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Author Topic: BTCMiner - Open Source Bitcoin Miner for ZTEX FPGA Boards, 215 MH/s on LX150  (Read 153855 times)
Turbor
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January 31, 2012, 06:56:26 PM
 #221

He he he 1 board runs @ 220 MHz (overlord) Shocked, 1 @ 216, 3 @ 212 and one at 208 MHz. Works for me. Thank you ztex.

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rupy
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February 01, 2012, 08:38:21 AM
 #222

Yep, mine is running at 216 MHz... It's really cool too... I wonder why? Why does the error rate rise at 220 when the chip doesn't generate any comparable heat to the last firmware at 208?!

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February 02, 2012, 12:06:23 AM
 #223

I am running the latest stable version pointed at P2Pool.  After a few hours of running (I haven't been around when it fails) it throws an invalid length string exception and shuts down.  After this happens whenever I try to restart the miner it seems to be ineffective and constantly clocks down without getting a share.  I am assuming this is mostly a problem with P2Pool but I was wondering if anyone else has been experiencing this as well.  To resolve it I have to kill and restart bitcoind, P2Pool, and BTCMiner.
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February 02, 2012, 08:44:49 AM
 #224

newer 1.15x FPGA boards have speed grade -N3 FPGA's. According to the specs this is as fast as speed grade 3.

That is not true. -N3 has the same fabric speed as -2 -- check ISE 13.3+ 'speedprint' to confirm.

Xilinx will not guarantee error-free operation of a -3 bitstream in -N3.

There is a complicated story behind this - my understanding is that -N3 started out at the same
fabric speed as -3, then as they got more yield data, they boosted the -2 to match the original -3,
then boosted -3 even further, without changing -N3, leaving it equal to the current -2.

There's no reason to use -N3 in a miner - you might as well use -2 given it has the same
performance, same price, and is easier to source.

-rph

Ultra-Low-Cost DIY FPGA Miner: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44891
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February 02, 2012, 06:09:51 PM
 #225

That is not true. -N3 has the same fabric speed as -2 -- check ISE 13.3+ 'speedprint' to confirm.

I verified this. It seems that Xilinx downrated certain (not all) values to SG-2 or something in between SG-2 and SG-3. Originally it was announced with "specifications are identical to the -3 speed grade".

In practice the FPGA boards from the SG-N3 batch are about 5% slower than the ones from SG-3 batch: Using the lastest test release the average speed of the SG-3 FPGA boards is about 215MH/s and the average hash rate of the -N3 FPGA boards is about 205 MH/s.

As written earlier, in practice the speed of SG-N3 should be between SG-2 and SG-3. (Consider that prices for SG-2 and SG-N3 are the same but SG-N3 has no (working) memory controller)

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Xilinx will not guarantee error-free operation of a -3 bitstream in -N3.

They cannot even guarantee this for -3 ...

Since the clock frequency of BTCMiner is variable it runs with every speed grade.

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February 02, 2012, 06:15:13 PM
 #226

I am running the latest stable version pointed at P2Pool.  After a few hours of running (I haven't been around when it fails) it throws an invalid length string exception and shuts down.  After this happens whenever I try to restart the miner it seems to be ineffective and constantly clocks down without getting a share.  I am assuming this is mostly a problem with P2Pool but I was wondering if anyone else has been experiencing this as well.  To resolve it I have to kill and restart bitcoind, P2Pool, and BTCMiner.

What is the exact error message? (Maybe it is an invalid json rpc return value.)

If the down-clocking issue disappears after restarting P2PPool it is probably a wrong midstate returned by the pool software (the FPGA uses the midstate value, the verification method of BTCMiner not.)

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February 02, 2012, 06:23:11 PM
 #227

Yep, mine is running at 216 MHz... It's really cool too... I wonder why? Why does the error rate rise at 220 when the chip doesn't generate any comparable heat to the last firmware at 208?!

The speed is limited by the logic and routing delays. These delays mainly depend on the semiconductor physics (i.e. not only from the temperature).

The power dissipation (heat) per MH/s is equal for all releases since 111214.

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February 02, 2012, 10:12:15 PM
 #228

Ok, anyways my revenue has increased more than expected with this version, so heat or no heat it's working great; and it seems you fixed my previous network error speed reduction too so: thumbs up! Smiley

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February 03, 2012, 10:05:36 AM
 #229

Has anybody gotten the boards to work in cluster mode?  The frequencies jump a lot when the boards run in cluster mode.  Single mode it runs just fine. 
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February 03, 2012, 11:43:08 AM
 #230

Has anybody gotten the boards to work in cluster mode?  The frequencies jump a lot when the boards run in cluster mode.  Single mode it runs just fine.  

No problem over here. I run a 4 board and a 2 board cluster.

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February 04, 2012, 12:13:32 AM
 #231

No problem over here. I run a 4 board and a 2 board cluster.

Thanks.  Are you running the d3 firmware?  I think you mentioned that you were having some frequency issues until you tried the dumbbells?! 
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February 04, 2012, 02:04:22 PM
 #232

I have received my first FPGA Board and I am running ZtexBTCMiner-120130 with D3 on Windows 7. I get stable 210.00 MHz.

The Java.exe process is using 50% CPU during mining (not yet during FPGA configuration). Is this normal?

I am starting it in a command.com prompt as administrator in case that matters.

