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Author Topic: The best selling FPGA board  (Read 9415 times)
rjk
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March 24, 2012, 01:16:50 AM
 #81

The only other thing I can think of is that Ztex seems to have far lower power use than any of the others. Isn't it like 8 watts for a single chip at 200Mhash? If you double that for 2 chips that makes 16 watts, which is still lower than x6500 iirc.

Well yeah, half the power for half the hashes...

fizzisist beat me to posting the x6500 numbers, but the ztex is told to be 9.4W for 190-230MH/s.

So there isn't really all that much difference among the FPGA boards in general, except for BFL  Roll Eyes
OK, I thought last time I looked that x6500 was closer to 25 watts. I was not correct obviously.

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TheSeven
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March 24, 2012, 10:30:40 AM
 #82

I think that was at the wall, including PSU losses, extra fans, ... and probably measured with an inaccurate killawatt. The 16.4W is measured on the 12V rail, directly at the board, using accurate DMMs

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March 30, 2012, 03:03:23 PM
 #83

Hum, why no warranty period is mentioned? Added below.



BFL Single:
  • Excellent price/performance ratio for an FPGA board
  • Temperature sensors
  • Shipped from USA
  • Warranty period: 6 months
  • Very high power consumption and heat dissipation for an FPGA board
  • High lead times
  • Very odd communication protocol, causes quite some inefficiencies
  • Completely unusable with P2Pool (>50% stales)
  • Overheats really easily
  • Not stackable

Icarus:
  • Lots of expansion headers and I/Os routed, thus extensible, and possibly usable for other FPGA projects
  • Probably the most heat robust board
  • Stackable
  • Shipped from China
  • Warranty period: None
  • Uses speed grade 2 FPGA, thus ~20-30MH/s less than the other Spartan6 boards
  • No heatsink mounting holes
  • No temperature sensors
  • Discontinued

X6500 Rev. 3:
  • Spartan 6 Speed grade 3 FPGA
  • Molex power connector (additionally to barrel connector)
  • Standard 3pin molex fan headers
  • Heatsink mounting holes
  • Temperature sensors
  • Fresh batch currently shipping (available at Cablesaurus)
  • Can be cooled by big fans from the side (low noise level)
  • Stackable
  • Shipped from USA
  • Warranty period: None
  • Relatively high miner software CPU load due to interface design issues, will be fixed in future revisions

ZTEX:
  • Spartan 6 Speed grade 3 FPGA
  • Standard 3pin molex fan headers
  • Low lead times
  • Heatsink mounting holes
  • Stackable
  • Warranty period: 2 years
  • Shipped from Germany
  • Only a single FPGA, thus relatively high price, especially at low quantities
  • Relatively high miner software CPU load due to interface design issues
  • No temperature sensors

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March 31, 2012, 01:08:54 AM
 #84

I wonder what Lancelot is

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March 31, 2012, 03:28:52 AM
 #85

My guess for Lancelot

Here is what I gathered from ngzhang's posts:

- Lancelot is a motherboard
- Has a temperature sensor
- Updatable without JTAG/dev cable
  (my guess is USB or whatever it uses to connect to a host)
- Supports CAN or RS485 specification for chaining
- Uses FTDI UART chip
- MCU friendly config port (?? USB > MCU?)
- Will be designed from ground up for Bitcoin mining
  (Icarus was/is a development board)

My own imagination tells me:

- The motherboard itself doesn't have any FPGA chips
- The motherboards uses standard ATX PSU connectors
- The motherboard supports X daughterboards, which have the FPGA's on them
- The daughterboards may have multiple FPGAs on them
- The daughterboards either support stock CPU coolers and/or
  they are arranged in a way that they can be cooled passively

I am not exactly sure what having an FTDI UART chip on board will allow them to do. Is this just for chaining or also for communicating with the host? Does the FTDI UART chip take care of USB communication or is this usually handled by the USB MCU? Would FTDI UART allow using an ethernet interface to connect to the host?
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FPGA convert


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April 06, 2012, 01:01:42 AM
 #86

Hum, why no warranty period is mentioned? Added below.



