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Author Topic: ZTEX USB-FPGA Modules 1.15x and 1.15y: 215 and 860 MH/s FPGA Boards  (Read 174234 times)
ztex
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April 30, 2012, 08:53:29 AM
 #641

Now a test to prove my theory.

I've applied some new AS5 and scrachted it linear very slightly. Then I've put the heatsink and moved it around a little bit. With the same result: the heatsink touches only at the corners. Here are the photos:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m38gp7e1oF1ruij9wo1_1280.jpg
http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m38gpjH9L71ruij9wo1_1280.jpg

What can I do???

Use some low viscosity thermal grease, e.g. the one included in the cooler kit. Apply a blob of it into the center of the FPGA, install the heat sink, and squeeze out excess grease by pressing the heat sink down and moving it.

This will not work with high viscosity thermal grease. This stuff is designed for CPU's which dissipate 15x more power and for installations that press down the heat sink with much higher force.

The plastic packages are not always totally flag. But this is not problem if you apply thermal grease as described above.

Another issue: if PCB is bent for some reason, heat sink of FPGA 1 may touch the USB controller IC1 (which is thinner than the FPGA's). The simple solution is the shift the heat sink so that it does not cover IC1.



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April 30, 2012, 09:06:47 AM
 #642

I am surprised that the contact is so poor even with the stock heatsink that should hold the heatsink down pretty good.  Do you know if the heatsink is bent or it is the FPGA?

I've tried another heatsink (Alpenföhn Ötzi). Result: same contact pattern, so the FPGA-4 is bent. Checked FPGA-3, bent too. I've put some extra grease in the middle. Frequency went up to 200, but with errors.

Stats without the "extra" amount of grease in the middle:
Code:
005-0: ztex_ufm1_15y1-04A3476278-1: f=200.00MHz,  errorRate=0.02%,  maxErrorRate=2.60%,  hashRate=200.0MH/s,  submitted 15 new nonces,  luckFactor=0.99
005-0: ztex_ufm1_15y1-04A3476278-2: f=196.00MHz,  errorRate=0.09%,  maxErrorRate=1.91%,  hashRate=195.8MH/s,  submitted 13 new nonces,  luckFactor=0.99
005-0: ztex_ufm1_15y1-04A3476278-3: f=192.00MHz,  errorRate=0.00%,  maxErrorRate=0.52%,  hashRate=192.0MH/s,  submitted 15 new nonces,  luckFactor=1.01
005-0: ztex_ufm1_15y1-04A3476278-4: f=196.00MHz,  errorRate=0.00%,  maxErrorRate=0.98%,  hashRate=196.0MH/s,  submitted 15 new nonces,  luckFactor=0.99

...and after:
Code:
005-0: ztex_ufm1_15y1-04A3476278-1: f=200.00MHz,  errorRate=0.24%,  maxErrorRate=1.22%,  hashRate=199.5MH/s,  submitted 14 new nonces,  luckFactor=0.92
005-0: ztex_ufm1_15y1-04A3476278-2: f=196.00MHz,  errorRate=0.51%,  maxErrorRate=0.88%,  hashRate=195.0MH/s,  submitted 12 new nonces,  luckFactor=1.09
005-0: ztex_ufm1_15y1-04A3476278-3: f=200.00MHz,  errorRate=0.00%,  maxErrorRate=0.50%,  hashRate=200.0MH/s,  submitted 12 new nonces,  luckFactor=1.00
005-0: ztex_ufm1_15y1-04A3476278-4: f=200.00MHz,  errorRate=0.87%,  maxErrorRate=1.78%,  hashRate=198.3MH/s,  submitted 16 new nonces,  luckFactor=1.02

Here the photo of the other heatsink:

Donations are welcome: 1Btf3BqUegfe5iFdWsgfBf1Ew3YsAvsrLT
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April 30, 2012, 09:16:30 AM
 #643

Now a test to prove my theory.

I've applied some new AS5 and scrachted it linear very slightly. Then I've put the heatsink and moved it around a little bit. With the same result: the heatsink touches only at the corners. Here are the photos:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m38gp7e1oF1ruij9wo1_1280.jpg
http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m38gpjH9L71ruij9wo1_1280.jpg

What can I do???

Use some low viscosity thermal grease, e.g. the one included in the cooler kit. Apply a blob of it into the center of the FPGA, install the heat sink, and squeeze out excess grease by pressing the heat sink down and moving it.

