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Author Topic: Question to multi-BFL Single miners: temperature and throttling issues  (Read 6433 times)
zefir
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April 27, 2012, 11:20:30 AM
 #1

Hi BFL miners,

received my Singles recently and wanted to hear if someone had similar issues with throttling.

I got 5 of them that I put mining right away (i.e. without opening the housing Wink). They seem to be all Rev.3 ones with no additional bottom fan with the only noticeable difference being one has a passive copper heat sink at the PCB-bottom, while the other 4 have blue heat sinks with fans.

BFL-Engineer already wrote that thermal design is a challenge and every board has individual characteristics. Though, I found it really strange that two of them are blowing 'cold' air out of their case, while the other three exhaust is almost hot air. Since all boards are operating under the same environmental, I'd expect all to get relatively equally hot.

That's the subjective side. The objective values running the setup for 48h with cgminer are:
No.av. Temp °Cav. MH/s
163810
254810
356810
460757
561809

Device 4 is throttling (LED is blinking every ~3 minutes), but it is not the device with the passive heat-sink (that's device 3). My interpretation of the values (as far as I can trust cgminer measures) is that devices 1 and 5 (those with the 'cold' exhaust) have sub-optimal temperature-conductivity to the heat-pipe. Device 4 is worse in that and hits the throttling threshold (~65°C) resulting in a varying temperature averaging down to 60°C. Does this sound reasonable?

Did you had similar issues with multiple boards varying similarly? Anyone already tried to dismantle the heat-pipe and re-apply thermal grease or pads to improve stability?

Generally, the setup is fine and delivers exactly 4GH/s. But while the relative loss through throttling is small, anyone would RMA his GPU delivering 50MH/s less its nominal rate. Also, improving temp-conductivity might not only increase hash rate but also help durability.


Any thoughts or hints? Thanks.

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April 27, 2012, 12:35:55 PM
 #2

I think that all of your Singles are fine and the small temperature variations that you see are just that, random variations.
I also think that a brief blink every 3 minutes is not an indication of throttling, but rather an indication that the device has found a match or that it is being provided with a new work unit.
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April 27, 2012, 07:01:09 PM
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I think that all of your Singles are fine and the small temperature variations that you see are just that, random variations.
I also think that a brief blink every 3 minutes is not an indication of throttling, but rather an indication that the device has found a match or that it is being provided with a new work unit.

Yeah, I guess I'm ahead of time. Assumed people already started tweaking it to push it to the max (like done with GPUs), but I guess most are just happy with it as a plug-and-mine device.

As for the LED blinking, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that a blinking front LED indicates throttling. Plus in my setup it is only the device with the lower hash rate that blinks, which I take as strong indication for throttling. What you maybe mean is the internal LED at the right side that goes off every ~5s for a short moment. I'd guess this is when the work is done and it stops for a moment to deliver shares and get fed with new work.

Also, with now running for 72h continuously I'd exclude variance as a cause for 4 devices being exactly at 810 and the fifth at 65 less. I'm pretty noob when it comes to HW, but I'm tempted to disassemble (and pretty sure brick) it to see what's wrong.

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April 27, 2012, 08:30:45 PM
 #4

I think that all of your Singles are fine and the small temperature variations that you see are just that, random variations.
I also think that a brief blink every 3 minutes is not an indication of throttling, but rather an indication that the device has found a match or that it is being provided with a new work unit.

Yeah, I guess I'm ahead of time. Assumed people already started tweaking it to push it to the max (like done with GPUs), but I guess most are just happy with it as a plug-and-mine device.

As for the LED blinking, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that a blinking front LED indicates throttling. Plus in my setup it is only the device with the lower hash rate that blinks, which I take as strong indication for throttling. What you maybe mean is the internal LED at the right side that goes off every ~5s for a short moment. I'd guess this is when the work is done and it stops for a moment to deliver shares and get fed with new work.

Also, with now running for 72h continuously I'd exclude variance as a cause for 4 devices being exactly at 810 and the fifth at 65 less. I'm pretty noob when it comes to HW, but I'm tempted to disassemble (and pretty sure brick) it to see what's wrong.

