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Author Topic: Help a new miner choose which hardware to get  (Read 4234 times)
serial
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May 11, 2011, 06:38:21 PM
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I need you guy's opinion on a setup I'm building.

Basically I have 2 choices, I found (4) 6950 reference boards unlockable at a local shop for $300 each., or (4) 5850's for $180 each.

Using the wiki I see the 6950's should go 1.2Gh/s to 1.4Gh/s overclocked, and the 5850's should do 960 Gh/s to 1.3Gh/s overclocked.

This has me leaning on the 5850's since although its rare to find unlockable 6950's, they still aren't cheap enough.

Lastly, I did a little build up on newegg for a cheapie AMD sempron mobo, and a cheapie intel i3-2100T build.

The intel build is $1100 and the amd build is $740, is there any reason I shouldn't go with a couple MSI 870-G45's with sempron 140's over the intel build as ASUS P8P67 LE's with i3-2100T's?

So in summary, 5850's or 6950's, and amd or intel.

Thank you guys much!!
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May 11, 2011, 06:40:07 PM
 #2

I don't have experience with no 5870/5970, but I do have experience with intel/AMD.  Just go for AMD!  There is really no difference since you won't use the CPU for mining.  A cheap Sempron 140 draws very little power and doesn't have any impact on mining rates.

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May 11, 2011, 06:47:16 PM
 #3

Almost ALL the 2GB reference 6950's unlock. If they have the amd logo above the pcie connector (and it's the 2gb version) it can be unlocked. Tough i wouldn't reccomend getting references from xfx, they are known to have changed the pcb in the reference card to their own and they don't unlock + have a diffrent hole spacing (if your going to use a custom cooler)

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May 11, 2011, 06:55:52 PM
 #4

With my unlocked 6950 @ 800Mhz i get 315Mhash/s, @910Mhz 362Mhash/s

I would just go with the 5850's

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May 11, 2011, 07:12:23 PM
 #5

At those prices, the 5850 hands down.

Now, if the prices were closer, that answer could change.

Also, you can get 5850s cheaper than that on newegg (although the xtreme are sold out).

Finally, AMD over Intel without a doubt.
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May 11, 2011, 09:03:07 PM
 #6

Ok... so.. depending on how stable/reliable you want your system to be, a 4 card system can be dirt cheap (excluding the video cards).  I can show you the current setup I have:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817101044 $31 (secondary PSU for 2 of the cards) (you can add another if you want 5 cards)
cheap 600W power supply ~$50 if you wait for a sale (primary PSU for the other 2 cards and MB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128451 $80 (5 PCIe MB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134784 $13 (1GB ddr3 RAM)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103698 $38 (Sempron 140 CPU)
http://www.9mart.com/products/2-Lots-PCI-Express-Card-Extender-Cable-PCI%252dE-1X-Riser-Adapter.html 2x2 $18 (PCIe extenders... shipping from this site is really flaky.. but most other places are over $20 a piece)
random hard drive.... i have no idea what the price of these things are... i just have a whole bunch laying around... (maybe $35?)

now this is the tricky part, you have to somehow mount the cards above the motherboard and either sand off or cut off the ends of the pcie extenders
this is what i did (for about $20 worth of materials from home depot to handle 10 cards):


http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graphics-100282XTREME/dp/B004W75ATI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1305146844&sr=8-2 (5850s for $164 shipped)
so total for a 4 card system = ~$285 (~$315 for 5 cards) + the cards (total = $921) $230 per card or $1120 for 5 ($224 per card)


Now, I do warn you that making a computer case like this is probably not the best idea especially when those 10 cards pull about 12 amps from the wall... but hey, if you are a risk taker and would rather do things cheaply than do them right...  Otherwise, you can always just add a case for another $30 or so, and take off the exta PSU so a 2 card system would be $593 ($296.5 per card)

If you are interested, I can either start a new thread with more details instructions on how to do all of this.

As for profitability, *sigh*... I've been going through this a lot and for the past few difficulty increases, the price of bitcoins has gone up proportionally to the difficulty, and I am getting around ~$8 per card per day (including power) for the past few weeks.  Whether this will trend will continue is pure speculation... At the very least, you'll make some money and you'll be able to ebay the cards (or keep them as secondary computers) when it stops being profitable.