Code:
java -cp ZtexBTCMiner-120130.jar BTCMiner -host "http://api2.bitcoin.cz:8332" \
-u user -p password -f ztex_ufm1_15d3.ihx -v -l 120130-d3-slush.log
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February 04, 2012, 09:40:37 PM
 #233

I have received my first FPGA Board and I am running ZtexBTCMiner-120130 with D3 on Windows 7. I get stable 210.00 MHz.

The Java.exe process is using 50% CPU during mining (not yet during FPGA configuration). Is this normal?

I am starting it in a command.com prompt as administrator in case that matters.

Code:
java -cp ZtexBTCMiner-120130.jar BTCMiner -host "http://api2.bitcoin.cz:8332" \
-u user -p password -f ztex_ufm1_15d3.ihx -v -l 120130-d3-slush.log

I have one ZTEX module 1.15x and it's running the d3a bitstream.
The Windows 7 laptop it is attached to shows all 4 cores idle.
The clock frequency of the module 1.15x with a shitty $2.79 VGA cooler in a hot office (on account of twelve 5830s mining along happily and on account of the fact that the office window doesn't open) is 208 MHz.
I can't complain.
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February 05, 2012, 01:56:16 AM
 #234

No problem over here. I run a 4 board and a 2 board cluster.

Thanks.  Are you running the d3 firmware?  I think you mentioned that you were having some frequency issues until you tried the dumbbells?! 

Yes d3a, had some issues with that board yesterday and today. Downclock of death two times. Placed some weight on the heatsink. BTW the board is a 1.15d not 1.15x. I own 4 x and 2 d  boards. The 1.15d have a smaller heatsink and are more difficult to cool.

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February 05, 2012, 02:23:43 AM
 #235

No problem over here. I run a 4 board and a 2 board cluster.

Thanks.  Are you running the d3 firmware?  I think you mentioned that you were having some frequency issues until you tried the dumbbells?! 

Yes d3a, had some issues with that board yesterday and today. Downclock of death two times. Placed some weight on the heatsink. BTW the board is a 1.15d not 1.15x. I own 4 x and 2 d  boards. The 1.15d have a smaller heatsink and are more difficult to cool.

Now that mention it (downclock of death  Grin), a few days ago I my DSL modem hung and I switched DSL modems, whereupon there were ARP cache issues causing me to reboot the Windows 7 laptop as well - in a nutshell, when, after finally being online again, I tried to restart the mining software for the ZTEX board, I once again experienced the "downclock of death". With the d3a bitstream, no kidding. I then flashed the original (December) bitstream into it, but that also went into a "downclock of death" situation. Then, I flashed the d3a bitstream again and, lo and behold, this time it worked.

In other words: This PLL stuff is not 100% stable, but on the other hand there is a good chance it eventually will work, given a few tries.

>dumbbells

I think, Xilinx specifies a maximum weight somewhere, and if I were you, I'd make sure not to exceed that.
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February 05, 2012, 02:48:02 AM
 #236

>dumbbells

I think, Xilinx specifies a maximum weight somewhere, and if I were you, I'd make sure not to exceed that.

I removed the weight after one night. When i was removing it, the downclocking began again. I ended up removing the heatsink and place it again. Now i only have a special heatsink sitting ontop of the stock one plus about 100g of lead and metal. Not sure if the latest downlocks are heat or PLL releated.

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February 05, 2012, 06:46:35 AM
 #237

I too had similar "countdown to death" experiences yesterday with a new 1.15x and d3a and d2, only d1 worked. I have also changed the pool yesterday just to make sure it wasn't a problem with the pool, but same result.

Surprisingly, today the d3a worked without problem. I have not changed anything else, heat sink still the same, same power supply, same parameters etc. And no dumbbell on top of my 1.15x at all Wink

Edit: I have tried a second Windows 7 PC and I have the java.exe process using 50% CPU as well. Both Notebooks have a Intel Core 2 Duo CPU (2.66 GHz) but I just don't understand how somebody can have a quad core CPU that idles and I have a dual core CPU that uses 50%...
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February 05, 2012, 12:46:20 PM
 #238

I too had similar "countdown to death" experiences yesterday with a new 1.15x and d3a and d2, only d1 worked. I have also changed the pool yesterday just to make sure it wasn't a problem with the pool, but same result.

Surprisingly, today the d3a worked without problem. I have not changed anything else, heat sink still the same, same power supply, same parameters etc. And no dumbbell on top of my 1.15x at all Wink

Edit: I have tried a second Windows 7 PC and I have the java.exe process using 50% CPU as well. Both Notebooks have a Intel Core 2 Duo CPU (2.66 GHz) but I just don't understand how somebody can have a quad core CPU that idles and I have a dual core CPU that uses 50%...


Never had an issue with a 1.15x board. Used d1, d2 and d3a with them. For mining i can only recommend them. 1.15d is a great board but if you want a 24/7 miner the small heatsink is a problem. I had to retreat my unlucky board again today. I pray to god it was the last time. All my "countown to death" experiences seemd hardware not software releated. The longer i run the boards the better i can see that propper cooling is the key to fast hash rates.

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February 05, 2012, 01:14:35 PM
 #239

You are running them in cluster mode, right? I am just wondering if you'd run a single one if you'd also end up with 50% CPU usage.

I still haven't gotten around installing Ubuntu and it will probably take a while till I have the time.
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February 05, 2012, 01:48:29 PM
 #240

You are running them in cluster mode, right? I am just wondering if you'd run a single one if you'd also end up with 50% CPU usage.

I still haven't gotten around installing Ubuntu and it will probably take a while till I have the time.


I did run them alone. AMD duo core and Intel Core2 Quad Q6600. Never had high CPU usage. Only from my GPUs.

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