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Author Topic: Butterfly Labs - Bitforce Single and Mini Rig Box  (Read 176257 times)
BFL-Engineer
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February 23, 2012, 07:54:05 PM
 #101

This runs true for even those people who live in cold climate countries / areas; running an FPGA card in a heated room can result in poor mh/s. 22C is a good temperature but real world ambient tempuratures tend to be much higher.

The BitFORCE can operate up to 27C without throttling (or perhaps 20 max seconds every 12 minutes).
Beyond this temperature, the unit may  go through throttle cycles more often. This may be improved
very soon. We'll do our best to keep the community informed.


Regards,

BF Labs Inc.  www.butterflylabs.com   -  Bitcoin Mining Hardware
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February 23, 2012, 08:34:49 PM
 #102

The BitFORCE can operate up to 27C without throttling (or perhaps 20 max seconds every 12 minutes).
Beyond this temperature, the unit may  go through throttle cycles more often. This may be improved
very soon. We'll do our best to keep the community informed.

I think the option of blinking the front LED when the unit is under a throttle condition is a good one; it gives a quick visual of the 'health' of the unit. If the LED is steady, we can be sure that we are getting full speed without constantly having to monitor the hashrate. I'd rather 'set and forget' it; put it in a corner and glance at the LED once in a while to ensure it doesn't need additional cooling.

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February 23, 2012, 08:44:21 PM
 #103

OK. Now that the product seems to be genuine I have some questions for you all :

-what do you think will happen with the rest of the network ? Will all GPU miners cease to be profitable like the CPU miners ?

-has all the FPGA competition been wiped out with this weapon ?

-what will an ASIC do to the bitcoin network ?

-could this still be a long con and how can we see the warning signs in that case ?

Discuss !
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February 23, 2012, 09:02:09 PM
 #104

it seems like water cooling might be a good option for these units, both from a performance and noise perspective.
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February 23, 2012, 09:08:23 PM
 #105

the heatsink is glued on isnt it, not much can be done other than pointing a fan at it

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February 23, 2012, 09:10:22 PM
 #106

the heatsink is glued on isnt it, not much can be done other than pointing a fan at it

Running it with the side cover removed would likely help; those exhaust holes in the side panels are quite small.

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February 23, 2012, 09:10:59 PM
 #107



bulanula, are you feeling ok?

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February 23, 2012, 09:15:49 PM
 #108

it seems like water cooling might be a good option for these units, both from a performance and noise perspective.

That was my first thought.  Since they appear to be the thermally limited I wonder if you could get 900 MH/s with watercooling.

Two problems
a) no mounting holes.  If it had any kind of pushthrough mounting holes you could use a universal northbridge water waterblock.

b) it looks like heatsink is epoxied on ?  If so removing it is going to be tough and depending on the thermal epoxy used you might not be able to get enough of it off to get a smooth surface for mounting.

Maybe in revision b?  A unit sold w/ no heat sinks or fans for watercooling?
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February 23, 2012, 09:29:06 PM
 #109

OK. Now that the product seems to be genuine I have some questions for you all :

-what do you think will happen with the rest of the network ? Will all GPU miners cease to be profitable like the CPU miners ? What about free elec people ?

-has all the FPGA competition been wiped out with this weapon ?

-what will an ASIC do to the bitcoin network ?

-could this still be a long con and how can we see the warning signs in that case ?

Discuss !

Point 1: The network may see a little hash rate.  Sure, it'll enable some people to start up mining again who originally quit because they were on the wrong side of the break-even point.  But a 5970 can do 550 MH/s @ 97W (over system idle anyway), so another 300 MH/s at 17W less isn't going to be a huge game-changer.  It's not like when everybody else was chugging along with 20 KH/s and then GPUs came along putting down a few GH/s on a single rig.

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February 23, 2012, 11:06:27 PM
 #110

has this been tested on a machine with GPU's mining as well?

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February 23, 2012, 11:35:07 PM
 #111

has this been tested on a machine with GPU's mining as well?

Yes, I saw a picture of cgminer handling one of these and two GPUs on another thread while I was at school today.

Also, @mouse:  "Seal Cub Clubbing Club" <-- lol

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February 24, 2012, 12:22:31 AM
 #112

Forgive me if someone asked already but I did not see it.

1. What platform is the included software for.  Must I run Windows or can I plug these into my Linux systems and have them play happily?

2. Why is BTC not an option for payment?

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February 24, 2012, 12:30:07 AM
 #113

it seems like water cooling might be a good option for these units, both from a performance and noise perspective.

That was my first thought.  Since they appear to be the thermally limited I wonder if you could get 900 MH/s with watercooling.

Two problems
a) no mounting holes.  If it had any kind of pushthrough mounting holes you could use a universal northbridge water waterblock.

that would be ideal, but with such a small board size, i'm sure we could come up with some kind system, when coupled with an adhesive TIM, it would only be partially responsible for anchoring the water block.

Quote
b) it looks like heatsink is epoxied on ?  If so removing it is going to be tough and depending on the thermal epoxy used you might not be able to get enough of it off to get a smooth surface for mounting.

if they used actual thermal epoxy, it might indeed be a daunting task to remove the heatsink.  we'd need to know if it's naked silicon under the heatsink, or if there is a metal cap that the heatsink attaches to.  if its capped, often a razor blade and some patience go a long way, and you can scrape and sand any residue that can't be removed with a solvent.  can't do that with naked silicon.
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February 24, 2012, 12:32:22 AM
 #114

Forgive me if someone asked already but I did not see it.