Hi zefir, please write office @ butterflylabs.com for assistance if needed.

Kind regards,
BFL

Butterfly Labs  -  www.butterflylabs.com  -  Bitcoin Mining Hardware
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April 27, 2012, 09:05:59 PM
 #5

Hi zefir, please write office @ butterflylabs.com for assistance if needed.

Kind regards,
BFL

Hi BFL (Sonny?),

thanks for the advice.

I did not since there is no issue. The devices are just doing a great job, congrats. Even the throttling one is within performance specs (832-10%), plus it is comforting to see that the devices take care themselves to not go up in flames.

I was just hoping that someone did a better job than your engineers in cooling it down (no offense, many Bitcoiners do better jobs than GPU manufacturers Wink) and max it out. But again, they are just running fine as is.

Nevertheless, you could maybe clarify the LED states here or at the product page (if not already done elsewhere).


Thanks

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April 28, 2012, 08:08:02 PM
 #6

There are 2 places where some lights blink: On the front panel is the power light, and also the one that indicates throttling. Inside on the right side, there is another pair that pulse whenever a nonce is sent to the host and other indications. The front panel one is the one to worry about, and it should be fine if your ambient is less than 72 degrees F or about 21 degrees C.

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April 29, 2012, 12:47:31 AM
 #7

I think that all of your Singles are fine and the small temperature variations that you see are just that, random variations.
I also think that a brief blink every 3 minutes is not an indication of throttling, but rather an indication that the device has found a match or that it is being provided with a new work unit.

Yeah, I guess I'm ahead of time. Assumed people already started tweaking it to push it to the max (like done with GPUs), but I guess most are just happy with it as a plug-and-mine device.

As for the LED blinking, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that a blinking front LED indicates throttling. Plus in my setup it is only the device with the lower hash rate that blinks, which I take as strong indication for throttling. What you maybe mean is the internal LED at the right side that goes off every ~5s for a short moment. I'd guess this is when the work is done and it stops for a moment to deliver shares and get fed with new work.

Also, with now running for 72h continuously I'd exclude variance as a cause for 4 devices being exactly at 810 and the fifth at 65 less. I'm pretty noob when it comes to HW, but I'm tempted to disassemble (and pretty sure brick) it to see what's wrong.

In think you are right, after all.

Upon closer examination, one of my Singles (the first Rev. 3 Single with an external fan attached) also seems to blink.
See, when BFL wrote "will blink" I was expecting it to blink continuously, but that's not what it does.
It blinks for a few seconds as it throttles down to some 530 MH/s, and then, as it gradually increases its frequency again (probably in a ZTEX-like fashion) until it reaches 820 MH/s again, it does not blink, until the throttling game begins again.

Placing a 133 cfm fan on top of the unit to aid the internal fan in sucking hot air out did not help at all. Neither did positioning the 133 cfm fan at one of the side vents of the throttling-afflicted Single.

However, placing the 133 cfm fan at the BOTTOM of the Single, aiding the Single's external bottom fan, seems to have done the trick for me and thus I can recommend swapping the bottom fan of the Single for a higher-cfm model.

Edit:  Cry  No, it still throttles. Took it quite some time; I was seeing 825 MH/s for a long time, but it's at 591 right now, already on the upslope again. 754 now. Upslope. Nevertheless, I have ordered a few fans from Silicon Valley Compucycle, all of them 65 cfm and above, and will probably open up this Single and swap out the fans. Admittedly, my mining environment is quite extreme as the central AC does not manage to replace enough hot air with cool air.
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April 29, 2012, 01:36:34 AM
 #8

I have found that elevating the unit about 1" so the bottom fan can work more efficiently gives me about 5 degrees cooler temps.  Maybe give that a try.

