There has been a lot of news lately about the release of Cryptocurrency-specific graphics cards from both NVIDIA and AMD add-in board partners. While we covered the currently cryptomining phenomenon in an earlier article, today we are taking a look at one of these cards geared towards miners.
It's worth noting that I purchased this card myself from Newegg, and neither AMD or Sapphire are involved in this article. I saw this card pop up on Newegg a few days ago, and my curiosity got the best of me.
There has been a lot of speculation, and little official information from vendors about what these mining cards will actually entail.
From the outward appearance, it is virtually impossible to distinguish this "new" RX 470 from the previous Sapphire Nitro+ RX 470, besides the lack of additional display outputs beyond the DVI connection. Even the branding and labels on the card identify it as a Nitro+ RX 470.
In order to test the hashing rates of this GPU, we are using Claymore's Dual Miner Version 9.6 (mining Ethereum only) against a reference design RX 470, also from Sapphire.
On the reference RX 470 out of the box, we hit rates of about 21.8 MH/s while mining Ethereum.
Once we moved to the Sapphire mining card, we move up to at least 24 MH/s from the start.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Cases and Cooling | July 5, 2017 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: supply shortage, shortage, ethereum, cryptocurrency
The cryptocurrency craze is kind-of like the old gold rush. Tokens are just out there waiting to be discovered, and value is applied when people trade it in exchange for goods and services. In this case, these tokens are discovered by doing math, and faster computers acquire more, and the algorithm is quite parallel. Some of the non-Bitcoin currencies are gaining traction, and becoming economically viable to mind with off-the-shelf parts, so gaming parts are being sold out... and not to gamers.
What do the video card add-in board (AIB) partners (as in the companies that take GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD and attach them to things that will actually plug into a motherboard) think of this? Gamers Nexus reached out to a bunch of them and, off the record, got a bunch of responses. The fifteen-minute video is quite interesting, and covers a lot of issues like brand loyalty, the second-hand market flooding, and RMA abuse. It even talks about the abnormal stress the GPU mining could have on power supplies. Most of the responses make sense, but it’s interesting to hear it coming from people in the industry, even if “who specifically said what” has been anonymized.
Of course, this is for the best, because you'll get more candid responses that way.
Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2017 - 02:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gambling, blockchain, bitcoin, ethereum
Argonaut Software founder and Ethereum guru Jez San’s Funfair project looks to make online gambling more secure with blockchains. He related a story about how the admins of an online casino site used privileges to view players' cards and pass the information onto accomplices, tilting the odds even more in favour of the house. With a blockchain every single transaction is publicly recorded and anyone can inspect and audit that record so such nefarious schemes would immediately be spotted. This also opens up an interesting choice for regulators, who could either embrace the technology and be able to monitor and police it or attempt to ignore or prevent it, in which case they would be totally shut out of the entire process. This is a very complex idea, for a deeper look into how this could work and the repercussions of it being embraced you can pop over to The Register.
"One of the brains behind classic Nintendo game Star Fox is launching a blockchain-based online gambling service that could leave regulators stumped – and says he has raised $200,000 from the public to launch it."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- NotPetya malware 'absorbed NSA exploit six months before they were made public' @ The Inquirer
- Don't panic, but Linux's Systemd can be pwned via an evil DNS query @ The Register
- GNOME System76 Unveils Its Own Ubuntu-Based Linux Distribution Called 'Pop!_OS' @ Slashdot
- O Rly? O'Reilly exits direct book sales @ The Register
- TP-Link TL-PA9020P AV2000 2-Port Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Adapter Kit Review @ NikKTech
Astute readers of the site might remember the original story we did on Bitcoin mining in 2011, the good ole' days where the concept of the blockchain was new and exciting and mining Bitcoin on a GPU was still plenty viable.
However, that didn't last long, as the race for cash lead people to developing Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) dedicated solely to Bitcoin mining quickly while sipping power. Use of the expensive ASICs drove the difficulty of mining Bitcoin to the roof and killed any sort of chance of profitability from mere mortals mining cryptocurrency.
Cryptomining saw a resurgence in late 2013 with the popular adoption of alternate cryptocurrencies, specifically Litecoin which was based on the Scrypt algorithm instead of AES-256 like Bitcoin. This meant that the ASIC developed for mining Bitcoin were useless. This is also the period of time that many of you may remember as the "Dogecoin" era, my personal favorite cryptocurrency of all time.
Defenders of these new "altcoins" claimed that Scrypt was different enough that ASICs would never be developed for it, and GPU mining would remain viable for a larger portion of users. As it turns out, the promise of money always wins out, and we soon saw Scrypt ASICs. Once again, the market for GPU mining crashed.
That brings us to today, and what I am calling "Third-wave Cryptomining."
While the mass populous stopped caring about cryptocurrency as a whole, the dedicated group that was left continued to develop altcoins. These different currencies are based on various algorithms and other proofs of works (see technologies like Storj, which use the blockchain for a decentralized Dropbox-like service!).
As you may have predicted, for various reasons that might be difficult to historically quantify, there is another very popular cryptocurrency from this wave of development, Ethereum.
Ethereum is based on the Dagger-Hashimoto algorithm and has a whole host of different quirks that makes it different from other cryptocurrencies. We aren't here to get deep in the woods on the methods behind different blockchain implementations, but if you have some time check out the Ethereum White Paper. It's all very fascinating.