BFL Single:
  • Excellent price/performance ratio for an FPGA board
  • Temperature sensors
  • Shipped from USA
  • Warranty period: 6 months
  • Very high power consumption and heat dissipation for an FPGA board
  • High lead times
  • Very odd communication protocol, causes quite some inefficiencies
  • Completely unusable with P2Pool (>50% stales)
  • Overheats really easily
  • Not stackable

Icarus:
  • Lots of expansion headers and I/Os routed, thus extensible, and possibly usable for other FPGA projects
  • Probably the most heat robust board
  • Stackable
  • Shipped from China
  • Warranty period: None
  • Uses speed grade 2 FPGA, thus ~20-30MH/s less than the other Spartan6 boards
  • No heatsink mounting holes
  • No temperature sensors
  • Discontinued

X6500 Rev. 3:
  • Spartan 6 Speed grade 3 FPGA
  • Molex power connector (additionally to barrel connector)
  • Standard 3pin molex fan headers
  • Heatsink mounting holes
  • Temperature sensors
  • Fresh batch currently shipping (available at Cablesaurus)
  • Can be cooled by big fans from the side (low noise level)
  • Stackable
  • Shipped from USA
  • Warranty period: None
  • Relatively high miner software CPU load due to interface design issues, will be fixed in future revisions

ZTEX:
  • Spartan 6 Speed grade 3 FPGA
  • Standard 3pin molex fan headers
  • Low lead times
  • Heatsink mounting holes
  • Stackable
  • Warranty period: 2 years
  • Shipped from Germany
  • Only a single FPGA, thus relatively high price, especially at low quantities
  • Relatively high miner software CPU load due to interface design issues
  • No temperature sensors



hmmmmmmmmmmm... I got about 5 grand I am looking to invest in FPGA.  I think this just sold me.  BFL it is.  I will wait the 2 months.  And I disagree that a BFL is 900 dollars since you could make 300 bucks while you wait.  That is just stupid math lmfao

I buy and sell GPUs, most 5850s and 7970s. 
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http://myworld.ebay.com/i_buy_5850s  -- current inventory
I have a couple bare bone mining rigs for sale as well.

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matthewh3
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April 06, 2012, 01:11:27 AM
 #87

Hum, why no warranty period is mentioned? Added below.



hmmmmmmmmmmm... I got about 5 grand I am looking to invest in FPGA.  I think this just sold me.  BFL it is.  I will wait the 2 months.  And I disagree that a BFL is 900 dollars since you could make 300 bucks while you wait.  That is just stupid math lmfao

I got fed up of waiting for a BFL so cancelled my order for something else.  Also a BFL would take over eight months to pay for its sell at today's difficulty and exchange rate and the warranty is only six months plus none have been running out in the wild for seven months yet.  BFL may just being doing such a short warranty as they don't expect being able to replace the model for another of the same model or they may be worried of a short life for their boards due to the chips burning out?

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April 06, 2012, 04:54:50 AM
 #88

x6500 is king Cheesy

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May 02, 2012, 12:25:01 AM
 #89

It looked like the first post was a little out of date with regard to BFL Single. Here's a G+ "blog" post about it by me:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108313527900507320366/posts/2ztAhLnXQKm
Dhomochevsky
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May 02, 2012, 10:45:13 AM
 #90

The first post is about numbers of shipped units, not ordered ones. There are people that ordered a single back in february/march and still haven't received them. I do agree though, the first post needs some updating. Ztex recently launched a quad Spartan board and his figures (and x6500's) may need some adjusting. If anyone can give some updates on these figures it would help...
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May 03, 2012, 12:20:06 AM
 #91

hmmmmmmmmmmm... I got about 5 grand I am looking to invest in FPGA.  I think this just sold me.  BFL it is.  I will wait the 2 months.  And I disagree that a BFL is 900 dollars since you could make 300 bucks while you wait.  That is just stupid math lmfao

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=78239.0

Add this one to the list. With the introductory pricing it looks amazing and will probably sell quite a few units very fast. They don't seem to have the production issues BFL is plagued with.