Tired of substandard power distribution in your ASIC setup???   Chris' Custom Cablez will get you sorted out right!  No job too hard so PM me for a quote
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April 29, 2012, 01:37:43 AM
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I have found that elevating the unit about 1" so the bottom fan can work more efficiently gives me about 5 degrees cooler temps.  Maybe give that a try.
Be men and add some REAL fans, pussies! http://vimeo.com/41028028

Grin

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April 29, 2012, 02:08:39 AM
 #10

I have found that elevating the unit about 1" so the bottom fan can work more efficiently gives me about 5 degrees cooler temps.  Maybe give that a try.
Be men and add some REAL fans, pussies! http://vimeo.com/41028028

Grin

Yeah, in fact one of the fans I just ordered is a 103 cfm, 61 dBA Delta fan.  Grin
It's 50mm thick, so maybe you're using that as well.
SVC.com has them on sale for a mere $10 - regular price is $65.
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April 29, 2012, 02:12:02 AM
 #11

I have found that elevating the unit about 1" so the bottom fan can work more efficiently gives me about 5 degrees cooler temps.  Maybe give that a try.

Actually, I place all my singles on their pretty face, cables sticking out on top.
This should allow for maximum airflow.
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April 29, 2012, 03:08:58 AM
 #12

I think that all of your Singles are fine and the small temperature variations that you see are just that, random variations.
I also think that a brief blink every 3 minutes is not an indication of throttling, but rather an indication that the device has found a match or that it is being provided with a new work unit.

Yeah, I guess I'm ahead of time. Assumed people already started tweaking it to push it to the max (like done with GPUs), but I guess most are just happy with it as a plug-and-mine device.

As for the LED blinking, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that a blinking front LED indicates throttling. Plus in my setup it is only the device with the lower hash rate that blinks, which I take as strong indication for throttling. What you maybe mean is the internal LED at the right side that goes off every ~5s for a short moment. I'd guess this is when the work is done and it stops for a moment to deliver shares and get fed with new work.

Also, with now running for 72h continuously I'd exclude variance as a cause for 4 devices being exactly at 810 and the fifth at 65 less. I'm pretty noob when it comes to HW, but I'm tempted to disassemble (and pretty sure brick) it to see what's wrong.

In think you are right, after all.

Upon closer examination, one of my Singles (the first Rev. 3 Single with an external fan attached) also seems to blink.
See, when BFL wrote "will blink" I was expecting it to blink continuously, but that's not what it does.
It blinks for a few seconds as it throttles down to some 530 MH/s, and then, as it gradually increases its frequency again (probably in a ZTEX-like fashion) until it reaches 820 MH/s again, it does not blink, until the throttling game begins again.

Placing a 133 cfm fan on top of the unit to aid the internal fan in sucking hot air out did not help at all. Neither did positioning the 133 cfm fan at one of the side vents of the throttling-afflicted Single.

However, placing the 133 cfm fan at the BOTTOM of the Single, aiding the Single's external bottom fan, seems to have done the trick for me and thus I can recommend swapping the bottom fan of the Single for a higher-cfm model.

Edit:  Cry  No, it still throttles. Took it quite some time; I was seeing 825 MH/s for a long time, but it's at 591 right now, already on the upslope again. 754 now. Upslope. Nevertheless, I have ordered a few fans from Silicon Valley Compucycle, all of them 65 cfm and above, and will probably open up this Single and swap out the fans. Admittedly, my mining environment is quite extreme as the central AC does not manage to replace enough hot air with cool air.

Inspector, as I read your post I was preparing a response to ask you why you haven't contacted us about the issue...  until I realized you were running it in a hot ambient temperature.  Understood.

Butterfly Labs  -  www.butterflylabs.com  -  Bitcoin Mining Hardware
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April 29, 2012, 03:52:51 AM
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Inspector, as I read your post I was preparing a response to ask you why you haven't contacted us about the issue...  until I realized you were running it in a hot ambient temperature.  Understood.

I'm not a guy who cries wolf easily and only discovered that one of my Singles is throttling down frequently after zefir's post.
I am, however, in the process of phasing out all GPU rigs (in fact, just a few minutes ago I turned off my 2nd GPU rig for good, leaving only one rig running now).

