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AMD Graphics Bitcoin Communications Power The Almighty Buck The Internet

GPU and Motherboard OEMs Readying Components Optimized For Cryptocurrency Mining (hothardware.com) 77

MojoKid writes: With the popularity of upstart cryptocurrencies like Ethereum on the rise and the value of well-established currencies like Bitcoin steadily increasing, there is new-found interest in cryptocurrency mining. As such, there is another run on AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, which is driving up prices. In an effort to prevent the same kind of GPU shortages that happened in the past, reports have surfaced claiming that AMD and NVIDIA are both readying stripped-down graphics cards, specifically targeting cryptocurrency miners. At Computex, ASRock also announced a new motherboard targeted at cryptocurrency miners, the ASRock H110 Pro BTC+. The ASRock H110 Pro BTC+ is packing 13 PCI Express slots -- twelve x1 slots and one x16 slot -- to accommodate as many graphics cards. ASRock didn't specify pricing or when the H110 Pro BTC+ will be available, however. And the reports that AMD and NVIDIA graphics card for mining will be made available sometime at the end of the June are as yet unconfirmed.
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GPU and Motherboard OEMs Readying Components Optimized For Cryptocurrency Mining

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  • by Nkwe ( 604125 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @05:19PM (#54563901)
    I played with bitcoin mining a couple of years ago back when BTC prices were around $7. At that point it was just about at the point where it was not economical (power costs) to compete in mining with GPU based hardware - the shift to FPGA and ASIC was just beginning. Today is it even economically feasible to generate enough hash power with GPU based hardware? If so, what has changed? Sure the BTC price is 300-400 times higher, but GPU speed hasn't increased by two orders of magnitude, and there is lot more mining competition for a relatively fixed amount of mining rewards / transaction fees.

    Of course back when I was playing with it I purchased a couple of hundred dollars worth of graphics cards, mined about the same amount value in bitcoins, sold them and came out about $50 ahead - I was pretty proud of my self back then. Probably should have saved those 50 BTC...
    • by mhkohne ( 3854 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @05:49PM (#54564073) Homepage

      I just played with one of the mining profit calculators (https://99bitcoins.com/bitcoin-mining-calculator/), and if you steal the hardware and only have to pay for the electric, then you could make a couple bucks a week, assuming bitcoin prices don't collapse down to something like $1000/BTC.

      In other words: Not really, and even WITH custom hardware I'm guessing that you can't easily make a buck if you pay for your own electricity.

      I think the best way to make money in Bitcoin mining is to sell stuff to Bitcoin miners.

      • You can make about $250/mo mining Ether, Zcash, etc.

        • Useless information without knowing the capital and ongoing costs.

          How much for the machines and how much for the electricity?

      • Or, just buy low and sell high. It's a gamble, but at least you don't have dead weight for hardware laying around.

      • I just played with one of the mining profit calculators

        ...which fail to take into account that the difficulty is constantly increasing, which means you'll have to continuously steal even more mining hardware if you want to turn a profit.

        If you want to make money in cryptocurrency, forget mining - the real money is in starting your own exchange, waiting for it to get popular, claiming it was "hacked" and making off with everyone's BTC. That, and ransomware. But be warned, there will probably be a special place in hell reserved for ransomware authors, right nex

        • by crtreece ( 59298 )

          fail to take into account that the difficulty is constantly increasing

          The first 3 I found in a search had either pre-filled the current difficulty, or had a field for you to select the difficulty.

          • The first 3 I found in a search had either pre-filled the current difficulty, or had a field for you to select the difficulty.

            Yeah, they'll factor in the current difficulty but don't show you what your profitability (or lack-thereof) will be as the difficulty increases. It's kind of like calculating simple interest vs compounded interest. So, unless you're living in a Groundhog Day time loop and will always be mining at today's difficulty, you can't use a mining calculator to determine long-term profitability.

            Now, it's entirely possible to perform a statistical analysis on the average rate of difficulty increase over time and fa

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        I think the best way to make money in Bitcoin mining is to sell stuff to Bitcoin miners.

        Exactly.

        The only way to make money with standard equipment is if you steal it. You know, malware that installs a mining client on your PC and steals CPU time. You're paying the bills, someone else gets the benefit.

        The only other way to do it is to sell the equipment to do the mining. Hell, I saw a funny ad the other day - a company that rents out "cloud computers" for mining! (Bitcoins, specifically). You rent out their

        • by crtreece ( 59298 )

          malware that installs a mining client on your PC and steals CPU time

          I did some math back in January. A Core i7 3930k can do about 66 MEGAhash/sec. Playing with the profit calculator showed a CPU miner will generate about $0.001196/month. So, a botnet with 100k nodes would get you about $120/month. High end AMD GPUs would bump that up by about 5x, but I expect there are a lot less of those available. Seems there would be much better ways to put said botnet to use. That doesn't take into account any difficulty changes, or the recent price surge, so YYMV.

      • So what you're saying is that I only need to commit a heist to get all this gear, and then get a 12 kW solar array installed on my roof complete with a Tesla PowerWall, and then I'll be rich! (after paying for the off-grid solar setup)

        Yeah, seems like a huge waste of resources.

    • There are other currencies to mine which are still within the realm of GPUs.
    • Why AMD graphics card is better than Nvidia for such activity?
  • We're gonna build fantastic pyramids, the best pyramids! Nobody will have bigger pyramids than us!

  • It seems like a GPU without any video outputs would still be useful when paired with something like NVidia's Optimus technology. Since all the consumer Intel CPUs have GPUs on them anyway, it means that you could pipe the video data back to have the Intel GPU display it. The same thing that they're already doing for laptops, but for desktops this time.
    Exactly how much money is saved by omitting the video output ports?

  • What a great idea. I can imagine the sales pitch. Spend $1200 on a GPU then waste lots of energy to mine the shitcoin of the week. Great business model. It will work very well for the vendors of hardware.

  • GPGPU efforts started many years ago before Bitcoin, and there are tons of scientific and technical applications for headless GPUs. So pardon me if the "mining-only" definition seems idiotic. Some people even render graphics on headless machines.

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