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Author Topic: Mini motherboard rigs  (Read 1858 times)
Shotgun_WooWoo
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June 14, 2012, 05:04:39 PM
 #1

I've seen a few mini motherboard products on sale online for about $100.  They say they can provide speeds of up to 3ghz as a unit (not mining wise) and come with integrated video cards.  My question is, how viable would they be in a BTC mining rig?  I have used the search function and only found things like the 'butterfly labs' rig and similar posts.  I'm thinking about buying a few and connecting them to mine as a startup rig.  Any help would be appreciated, especially since I've never had a computer that was about 2.2ghz CPU wise =)

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Gomeler
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June 14, 2012, 05:34:54 PM
 #2

CPU mining is not profitable. For a dedicated mining rig you want as many PCIe slots as possible so you can cram lots of GPUs onto the board and distribute the board/ram/cpu costs across a lot of hashing power.

For a hobbyist, a board with a single PCIe slot, like some ITX boards have, may suffice.

ssateneth
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June 14, 2012, 06:56:20 PM
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I have never heard of a "mini motherboard rig". Could you please provide a link as to what you are describing? I'm pretty sure you're using the wrong words.

Shotgun_WooWoo
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June 14, 2012, 06:56:55 PM
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I've seen a mini board or two with a PCIe slot as well as an integrated card.  This one has a PCIe slot as well as an integrated Nvidia 6100, I don't know what the 6100 is capable of in terms of MHz, but I imagine it could power a fairly low end card.  Any ideas on how well it may fair as a beginner/hobby starting rig?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500017

EDIT:  Here's a tutorial on how to build a rig with board.  Apparently, you need a lot more stuff; like an upgraded processor, GPU, RAM, and power supply.  I imagine it can be done for about $500, but I'm unsure as too how many MHz it would reach in terms of mining power.  I'm guessing no more than 1000. 

http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-build-a-budget-bitcoin-mining-rig

Lethos
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June 14, 2012, 07:04:03 PM
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If you want just the one GPU slot, then an ATOM micro-atx will probably do, they usually can be picked up for a lot less than most other board combinations since it's often embedded with the CPU and heatsink already on the motherboard. Also most of the ATOM range are 10-15 Watts, making it very efficient. The only other contended is if you want to throw in a Llano processor in their to mine that at the same time, since it's an APU it will mine on the GPU portion.

I use the ATOM for my media center / FPGA system. It's very good for the price I paid.

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crazyates
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June 14, 2012, 07:14:50 PM
 #6

If you just want a computer with 1 PCIe slot, why not pick up a used Dell or HP tower on ebay for like $50? Most of them have a 300+ W PSU, which can handle an undervolted GPU no problem.

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Shotgun_WooWoo
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June 14, 2012, 07:14:57 PM
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What type of mining speed would the board above generate?

EDIT: Come to think of it, I've got an old Dell 530 with a Foxconn board that has a processor (~2.2ghz).  But I speak from experience when I say 'it doesn't run sufficiently enough to mine'.  I think a mini board set up would work just fine as the newer GPUs wouldn't mesh well with an old processor IMO.  I'm not sure though, still trying to figure things out.

ssateneth
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June 14, 2012, 07:41:25 PM
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Oh, micro ATX boards. Not really worth the money since you're paying a premium for just 1 slot. Have to get a power supply, cpu, ram... plus electricity not used for the video card costs money too. Just get a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128553 for $80 which has 5 pci-e slots, or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130620 has 6, but premium price tag of $120.

Also older CPU/ram/whatever has no bearing on the capability of GPU mining, as long as you have a means of connecting a proper mining card to it. You could even use a PCI to PCI-E bridge card on an old pentium 2 computer and plug in a video card to that, and it would mine fine, granted that the power supply is strong enough on 12v to supply whatever card you're using with enough power without faltering.

If you have extra money floating around and just want to "try" stuff though, then go for it. A micro ATX board will work fine.

Gomeler
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June 14, 2012, 07:55:20 PM
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CPU power to drive GPU miners is negligble. I run all my single-core Sempron 145s at 1.2 GHz and the CPU usage is typically around 5-10% with 3-4 HD5970s. Mining on the CPU cores themselves will peg the cores but it is highly inefficient. APU mining is also something I wouldn't bother with from a cost efficiency point of view.