Even with only one GPU rig running as we speak, this one "problem Single" is throttling down to about 500 MH/s quite frequently, right now, for instance, to 544 MH/s, and I may request a replacement unit at some point in time, after turning off the final GPU rig and after measuring the room temperature.

BTW, CGminer shows the "problem Single's" temperature at only 50 or 51 degrees Celsius, while the other good unit one foot away from it shows 64 degrees and mines along happily. So it seems to me that this "problem Single" may actually be throttling unnecessarily, or overly aggressively. By any chance, is there a trim pot inside by means of which an END USER could adjust the throttling threshold? Or is the throttling threshold error based like in the ZTEX design?

Just now I looked at the CGminer panel - the "problem Single" was at 823 MH/s and 53 degrees, whereupon it started throttling again. I don't deem 53 degrees a dangerous chip temperature and thus I'm really wondering what's going on here...
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April 29, 2012, 04:02:43 AM
 #14

Inspector, as I read your post I was preparing a response to ask you why you haven't contacted us about the issue...  until I realized you were running it in a hot ambient temperature.  Understood.

I'm not a guy who cries wolf easily and only discovered that one of my Singles is throttling down frequently after zefir's post.
I am, however, in the process of phasing out all GPU rigs (in fact, just a few minutes ago I turned off my 2nd GPU rig for good, leaving only one rig running now).

Even with only one GPU rig running as we speak, this one "problem Single" is throttling down to about 500 MH/s quite frequently, right now, for instance, to 544 MH/s, and I may request a replacement unit at some point in time, after turning off the final GPU rig and after measuring the room temperature.

BTW, CGminer shows the "problem Single's" temperature at only 50 or 51 degrees Celsius, while the other good unit one foot away from it shows 64 degrees and mines along happily. So it seems to me that this "problem Single" may actually be throttling unnecessarily, or overly aggressively. By any chance, is there a trim pot inside by means of which an END USER could adjust the throttling threshold? Or is the throttling threshold error based like in the ZTEX design?

Just now I looked at the CGminer panel - the "problem Single" was at 823 MH/s and 53 degrees, whereupon it started throttling again. I don't deem 53 degrees a dangerous chip temperature and thus I'm really wondering what's going on here...

There are several factors involved, but the bottom line is that if it throttles in an ambient temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit than we'll gladly replace the unit.  If you're just curious as to the inner workings and want to know what factors are in play, please contact me in private and I'll do my best to answer your questions.

Regards,
BFL

Butterfly Labs  -  www.butterflylabs.com  -  Bitcoin Mining Hardware
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April 29, 2012, 04:41:12 AM
 #15

Inspector, as I read your post I was preparing a response to ask you why you haven't contacted us about the issue...  until I realized you were running it in a hot ambient temperature.  Understood.

I'm not a guy who cries wolf easily and only discovered that one of my Singles is throttling down frequently after zefir's post.
I am, however, in the process of phasing out all GPU rigs (in fact, just a few minutes ago I turned off my 2nd GPU rig for good, leaving only one rig running now).

Even with only one GPU rig running as we speak, this one "problem Single" is throttling down to about 500 MH/s quite frequently, right now, for instance, to 544 MH/s, and I may request a replacement unit at some point in time, after turning off the final GPU rig and after measuring the room temperature.

BTW, CGminer shows the "problem Single's" temperature at only 50 or 51 degrees Celsius, while the other good unit one foot away from it shows 64 degrees and mines along happily. So it seems to me that this "problem Single" may actually be throttling unnecessarily, or overly aggressively. By any chance, is there a trim pot inside by means of which an END USER could adjust the throttling threshold? Or is the throttling threshold error based like in the ZTEX design?

Just now I looked at the CGminer panel - the "problem Single" was at 823 MH/s and 53 degrees, whereupon it started throttling again. I don't deem 53 degrees a dangerous chip temperature and thus I'm really wondering what's going on here...
There are several factors involved, but the bottom line is that if it throttles in an ambient temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit than we'll gladly replace the unit.  If you're just curious as to the inner workings and want to know what factors are in play, please contact me in private and I'll do my best to answer your questions.

