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Author Topic: FPGA boards are here  (Read 2725 times)
petabytecoin
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August 23, 2011, 06:40:39 AM
 #1

http://www.bitcoinminer.com/post/9268040136/hack-a-day-fpga-mining-hardware

Any opinions on what this means for the future?
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bcpokey
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August 23, 2011, 08:00:03 AM
 #2

Nothing much, the initial fronting costs have come down which is good, but they're still crazy high. > $6/MHash at ~2mil difficulty is a pretty difficult investment to make into bitcoin in any kind of volume.

a 10GHash investment would run you $60,000 USD, are you willing to sink that much money for ~$60 a day return (with no guarantee of this being sustainable)? Keep in mind 1000 day return window in an optimistic scenario is almost 3 years to break even.
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August 23, 2011, 01:04:15 PM
 #3

To be fair you would be a very high volume customer to be spending 60g and I think you would get a reduced unit price.
I have some 300w Tt heatpipe fanless PSU's that would be prefect for this and they don't need a motherboard, cpu, RAM so you are saving money there. They could also be used to help keep alternate blockchains ticking over and for people in countries with high electricity costs. I will be looking into ordering one soon.

You can the  also consider that the rate of inflation in fiat money is only getting faster and that few lousy grand you dropped on some FPGAs is nothing will be quickly forgotten and you will break even before you know it. 

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August 23, 2011, 01:26:00 PM
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You can the  also consider that the rate of inflation in fiat money is only getting faster and that few lousy grand you dropped on some FPGAs is nothing will be quickly forgotten and you will break even before you know it. 

Break even? This isn't guaranteed. We're assuming BTC keeps increasing against the USD and if it doesn't outperform gold and silver you have just made a terrible investment.
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August 23, 2011, 01:54:45 PM
 #5

As much as we're going to continue seeing hyperinflation making the world fiat money useless I think that there is a bubble in gold that will burst at some point. This is the perfect opportunity for cryptocurrencies to take the lead with the simultaneous bursting of both gold and fiat bubbles.  

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August 23, 2011, 02:12:57 PM
 #6

As much as we're going to continue seeing hyperinflation making the world fiat money useless I think that there is a bubble in gold that will burst at some point. This is the perfect opportunity for cryptocurrencies to take the lead with the simultaneous bursting of both gold and fiat bubbles.  
There is no bubble in gold.
It might slid off a big these coming weeks, but that is due to the massive 16% increase this month.
Gold is definitely headed over $2000 long term.

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caston
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August 23, 2011, 02:51:53 PM
 #7


There is no bubble in gold.
It might slid off a big these coming weeks, but that is due to the massive 16% increase this month.
Gold is definitely headed over $2000 long term.

Well there has been in history. If you look at it from a more realistic perspective (e.g. elements and their physical nature) sure fiat money is worthless paper but since when should an oz of shiny metal be enough to buy a house and its land?


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August 23, 2011, 03:23:58 PM
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To be fair you would be a very high volume customer to be spending 60g and I think you would get a reduced unit price.
I have some 300w Tt heatpipe fanless PSU's that would be prefect for this and they don't need a motherboard, cpu, RAM so you are saving money there. They could also be used to help keep alternate blockchains ticking over and for people in countries with high electricity costs. I will be looking into ordering one soon.

You can the  also consider that the rate of inflation in fiat money is only getting faster and that few lousy grand you dropped on some FPGAs is nothing will be quickly forgotten and you will break even before you know it. 

I guess I shouldn't have used such big numbers, was just easier for me to calculate, but the break even point remains the same regardless of the size of your order unless you get a volume discount (which means a smaller order is in fact less efficient and slower to pay off), "before you know it" remains roughly 3 years, assuming difficulty stays sub-2mil (which it wouldn't if suddenly people got it in their heads that fpgas are some awesome way to beat the system) and the price of bitcoins remains the same. On the one hand it's true that the price could be much higher a year or two from now, but it could also be worth jack squat, and an FPGA board designed to mine bitcoins would then have a resale value of roughly nil, unlike traditional GPU-rigs which are still useful gaming devices and can be resold as such.

Until mining becomes much closer to the cost of electricity there is little incentive for people to drop on fpgas, especially those built by others. In my humble opinion of course.
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August 23, 2011, 05:17:43 PM
 #9

Well I'm interested in getting my feet wet. My only hesitation is should I go for this or wait for large coin?

