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Author Topic: 1 BTC bounty --- What is the best FPGA unit to buy?  (Read 7971 times)
Miner612
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April 05, 2012, 02:24:03 AM
 #1

I DO NOT want to make my own.  SO ... that being said.  What is the best FPGA mining option?  I hear ButterflyLabs "The Single" is great.  But I do not want to wait 6 weeks to get them.

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I have a couple bare bone mining rigs for sale as well.

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April 05, 2012, 02:37:14 AM
 #2

Icarus is no longer available. Who knows what Lancelot will be(maybe 4x Spartan lx150?) but I believe it will be announced in May. ZTEX is expensive per MH, same efficiency as Icarus, but has a warranty. The X6500 is a fair compromise between Icarus(in that it is available) and ZTEX(MH/$). All these are based on the same FPGAs so they achieve the same MH/W efficiencies.

BFL's Single is a great option in the MH/$ range and it bridges the gap between Spartan LX150 based boards and GPUs(at 10MH/W vs 20MH/W and 2MH/W for LX150 & GPU). The issue is who knows, if you order a single now, when you'll actually receive it and which revision you'll receive.

Lastly, there is the issue of resale/reuse value. I think everyone agrees that the BFL Single is a bitcoin only box at the moment. Icarus could possibly be used as a dev board(people tout Icarus' IO pin count). I have no clue on ZTEX and it sounds like X6500 has a very low IO pin count.

I might have missed a FPGA and the above is all my opinion on FPGAs. Some of it could be wrong.

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April 05, 2012, 03:25:39 AM
 #3

You have not really given enough information for me to suggest a product.
Do you pay much for power, how many do you want to buy, would cooling and power supply be an issue if you planned on a large number of BFL. Are you looking short or long term?

For me open source, power consumption along with a planned long term operation sold me on the Icarus and looking towards the Lancelot. If I was living in a cold climate next door to a hydro power station I would be shopping for GPUs still.

Factors to consider:

  • Bulk buy options
  • Warranty
  • Cost/MH
  • Watts/MH
  • Software, a concern with propitiatory systems and third party software
  • Open or propitiatory
  • Lead time (less than 6 weeks)
  • Customer support
  • Upcoming products for example Lancelot is coming out in May and there is rumor of a new product any day now that is supposedly going to beat the BFL (not holding my breath but then again I didn't think BFL was for real either)





 
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April 05, 2012, 07:10:28 AM
 #4

BFL is the best, but very slow delivery and some buzz in deal.

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April 05, 2012, 10:25:22 AM
 #5



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

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

discontinued:
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

jamesg
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April 05, 2012, 10:34:13 AM
 #6

Let me phrase my answer this way....

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April 05, 2012, 11:49:43 AM
 #7

Lastly, there is the issue of resale/reuse value. I think everyone agrees that the BFL Single is a bitcoin only box at the moment. Icarus could possibly be used as a dev board(people tout Icarus' IO pin count). I have no clue on ZTEX and it sounds like X6500 has a very low IO pin count.

Ztex is the most general-purpose board, and the easiest to develop for. The company has been around for at least 3 years and publishes an SDK for their various FPGA boards: http://www.ztex.de/firmware-kit/ And their products have a 2-year warranty. IMHO, if you care about resale/reuse value, Ztex is the way to go.

I do agree that, in small quantity, Ztex products are expensive. So, buy in bulk Smiley
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April 05, 2012, 05:21:27 PM
 #8

I DO NOT want to make my own.  SO ... that being said.  What is the best FPGA mining option?  I hear ButterflyLabs "The Single" is great.  But I do not want to wait 6 weeks to get them.

1 BTC bounty for help!

I can get you ~800MH/s@~40W boards for $1129 each US delivery $20 European delivery $80 shipped within three weeks with twelve months warranty maybe two years (would have to check that).  The new company is going public very soon.  This board is the cheapest in its class for hashing power, electrical efficiency and warranty the nearest competitor is two of the new x6500 FPGA boards and this works out cheaper.

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April 05, 2012, 06:59:19 PM
 #9

i believe icarus is still available for bulk orders.

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April 05, 2012, 10:34:48 PM
 #10

Quote
This board is the cheapest in its class for hashing power, electrical efficiency and warranty the nearest competitor is two of the new x6500 FPGA boards and this works out cheaper.
Two X6500's (without heatsink) would be 800MH/s@34.4W and $1130USD.

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April 05, 2012, 10:36:30 PM
 #11

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This board is the cheapest in its class for hashing power, electrical efficiency and warranty the nearest competitor is two of the new x6500 FPGA boards and this works out cheaper.
Two X6500's (without heatsink) would be 800MH/s@34.4W and $1130USD.