1. What platform is the included software for.  Must I run Windows or can I plug these into my Linux systems and have them play happily?

2. Why is BTC not an option for payment?

weird, pretty sure it was.  still is there on the rig box, but not the singles.
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February 24, 2012, 12:47:07 AM
 #115

One of those people claims to have seen their operator with "tons" of singles all over the place. If they can really produce 20-40-80 a week, they're going to sell like hot cakes. The fact Icarus uses 50% less power isn't going to win a lot of people over. Power is cheap, power for FPGAs is very minor. Unless you're spending $15k-$50k the power savings isn't worth the farm being 50% slower. No one is going to pay the same amount of money to get something half as fast. People are running 500-800-1200 watt monsters, some people multiple gpu rigs, 80watts a pop per butterfly single is a fraction of what they likely use right now.

So I'd argue $600 for 832mhash for 80 watts does blow the other FPGAs out of the water. Now that we know they're at least shipping units, we're more pictures/proof coming over the next week I'm sure, they're going to get a lot of orders.

But it's likely they won't be able to keep up with demand and the other FPGAs will get bought and supported. But there's going to be quite a few disappearing because they just can't match the price/performance. Hopefully they keep pushing the improve but these butterfly singles are really impressive.

If the butterfly, X6500, ztex, icarus are all available to order, people are going to buy the butterfly single. The saving grace is the butterfly singles likely aren't available in a timely manner, but that can change. The other guys aren't likely to get twice as fast in the same time span it takes butterfly to get up to speed.

-has all the FPGA competition been wiped out with this weapon ?
Yeah, now that there are 2 whole units out there everyone else should pack it up and go home.
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February 24, 2012, 12:55:23 AM
 #116

One of those people claims to have seen their operator with "tons" of singles all over the place. If they can really produce 20-40-80 a week, they're going to sell like hot cakes. The fact Icarus uses 50% less power isn't going to win a lot of people over. Power is cheap, power for FPGAs is very minor. Unless you're spending $15k-$50k the power savings isn't worth the farm being 50% slower. No one is going to pay the same amount of money to get something half as fast. People are running 500-800-1200 watt monsters, some people multiple gpu rigs, 80watts a pop per butterfly single is a fraction of what they likely use right now.

So I'd argue $600 for 832mhash for 80 watts does blow the other FPGAs out of the water. Now that we know they're at least shipping units, we're more pictures/proof coming over the next week I'm sure, they're going to get a lot of orders.

But it's likely they won't be able to keep up with demand and the other FPGAs will get bought and supported. But there's going to be quite a few disappearing because they just can't match the price/performance. Hopefully they keep pushing the improve but these butterfly singles are really impressive.

If the butterfly, X6500, ztex, icarus are all available to order, people are going to buy the butterfly single. The saving grace is the butterfly singles likely aren't available in a timely manner, but that can change. The other guys aren't likely to get twice as fast in the same time span it takes butterfly to get up to speed.

-has all the FPGA competition been wiped out with this weapon ?
Yeah, now that there are 2 whole units out there everyone else should pack it up and go home.

how is BFL getting roughly 2.1x MH that the others are getting?  is it purely a fx of the higher wattage and this on supposedly an older chip?  or are they doing something fundametally different?
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February 24, 2012, 12:56:07 AM
 #117

2. Why is BTC not an option for payment?
This.  I would be even more tempted to buy one now if I could pay in BTC.

Although I think I'll wait for revision 2 (I know it will be awhile)

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February 24, 2012, 12:58:08 AM
 #118

2. Why is BTC not an option for payment?
This.  I would be even more tempted to buy one now if I could pay in BTC.

Although I think I'll wait for revision 2 (I know it will be awhile)

BTC used to be an option. Email them and ask. From what people say, they usually answer emails in a timely manner.
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February 24, 2012, 01:03:20 AM
 #119

how is BFL getting roughly 2.1x MH that the others are getting?  is it purely a fx of the higher wattage and this on supposedly an older chip?  or are they doing something fundametally different?

No clue. Maybe they're just selling the more chips on a unit for less. However they're doing it, 1.38 mhash/1$ is really impressive.
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February 24, 2012, 01:47:45 AM
 #120

if they used actual thermal epoxy, it might indeed be a daunting task to remove the heatsink.  we'd need to know if it's naked silicon under the heatsink, or if there is a metal cap that the heatsink attaches to.  if its capped, often a razor blade and some patience go a long way, and you can scrape and sand any residue that can't be removed with a solvent.  can't do that with naked silicon.

It has a heat spreader (no naked silicon).  Still rather daunting.  I guess BFL might be willing to sell boards with no heatsink or thermal epoxy but mounting a waterblock w/ thermal epoxy isn't something I would be comfortable with.  Not the kind of wattage (thermal load) we are talking about here.  Obviously the current cooling system is sub-optimal and they might be looking to change.  If/when they do I hope they put some push pin holes in the board even if they aren't used.  That would allow alternative cooling.  Not just watercooling but miner's experimenting w/ larger cpu style heatpipe heatsink fan assemblies.
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