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August 23, 2011, 05:50:34 PM
 #10

I don't think FPGA's will ever, ever be cost effective when compared to GPU mining. The main issue is going to be processing power to cost. Even the CHEAPEST FPGA (currently) capable of 100 Mhash/sec is like, $60 just for the CHIP (let alone additional parts + assembly). I imagine this price would go down if you bulk purchased in units of 1000, but I couldn't see the price dropping to

Additionally, I think it's mathematically impossible for FPGA's to be more efficient at the same processing power as a GPU (since it's ASIC vs. FPGA).

The only long term deal that can make any money would be a dedicated, custom fabbed ASIC that does nothing but process SHA-265 hashes across a shit ton of cores.

The point here is that unless you can get 200 Mhash/sec for ~$100, GPU's will always be the better solution. Period.
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August 23, 2011, 05:55:45 PM
 #11

Unless you factor in the electricity and heat dissipation as part of the whole equation. I know both are a real burden for me as I'm at the limit of what I can use and still keep the family happy (like, they can still use the microwave oven Smiley ), and I live in a warm climate which already killed a few cards for me.

But winter will come and heat is needed and appreciated, electricity cost is offset by that...

Of course, a great point to GPUs is that they have a used market value regardless of bitcoins. I don't foresee or prepare for a major bitcoin crash, but what would I do with a bunch of very expensive custom built asics? Even half broken GPUs have a market value.
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August 23, 2011, 06:46:53 PM
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There is no bubble in gold.
It might slid off a big these coming weeks, but that is due to the massive 16% increase this month.
Gold is definitely headed over $2000 long term.

Well there has been in history. If you look at it from a more realistic perspective (e.g. elements and their physical nature) sure fiat money is worthless paper but since when should an oz of shiny metal be enough to buy a house and its land?

You are showing extreme ignorance about money and its history.

Gold has a track record spanning multiple millenia, never becoming worthless even once during all that time, and you're excited about Bitcoin?

Hey, I like Bitcoin too, but let's keep some perspective here!  I can only wish Bitcoin had 1/100th of 1% of gold's "proven" nature, universal appeal, liquidity, staying power and stability.
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August 24, 2011, 03:17:32 PM
 #13


I actually just got a Lattice Semi board, which is not the most ideal FPGA for SHA256, but it certainly does fit in the price point I have, and maintains a lot of flexibility for the FPGA deployment I want to do (more generalized, but with the free power I can get with FPGA deployments on private energy producers, it's important to be able to recontribute back some stuff). I'd rather have one that I can re-purpose for radio, PCI and ethernet easily for $99. I also was really happy to find an American made board delivered domestically, and in really legit packaging.

You may also want to consider looking at optimizing http://cryptography.gmu.edu/athena/index.php?id=source_codes the SHA3 candidate cores released by the NSA, which might help you hedge towards a new future chain and (depending on where you live), maintain a domestic production economy for gear in the event of processor fragmentation into multiple chains across the planet. We'd do better taking FPGAs like this and putting them towards cracking Nagravision 2 and 3 (bottom line wise, anyhow).

I'm aiming on optimizing the newer SHA3 potentials (my current speculative guess for usefulness is http://keccak.noekeon.org/, because with this much sha256 hashing power out there, alternative chains are going to emerge.

FPGA is cool for BTC, but everyone is kinda rusty. And the real way to finish the tail end on the BTC is getting a few thousand 5W chips on top of large solar and wind arrays. It's just gotta be able the bake in sun and heat.

ISO: small island nations with large native populations excited to pay tribute to flying gods, will trade BTC.
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August 24, 2011, 05:46:35 PM
 #14


There is no bubble in gold.
It might slid off a big these coming weeks, but that is due to the massive 16% increase this month.
Gold is definitely headed over $2000 long term.

Well there has been in history. If you look at it from a more realistic perspective (e.g. elements and their physical nature) sure fiat money is worthless paper but since when should an oz of shiny metal be enough to buy a house and its land?



please educate yourself on gold, silver and other forms of non-destructible stores of value.

gold is not in a bubble.  I truly feel sorry for you, but I hope you make an effort to educate yourself about it and not listen to talking heads on TV.

Gold is finite.  it can never be in a bubble like fiat money, houses, stocks, tulip bulbs and everything else that has been in a bubble.

it's very easy to confuse volatility and price fluctuation with a bubble.

for something to be in a bubble, eveybody and his mother has to rush into it (just one of the symptoms of a bubble, there are several others).  the sad fact is that 99% of people (at least in USA) do not own a single ounce of gold.  Furthermore, if every person on Earth decided to buy 1 ounce of gold, just one ounce, there isn't enough gold.  re-read that please... there's not enough gold for everyone to have just 1 ounce.

now, you can print or build as much as you want of everything else... physical gold you can't.

