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Author Topic: Does windows really use more power than linux?  (Read 3988 times)
DrG
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March 01, 2012, 05:41:39 PM
 #21

Well I dropped in a FX4100 into one of my GD70s and clocked it down to 800MHz via BIOS (after I installed Win 7 SP1).  Didn't bother to do windows updates or put on an antivirus.  I put on 11.7 drivers, MSI Afterburner and Trixx and managed to get 4 6870s to 970/190MHz.  Rig pulls 580W from the wall (according to my Kill-a-watt) on a 120V line using a Antec Neo Eco 620W PSU (running latest CGMiner and hashing at 1.24GH/s).  It's been running stable for almost 3 months now.  Maybe I should turn off all the Win 7 eye candy, but the rig is a dedicated miner so I don't think it matters.  Maybe I could turn off some services but I don't think it's worth my time.  The only time it seems sluggish is remote login though logmein.

I would have used a cheaper CPU but I got the 4100 and a board for $100 at Microcenter and sold the board for $130 so the CPU cost me -$30 Tongue

Linux probably can't be beat for peak efficiency but if you don't have time to learn linux Win7 is not a bad option.  The hard drive cost is probably the biggest downside to a Win7 rig.

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Kettenmonster
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bool eval(bool b){return b ? b==true : b==false;}


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March 01, 2012, 08:30:32 PM
 #22

uhm ... linux or win is running on the cpus while mining is mostly done on the gpus.  Huh

The paining (sic!) is done with the QPainter class inside the paintEvent() method.
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March 02, 2012, 06:14:03 PM
 #23

So much FUD in this thread it is unbelievable.

Linux being unstable ? LOL.

Read some computer books because your knowledge about OSes sucks.
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March 02, 2012, 07:06:34 PM
 #24

Okay, unstable was the wrong term. The distro I was using, linuxcoin, proved to be fairly unstable FOR ME. No disrespect to the guy(s) who worked on it as it is great for many people.

Linux is just fine if you know what you're doing. I was mostly pointing to the fact that I don't believe there is a huge power savings and as noob I felt like I was led to believe there was.

Of course, there are added costs to windows rigs, licenses and drives. Drives are coming WAY down, especially the 30gb SSD's. Just bought two for $30 each and they use 2 watts at peak.

Didn't intend to start a windows/linux war. Linux just has driven me insane for months and I think newer miners should know they don't HAVE to go the linux route to be efficient. I lost more money with rigs that wouldn't run than I ever would have if I had just started with windows. Even if I had to buy the licenses and drives.

Just putting this out there for new miners, UPTIME is everything, the rest is negligible when you do the math. Yes, an efficient linux machine might costs $200 less(windows license+drive) but if it doesn't run consistently or you can't get it working for weeks, you've lost more than that already.

I estimate I lost about 300 potentially mined coins screwing around with linux. At current prices that is $1500. Had I started right away and bought 9 SSD's for my rigs at $99 each(64gb) I'd still be ahead since I have the licenses.

even if you buy 7 home premium when it's on sale at newegg for 79.99 and a $50 30Gb ssd that's $130 per rig, still would have only cost $1170 for 9 rigs.

Nevermind, you can sell the windows with a built rig down the road and the SSD. Not so much with used thumb drives.
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March 02, 2012, 11:37:18 PM
 #25

I'll echo some of the other positions in the thread as well.  While I've honestly yet to try Linux (and heard it's great), I'm simply comfortable using Windows and haven't had any OS problems on any of my rigs at all.  Firewall, antivirus, configured updates and that's it.  Remote w/Logmein and watching a pool and it's so far served as a great check to see things if they're working fine or not.

It might be much faster to set up a system with Linux though, but again, uptime is everything.

Oh Loaded, who art up in Mt. Gox, hallowed be thy name!  Thy dollars rain, thy will be done, on BTCUSD.  Give us this day our daily 10% 30%, and forgive the bears, as we have bought their bitcoins.  And lead us into quadruple digits
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March 03, 2012, 03:31:13 AM
 #26

I'll echo some of the other positions in the thread as well.  While I've honestly yet to try Linux (and heard it's great), I'm simply comfortable using Windows and haven't had any OS problems on any of my rigs at all.  Firewall, antivirus, configured updates and that's it.  Remote w/Logmein and watching a pool and it's so far served as a great check to see things if they're working fine or not.

It might be much faster to set up a system with Linux though, but again, uptime is everything.
My most stable miners were also the easiest to set up, and they run BAMT. lodcrappo did a great job on it.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
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March 04, 2012, 01:47:00 AM
 #27

Okay, unstable was the wrong term. The distro I was using, linuxcoin, proved to be fairly unstable FOR ME. No disrespect to the guy(s) who worked on it as it is great for many people.

