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Author Topic: How can you know which GPUs work as mining hardware?  (Read 1032 times)
rlh
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July 27, 2011, 04:52:16 PM
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I know this seems like a dumb question but I am a bit confused.  About a month ago, I checked out the Wiki page (here) regarding the comparison of GPU hardware.  I went out, bought me a cheap, but decent card and through it in a computer that I have.

After, installing various drivers and ATI/AMD SDKs, I never could get the thing to work.  Then, I think I realized the problem.  It appears that just because you buy a GPU with one of the listed ATI processors, it doesn't mean that the card is OpenCL compatible.  WTF!

What should I be looking for in a graphics card?  I know that most of the Sapphire brands seem to be guaranteed to work, but what are the specific specs on a card that make in compatible with the OpenCL drivers?

A Personal Quote on BTT from 2011:
"I'd be willing to make a moderate "investment" if the value of the BTC went below $2.00.  Otherwise I'll just have to live with my 5 BTC and be happy. :/"  ...sigh.  If only I knew.
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tritium
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July 27, 2011, 05:06:24 PM
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https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison

that should give you an idea on what sort of performance you should expect from each card

what model did you get, ATI is much better than nvidia. Either the 5000 or 6000 series would be the ones to go for

you can either go for a good price per megahash (initial cost) or a good price per watt (running costs)

the 5770 or the 5800 series are very good but hard to find

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rlh
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July 27, 2011, 05:09:29 PM
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Hmmm... the "(here)" above in my OP was suppose to be a link to that page.  Yes, actually selected a card that had one of the ATI chips in it.  I can't recall which one it was,  but it was suppose to perform at around 150M/hash.

I've also noticed, the 5850 is considered to be the chip that is the "sweet spot" for cost of hardware vs. payout.  You can find 5850 hardware on various distributions sites but you can not fine the sapphire variant.

I would assume that Sapphire isn't the only card manufacturer that can make bitcoin mining, OpenCL cards.  So, what do I need to look for in a card other than the actual GPU chip?

A Personal Quote on BTT from 2011:
"I'd be willing to make a moderate "investment" if the value of the BTC went below $2.00.  Otherwise I'll just have to live with my 5 BTC and be happy. :/"  ...sigh.  If only I knew.
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July 27, 2011, 05:14:29 PM
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Hmmm... the "(here)" above in my OP was suppose to be a link to that page.  Yes, actually selected a card that had one of the ATI chips in it.  I can't recall which one it was,  but it was suppose to perform at around 150M/hash.

Pretty sure your just doing it wrong if speeds are posted for your specific card. Unless you post details I doubt any one can help you further with what you have.
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July 27, 2011, 05:17:11 PM
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Sapphire's tend to be well overclockable... other brands not so much.

Not really much else I can tell you to look for in a card.. the 5770 is one of the best in hash per dollar of card and hash per watt.(note that is at $89)

dont get suckered at this point in paying premium prices for used cards simple cause you cant find them new in the store.

Quote
Unless you post details I doubt any one can help you further with what you have.


he doesnt have one.. yet

Also dont expect to get the highest numbers you see on the hardware charts.. many of these people got lucky with their cards and can overclock even more.. not even all saphire cards are the same when it comes to overclocking.. some batches of the exact same card are better than others.

mooo for rent
lowlevel
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July 27, 2011, 05:19:21 PM
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For me the 5830's were the sweetspot. 312mhashes/sec for about $109 Canadian each.  The 5850's seem to be $169+ usually.
Biggest problems I had were with the awful ATI drivers... I've had to reinstall them at least 4 times now...
Good luck! Wink

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rlh
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July 27, 2011, 05:20:39 PM
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Well, I don't have it any more.  I returned it after a weekend of trying to get the thing to work (asking questions here, searching the web, etc.)  I couldn't get it to mine with a hash rate higher than a few M/hashes.