I cry for you... please don't get slaughtered... I beg you to truly educate yourself on gold/silver. 

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caston
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August 25, 2011, 08:13:24 AM
 #15

Yes but imagine a stock market for the periodic table. You can trade in any stable element. Some people will sit all day long trading gold for rhodium or carbon for hydrogen, lead for nickle  or whatever takes their please.
At some points gold will be massively overpriced compared to the other elements and even finished products or land deed titles (which are also only bits of paper just like fiat money) Also consider the nature of matter with protons, neutrons and electrons and the wave theory of particles. Elements are at their very core just waves of energy and in the future it will be possible to gain any element either from the sun or production during (man made) nuclear fusion.

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August 25, 2011, 12:39:49 PM
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There is no bubble in gold.
It might slid off a big these coming weeks, but that is due to the massive 16% increase this month.
Gold is definitely headed over $2000 long term.

Well there has been in history. If you look at it from a more realistic perspective (e.g. elements and their physical nature) sure fiat money is worthless paper but since when should an oz of shiny metal be enough to buy a house and its land?



please educate yourself on gold, silver and other forms of non-destructible stores of value.

gold is not in a bubble.  I truly feel sorry for you, but I hope you make an effort to educate yourself about it and not listen to talking heads on TV.

Gold is finite.  it can never be in a bubble like fiat money, houses, stocks, tulip bulbs and everything else that has been in a bubble.

it's very easy to confuse volatility and price fluctuation with a bubble.

for something to be in a bubble, eveybody and his mother has to rush into it (just one of the symptoms of a bubble, there are several others).  the sad fact is that 99% of people (at least in USA) do not own a single ounce of gold.  Furthermore, if every person on Earth decided to buy 1 ounce of gold, just one ounce, there isn't enough gold.  re-read that please... there's not enough gold for everyone to have just 1 ounce.

now, you can print or build as much as you want of everything else... physical gold you can't.

I cry for you... please don't get slaughtered... I beg you to truly educate yourself on gold/silver. 

Oil is finite, yet we've seen an oil bubble...BTC is finite, yet we saw a bubble a few months back.

Bubbles occur in everything, they're the result of speculation. Please educate yourself on what a bubble is before you spout BS.
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August 25, 2011, 12:56:10 PM
 #17

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMaxn9s583k

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August 25, 2011, 03:07:55 PM
 #18

Gold is finite.

Yes. Like everything else, depending on the timescales.

Quote
there's not enough gold for everyone to have just 1 ounce.

Quote from: The Internet
At the end of 2009, it was estimated that all the gold ever mined totaled 165,000 tonnes

~6 000 000 000 oz means you're right but it's a rather close call.

However, when talking about price and whether you're in a bubble or not this is what matters:

Quote from: The Internet
The average gold mining and extraction costs were about US$317/oz in 2007

(Yes, I believe in there being such a thing as fundamentals in Bitcoin price also depending on current mining cost)
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August 25, 2011, 03:51:02 PM
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Yes but imagine a stock market for the periodic table. You can trade in any stable element. Some people will sit all day long trading gold for rhodium or carbon for hydrogen, lead for nickle  or whatever takes their please.
At some points gold will be massively overpriced compared to the other elements and even finished products or land deed titles (which are also only bits of paper just like fiat money) Also consider the nature of matter with protons, neutrons and electrons and the wave theory of particles. Elements are at their very core just waves of energy and in the future it will be possible to gain any element either from the sun or production during (man made) nuclear fusion.

what is the definition of economics?  how finite are all these elements? how much are they wanted?

I agree about the future.  but in the mean time,  how do you store your earnings?

dollar's purchasing power has declined by about 95% on a recent time slice. (~100 yrs)

an ounce of gold got you a fine tailored suit in London 100 yrs ago, 200 yrs ago, 300 yrs ago  and it does the same today.

can I get that for $20 today?

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between a rock and a block!


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August 25, 2011, 03:51:59 PM
 #20

Gold is finite.

Yes. Like everything else, depending on the timescales.

Quote
there's not enough gold for everyone to have just 1 ounce.

Quote from: The Internet
At the end of 2009, it was estimated that all the gold ever mined totaled 165,000 tonnes

~6 000 000 000 oz means you're right but it's a rather close call.

However, when talking about price and whether you're in a bubble or not this is what matters:

Quote from: The Internet
The average gold mining and extraction costs were about US$317/oz in 2007

(Yes, I believe in there being such a thing as fundamentals in Bitcoin price also depending on current mining cost)


you might want to get those numbers corrected...

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