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Author Topic: ZTEX USB-FPGA Modules 1.15x and 1.15y: 215 and 860 MH/s FPGA Boards  (Read 174232 times)
Venkatesh Srinivas
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December 30, 2011, 07:39:01 PM
 #161

Been running a board for a few weeks here, works pretty well. Generates stunningly little heat, very easy to cool.

To get the BTCMiner software running under BSD, you'll need to build libusbJava (in the USB SDK) and make sure /dev/usb? and /dev/ugen? are accessible.

Have also loaded a custom bitstream (just a clock divider FF chain), to see if it works. Works okay, just remember you need Xilinx Foundation, not Webpack, to use the spartan6 lx150.

PGP: FC425AD0
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SamHa1n
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January 03, 2012, 12:09:54 AM
 #162

Received two boards I purchased last week. Been running them both all weekend. think heatsink isn't seated correctly on one (used the double sided thermal tape), getting errors (0.02 to 0.26 fluctuating) and its down clocked itself to around 190Mh/s. Other board is clocked around 191, but gets no errors. My dsl can be pretty bad at times. Hope to get more, at least a couple Gh worth, of these cards when they are back in stock. Great boards so far, I am a fan.
sadpandatech
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January 03, 2012, 12:24:43 AM
 #163

I highly recommend using some regular thermal compound instead of that thermal tape.

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
Turbor
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January 03, 2012, 05:06:39 AM
 #164

I higly recommend using some regular thermal compund instead of that thermal tape.

+1, the pad is crap.

SamHa1n
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January 03, 2012, 04:34:37 PM
 #165

going to strip them down and use a paste this time. Been on the lookout for good quality chipset water blocks at a decent cost. after spending as much as i have already, and plan to, why not spring for water cooling while i'm at it?
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January 03, 2012, 06:37:37 PM
 #166

Much fun to clean them Tongue I was looking into watercooling too but if you don't have any existing hardware it's way too expensive. Zalman has some nice northbridge cooling blocks that should fit quite well. For my new 3 board setup i went with 2 80mm vents. Plan to place the boards inline one fan blowing fresh air in, the other sucking it out. Soon my 4 boards will make more than half of my hashing power...

ztex
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January 03, 2012, 08:10:37 PM
 #167

Just a few notes:

1. The pad delivered with the cooler not optimal (but sufficient). Thermal grease is recommended instead (as stated on the products page: http://www.ztex.de/usb-fpga-1/usb-fpga-1.15x.e.html#hs). Some thermal grease also is delivered with the cooler.

2. All boards I tested from the 1st batch (delivered beween 10/11 and 12/11) achieve at least 200MHz. (But I did not test all boards so cannot guarantee it.) If a board from the 1st batch does no achieve this speed then probably the cooling is not optimal. E.g. 192MHz is the typical frequency if the FPGA is cooled passively with the delivered heat sink.

3. The TDP of the FPGA is about 8W. It is not a 150W CPU. A few well placed case fans can replace 40mm fans on the heat sinks.

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January 03, 2012, 09:15:39 PM
 #168

I added higher risers and spaced them apart from each other by a couple of inches (before, I had them very close, sandwiched bottom to bottom with only about 10mm of spacing between them, and sitting on their sides).

What I am getting currently:

ztex_ufm1_15d1-04A32E1D29: f=192.00MHz,  errorRate=0.00%,  maxErrorRate=0.00%,  nextMaxErrorRate=4.40%,  submitted 2 new nonces,  submitted hash rate 193.3MH/s

and

ztex_ufm1_15d1-04A32E1286: f=192.00MHz,  errorRate=0.00%,  maxErrorRate=0.34%,  nextMaxErrorRate=4.39%,  submitted 0 new nonces,  submitted hash rate 192.8MH/s

I thought about water cooling for density and noise reasons, if cost was not an issue.
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January 04, 2012, 09:24:31 PM
 #169

Got my new boards this morning. Had some troubles to get them working together but ztex was helping me with my sorrows (again Cheesy). Well i guess that happens when a carpenter works with FPGAs. Now all 4 run fine. 3 of them make 200 MHz one 208 MHz.

 

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January 10, 2012, 07:17:55 PM
 #170



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January 10, 2012, 07:25:13 PM
 #171

What's that air sleeve for ? :)

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January 10, 2012, 09:25:12 PM
 #172

Interesting setup  Wink

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January 10, 2012, 09:52:46 PM
 #173

What's that air sleeve for ? Smiley

I think he pipes the exhaust air of the fan to the white plastic water canister, so that the water in it evaporates faster and humidifies the room air more than what would happen without this feeble air stream.
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January 10, 2012, 10:03:19 PM
 #174

It takes outside air and pipes it from the inlet to the heatsink, theres a good cold flow. I know it's strange but my cables where too short. I will fix a proper sleeve when I get more FPGA's. I can heartily recommend the zalman heatsink with titan cooling paste. BTW I got really lucky with the PSU; just grabbed my GP AA/AAA chargers one. Cheesy

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January 10, 2012, 10:57:54 PM
 #175

Turbor 2 questions:

- Why did you buy 4 when 5 gives you a rebated price?
- Also with that serial cooling the later FPGA's gets hotter air, you could cool them in parallel no?

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sadpandatech
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January 10, 2012, 11:00:12 PM
 #176

Turbor 2 questions:

- Why did you buy 4 when 5 gives you a rebated price?
- Also with that serial cooling the later FPGA's gets hotter air, you could cool them in parallel no?

"The volume discount is calculated based on the purchases within the last 10 weeks"

can't speak for his cooling solution though. ;p

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
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January 10, 2012, 11:11:26 PM
 #177

yes, but then you only get the rebate on one chip! If you buy 1 then 4, like I will, I would understand; because then you get rebate on 4 cards!

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January 11, 2012, 05:50:41 AM
 #178

Well i first bought one unit to test. Then i ordered the rest. The fastest board is closest to the first vent, then the 200 MHz units follow. The vents are not really used for cooling the boards. They just move air. 200er units run at almost zero error rate. Since i connected them directly to the computer, 4 is the right number. I also think it's too early to invest big time in this boards.

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January 11, 2012, 10:01:53 AM
 #179

So what's your reason for going FPGA, do you live in an expensive KWh country?

I think 28nm Artix-7 FPGA's will be available in a year or so.

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January 11, 2012, 11:27:12 AM
 #180

So what's your reason for going FPGA, do you live in an expensive KWh country?
I think 28nm Artix-7 FPGA's will be available in a year or so.
It will be too late.

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