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Author Topic: Mining on an older mobo: Practical?  (Read 1679 times)
Garr255
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What's a GPU?


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January 24, 2012, 05:26:58 AM
 #1

I have an older server box that has three PCI slots. Yeah, that's right, PCI. Yes I know that it is extremely hard to make any current day card compatible with PCI, I was just wondering if anybody had stumbled upon an old PCI GPU that is capable of mining and has a decent (~50mh/s) hashrate.

Please do not answer "upgrade the mobo" or "no.", as these answers do not help anyone and only further clutter these forums. Plus I'm 16 and don't have a job so building an entire new rig is not very feasible as of now.

Also I'm buying cards from the 58xx series if you're willing to sell for cheap!

Thanks for the help,
Garrett

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DeathAndTaxes
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Gerald Davis


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January 24, 2012, 05:38:36 AM
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No.  The only PCI GPU are 4000 series and they are worthless for mining.

You could use PCI->PCIe extenders but it isn't cost effective.

Honestly MB, CPU, RAM is a trivial amount compared to the cost of multiple high end GPU and PSU.

If you are buying 58xx cards then it doesn't make sense to waste time, money, resources getting them to work w/ an obsolete board.
Garr255
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January 24, 2012, 06:02:30 AM
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Okay, I guess I'll put my current rig in a self-built case that can hold 5 GPUs, two of them being connected to PCI-e x1 slots.

Thanks for the information though, just wanted to double check before I gave up.

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PatrickHarnett
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January 24, 2012, 07:40:09 AM
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I have used pci to pcie converters in an older P3 server.  It did set fire to the motherboard so that was a negative.
jake262144
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January 24, 2012, 03:40:41 PM
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I have used pci to pcie converters in an older P3 server.  It did set fire to the motherboard so that was a negative.
Set the mobo ablaze? Nice.

The electrical spec allows only for up to 25W for PCI slot. Externally-powered PCI-PCIe extenders must be always used to avoid going out of spec.
Even so, you can forget about reliability...
P4man
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January 24, 2012, 03:57:25 PM
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It did set fire to the motherboard so that was a negative.

Pfft. Nitpicking. And really, it did you a favor Smiley

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January 24, 2012, 04:09:09 PM
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I have used pci to pcie converters in an older P3 server.  It did set fire to the motherboard so that was a negative.

hi there,
you really NEED to use powered pcie risers there. PCI has a maximum power output of 25Watts, while a GPU WILL try to suck out 75. if you use a powered riser, pci-pcie adapters are a fine thing.

@op: mining with that board will be good to go, as long as you can spare the pci->pcie adapters and x1->x16 powered risers. this should be a total of about $30 per slot, but you'll be able to use top-end and efficient GPUs for mining.
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January 24, 2012, 04:54:00 PM
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... this should be a total of about $30 per slot, but you'll be able to use top-end and efficient GPUs for mining.
With 30$ per slot and more than just a couple of slots he might be better off with a new mobo.
Not wise to pump money into crazy doohickeys for a long-dead platform which might or might prove to be mining-grade reliable and stable.
There are a few 890fxa-gd70 cards for 167$ at NewEgg
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Gerald Davis


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January 24, 2012, 05:12:54 PM
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... this should be a total of about $30 per slot, but you'll be able to use top-end and efficient GPUs for mining.
With 30$ per slot and more than just a couple of slots he might be better off with a new mobo.
Not wise to pump money into crazy doohickeys for a long-dead platform which might or might prove to be mining-grade reliable and stable.
There are a few 890fxa-gd70 cards for 167$ at NewEgg

Exactly.  When you consider sempron & 2GB of RAM is ~$30 you are talking <$200 for complete rig (minus GPU & PSU needed anyways).

So spending $100-$120 trying to get some power guzzling P4 era MB to mine simply doesn't make sense.  You are saving what ~$100 for significantly increased idle power load, complexity, and reduced stability?
jake262144
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January 24, 2012, 05:35:25 PM
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You're not even saving that much considering you might sell the old mobo on ebay...
As DAT said, that 200$ for the CPU, mobo, and RAM is pretty inconsequential when your GPUs cost >2000$ per rig.
antares
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January 24, 2012, 05:39:14 PM
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to be honest, that depends.
The OP was talking about some server, and I for example did mine with a SUN Sunfire in the past. Those things are awesome, and they easily cool down 6-8 GPUs at full load overclocked, however they only provide PCI(64bits).

The thing is that it depends. if the OPs server is just some outdated pc that has been repurposed, then yes, buy a new board + cpu, the savings on idle power usage are noteable, and you get things running hazzle-free.
However, if the OP has special hardware or another reason that keeps him from updating his system, pci-pcie adapters are a good choice.
Garr255
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January 25, 2012, 06:26:25 AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone. As of now I only have one 5830 in that old PC, and I'll have two 5850s in my current mining/gaming rig.

Does anyone have a link to a powered pci -> pci-e adapter they have used successfully?

I also have another question about using multiple power supplies, so I'l start another thread.
Here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=61059.0

Thanks again,
Garrett


... this should be a total of about $30 per slot, but you'll be able to use top-end and efficient GPUs for mining.
With 30$ per slot and more than just a couple of slots he might be better off with a new mobo.
Not wise to pump money into crazy doohickeys for a long-dead platform which might or might prove to be mining-grade reliable and stable.
There are a few 890fxa-gd70 cards for 167$ at NewEgg

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”  -- Mahatma Gandhi

Average time between signing on to bitcointalk: Two weeks. Please don't expect responses any faster than that!
BinaryMage
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Ad astra.


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January 26, 2012, 03:14:48 AM
 #13

Thanks for the advice everyone. As of now I only have one 5830 in that old PC, and I'll have two 5850s in my current mining/gaming rig.

Does anyone have a link to a powered pci -> pci-e adapter they have used successfully?

I also have another question about using multiple power supplies, so I'l start another thread.
Here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=61059.0

Thanks again,
Garrett

Buy from Cablesaurus, their products are excellent in my personal experience. (and they accept Bitcoin)

-- BinaryMage -- | OTC | PGP
mimarob
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February 05, 2012, 10:01:25 AM
 #14

yep I'd go for cablesaurus as well

http://cablesaurus.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=21

I'm running it right now and seems to be working, although can be a bit fuzzy with mechanical stability, had to wiggle the card a bit to get it in the right position (pci->pcie card via x8 extender to HD 5830 :-)

Using linuxcoin 0.2b btw, not having to fiddle with the ati-stuff makes me very happy indeed :-)

My mobo has pci-e but does anyone know if this works on PCI-only boards?

Does the GPU's really suck out that much power from the PCI/PCIe-bus?

I though all of the juice went through the Molex connectors?




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