These have heatsinks.

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April 05, 2012, 10:37:51 PM
 #12

Quote
This board is the cheapest in its class for hashing power, electrical efficiency and warranty the nearest competitor is two of the new x6500 FPGA boards and this works out cheaper.
Two X6500's (without heatsink) would be 800MH/s@34.4W and $1130USD.

These have heatsinks.

These boards you are peddling are most certainly not the "cheapest in its class". You may want to get your facts straight.
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April 05, 2012, 10:38:40 PM
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Quote
This board is the cheapest in its class for hashing power, electrical efficiency and warranty the nearest competitor is two of the new x6500 FPGA boards and this works out cheaper.
Two X6500's (without heatsink) would be 800MH/s@34.4W and $1130USD.

These have heatsinks.

These boards you are peddling are most certainly not the "cheapest in its class". You may want to get your facts straight.

Why which board is cheaper?

edit: if you mean the BFL-Single that only has a six month warranty (this has a minimum of twelve months[maybe two years{I have to clear that up}]) and the BFL-Single operates at twice the wattage.  As I said two of the new x6500 is its nearest competitor and this board works out cheaper.

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April 05, 2012, 10:56:58 PM
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Quote
This board is the cheapest in its class for hashing power, electrical efficiency and warranty the nearest competitor is two of the new x6500 FPGA boards and this works out cheaper.
Two X6500's (without heatsink) would be 800MH/s@34.4W and $1130USD.

These have heatsinks.

These boards you are peddling are most certainly not the "cheapest in its class". You may want to get your facts straight.

Why which board is cheaper?

edit: if you mean the BFL-Single that only has a six month warranty (this has a minimum of twelve months[maybe two years{I have to clear that up}]) and the BFL-Single operates at twice the wattage.  As I said two of the new x6500 is its nearest competitor and this board works out cheaper.
Or not.

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April 05, 2012, 10:59:38 PM
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Why which board is cheaper?

edit: if you mean the BFL-Single that only has a six month warranty (this has a minimum of twelve months[maybe two years{I have to clear that up}]) and the BFL-Single operates at twice the wattage.  As I said two of the new x6500 is its nearest competitor and this board works out cheaper.

Are you trying to say that 40w usage over 80w is a competitive advantage that is worth paying almost double for, it's not.

Let's do some simple math.....

.08kW * 745 hours * .11kWh == $6.55 / mo

.04kW * 745 hours * .11kWh == $3.27 / mo

So, according to your claims, it is worth paying an extra $530 to save $3.28 a month. It would take you over 13 YEARS to make back this extra money you are spending on the board. It only has a 1 year warranty.........

Matthew, maybe you should try doing some of this math before you claim this magical board of yours is a better value than the BFL single.
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April 05, 2012, 11:02:29 PM
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Why which board is cheaper?

edit: if you mean the BFL-Single that only has a six month warranty (this has a minimum of twelve months[maybe two years{I have to clear that up}]) and the BFL-Single operates at twice the wattage.  As I said two of the new x6500 is its nearest competitor and this board works out cheaper.

Are you trying to say that 40w usage over 80w is a competitive advantage that is worth paying almost double for, it's not.

Let's do some simple math.....

.08kW * 745 hours * .11kWh == $6.55 / mo

.04kW * 745 hours * .11kWh == $3.27 / mo

So, according to your claims, it is worth paying an extra $530 to save $3.28 a month. It would take you over 13 YEARS to make back this extra money you are spending on the board. It only has a 1 year warranty.........

Matthew, maybe you should try doing some of this math before you claim this magical board of yours is a better value than the BFL single.

I pay £0.11185/$0.15kWh for electricity and they are lots of places that pay a lot more than that.  Plus the extra warranty was worth it for me.

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April 05, 2012, 11:07:11 PM
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Why which board is cheaper?

edit: if you mean the BFL-Single that only has a six month warranty (this has a minimum of twelve months[maybe two years{I have to clear that up}]) and the BFL-Single operates at twice the wattage.  As I said two of the new x6500 is its nearest competitor and this board works out cheaper.

Are you trying to say that 40w usage over 80w is a competitive advantage that is worth paying almost double for, it's not.

Let's do some simple math.....

.08kW * 745 hours * .11kWh == $6.55 / mo

.04kW * 745 hours * .11kWh == $3.27 / mo

So, according to your claims, it is worth paying an extra $530 to save $3.28 a month. It would take you over 13 YEARS to make back this extra money you are spending on the board. It only has a 1 year warranty.........