Regards,
BFL

Here's what I will do:
1. I'll move the "problem Single", which currently is in the middle of the room together with one other Single, to the "nest" of 6 singles, which happens to be quite close to the office door.
2. I'll measure the hallway temperature, which is quite low, judging from what I feel
3. I'll move the "problem Single" to the hallway for, say, half an hour and watch whether it throttles
4. If the hallway temperature is 72 degrees or below, as I think it is, and the "problem Single" throttles, I'll RMA it.
5. Otherwise, I'll just suck it up. It still mines, just not at 820 MH/s...
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April 29, 2012, 08:55:01 AM
 #16

BFL (through this post, BFL refers to the company, not to Sonny personally),

with due respect, while the Singles are lovely devices, your customer service sucks. Since the run for your products started, I contacted you 6 times with concrete technical inquiries and got zero responses (just ask BFL-Engineer, and FYI, that's why I did not order a (Mini) Rig). Therefore I preferred to get support from the community.

Plus it should be in BFL's best own interests when existing issues are discussed here openly and workarounds are made available publicly (or you add the related information at your product pages). Like Inspector said above, most of us would prefer fixing it by ourselves over waiting months for a RMA replacement.

That said, you need to clarify how you define ambient temperature. My setup is in a fairly large room in my basement with currently around 19°C room temperature. Naturally, as I approach the mining rig, local temperature gradually climbs and reaches ~23°C at half a meter distance. Given that the exhaust temperature right above the Singles is somewhere between 30 and 40°C, it's a physical imperative to have a local area with >22C° (or 72°F; any chance US is going to use SI-metrics soon? Wink).

I strongly believe that my operational environment is within specs, though the problematic device averaged down to 705MH/s after a continuous run for days. Again, I'm with Inspector arguing better to have it running at 500MH/s than waiting weeks for a replacement at 0MH/s. Therefore I'm going to first try the proposals the community posted, thanks to all.


While I am at it, I figured out a SW issue that could be quite relevant for all multi-Single setups driven by cgminer: while I removed the throttling device from the setup for further inspection, the average hashrate of the remaining 4 climbed up noticeably. To double check, I repeatedly run it long enough to exclude variation and this is what I get:
1) running all 5 devices the hashrate for all of them starts at 828 and after running a day the throttling settles at 705 all-time-average, while the properly working ones settle at 790
2) running the 4 proper ones alone, all start at 828 and after the day they are still at ~825

In other words, the throttling one is not just reducing its own hashing power but also those of the proper ones. In my 5-units setup the estimated loss is ~250MH/s.

This could be caused by the communication between PC and Single being frozen during the throttling. From the SW design view there should theoretically be no inter-dependencies, since every device is handled by its own threads. But in practice if the device throttles while communicating to the host and thereby stalls, the related thread will eat its scheduling quantum busy looping the serial port.

Luckily ckolivas is not only cgminer developer but also a Linux scheduler guru, so I'll sort this SW issue out in his thread. Meanwhile I will separate the throttling device from my setup and run it from a different host.

Tl;dr: if you have a multi-BFL Singles setup with one or more throttling units (front LED is blinking now and then) you should consider operating the throttling ones from a different host for a better overall hashrate.

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April 29, 2012, 02:37:50 PM
 #17

BFL (through this post, BFL refers to the company, not to Sonny personally),

with due respect, while the Singles are lovely devices, your customer service sucks. Since the run for your products started, I contacted you 6 times with concrete technical inquiries and got zero responses (just ask BFL-Engineer, and FYI, that's why I did not order a (Mini) Rig). Therefore I preferred to get support from the community.

Plus it should be in BFL's best own interests when existing issues are discussed here openly and workarounds are made available publicly (or you add the related information at your product pages). Like Inspector said above, most of us would prefer fixing it by ourselves over waiting months for a RMA replacement.

