What hardware for mining?



  • Im new to Burst so help me out here. I realize hard drives are needed but what specs? Are SSD better? 7200rpm? 5400rpm? cache size make a difference?

    What about scaling? I see posts about CPU mining vs GPU in that GPU is faster, is there an optimal setup? ie, CPU mining (plotting?) is fine for less than XXTB and more than that you need GPU?

    What GPUs ar useful? I have some older 5850's laying around still - would they be of any use or should I use something newer like a 480?

    Sorry for the newb questions. I started messing with Burst when it first came out but reformatted my system and never reinstalled the wallet. Im considering hedging my mining efforts a bit and trying to tap into multiple mining algros at once.


  • admin

    @AmDD Only thing that matters for drives is capacity ... no big benefit using SSD. Speed is a factor, as you need to read out your drives in blocktime and even on fast blocks, but also a 5400rpm can easy handle that ... only 0,025% of data is read per round.

    GPU can become useful, once your CPU is at 100% while mining (some calculations needed for finding deadlines)... should only happen at above 20TB-40TB for mainstream CPU. Once you use GPU even a old one could be enough ... here are some old stats from my testings ...

    PC-1: 85TB plots:
    ~80sec with CPU (12 cores [email protected]) bottleneck: CPU
    ~16sec with GPU ([email protected]~50%) bottleneck: HDD read speed

    PC-2: 56TB plots:
    ~70sec with CPU (8 cores [email protected]) bottleneck: CPU
    ~24sec with GPU (amd HD [email protected]~50%) bottleneck: HDD read speed
    ~48sec with GPU (amd HD [email protected]~100%) bottleneck: GPU

    Stats above are from before we had optimized AVX SSE etc. CPU miners ... and may be different now ...

    Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1170987.msg12329106#msg12329106

    For plotting you have to find out whats faster in your case ... GPU should in most cases beat CPU. But plotting depends a lot on drive write speed, too.



  • as @luxe said GPU are realy not needed in mining ontell your over 20ish TB's .. however a Solid GPU makes ploting your drives way way faster during setup. as for drives any drive will work your looking for size over speed unless cost is not a major factor then you want the fastest version of the bigest drive.... in most cases any old 5400 RPM drive is fine however given the price range i would not purchase a 5400 RPM drive because the 7200's are in most cases virtuly the same price unless you can find them for next to nothing .... if you pay attention many people in the comunity regularly post links in the forums to sales on drives they find for realy cheep



  • @luxe Cool, thanks for the info. What about USB2 vs 3? Id probably go with external drives as long as the USB2.0 hubs I already have will work.



  • USB2 would not recomend at all far to slow .... if thats all you have i would look into a USB3 add on card ... and keep your under 1TB drives hooked up to the USB2 slot


  • admin

    @AmDD Sure USB2 will work, but you can run in issues if you attach too much capacity to it. USB2 is ~20MB/s right?! USB3 is at ~300MB/s ... so if you attach a 2TB drive to USB2, should be ok ... 8TB could end up to slow maybe ... not sure.



  • yep avoid USB2 if you can .. if not i would use it for older smaller drives and limit the total amount of TB on that port



  • Thanks. Quickly looking at prices on newegg, Id say its probably better to get PCIe USB cards to meet your drive capacity rather than getting USB hubs. I see some cards with 5 USB3 slots.



  • you can use the link hear at the fourm to direct you to newegg it will generate add income that gets put back into the burst community


  • admin

    @AmDD If you buy a USB3 Controller-Card to attach much more than 4 drives, ensure you get one with dedicated and not shared controllers:
    http://geizhals.eu/?cat=ioexpcard&xf=1331_4~621_PCIe+2.0+x4

    alt text

    Source: http://www.sonnettech.com/product/allegroprousb3pcie.html



  • Thanks for the info.... I'll do some more reading and see what I can come up with.



  • Actually, maybe we misunderstand each other a bit...

    I guess my thought was picking up 20 5TB externals and running them on a single system. In all honesty Id probably not go quite that big at first, maybe 3-5 drives at first and moving up to 20 soon after. I feel this would be a decent start and investment.

    What kind of bandwidth is needed per 5TB drive? As in, how many 5TB drives can I run on a single USB3 port of a motherboard?



  • @AmDD From wikipedia for USB 3.0:

    The "SuperSpeed" bus provides for a transfer mode at a nominal rate of 5.0 Gbit/s, in addition to the three existing transfer modes. Accounting for the encoding overhead, the raw data throughput is 4 Gbit/s, and the specification considers it reasonable to achieve 3.2 Gbit/s (0.4 GB/s or 400 MB/s) or more in practice.