Buy & Hold
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May 03, 2012, 12:48:55 AM
 #92

Did anybody ever calculate the estimated hashing power coming from (known) FPGAs sold compared to the total network hashing power?

It would be very interesting to see where we are right now. And of course, it will be a guess at best, nothing accurate. If not, I may just do that on a slow day (which is rare these days).
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May 03, 2012, 05:13:35 PM
 #93

Did anybody ever calculate the estimated hashing power coming from (known) FPGAs sold compared to the total network hashing power?

It would be very interesting to see where we are right now. And of course, it will be a guess at best, nothing accurate. If not, I may just do that on a slow day (which is rare these days).


We don't have exact numbers how many FPGAs are in the wild, but I'd estimate that around 5% of the network hashrate are coming from FPGAs these days.

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disclaimer201
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May 03, 2012, 09:17:22 PM
 #94

Aren't you guys worried about never paying off your wonderfully efficient FPGAs due to Largecoin/ ASICs?

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May 03, 2012, 09:38:16 PM
 #95

Aren't you guys worried about never paying off your wonderfully efficient FPGAs due to Largecoin/ ASICs?

Why would that happen? FPGAs are well within profitable operating range. Even at high electricity prices, the operating expense is just like 10% of the mining income. So unless the difficulty explodes by a factor of ten, this would just delay the payoff.

In order to double difficulty you'd have to invest like $15M into largecoin units. In order to make FPGAs unprofitable you'd have to invest like $150M, and your own payoff would take ages as well, even assuming you control 90% of BTC production (at the current exchange rates, and if those increase you'd have to invest even more to kick the FPGAs out) that would take like 15 years, not counting interest rates.

FPGAs are certainly a threat to GPUs these days, but ASICs aren't one to FPGAs because of the similarly high investment cost (which becomes the dominating factor instead of operating expense, as for the GPUs).

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May 03, 2012, 11:13:16 PM
 #96

Aren't you guys worried about never paying off your wonderfully efficient FPGAs due to Largecoin/ ASICs?

Why would that happen? FPGAs are well within profitable operating range. Even at high electricity prices, the operating expense is just like 10% of the mining income. So unless the difficulty explodes by a factor of ten, this would just delay the payoff.

In order to double difficulty you'd have to invest like $15M into largecoin units. In order to make FPGAs unprofitable you'd have to invest like $150M, and your own payoff would take ages as well, even assuming you control 90% of BTC production (at the current exchange rates, and if those increase you'd have to invest even more to kick the FPGAs out) that would take like 15 years, not counting interest rates.

FPGAs are certainly a threat to GPUs these days, but ASICs aren't one to FPGAs because of the similarly high investment cost (which becomes the dominating factor instead of operating expense, as for the GPUs).

Thank you, I'm now planning to buy some FPGAs. Just not sure which one. I don't want to wait forever and end up paying high duty fees here in Europe for those coming from USA. Aren't their european/chinese alternatives? Anyway, will read some more.

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May 03, 2012, 11:49:46 PM
 #97

Aren't you guys worried about never paying off your wonderfully efficient FPGAs due to Largecoin/ ASICs?

Why would that happen? FPGAs are well within profitable operating range. Even at high electricity prices, the operating expense is just like 10% of the mining income. So unless the difficulty explodes by a factor of ten, this would just delay the payoff.

In order to double difficulty you'd have to invest like $15M into largecoin units. In order to make FPGAs unprofitable you'd have to invest like $150M, and your own payoff would take ages as well, even assuming you control 90% of BTC production (at the current exchange rates, and if those increase you'd have to invest even more to kick the FPGAs out) that would take like 15 years, not counting interest rates.

FPGAs are certainly a threat to GPUs these days, but ASICs aren't one to FPGAs because of the similarly high investment cost (which becomes the dominating factor instead of operating expense, as for the GPUs).

Thank you, I'm now planning to buy some FPGAs. Just not sure which one. I don't want to wait forever and end up paying high duty fees here in Europe for those coming from USA. Aren't their european/chinese alternatives? Anyway, will read some more.

Yeah, ztex.  I think they are in Germany.

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