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Author Topic: What would the best way to profit from 19 workstations be? (PCIe,ASIC or FPGA?)  (Read 3150 times)
unixunderground
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June 22, 2012, 05:37:00 PM
 #1

So, I run into a deal the other day, where I managed to get 19 Lenovo workstations for free (they were throwing them away at my office), as per the pics below (some are missing from the image)

http://d.pr/BL9q+
http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/4646/img3175al.jpg
http://d.pr/CrMy+

All of them are running on Intel Core 2 Duo processors clocked at 1.80GHz, and have RAM ranging from 512 to 2048MB.
They all also seem to have a free PCIe slot, as per the following pictures:

http://d.pr/UK5a+ (full size img)

http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/2531/img3210j.jpg

http://d.pr/32Po+ (full size img)

http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/6171/img3214j.jpg

And that's the really interesting part, since I think that it would be quite easy to snap in some GPUs and beging mining without any additional cost..
But there is also what I think may be a huge limitation since the power adaptor states that "the current usage shall not exceed 235W", or at least that's what I understood (pic below)
http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/4714/img3213u.jpg
And I don't really know how profitable it would be to run graphic cards compatible with that power adaptor (and hence low mining/profit rate) [I don't know for sure but if I am not mistaken most hi-end graphic cards that are usually being used for mining require well over 500W adaptors]

So now comes the question.. What would the most cost-effective and profitable way to use these 19 workstations be? What kind of graphic cards,FPGAs or ASICs should I be looking for, to be compatible with them?

Or what would you do with these machines, if you were me?

I would like to employ them all within a couple of months, but at first, I think that I would be better off starting with 1 graphic card/FPGA/whatever you guys suggest, and see how it goes on a single workstation..

I'd also like not to spend over US$145 for this first "experiment"..

Thanks in advance to anyone that will take time to help me!
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SgtSpike
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June 22, 2012, 05:47:05 PM
 #2

Sell them and buy a BFL single.

The white slot is a regular PCI slot, not a PCIe.  It kind of looks like there may be a black PCIe 1x slot, but you'll still need an adapter to use a 16x video card with it to mine on.  Besides that, GPU mining will be dead soon.  I sure as heck wouldn't be putting any money into it right now.  On top of that, as you said, the PSU's are weak, and not made to handle a high-powered GPU like you would want to run even if you did want to start mining.
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June 22, 2012, 05:47:16 PM
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I'd just try to sell them on Ebay or something. With only one pcie slot each, you're looking at highly inefficient rigs for GPU mining, and with ASICs on the way it's unclear how much profit you would actually make. For running FPGA/ASIC, I one would suffice to run a large farm. But maybe get one used 5850 for the price you want to pay to experiment with and see how much power it pulls. Also, you might be able to get a pcie splitter working to get more GPUs going per unit.  
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June 22, 2012, 05:56:35 PM
 #4

SgtSpike is right - and the pcie slot is non-standard, so it isn't even clear you could get a GPU running on it.
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June 22, 2012, 06:21:03 PM
 #5

Those PSUs can only supply 225W, but more importantly, they can only supply 12A on the 12V rail. If you're looking at putting 1 GPU in each, that's really gonna limit you.

You could possibly throw a 5770 or 5830 in each one, but you'd have to undervolt to not stress the PSUs that much. That's also assuming 3 things: 1) That really is a standard PCIe slot capable of running a video card. 2) You could physically fit a GPU inside the cases. 3) The built in PSU has extra plugs to power the GPU (either a 6pin, or a molex to a 6pin adapter).

I'd say it'd be worth it to pick up a 5770 and try it out. You can get 'em used for like $50-60.

EDIT: a 7770 would also work, and would draw less power than a 5770 while still getting ~200MH/s. You can get those for ~120 brand new fron Newegg.

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June 22, 2012, 07:26:08 PM
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Putting a single 5770 would be pretty power inefficient, since so much of your current draw will be from the rest of the system.

Those C2D computers aren't terrible. Sell the lot of them for 50-80 each and you could buy a BFL single or two.
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June 22, 2012, 07:35:35 PM
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Putting a single 5770 would be pretty power inefficient, since so much of your current draw will be from the rest of the system.

Those C2D computers aren't terrible. Sell the lot of them for 50-80 each and you could buy a BFL single or two.

They would be pretty inefficient, but if you had free electric...

I'm guessing a 5770 in each one would cost ~1,000, would give you ~4GH/s. If you had free electric... it might be worth it. Might being the key word...

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June 22, 2012, 07:57:46 PM
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Putting a single 5770 would be pretty power inefficient, since so much of your current draw will be from the rest of the system.