Sorry, I like to go into a lot of this stuff... I just love bitcoins that much... haha.  But if you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

-Phateus

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CubedRoot
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May 17, 2011, 05:16:01 AM
 #7

Ok... so.. depending on how stable/reliable you want your system to be, a 4 card system can be dirt cheap (excluding the video cards).  I can show you the current setup I have:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817101044 $31 (secondary PSU for 2 of the cards) (you can add another if you want 5 cards)
cheap 600W power supply ~$50 if you wait for a sale (primary PSU for the other 2 cards and MB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128451 $80 (5 PCIe MB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134784 $13 (1GB ddr3 RAM)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103698 $38 (Sempron 140 CPU)
http://www.9mart.com/products/2-Lots-PCI-Express-Card-Extender-Cable-PCI%252dE-1X-Riser-Adapter.html 2x2 $18 (PCIe extenders... shipping from this site is really flaky.. but most other places are over $20 a piece)
random hard drive.... i have no idea what the price of these things are... i just have a whole bunch laying around... (maybe $35?)

now this is the tricky part, you have to somehow mount the cards above the motherboard and either sand off or cut off the ends of the pcie extenders
this is what i did (for about $20 worth of materials from home depot to handle 10 cards):


http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graphics-100282XTREME/dp/B004W75ATI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1305146844&sr=8-2 (5850s for $164 shipped)
so total for a 4 card system = ~$285 (~$315 for 5 cards) + the cards (total = $921) $230 per card or $1120 for 5 ($224 per card)


Now, I do warn you that making a computer case like this is probably not the best idea especially when those 10 cards pull about 12 amps from the wall... but hey, if you are a risk taker and would rather do things cheaply than do them right...  Otherwise, you can always just add a case for another $30 or so, and take off the exta PSU so a 2 card system would be $593 ($296.5 per card)

If you are interested, I can either start a new thread with more details instructions on how to do all of this.

As for profitability, *sigh*... I've been going through this a lot and for the past few difficulty increases, the price of bitcoins has gone up proportionally to the difficulty, and I am getting around ~$8 per card per day (including power) for the past few weeks.  Whether this will trend will continue is pure speculation... At the very least, you'll make some money and you'll be able to ebay the cards (or keep them as secondary computers) when it stops being profitable.

Sorry, I like to go into a lot of this stuff... I just love bitcoins that much... haha.  But if you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

-Phateus

I am wanting to go with a rig similar to this. But, I am only hoping to run 3 cards right now.  Do you guys know of any pcie extenders that will allow me to fit the cards in a case?  or do you know of any cases that are pcie extender friendly?
begam
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June 07, 2011, 02:45:17 AM
 #8

i will choose 6950
begam
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June 07, 2011, 03:43:04 AM
 #9

wanna have a try on 9 mart
Chakravanti
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June 07, 2011, 04:12:33 AM
 #10

I have a related question to mobo choosing.  Wouldn't it be important to run these cards in x16 or x8 lanes?  If so, there's only one quad-card mobo with that support (ASUS Crosshair Extreme IV - $300).  Grabbing two mobos might be a hair cheaper with the ASRock 870 which is the cheapest board that supports x8/x8.  ASRock is kind of a new mobo printer but I think they're the shit owning one myself.  Next best value is ASUS @ $95 and Gigabytes crawling in @ $120+

So on one hand it'll be easier to stack them all up in their own box andbuying heat efficient boxes for 2 card systems will be a lot cheaper than a 4 card OC'er hotbox but then you can always build your own box like dude (LOVE THAT) and even build your own housing for it to counter the 'safety' issues.

Still, two x8/x8 rigs will only ring in $80-90 cheaper than the CrosshairIV (including an extra sempron) and also add power costs (not by much I'd imagine).

Anyway, basically i'm just wondering if the number of PCIE lanes available ot a given card will hinder performance.
amtonio
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June 09, 2011, 02:02:03 AM
 #11

the same request with you guys
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