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Author Topic: new miner question.  (Read 801 times)
Bungalow Bill
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January 16, 2012, 04:40:28 PM
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Hi everyone, I've been fascinated with bitcoins for the past few months and plan on mining as a hobby and I could really use some advice. I love in a loft above commercial space and my electricity is only .007 should I wait on a bfl unit or would gpu rigs be an obvious choice for me? I calculated a bfl unit pays its self off in 5.3 months and pulls in 133 every month.

Any other information I should consider? Thanks for the help to anyone who does.
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DeathAndTaxes
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January 16, 2012, 05:38:38 PM
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The cheaper your electricity is the more GPU mining makes sense.

That being said IF delivered the BFL unit is interesting.

Some things to consider:
1) when will I be able to start mining.  If you need to wait 4-6 weeks then you "lose" any revenue over next 4-6 weeks (note BFL has promised 4-6 weeks for over 3 months now)
2) how long will the unit last.  (BFL unit has a 6 month warranty)
3) which makes you the highest return on capital (purchase price) after electrical costs.

Personally w/  $0.07 per kWh I would look at a 4+ used GPU rig.  3x5970 or if they aren't available in your country then 4x5870.
Bungalow Bill
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January 16, 2012, 07:33:32 PM
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Thanks for the advice DeathAndTaxes. Do you or would anyone recommend some good pc components that miners typically consider for their rigs? I've been comparing CPUs but consider this site a well of information and could gain from the experience here.
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January 16, 2012, 07:37:22 PM
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Thanks for the advice DeathAndTaxes. Do you or would anyone recommend some good pc components that miners typically consider for their rigs? I've been comparing CPUs but consider this site a well of information and could gain from the experience here.

CPU - cheapest you can find.  low end sempron is common
RAM  - 2GB is more enough.  You can go 1 GB but RAM is so cheap I go 2GB.
MB - all we care about is expansion slots.  I use MB w/ 3x PCIe16x slots spaced 2 apart so I don't need extenders.  MB really depends on what cards and how many.
HDD - none (use usb thumb drive w/ linux coin or some linux live distro)
PSU - Spend money here.  Good brand, good warranty, 80-Plus Gold (well at least 80-Plus w/ $0.07 per kWh you can skimp a little)

GPU - skip the 6000 series.  5970, 5870, and 5770 are the "classics".  The price is high but 7970 looks decent.  Personally since your power is so cheap I would go w/ lower $$$ cost (and lower MH/W) 5000 series cards.
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January 16, 2012, 08:55:44 PM
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Agreed with all points. If you want to start mining now, GPU may be your best option. Even if you were to order a BFL unit today, "4-6 weeks from time of order" is the earliest you can expect it. You can do a lot of GPU mining in that time. BFL isn't shipping yet, and it isn't known when they will (my "best guess" based on forum talk, fwiw, is 2 weeks from today. But that's for people who have preorders back from November/December).

I would consider the 6870 as a good alternate GPU miner if you can't find any cheap 58xx cards. You can usually find used 6870s well under $150 (new ones occasionally go on sale for ~$150), they'll easily overclock to 975-1000MHz and do 300Mhash/s. Cooling is generally not a problem with a 6870. I have a few dual-fan XFX ones; they are relatively quiet at a 65% fan setting and stay around 70 degrees in a closed case. You may find that the 68xx series will have a higher (relative) resale value than the 58xx series simply because they are a newer generation.

In general, as D&T already mentioned, stay away from the 69xx series. Unless you can find them cheap. A mildly overclocked 6950 will give you 350Mhash/s.

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ElideN
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January 16, 2012, 10:01:22 PM
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give it a try...

If you need help with anything, please let me know. I'd be happy to assist.
Bungalow Bill
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January 17, 2012, 01:35:10 PM
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Ive been looking at the different gpu options and am considering a 5830 rig. The comparison chart shows it at 286.45 m/hash and considering the price/hashing ratio i would call it a better option . I can get 4 for around $550. Whats your opinion?

http://www.hardwareking.net/product_info.php?currency=USD&info=p46247_Various-Radeon-HD-5830--1GB-GDDR5--2x-DVI--HDMI--DisplayPort.html
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January 17, 2012, 03:02:59 PM
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Those 5830s are a good price.

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P4man
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January 17, 2012, 03:10:18 PM
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If you want to buy new, seems like a fair price. But FWIW, I just bought 2 used 5870s for 20BTC each (~$130 at the time) shipping included and  both still have more than a year of warranty. Also consider that slots arent free.

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Gerald Davis


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January 17, 2012, 03:30:03 PM
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Ive been looking at the different gpu options and am considering a 5830 rig. The comparison chart shows it at 286.45 m/hash and considering the price/hashing ratio i would call it a better option . I can get 4 for around $550. Whats your opinion?

http://www.hardwareking.net/product_info.php?currency=USD&info=p46247_Various-Radeon-HD-5830--1GB-GDDR5--2x-DVI--HDMI--DisplayPort.html

That is a good price but honestly I would go used.  Ebay has a 30 day return policy.  If card fails, overheats, or seems abused in the first 30 days simply return it as "does not work as advertised".

When you consider you can get used 5870 for ~$150 and used 5970 for ~$300 it can really shorten your payback period.

I know not everyone is comfortable buying used but the more you buy the less risk there is.  If you buy 10 GPU and save 50% compared to new/retail even if 30% failed in the first year you STILL COME OUT AHEAD.  Smiley
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January 17, 2012, 03:34:08 PM
 #11

Another point you may want to consider is noise. Some of us need to live with our GPUs and, in such situations, noise often gets the spotlight. It is often something that people don't consider until they turn on their shiny new mining rig.

For example, I picked up a couple of plain vanilla Asus 5870s a while back. They were both very quiet (as most 5870s are) at idle, but once you started mining the fans (on auto) would go ballistic. They both sounded like a vacuum cleaner. Setting the fan speed manually didn't help; at lower speeds the cards would go near 90 degrees. It is possible that both were defective in some way, but more likely it is a characteristic of that particular model.

So I swapped those with a pair of stock Sapphire 5870s. Standard stock blower fan. The Sapphires were fine; mining with auto fan is relatively quiet with those. Well, 'quiet' relative to the Asus. Wink

I also have some Gigabyte 5870s, the models with the dual fan. I find them to be very quiet as well on auto fan.

One thing you can do (though it is an additional expense) is to replace the stock cooler with a 3rd party heatsink/fan. I've used a couple of Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro ... I find their tolerances to be hit and miss, so I avoid those now. I've had great success with the Zalman VF3000A; those are very quiet and efficient coolers. You can also do water cooling, but don't jump into that unless you take a hard look at expense vs payback.

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P4man
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January 17, 2012, 03:45:34 PM
 #12

Agreed with everything Epoch said. Though aftermarket cooling is usually quite pricey for a mining rig, choosing a dual fan card does not cost much extra. MSI twin frozr cards are impressively quiet in my experience (much more than the single fan Sapphire I have). Of course you can also go overboard like I did with one of my 5870s:



Mining at 40C (55C on the VRMs)  and not a whisper Smiley. But the price is fairly insane too.

Bang for buck, the Battle-Axe you see on the front card on that photo is hard to beat. I bought a few at 8 euro a piece, and they do a damn good job on my 5850s at least. If you can afford the space (triple slot cooler).

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