That said, you need to clarify how you define ambient temperature. My setup is in a fairly large room in my basement with currently around 19°C room temperature. Naturally, as I approach the mining rig, local temperature gradually climbs and reaches ~23°C at half a meter distance. Given that the exhaust temperature right above the Singles is somewhere between 30 and 40°C, it's a physical imperative to have a local area with >22C° (or 72°F; any chance US is going to use SI-metrics soon? Wink).

I strongly believe that my operational environment is within specs, though the problematic device averaged down to 705MH/s after a continuous run for days. Again, I'm with Inspector arguing better to have it running at 500MH/s than waiting weeks for a replacement at 0MH/s. Therefore I'm going to first try the proposals the community posted, thanks to all.


While I am at it, I figured out a SW issue that could be quite relevant for all multi-Single setups driven by cgminer: while I removed the throttling device from the setup for further inspection, the average hashrate of the remaining 4 climbed up noticeably. To double check, I repeatedly run it long enough to exclude variation and this is what I get:
1) running all 5 devices the hashrate for all of them starts at 828 and after running a day the throttling settles at 705 all-time-average, while the properly working ones settle at 790
2) running the 4 proper ones alone, all start at 828 and after the day they are still at ~825

In other words, the throttling one is not just reducing its own hashing power but also those of the proper ones. In my 5-units setup the estimated loss is ~250MH/s.

This could be caused by the communication between PC and Single being frozen during the throttling. From the SW design view there should theoretically be no inter-dependencies, since every device is handled by its own threads. But in practice if the device throttles while communicating to the host and thereby stalls, the related thread will eat its scheduling quantum busy looping the serial port.

Luckily ckolivas is not only cgminer developer but also a Linux scheduler guru, so I'll sort this SW issue out in his thread. Meanwhile I will separate the throttling device from my setup and run it from a different host.

Tl;dr: if you have a multi-BFL Singles setup with one or more throttling units (front LED is blinking now and then) you should consider operating the throttling ones from a different host for a better overall hashrate.

I'm sorry you've had trouble getting a response.  We've added staff to handle customer service and your email thread may have been lost in the transition.  Try a new request to office@butterfly... (not sonny@butterfly...)   and you'll get prompt responses.  (again, sorry for the difficulty during the last month or so...  we've been stretched thin).

With regards to what we mean by ambient temperature...  Room temperature or building set thermostat temperature isn't a very good guide as you point out.  We recommend placing a thermometer next to the unit in question and you'll know for sure.  If there's throttling at 72f, then I would be very surprised.  Each unit is tested prior to shipment at higher temperatures than that while operating at 832 mh/s.

Also note that although the temp spec is with the hardware running at a speed of 832 mh/s.  Tuning it down to 816 or 808 mh/s will have a significant effect on it's tolerance and allow you to run in higher ambient temperatures.  The net result is a higher effective hash rate than 832 with throttling (depending on temperature stress).  Likewise, slower speed increments down to 768 will allow you to run in almost any environment without throttling.

Our Easy Miner software will allow you to test & tune.  It's in beta...  and still buggy but it will accomplish this task for you.  We can probably get a demo version prepped in the next week to let you play with speed tuning.

On the chips in general and their variances...  please understand that when chips are fabricated, not all are the same.  These variances are a normal part of the process.  Industry practice has the units sorted and sold per speed grade.  In our case, we've simply packaged the end product with the lowest common denominator performance which is 832 mh/s (+ - 10%) at 72f.  

Regards,
BFL

Butterfly Labs  -  www.butterflylabs.com  -  Bitcoin Mining Hardware
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April 29, 2012, 04:31:39 PM
 #18

Thanks for the feedback, BFL.

I'm sorry you've had trouble getting a response.  We've added staff to handle customer service and your email thread may have been lost in the transition.  Try a new request to office@butterfly... (not sonny@butterfly...)   and you'll get prompt responses.  (again, sorry for the difficulty during the last month or so...  we've been stretched thin).
Glad to hear you expanded your customer service capacity - I'll maybe need it soon. As for the right email address, all mails I received from BFL where sent from sonny@bfl, including the shipment notification from last week. If that address is not valid any more, you still should assume that your customers just hit the reply button to contact you.