Linux is just fine if you know what you're doing. I was mostly pointing to the fact that I don't believe there is a huge power savings and as noob I felt like I was led to believe there was.

Of course, there are added costs to windows rigs, licenses and drives. Drives are coming WAY down, especially the 30gb SSD's. Just bought two for $30 each and they use 2 watts at peak.

Didn't intend to start a windows/linux war. Linux just has driven me insane for months and I think newer miners should know they don't HAVE to go the linux route to be efficient. I lost more money with rigs that wouldn't run than I ever would have if I had just started with windows. Even if I had to buy the licenses and drives.

Just putting this out there for new miners, UPTIME is everything, the rest is negligible when you do the math. Yes, an efficient linux machine might costs $200 less(windows license+drive) but if it doesn't run consistently or you can't get it working for weeks, you've lost more than that already.

I estimate I lost about 300 potentially mined coins screwing around with linux. At current prices that is $1500. Had I started right away and bought 9 SSD's for my rigs at $99 each(64gb) I'd still be ahead since I have the licenses.

even if you buy 7 home premium when it's on sale at newegg for 79.99 and a $50 30Gb ssd that's $130 per rig, still would have only cost $1170 for 9 rigs.

Nevermind, you can sell the windows with a built rig down the road and the SSD. Not so much with used thumb drives.


Run the win7 trial and use the command prompt to do the slmgr -rearm to get extra time...even when it expires it runs fine mining...mine has been expired for 4 months at least and it has only been shut off when the power went out.  Other than that it is solid. 

I run a phenom x4 955 with the MSI gd70 and 5x5830's.  I run 240vac on a dedicated line that connects directly to the breaker panel (originally I was running 4 machines, 14 gpus).
superfastkyle
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March 07, 2012, 07:56:02 PM
 #28

I haven't found any noticeable power difference between linux and windows, but there definitely is a difference in watts used on how hot your gpu's are running. Sometimes adding a fan or two lowers your wattage. that goes for power supply's too they like running cooler. Getting airflow on all sides by a stand or suspending them someway almost always saves 8-10 watts for me
jjshabadoo
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March 07, 2012, 10:24:47 PM
 #29

The key in windows is setting your machine to high performance for the set-up phase and then  once your rig is stable, settings are saved in your miner, turn on your lowest power save setting, set it to never sleep or hibernate, but set it to turn off the display after 1 minute(lowest setting). Then you can go into your bios and downclock your cpu, turn off extra motherboard features not being used, usb 3.0, hd audio, 1394 port, motherboard led's etc.

restart and you're good to go.

Also, if you are a student you can a super cheap copy of windows 7 and load it onto as many machines as you want, they are not as strict with those keys.

Oh and set your machine to NOT update ever. Just go in and do it manually if you feel the need.

You also shouldn't need any anti-virus if it's a truly dedicated miner with no bitcoin client/wallet. If you do use one, I think security essentials utilizes the least resources and it's free.

The biggest pain I've run into so far is loading different drivers/SDK combos, but there are plenty of tutorials on that. I just found that mixed cards don't like it much(6xxx with 5xxx series) on the same machine. In linux it doesn't seem to matter at all.

To DrG, I really don't think your RAM truly down clocked if you're getting about 1.2GH/s and 580 watts at the wall, that's only about a 2/1 Mh/W ratio and if you can truly down clock the RAM on those cards you should be able to get to 2.5/1 Mh/W

I have a machine with a 6990 and 6970 with engine at 900, mem at 800 doing 1.2 and pulling 620 at the wall. With no down clocked cpu or mobo features turned off yet(still working on how to really down clock the me on those cards)

So If you really had your mem down clocked to those levels you should be saving 20-30 watts per card.
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March 07, 2012, 10:33:00 PM
 #30

The key in windows is setting your machine to high performance for the set-up phase and then  once your rig is stable, settings are saved in your miner, turn on your lowest power save setting, set it to never sleep or hibernate, but set it to turn off the display after 1 minute(lowest setting). Then you can go into your bios and downclock your cpu, turn off extra motherboard features not being used, usb 3.0, hd audio, 1394 port, motherboard led's etc.

restart and you're good to go.

Also, if you are a student you can a super cheap copy of windows 7 and load it onto as many machines as you want, they are not as strict with those keys.

Oh and set your machine to NOT update ever. Just go in and do it manually if you feel the need.