I know I got it from Best Buy and I think it was a 5570. (This might be it.)

After hitting preview, I see that this card has already been mentioned as a good one to use.  So, I guess something was either screwed up on my computer or there is something about XFX cards.

A Personal Quote on BTT from 2011:
"I'd be willing to make a moderate "investment" if the value of the BTC went below $2.00.  Otherwise I'll just have to live with my 5 BTC and be happy. :/"  ...sigh.  If only I knew.
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July 27, 2011, 05:20:44 PM
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If that doesn't help, he could check the info found here: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison Cheesy

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rlh
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July 27, 2011, 05:22:17 PM
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For me the 5830's were the sweetspot. 312mhashes/sec for about $109 Canadian each.  The 5850's seem to be $169+ usually.
Biggest problems I had were with the awful ATI drivers... I've had to reinstall them at least 4 times now...
Good luck! Wink

Yeah... I uninstalled/reinstalled the display drivers and ATI APIs 5 or 6 times.  Sad  Maybe this is a driver issue.

A Personal Quote on BTT from 2011:
"I'd be willing to make a moderate "investment" if the value of the BTC went below $2.00.  Otherwise I'll just have to live with my 5 BTC and be happy. :/"  ...sigh.  If only I knew.
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July 27, 2011, 05:26:43 PM
 #10

Also dont expect to get the highest numbers you see on the hardware charts.. many of these people got lucky with their cards and can overclock even more.. not even all saphire cards are the same when it comes to overclocking.. some batches of the exact same card are better than others.

I usually have no problem hitting the max hashrates reported in the Wiki, if not exceeding them.  I figure I must have gotten lucky with my GPUs.

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mike678
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July 27, 2011, 05:45:04 PM
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Quote
Unless you post details I doubt any one can help you further with what you have.


he doesnt have one.. yet

I went out, bought me a cheap, but decent card and through it in a computer that I have.

He said he got rid of it now but from the information I had at the time he did have a card.

I know I got it from Best Buy and I think it was a 5570. (This might be it.)
Never ever buy from best buy all they do is rip you off. Newegg has 5570's for basically half the price.
Iyeman
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July 27, 2011, 05:51:09 PM
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  I couldn't get it to mine with a hash rate higher than a few M/hashes.


That sounds like you had the CPU picked for opencl.

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rlh
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July 27, 2011, 06:00:54 PM
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Now that I recall, you are correct-- I could get the OpenCL software to install, but I couldn't get it to see the GPU hardware, just the CPU.  Sorry, this all happened a few weeks ago and I gave up... but now I'm wanting to try it again.

A Personal Quote on BTT from 2011:
"I'd be willing to make a moderate "investment" if the value of the BTC went below $2.00.  Otherwise I'll just have to live with my 5 BTC and be happy. :/"  ...sigh.  If only I knew.
tritium
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July 27, 2011, 08:31:15 PM
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do you have on board graphics that you were using for the monitor? if so you need something plugged into the card for it to be recognised

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rlh
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July 27, 2011, 08:35:17 PM
 #15

Yes, I had an on motherboard graphics chip, but when I plugged the card in, I switched to it.  Initially, the resolution was extremely low and the coloring was off, however, that problem was the quickest/easiest to fix.


A Personal Quote on BTT from 2011:
"I'd be willing to make a moderate "investment" if the value of the BTC went below $2.00.  Otherwise I'll just have to live with my 5 BTC and be happy. :/"  ...sigh.  If only I knew.
Caffarius
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July 28, 2011, 05:03:31 AM
 #16

Now that I recall, you are correct-- I could get the OpenCL software to install, but I couldn't get it to see the GPU hardware, just the CPU.  Sorry, this all happened a few weeks ago and I gave up... but now I'm wanting to try it again.
Sounds more like you didn't have the OpenCL drivers installed for your card. AMD has/had at one point two different versions of their driver packs, one that included OpenCL support and one that didn't.
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