With regards to what we mean by ambient temperature...  Room temperature or building set thermostat temperature isn't a very good guide as you point out.  We recommend placing a thermometer next to the unit in question and you'll know for sure.  If there's throttling at 72f, then I would be very surprised.  Each unit is tested prior to shipment at higher temperatures than that while operating at 832 mh/s.

Also note that although the temp spec is with the hardware running at a speed of 832 mh/s.  Tuning it down to 816 or 808 mh/s will have a significant effect on it's tolerance and allow you to run in higher ambient temperatures.  The net result is a higher effective hash rate than 832 with throttling (depending on temperature stress).  Likewise, slower speed increments down to 768 will allow you to run in almost any environment without throttling.
Then you are essentially saying that one needs AC to reliably operate the Singles. As stated above, the devices are hot spots and heat their surrounding area to a point where you need to actively cool the ambiance or add external fans to increase convection. Reality check: I'm operating them in April in the Swiss Alps in an passively cooled (aka open window) cellar room that is at 18°C when mining rig is off. If that's not 'cold' enough, where in the world can they operate during summer without AC?

Fact is, you nowhere wrote that the claimed performance is limited by ambient temperature. Why is that? Why do you let your customers lurk the forums here to collect relevant information? I mean, you still claim the housing is 88*88mm^2 at the product page, while people holding the Singles in their hands can measure they are 110*105mm^2  Undecided You really do not disclose trade secrets if you add all those pieces of information collected in this forum to the product page. Remember, Bitcoin is based on openness...

Our Easy Miner software will allow you to test & tune.  It's in beta...  and still buggy but it will accomplish this task for you.  We can probably get a demo version prepped in the next week to let you play with speed tuning.

On the chips in general and their variances...  please understand that when chips are fabricated, not all are the same.  These variances are a normal part of the process.  Industry practice has the units sorted and sold per speed grade.  In our case, we've simply packaged the end product with the lowest common denominator performance which is 832 mh/s (+ - 10%) at 72f.  

Regards,
BFL

As for the EasyMiner, I guess it is Windows-only and therefore useless for me. But if you want to support the current matter, could you just check if adding a throttling unit to a set of non-throttling units reduces their average hashrate (as I described above)?

I fully understand the challenges with building such a device and repeat my above statement: your product is great, period. But your customers are part of an open society and you should have been prepared to provide an according information policy. I'm biased and surely not objective enough, but I hope it did not sound too harsh and you can take it as valuable input to improve further.


All the best, zefir

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April 30, 2012, 03:19:07 AM
 #19

Thanks for the feedback, BFL.

I'm sorry you've had trouble getting a response.  We've added staff to handle customer service and your email thread may have been lost in the transition.  Try a new request to office@butterfly... (not sonny@butterfly...)   and you'll get prompt responses.  (again, sorry for the difficulty during the last month or so...  we've been stretched thin).
Glad to hear you expanded your customer service capacity - I'll maybe need it soon. As for the right email address, all mails I received from BFL where sent from sonny@bfl, including the shipment notification from last week. If that address is not valid any more, you still should assume that your customers just hit the reply button to contact you.

With regards to what we mean by ambient temperature...  Room temperature or building set thermostat temperature isn't a very good guide as you point out.  We recommend placing a thermometer next to the unit in question and you'll know for sure.  If there's throttling at 72f, then I would be very surprised.  Each unit is tested prior to shipment at higher temperatures than that while operating at 832 mh/s.

Also note that although the temp spec is with the hardware running at a speed of 832 mh/s.  Tuning it down to 816 or 808 mh/s will have a significant effect on it's tolerance and allow you to run in higher ambient temperatures.  The net result is a higher effective hash rate than 832 with throttling (depending on temperature stress).  Likewise, slower speed increments down to 768 will allow you to run in almost any environment without throttling.
Then you are essentially saying that one needs AC to reliably operate the Singles. As stated above, the devices are hot spots and heat their surrounding area to a point where you need to actively cool the ambiance or add external fans to increase convection. Reality check: I'm operating them in April in the Swiss Alps in an passively cooled (aka open window) cellar room that is at 18°C when mining rig is off. If that's not 'cold' enough, where in the world can they operate during summer without AC?