    So for a non USB bottlenecked system your calcs should take into account your hdds read speed to understand how many hdds per port...



  • @Dario's-wallet ok, so based on that, given a read speed of the drive of 180MB/s you could run 2 drives per port.

    With a motherboard that has 5 pcie slots you could get 5 of these cards: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812400546
    That gives you 20 ports and the ability to run 40 drives, however you would need 20 hubs to get 2 drives per port which adds another ~$200 to the cost depending on what hubs you find. You may be able to push it to 3 drives per port and get more density...

    Does this seem right?

    Realistically, those of you with multiple externals on one rig, how are they connected?


  • admin

    @AmDD Mostly like you mentioned above, you could add a 7port usb3 hub to each of the ports for example and run 28 drives with that one controller. Depending on drive capacity 50MB/s per drive may be fast enough. Again depending on the time you target to finish mining for a round. Block time fluctuates a lot, get a overview here: http://burstcoin.biz/charts/average-block-generation-time

    This is how such a setup could look like:
    https://forums.burst-team.us/topic/2411/everybody-post-their-mining-rigs-show-photos/67



  • @luxe said in What hardware for mining?:

    @AmDD Mostly like you mentioned above, you could add a 7port usb3 hub to each of the ports for example and run 28 drives with that one controller. Depending on drive capacity 50MB/s per drive may be fast enough. Again depending on the time you target to finish mining for a round. Block time fluctuates a lot, get a overview here: http://burstcoin.biz/charts/average-block-generation-time

    This is how such a setup could look like:
    https://forums.burst-team.us/topic/2411/everybody-post-their-mining-rigs-show-photos/67

    Maybe thats where Im missing it. In any mining Ive done to date faster is always better. Is this not the case here?

    Im currently plotting an old 1TB drive I had laying around, running over USB2 and on an old Core2Duo system.



  • with burst faster is better but only as a secondary factor to size of drive. your quoted setup of 20 ports and 40 drives would be optimal ...for 0 bottleneck and everything to run at max speed. but you could hook up more drives or even run them throu usb2.0 and your set up will work just much slower. the avrage block time is 4 min, thou you will regularly see rounds go 10 or even 20 min and as low as 30 sec.... how ever you setup your system your looking to be able to scan all of your drives befor the next block is found so that you get to submit all posible deadlines. idealy you want to be under 70ish sec scan time.... also optimize your plots will make scaning much faster . essentuly the optimizer reads your total plot and creates a new one with the pots orgonized for optimal read times kind of like a how the defrag works on HDD tools



  • @AmDD @AmDD said in What hardware for mining?:

    @Dario's-wallet ok, so based on that, given a read speed of the drive of 180MB/s you could run 2 drives per port.

    With a motherboard that has 5 pcie slots you could get 5 of these cards: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812400546
    That gives you 20 ports and the ability to run 40 drives, however you would need 20 hubs to get 2 drives per port which adds another ~$200 to the cost depending on what hubs you find. You may be able to push it to 3 drives per port and get more density...

    Does this seem right?

    Realistically, those of you with multiple externals on one rig, how are they connected?

    Yes :). But pay attention: CPU bottleneck is always around the corner at high plot size, even if you mine with GPU (in fact jminer is an assisted gpu miner). So I like your idea of a slow growth.
    Let me explain with an example: if your CPU cannot compute for jminer more than 4800 MB/s (let's say your ports are topped to 400 MB/s, so 12 USB 3.0 ports at maximum transfer rate) it's useless buy 5 of these cards, it's a waste of money, because effectively you can fully use only 3 of them at the same time. In this case is better to attach 3/4 instead of 2 hdds per port, without worrying about the usb port bottleneck, saving 160$ of cards. With a slow growth you can do it step-by-step, wasting less/no money... Just my 2 cents...


  • admin

    @AmDD said in What hardware for mining?:

    Maybe thats where Im missing it. In any mining Ive done to date faster is always better. Is this not the case here?

    Your capacity is your hashrate, you precalculate hashes while plotting ... all you have to do on mining ... is to find and deliver your best hash for given parameters. The faster you can do that, the better. But without a good hash the speed you deliver it, does not matter.

    A hash results in a deadline (time in sec. to forge a block), lets say you have a deadline of 10sec. but you need 40sec. to deliver it ... someone else with a deadline of 20sec. may win the block if he delivers it within 30sec. Thats the point where speed matters.

    Or if you mine on a pool, you earn shares of next found block depending on the deadlines you commit. You always want to commit your best deadline before the round ends, to earn as much shares as possible. (Would be bad if you can only 'scan' half of your plots in given time.) Again speed matters ...

    Hope i could explain in a understandable way ...