This will not work with high viscosity thermal grease. This stuff is designed for CPU's which dissipate 15x more power and for installations that press down the heat sink with much higher force.

The plastic packages are not always totally flag. But this is not problem if you apply thermal grease as described above.

Another issue: if PCB is bent for some reason, heat sink of FPGA 1 may touch the USB controller IC1 (which is thinner then the FPGA's). The simple solution is the shift the heat sink so that it does not cover IC1.


I will give it a try.

What about high end thermal pad's, like Phobya XT (http://www.cool4pc.de/Phobya_Waermeleitpad_XT_7Wmk_05mm_120x20mm_fuer_ramplex_innovatek_Mips_Koolance.html)? Is it worth a try?

Donations are welcome: 1Btf3BqUegfe5iFdWsgfBf1Ew3YsAvsrLT
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April 30, 2012, 09:20:59 AM
 #644

One of my older singles seems to be dead for no reason ..... It won't be recognized buy the mac (or any other PC i have in my household). It's listed as an unknown device under the Hardware Manager (Widows 7) and as i try to install the Ztex driver for this i always get the error: "There is no Driver ....blah blah blah".

It's probably a defect firmware: Power-on the board while JP1 is closed (see http://www.ztex.de/usb-fpga-1/usb-fpga-1.15y.e.html#jp1), open the jumper and install new firmware into EEPROM using the programming mode ("-m p") of BTCMIner.

Quote
€: The new Single
I can however program it with an old bitstream from 120221...jar an it'll mine right away. Somehow that isnt persitent and when i use the new jar it still belives to be a quad...

You obviously installed the wrong firmware. 1.15x boards are not factory programmed. Because firmwares of one type cannot be overwritten by firmwares of other type you have to proceed as stated above (and you have to use the correct firmware files).

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April 30, 2012, 09:22:38 AM
 #645

Hi, its me again .....

tried everything u told me via mail but i'm unable to get satisfying results.

Quote
You obviously installed the wrong firmware. 1.15x boards are not factory programmed. Because firmwares of one type cannot be overwritten by firmwares of other type you have to proceed as stated above (and you have to use the correct firmware files).
That could be it for the new single.

€: do you know the feeling when u realize that u didn't see your error (Thats what i feel now:P) Smiley New single works!. Sry for inconvenience and THx for hlp:)

Hers a Pic:


But i need some help on the second board. Could it be that i damaged it somehow. I can't see any damage on the parts (VRM Chip etc), maybe ESD (Elektrostatische Aufladung) killed it?

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April 30, 2012, 09:55:14 AM
 #646

But i need some help on the second board. Could it be that i damaged it somehow. I can't see any damage on the parts (VRM Chip etc), maybe ESD (Elektrostatische Aufladung) killed it?

Maybe a bad cable, maybe a bad USB connector, maybe a bad USB port.

If changing the cable and USB port does not help it is the easiest if you return the board.

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April 30, 2012, 10:04:55 AM
 #647

I tried nearly everything now and i think that this is the only solution Sad

Maybe u could find out whats wrong with it. It was mining happily for two month straight now.


How Should i send it in? With or without the heatsink i used? 

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April 30, 2012, 10:09:04 AM
 #648

What about high end thermal pad's, like Phobya XT (http://www.cool4pc.de/Phobya_Waermeleitpad_XT_7Wmk_05mm_120x20mm_fuer_ramplex_innovatek_Mips_Koolance.html)? Is it worth a try?

Good thermal pads can be used. (But not the ones delivered with the cooler. They are quite poor).

Thermal grease is better because the layer should always be thinner than a pad.

I recommend low viscosity thermal grease (if you are from Germany you can use item no. "LEITPASTE 20GR" from http://www.reichelt.de) and the "blob in the center" method. It is simple, quick and save. I use this method for testing new batches and never had any problems.



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April 30, 2012, 10:13:52 AM
 #649

How Should i send it in? With or without the heatsink i used? 

Without heat sink. Write me an email if you do not have my address.

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April 30, 2012, 10:23:18 AM
 #650

I will do that Smiley

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April 30, 2012, 03:45:11 PM
 #651

To check if the FPGA package is bent, get a razor blade and gently hold it blade-side against the top of the IHS. We did this to see how concave/convex the IHS were on Intel chips. The blade, being perfectly straight, will make contact with the parts of the package that protrude the most.

