Corsair Blogs About... Oh Come On!

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | March 1, 2014 - 09:51 PM |
Tagged: corsair, mining

When mining some form of cryptographic coin, very few components in the system are utilized. A GPU is basically a self-contained massively parallel cruncher with its own memory and logic. The host system just needs to batch the tasks which leads to PCs with dirt-cheap CPUs, a very modest amount of RAM, and quite literally a half-dozen high-end graphics cards.

If you thought that gaming machines skew a little too much towards GPUs, you should see a mining rig with five R9 290X cards fed by a Sempron.

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As you can guess, since many GPUs are double-slot, it might be difficult to fit seven of them in a seven-slot motherboard with a limited number PCIe lanes. To get around this limitation, miners attach their graphics cards to extension cables. Thankfully (for them), mining does not pass a lot of data across the bus to the host system. Even a single PCIe fails to be a bottleneck, apparently.

Anyway, the Corsair blog created an open-air rack which hangs six graphics cards (five HD 7970s and a R9 290X) above a motherboard housing an Intel Celeron G1830. For air, a quartet of Corsair fans suck air upwards and around the graphics cards. For power, of course they use the Corsair AX1500i because why not mine with an arc welding torch. It apparently had more power capacity than the breaker they originally hooked it up to. Whoops.

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While ridiculous, I do hope to see systems with multiple (even mismatched) graphics processors as we move toward batches of general mathematics. PhysX was not entirely successful in teaching users that GPUs do not need to be in SLi or Crossfire configurations to load balance. It is just finding an appropriate way to split tasks without requiring a lot of bottlenecks in setting it up.

I might not mine coins, but I could see some benefit to having 35 TeraFLOPs across seven compute devices. I could also see Corsair wanting to sell me a power supply for said PC.


Source: Corsair

March 2, 2014 | 06:36 AM - Posted by Rob G (not verified)

Lets just say each card can do 600Kh/s and an exchange rate of 1 LTC to $14USD, without factoring in energy costs and pool fees. According to my calcs it going to take nearly 6 months to get ROI of this rig. Doesn't mining get harder everyday? I just don't see the point of spending $3,000-$4,000 a rig...or am I off base here?

March 12, 2014 | 08:04 AM - Posted by Rob (not verified)

Hi Rob G, Rob (someone else) here ...

You are correct that Bitcoin Mining is (for the majority) not worthwhile. You must make your Coin before someone else finds it.

There are other 'Digital Coins' that would be easier to obtain; though they are less popular (currently) and have similar risks.

Check out Dave Carlson's "Bitcoin Mine" (Links are at the bottom of my YouTube Channel). Dave has a Warehouse he uses to mine. As you can clearly see, if you want to compete with him then quit while you are ahead !


What interested me about this Corsair Rig is for (some, very few?) Games and GPU Computing.

Can someone at PCPer borrow one and run the usual Gaming Benchmarks on it (preferably with Benchmarks that work better on the GPU and rely less so on the CPU).

I do not mind if you use a more powerful CPU or even if you modify the Cable to make it wider (if possible).

Just wondering IF this has any other uses than Mining. We (maybe just me) always wondered where the 'point of no return whatsoever' kicks in.

I understand that 4 Cards is nowhere near twice as good as 2 Cards and that 2 Cards are probably a reasonable limit (currently) for most people (Bang per Buck).


March 2, 2014 | 06:47 AM - Posted by Rob G (not verified)

Then again if I had $10,000+ in a bank or stocks, you might better served building multiple rigs rather just collect interest, but it is very risky indeed.

March 2, 2014 | 01:56 PM - Posted by Prodeous

Well depending on the card. the 290x is about 900kh, the 7970 is about 720kh. Still the return on it is indeed risky. I would spend that much on that type of rig more for geek factor. 4 x 290x in one rig would be cool to have.. well hot to have more then cool :P

March 2, 2014 | 05:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The only plus side for me is that AMD cards are now in-line with Nvidia cards when it comes to folding. When these cards flood the market, and they will, I will have no problem buying them for pennies on the nickels or dimes on the dollar and put them to an actual good use.

March 3, 2014 | 12:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Cool setup, looks like Corsair has been monitoring was people are looking for.