You also shouldn't need any anti-virus if it's a truly dedicated miner with no bitcoin client/wallet. If you do use one, I think security essentials utilizes the least resources and it's free.

The biggest pain I've run into so far is loading different drivers/SDK combos, but there are plenty of tutorials on that. I just found that mixed cards don't like it much(6xxx with 5xxx series) on the same machine. In linux it doesn't seem to matter at all.

To DrG, I really don't think your RAM truly down clocked if you're getting about 1.2GH/s and 580 watts at the wall, that's only about a 2/1 Mh/W ratio and if you can truly down clock the RAM on those cards you should be able to get to 2.5/1 Mh/W

I have a machine with a 6990 and 6970 with engine at 900, mem at 800 doing 1.2 and pulling 620 at the wall. With no down clocked cpu or mobo features turned off yet(still working on how to really down clock the me on those cards)

So If you really had your mem down clocked to those levels you should be saving 20-30 watts per card.

I've got an Intel Core Duo 2.13ghz that I underclocked to 1.6ghz and disabled a core, but I found that the miners (even at aggression level Cool wouldn't always operate at full efficiency.... I killed off all the extraneous services, processes, etc... but it was still using a decent amt of CPU cycle..   

So now both cores are active & agg is 9 & the mhash isn't flopping around like it used to.

Dacentec, best deals for US dedicated servers. They regularly restock $20-$25 Opterons with 8-16GB RAM & 2x1-2TB HDD's (ofc, usually lots of other good stuff to choose from).  I did a Serverbear benchmark of one of my $20/mo Opteron (June last year), it's here.  Have had about a half dozen different servers with Dacentec, & none have failed to sustain at least 40MB/s (burst higher). My favorite is a 12-month rent-to-own ZT Systems 2XL5520 16GB 2x2TB SATA for $40/month (got lucky with the 'off-brand', haven't seen a RTO 2xL5520 for under $50/mo since -- at least for monthly contracts).  wholesaleinternet.com has some ancient 2-core intel CPUs @ $10/mo sometimes (I got an Intel Core 2 6300 @ 1.86GHz, with a 250GB HDD with 46000 hours on it, LOL. $20 @ Dacentec is much better, if you can grab one). joesdatacenter.com (same location as Wholesale Internet) also occasionally has specials (or if you don't want to wait, it has an AMD Opteron 170 @ $16/mo).
DrG
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March 08, 2012, 01:24:16 AM
 #31

To DrG, I really don't think your RAM truly down clocked if you're getting about 1.2GH/s and 580 watts at the wall, that's only about a 2/1 Mh/W ratio and if you can truly down clock the RAM on those cards you should be able to get to 2.5/1 Mh/W

I have a machine with a 6990 and 6970 with engine at 900, mem at 800 doing 1.2 and pulling 620 at the wall. With no down clocked cpu or mobo features turned off yet(still working on how to really down clock the me on those cards)

So If you really had your mem down clocked to those levels you should be saving 20-30 watts per card.

Well I did see the discussions here about people stating they set memory to 300 or some lower number but GPU-Z reported it still at stock clocks.  So I reinstalled a rig today to free up a 2TB HD.  On my Kill-a-watt it reads 680 Watts at load for 4 6870s with 955/1050.  I let the system run for 10 min to reach operating temps.  When I drop them all down to 955/185 I get the pull dropping to 580 watts, about 25 watts down per card.  Afterburner, Trixx and GPU-Z all showed the drop down to 185MHz for the RAM and the temps instantly dropped 2-4C on all the cards.

I don't know of any definitive way to confirm the drop, all the reading seem to indicate that it using less power and memory did drop o 185MHz.  As far as the MH/W, I'm only using the 120V line so that drops my efficiency, and my PSUs are probably all only bronze rated (not the super crazy efficient 1200 W Seasonics) - so I'm not expecting super efficiency (I just want to use the bare minimum PSU to mine safely).

I do have 4 6950s but I split them up over 3 rigs - they only hash 50 more than the 6870s but run a lot hotter even though they're dual fan versions.  I guess I could merge them into a single rig and see what I get (I think the 69xx are more efficient than the 68xx).

jjshabadoo
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March 08, 2012, 05:35:45 AM
 #32

well based on what you're saying then you are probably right, 25 watts per card would make sense. I just built a 6990 with two 6970's and have been struggling to find a way to get lower memclocks without a bios flash for the cards. So thanks and maybe i'll try your system.

I do have the 1250 gold seasonics, so hopefully those will help and I run semprons, etc.

Thanks for the info.
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