Lethos
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June 15, 2012, 07:13:48 AM
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CPU power to drive GPU miners is negligble. I run all my single-core Sempron 145s at 1.2 GHz and the CPU usage is typically around 5-10% with 3-4 HD5970s. Mining on the CPU cores themselves will peg the cores but it is highly inefficient. APU mining is also something I wouldn't bother with from a cost efficiency point of view.

APU mining is nothing to be sniffed at when it's capable of doing 30-50 Mhash/s on 10-15 watts.

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Shotgun_WooWoo
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June 15, 2012, 04:34:42 PM
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So, it can run 2500mh/s on a 1000w power supply?  Maybe more with upgraded GPUs?

crazyates
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June 15, 2012, 04:38:31 PM
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So, it can run 2500mh/s on a 1000w power supply?  Maybe more with upgraded GPUs?

As soon as you figure out how to make 2500MH/s worth of APUs work on one PSU, you let me know.

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Shotgun_WooWoo
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June 15, 2012, 04:42:31 PM
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Is it because of it's size?  I'm not quite sure what an APU is.  I just wanted to know how many BTC a month a mini mobo is capable of and what is required to run it.

yjacket
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June 15, 2012, 05:49:29 PM
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Dude, the mobo has nothing to do with mining other than the number of PCI-E slots.

Yes, you can buy an apu(a cpu with an integrated graphics processor), but it won't match a single 5830. If you want to build a mining rig, you need to focus on the number of pci-e slots, the power supply, and the graphics cards. Everything else matters very little.

You clearly don't know what you're getting in to. I wouldn't recommend getting into GPU mining at this time anyway.
crazyates
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June 15, 2012, 06:13:38 PM
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An APU is AMD's CPU + GPU all on one die, in an FM1 or FM2 socket.

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Shotgun_WooWoo
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June 15, 2012, 06:16:05 PM
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I understand that it would require more than a miniature motherboard.  The boards in the $100 range have one if not two PCIe slots as well as a PCI slot (which can use a PCIe adapter to run a card).  I figure they would require at least a 1000w power supply and a few gigs of RAM.  All in all, it would be a $500 project at least, but worth it in the end.  I'm sure a 3ghz processor could run 2 or 3 '5830's, especially with an upgraded/additional processor($50).

crazyates
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June 15, 2012, 06:21:57 PM
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I understand that it would require more than a miniature motherboard.  The boards in the $100 range have one if not two PCIe slots as well as a PCI slot (which can use a PCIe adapter to run a card).  I figure they would require at least a 1000w power supply and a few gigs of RAM.  All in all, it would be a $500 project at least, but worth it in the end.  I'm sure a 3ghz processor could run 2 or 3 '5830's, especially with an upgraded/additional processor($50).

His point is that you don't need a 3GHz processor to run any GPU mining. I've heard of people mining (with 4-5 GPUs) on systems with an 800MHz AMD cpu that has been undervolted.

A 1000W PSU would be overkill for only a 2 GPU miner. Even if those 2 cards were overclocked 7970s you could still get away with a 650W PSU. If it's 5830s or 5850s you could get away with a 500W.

A $500 project (and that's NOT including the GPUs) would take a LONG time to pay back. So no, it's not really worth it.

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scifimike12
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June 15, 2012, 06:24:42 PM
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I'm sure a 3ghz processor could run 2 or 3 '5830's, especially with an upgraded/additional processor($50).

Processor speed is completely irrelevant at this point in bitcoin mining.  It is inefficient to mine on your CPU and it won't do anything for your GPUs.

I have a couple of miners with APUs and found them to be very inefficient.  While I was able to get ~40 MH/s out of the APU, my power consumption went up 30-40W.  You can acquire a Sempron 145 for $35 and pair it with a board with 3 or 4 PCIe slots for under $90.  Add $10 for some memory and you got a pretty decent rig to mine on.  The only reason I have a couple of FM1 boards is because I got them cheap, the same with the CPUs.  No way in hell would I do the same again if I were to build another mining rig.

*Edit*  Man I'm slow at typing.   Embarrassed
Shotgun_WooWoo
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June 15, 2012, 07:35:05 PM
 #19

I don't understand how you could power 3 powerful GPUs with a less than par processor.

crazyates
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June 15, 2012, 07:52:50 PM
 #20

For gaming, you need a good CPU to go hand in hand with a good GPU. For mining, 100% of the work is on your video card. GPU mining takes up almost 0% cpu usage, so it doesnt matter what processor you get.

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