM
 #14

I would just make sure that you are able to run multiple cores for the cpu. With the current kernel implementations, your cpu will run at 100% with the single core semprons. This is an issue with OpenCL that AMD still needs to address.
Opsamk
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July 11, 2011, 01:34:32 PM
 #15

A defective or cheap power supply has an 80% chance of destroying everything in your computer.

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spudhed
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July 11, 2011, 02:56:40 PM
 #16

yeah ive noticed especially with phoenix/phatk it soaks up a fair amount of cpu power too (2 instances put about 70% load on my e6600 cpu) so make sure you have enough juice for that and the rest as cheap as you can possibly get it, i think i managed to work out a mining rig uncased with a 5850 for less than £250, or cheaper still if you hit your local car boot sale and grab some cheap mainboards and cpus (there are usually plenty for between £5 and £10 with athlon x2s and a bit of ram) i even nabbed a 4850 for £20, not bad for an extra 100mh/s

if you are low on cpu power poclbm is much lighter as is momchill miner but they wont give nearly as good hash rates as phoenix
lpcustom
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July 11, 2011, 03:09:24 PM
 #17

You can mine with a PCIe on a 1x slot with extenders, in case anyone gets confused by the statements above about 4x.
spudhed
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July 11, 2011, 03:45:09 PM
 #18

i believe you can also be a right savage and just cut the back out of your pci-e 1x slot with a dremel or craft knife so the card goes in, save them pennies where ya can Tongue
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July 11, 2011, 03:48:44 PM
 #19

Quote
i believe you can also be a right savage and just cut the back out of your pci-e 1x slot with a dremel or craft knife so the card goes in, save them pennies where ya can Tongue

True.dat but you can get an extender shipped for somewhere around 1 BTC.
spudhed
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July 11, 2011, 03:53:42 PM
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you can from cablesaurus, but theyre in the us and im not, so theres the aeon of waiting and the inevitable import duties to worry about, im sure there are uk sellers too but im just too impatient to wait for them to ship it so out with the knives!
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