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April 30, 2012, 08:03:51 PM
 #652

pls don't start sanding FPGA Packages like Intel IHS Cheesy

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April 30, 2012, 10:35:29 PM
 #653

pls don't start sanding FPGA Packages like Intel IHS Cheesy

Hahaha. I don't think that would be the right solution to this  Grin

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May 01, 2012, 05:57:36 PM
 #654

Got my Quad today Cheesy. Speed is as expected. Thanks god no 196 chip... 1x 212, 2x 208 and 1x 204 MHz with the stock fans. I plan to replace the 40mm fans with two 120mm fans, one from above and one from below plus some RAM coolers on the bottom of the chips. Would be nice if I could gain some extra speed.

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May 01, 2012, 06:49:19 PM
 #655

Interesting thought to put a heatsink on the bottom.  Maybe I will experiment with it as well. 
@pazor:  What speeds are you getting without the bottom heatsink?
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May 01, 2012, 07:22:48 PM
 #656

I regreased the 204 chip with no effect. Looks like it's going to fall back to 200 MHz after longer runtime. Not tragic but interesting to see the differences.

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May 01, 2012, 07:51:03 PM
 #657

Interesting thought to put a heatsink on the bottom.  Maybe I will experiment with it as well.  
@pazor:  What speeds are you getting without the bottom heatsink?

without bottom heatsink and fan (fan is recommended)
between 212MH/s and 216MH/s with error rates abou 0.3-0.6%

with bottom heatsink and fan
now 220MH/s with 0.00% error rate

next step:
i replace the xilence heatsink and fan (top) and the zalman heatsink and fan (bottom) with 2x titan heatsink and fan.
make an sandwich

fan
heatsink
grease
fpga
pcb
grease
pad
grease
heatsink
fan

the pad is used because the pcb is not plain enough for the heatsink
i will try to reach 224MH/s with 0.00% error rate
 Grin

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May 01, 2012, 08:11:06 PM
 #658

So it looks like the bottom heatsink and fan is definitely helping with the speed/thermals.  I am going to give it a test.  

Does anybody know if the heatsink has to be suspended in air?  I am putting these babies on top of a wooden rack.  I was thinking of supporting the middle with another screw since I have noticed the board (quads) to flex a little bit.  Now I am thinking of covering the bottom with a piece of thermal pad that is supported by a heatsink (I have ~20 old 1U socket 478 Cu heatsinks).  I assume that as long as the pad/case is non-conductive/capacitive I should be alright. But please let me know if this wouldn't work before I experiment.  (@pazor:  Your setup is definitely more elegant.  But I have a number of boards and the cost with the screws/added heatsinks is a consideration.)

FPGA
pad (fasten to the board via the 4 standoff screws, maybe the Fujipoly thermal pad, frozencpu dot com)
heatsink (same height as the 4 raised standoffs)
Wood

The alternative is to use 4 passive VGA coolers attached to the bottom of the LX150.  Probably safer and cleaner.
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May 01, 2012, 08:27:14 PM
 #659

So it looks like the bottom heatsink and fan is definitely helping with the speed/thermals.  I am going to give it a test.  

Does anybody know if the heatsink has to be suspended in air?  I am putting these babies on top of a wooden rack.  I was thinking of supporting the middle with another screw since I have noticed the board (quads) to flex a little bit.  Now I am thinking of covering the bottom with a piece of thermal pad that is supported by a heatsink (I have ~20 old 1U socket 478 Cu heatsinks).  I assume that as long as the pad/case is non-conductive/capacitive I should be alright. But please let me know if this wouldn't work before I experiment.  (@pazor:  Your setup is definitely more elegant.  But I have a number of boards and the cost with the screws/added heatsinks is a consideration.)

FPGA
pad (fasten to the board via the 4 standoff screws, maybe the Fujipoly thermal pad, frozencpu dot com)
heatsink (same height as the 4 raised standoffs)
Wood

The alternative is to use 4 passive VGA coolers attached to the bottom of the LX150.  Probably safer and cleaner.

try to use the 4 passive vga coolers and take a fan to blow constantly from the bottom.
i think that should make sense.

if i change my cooling setup with the two titan heatsink/fan combination i will report the results.

good luck!

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BTC 174X17nR7vEQBQo4GXKRGMGaTmB49Gf1yT
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May 01, 2012, 08:34:40 PM
 #660

I bought  4 heatsinks to mount in fromthe bottom through thermalpad.
Best bacplate ever.
I`ll try to watercool it and report the effect.
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