Those C2D computers aren't terrible. Sell the lot of them for 50-80 each and you could buy a BFL single or two.

They would be pretty inefficient, but if you had free electric...

I'm guessing a 5770 in each one would cost ~1,000, would give you ~4GH/s. If you had free electric... it might be worth it. Might being the key word...

I'd guess closer to 1200 for GPUs, plus extra expense for network hubs, etc. Even with free electricity, you're also setting up and maintaining a 19 rig farm with a fairly large footprint. IMO if you want maximum hashrate/$, instead of spending $1000-1200 on 19 5770s you'd be better off selling the systems for say $1200, tossing another few hundred bucks on top and building a 4x5970 rig. The hashrate might be only 3/4 of the 5770 solution, but it would use considerably less energy, space and would be trivial to manage compared to running 19 machines.
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June 22, 2012, 08:17:31 PM
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An entire pallet of those usually go between $750 and $2k depending on the quantity and quality/type at the local state auction every 2 months. Just to help you get a feel for the value. Most of the ones I have seen being sold were old P4s, but some has C2Ds.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
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June 22, 2012, 08:17:51 PM
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Well,if you really want use these PC's for mining get one of these & put it in your drive bay  Cheesy

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104054

May not run a 5970,but anything smaller should be no problem.

"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day long, you are the asshole."  -Raylan Givens
Got GOXXED ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiqRpPiJAU&feature=youtu.be
"An ASIC being late is perfectly normal, predictable, and legal..."Hashfast & BFL slogan Smiley
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June 22, 2012, 08:19:49 PM
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Well,if you really want use these PC's for mining get one of these & put it in your drive bay  Cheesy

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104054

May not run a 5970,but anything smaller should be no problem.

I've never even heard of those before. Nifty!

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June 22, 2012, 08:20:31 PM
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Well,if you really want use these PC's for mining get one of these & put it in your drive bay  Cheesy

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104054

May not run a 5970,but anything smaller should be no problem.
450 watts would run a 5970 easy, even with an overclock. But the funky PCIe slot would be a PITA.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
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June 22, 2012, 08:56:34 PM
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Sell them locally or donate them for the tax credit. Way too much hassle + electricity powering components that won't be generating BTC.
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June 22, 2012, 10:31:18 PM
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Sweet looking cases, they'd make nice HTPCs.

Bitvolcano YAC, BBQ and WDC P2Pools at http://bitvolcano.com
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June 22, 2012, 10:32:03 PM
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Well,if you really want use these PC's for mining get one of these & put it in your drive bay  Cheesy

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104054

May not run a 5970,but anything smaller should be no problem.

I've never even heard of those before. Nifty!

It works great for the gamers in our clan who can't afford or find a new powersupply for upgrading thier vid cards on older PC's  Wink

"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day long, you are the asshole."  -Raylan Givens
Got GOXXED ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiqRpPiJAU&feature=youtu.be
"An ASIC being late is perfectly normal, predictable, and legal..."Hashfast & BFL slogan Smiley
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June 22, 2012, 10:34:48 PM
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Wow, $90 for that? Wouldn't you be better off picking up a decent 850W PS on sale than running that in one of your drive bays?
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June 22, 2012, 10:40:18 PM
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Stick them on here http://www.bitmit.net/en/recent then buy a bfl single with the cash Smiley

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June 22, 2012, 11:20:19 PM
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You could get between 90 and 120$ for these given they have an 80+ hdd and 2gb ram. (and are ready to boot)

Just-saying
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June 23, 2012, 12:44:20 AM
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Wow, $90 for that? Wouldn't you be better off picking up a decent 850W PS on sale than running that in one of your drive bays?

I'll bet you would be hard pressed to find a PSU for that old of a PC that has the correct 24 pin mobo connector or enough wattage.An aftermarket PSU dosen't just plug & play when they are IBM,Dell,Compaq,etc,in most instances  Sad

"If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day long, you are the asshole."  -Raylan Givens
Got GOXXED ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiqRpPiJAU&feature=youtu.be
"An ASIC being late is perfectly normal, predictable, and legal..."Hashfast & BFL slogan Smiley
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June 23, 2012, 12:47:16 AM
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Wow, $90 for that? Wouldn't you be better off picking up a decent 850W PS on sale than running that in one of your drive bays?

I'll bet you would be hard pressed to find a PSU for that old of a PC that has the correct 24 pin mobo connector or enough wattage.An aftermarket PSU dosen't just plug & play when they are IBM,Dell,Compaq,etc,in most instances  Sad
Uh, yeah they do.  Most good PSU's have the last 4 pins of a 24-pin disconnectable, to be compatible with any of the older motherboards as well as the newer ones.
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