Matthew, maybe you should try doing some of this math before you claim this magical board of yours is a better value than the BFL single.

I pay £0.11185/$0.15kWh for electricity and they are lots of places that pay a lot more than that.  Plus the extra warranty was worth it for me.

Plus I got feed up of waiting for my BFL.

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April 05, 2012, 11:08:03 PM
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Quote
This board is the cheapest in its class for hashing power, electrical efficiency and warranty the nearest competitor is two of the new x6500 FPGA boards and this works out cheaper.
Two X6500's (without heatsink) would be 800MH/s@34.4W and $1130USD.

These have heatsinks.

These boards you are peddling are most certainly not the "cheapest in its class". You may want to get your facts straight.

Why which board is cheaper?

edit: if you mean the BFL-Single that only has a six month warranty (this has a minimum of twelve months[maybe two years{I have to clear that up}]) and the BFL-Single operates at twice the wattage.  As I said two of the new x6500 is its nearest competitor and this board works out cheaper.

BFL's Single, at current rates and ignoring the reward drop, will take me 9.3 months to pay off at $0.11kWh. Your board, at current rates and ignoring the reward drop would take me 16 months to pay off. So, either box will be out of warranty by the time they pay themselves off. More importantly, for a few bucks more I could get a pair of BFL Singles.

Also, the jump between GPU to general FPGA efficiency is massive. After that we are squabbling over a few bucks a month which at this point are a tiny fraction of the device's overall cost. It takes 98 months for the BFL Single to consume its original price in electricity. For comparison it takes 10 months for a 5830 to consume its original price in electricity. Until you start talking another jump like that then the differences in power between FPGAs are inconsequential for some of us.

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April 05, 2012, 11:10:43 PM
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Quote
This board is the cheapest in its class for hashing power, electrical efficiency and warranty the nearest competitor is two of the new x6500 FPGA boards and this works out cheaper.
Two X6500's (without heatsink) would be 800MH/s@34.4W and $1130USD.

These have heatsinks.

These boards you are peddling are most certainly not the "cheapest in its class". You may want to get your facts straight.

Why which board is cheaper?

edit: if you mean the BFL-Single that only has a six month warranty (this has a minimum of twelve months[maybe two years{I have to clear that up}]) and the BFL-Single operates at twice the wattage.  As I said two of the new x6500 is its nearest competitor and this board works out cheaper.

BFL's Single, at current rates and ignoring the reward drop, will take me 9.3 months to pay off at $0.11kWh. Your board, at current rates and ignoring the reward drop would take me 16 months to pay off. So, either box will be out of warranty by the time they pay themselves off. More importantly, for a few bucks more I could get a pair of BFL Singles.

Also, the jump between GPU to general FPGA efficiency is massive. After that we are squabbling over a few bucks a month which at this point are a tiny fraction of the device's overall cost. It takes 98 months for the BFL Single to consume its original price in electricity. For comparison it takes 10 months for a 5830 to consume its original price in electricity. Until you start talking another jump like that then the differences in power between FPGAs are inconsequential for some of us.

The warranty may be two years not sure tho I know its at least twelve months.

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April 05, 2012, 11:12:34 PM
 #20

Quote
This board is the cheapest in its class for hashing power, electrical efficiency and warranty the nearest competitor is two of the new x6500 FPGA boards and this works out cheaper.
Two X6500's (without heatsink) would be 800MH/s@34.4W and $1130USD.

These have heatsinks.

These boards you are peddling are most certainly not the "cheapest in its class". You may want to get your facts straight.

Why which board is cheaper?

edit: if you mean the BFL-Single that only has a six month warranty (this has a minimum of twelve months[maybe two years{I have to clear that up}]) and the BFL-Single operates at twice the wattage.  As I said two of the new x6500 is its nearest competitor and this board works out cheaper.

BFL's Single, at current rates and ignoring the reward drop, will take me 9.3 months to pay off at $0.11kWh. Your board, at current rates and ignoring the reward drop would take me 16 months to pay off. So, either box will be out of warranty by the time they pay themselves off. More importantly, for a few bucks more I could get a pair of BFL Singles.

Also, the jump between GPU to general FPGA efficiency is massive. After that we are squabbling over a few bucks a month which at this point are a tiny fraction of the device's overall cost. It takes 98 months for the BFL Single to consume its original price in electricity. For comparison it takes 10 months for a 5830 to consume its original price in electricity. Until you start talking another jump like that then the differences in power between FPGAs are inconsequential for some of us.

The warranty may be two years not sure tho I know its at least twelve months.

You've said that about a dozen times now. We get it. It may be two years. BFL may also ship in 4 to 6 weeks.

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