Fact is, you nowhere wrote that the claimed performance is limited by ambient temperature. Why is that? Why do you let your customers lurk the forums here to collect relevant information? I mean, you still claim the housing is 88*88mm^2 at the product page, while people holding the Singles in their hands can measure they are 110*105mm^2  Undecided You really do not disclose trade secrets if you add all those pieces of information collected in this forum to the product page. Remember, Bitcoin is based on openness...

Our Easy Miner software will allow you to test & tune.  It's in beta...  and still buggy but it will accomplish this task for you.  We can probably get a demo version prepped in the next week to let you play with speed tuning.

On the chips in general and their variances...  please understand that when chips are fabricated, not all are the same.  These variances are a normal part of the process.  Industry practice has the units sorted and sold per speed grade.  In our case, we've simply packaged the end product with the lowest common denominator performance which is 832 mh/s (+ - 10%) at 72f.  

Regards,
BFL

As for the EasyMiner, I guess it is Windows-only and therefore useless for me. But if you want to support the current matter, could you just check if adding a throttling unit to a set of non-throttling units reduces their average hashrate (as I described above)?

I fully understand the challenges with building such a device and repeat my above statement: your product is great, period. But your customers are part of an open society and you should have been prepared to provide an according information policy. I'm biased and surely not objective enough, but I hope it did not sound too harsh and you can take it as valuable input to improve further.


All the best, zefir

Zefir,

I'm glad you like the product.  We're doing our best to keep up with customer request as well as our own internal development for future products.  This industry is moving fast.  

The most popular software package in use for mining with BitForce hardware is currently CGminer.  It's only fault is that it doesn't auto detect the units as they're plugged into the chain.  Ufasoft is pretty good, but it's lacking in features as compared to CG.  I understand mpbcm is also an excellent choice for BitForce owners.  It both auto detects and provides a golden suite of data.

Having said all this, I'm really not qualified to comment on the inner workings of any of the software miners.  The hardware itself has no ability to influence the behavior of another device on the chain, so if you're experiencing that now, I would have to assume it's something to do with whatever software you're using.  We use Easy Miner here in the shop to do our testing.  It's diagnosis & testing function runs known problems with known results without any outside network issues able to affect the performance evaluation.  It handles multiple units without any influence from a throttling unit.  Perhaps that's helpful to you.




Butterfly Labs  -  www.butterflylabs.com  -  Bitcoin Mining Hardware
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April 30, 2012, 06:32:18 AM
 #20

Zefir,

I'm glad you like the product.  We're doing our best to keep up with customer request as well as our own internal development for future products.  This industry is moving fast.  

The most popular software package in use for mining with BitForce hardware is currently CGminer.  It's only fault is that it doesn't auto detect the units as they're plugged into the chain.  Ufasoft is pretty good, but it's lacking in features as compared to CG.  I understand mpbcm is also an excellent choice for BitForce owners.  It both auto detects and provides a golden suite of data.

Having said all this, I'm really not qualified to comment on the inner workings of any of the software miners.  The hardware itself has no ability to influence the behavior of another device on the chain, so if you're experiencing that now, I would have to assume it's something to do with whatever software you're using.  We use Easy Miner here in the shop to do our testing.  It's diagnosis & testing function runs known problems with known results without any outside network issues able to affect the performance evaluation.  It handles multiple units without any influence from a throttling unit.  Perhaps that's helpful to you.

Thats at least some helpful information.

To understand the SW side it would have been more interesting to know what exactly happens during throttling, i.e. does it just stop hashing but remains accessible (e.g. for temperature readout), or is it completely gone during that phase. Never mind, it will take me some time but I'll find out myself.

As for EasyMiner, I'd like to try the demo version you mentioned above to have it as reference, if possible.

Thanks.

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