Online bytes to Nonces calculator tool

  • I just wanted to share a very useful calculator for converting disk space sizes (bytes,megabytes,gigabytes etc.) to the corresponding number of nonces:

  • @zero24x said in Online bytes to Nonces calculator tool:

    important thing:

    • hard drive manufacturers quote decimal-, not binary-prefixed capacities
    • people are unaware of the fact that KB (1000) != KiB (1024) and there is a total fuckup in various "File Explorer's" presentation of space
    • people expect (and see) the decimal kilo-,mega-,..-Byte drop down,
      but it is calculated in binary.


    1000 Megabyte is calculated to be 4000 nonces.
    That is wrong. It is 3814 nonces. 1000 MB / 256 KiB == 1000 * 10^6 / (256 * 2^10) == 3814

    What you are calculating here is 1000 MiB / 256 KiB == 1000 * 2^20 / (256 * 2^10) == 4000

    The consumer of your tool has a harddisk of i.e. 4 TB.
    He would have to enter 3.637 into your "Terabyte" data field to get a usable quote.

    ..and for it to be a really useful tool we need to delve a little deeper:
    Plotting the "correct" number of nonces will most probably fail. You should add an informative message to substract 1-4% for filesystem overhead/reservation, depending on system specifics. And the number of nonces should be evenly divisable by the intended plotting stagger value, as not every plotter out there handles edge cases gracefully. Oh my.

  • Hello vaxman,

    Thank your for your detailled useful feedback. I will add some options to let users select KB or KiB and an explanation that for example when you buy a drive it says 1TB but thats not 100% of what you can use.

    Also I will add another output value where these parts for filesystem overhead/reservation are taken into account.

    Edit: I updated the calculator, I think for the users its the easiest and fastest to just check what size the file explorer shows and enter the amount here (instead of manually calculating the 1-4% filesystem overhead). About the stagger things, I dont know how to implement that properly to be honest.

  • @zero24x the stagger is dependent on a few factors;

    • target file size
    • available memory
    • IO strategy implemented

    granularity = floor ( <target_size> / <memory> )
    or, when using gpuplot -buffer
    granularity = floor ( <target_size> / <memory> / 2 )

    example 1

    the stagger value directly relates to the amount of memory allocated to the plotting process. Nonces are computed sequentially (with 4096 sequential scoops in them), but writing a file with stagger 1

    filename: 0_0_1024_1

    produces a 256 MiB ( 1024 * 4096 * 64Bytes) file that stored nonces like this:

    0,1,2,..,4095 (1024x total)

    which is very unfortunate for mining, as a lot of seeks have to be performed.
    While mining, we're interested in a specific scoop in all nonces - this hardens Burst against GPU/ASIC attacks.
    Therefore, the perfect organization of this example file would be

    filename: 0_0_1024_1024
    0,0,..,0 (1024x)
    1,1,..,1 (1024x)
    4095,4095,..,4095 (1024x)

    This organziation allows the miner process to read 1024 scoops needed for the particular block to be solved in one go, a sequential read of 1024 * 64 Bytes = 64 KiB, as opposed to 1024 * 64 Bytes and 1023 seeks in between (head movement).

    So the plotter process computes as many nonces as fit the configured memory limit. Upon writing into the file,

    • all scoops 0 are collected and written sequentially,
    • repeat for the remaining 4095 scoops.

    if you allocated 32 MiB to the plotter, the internal structure of the file is:

    filename: 0_0_1024_128
    0,0,..,0 (128x)
    4095,4095,..,4095 (128x)
    0,0,..,0 (128x)
    4095,4095,..,4095 (128x)
    ... (repeated for a total of 8 times).

    The plotter can therefore only plot a multiple of 128 nonces (in this example).

    gpuplot has another "tweak" - it uses twice the memory for a shadow copy to allow for parallel computing and file I/O.

    If your stagger value is less than, say, 8 MiB (131,072), your disk may not operate optimally because it spends more time seeking then reading. You then need to optimize your file, that is: reorganize from
    0_0_1024_128 to

    But there is a variant on this, and it trades compute power against IO

    example 2

    using the gpuplot terminology: you may plot in "direct" or "buffere" mode.
    "buffer mode" was example 1 above.

    "direct mode" computes file-length times the scoop 0 and writes them out.
    Then it computes file-length times the scoop 0 to 1, discards 0, writes all scoop 1 out.
    Repeat until finished (4096 scoops).

    The problem is, scoops (64 Bytes) can not be computed "individually" but only as part of a whole nonce (4096 * 64 Bytes).

    If you plot a 1 TiB file ( 1 TiB = 4,194,304 nonces ) every single scoop needs 256 MiB ( 1 TiB / 4096 ).
    If you assign 4 GiB memory to gpuplot, 16 scoops can be computed in one go ( 4 GiB / 256 MiB ).
    No double buffering here, as computing is slow - you throw away ~127 of 128 results - you keep only the requested 16 out of computed 4096 values.
    (I think it aborts right after hitting the wanted scoop, hence 127/128 and not 255/256, a 50% speedup).
    This scenario only makes sense if your IO is a lot slower than computation (most users : single disk and potent GPU).

    The plotter can therefore only plot a multiple of 16 nonces (in this example).

    example 3

    another variant is xplotter, which has a fast mode of pre-allocating a sequential file of the target size on NTFS.
    wplot (?) pre-allocated a continous file by writing out <target-size> zeroes (to have it physically sequential on disk) and then seeking in this file for writing a fully optimized file (length==stagger).

    It then computes nonces as usual (scoops 0..4095), aggregates them according to available memory, and then writes out a fully optimized file by doing the seeks for perfect placement.

    If we still have 4 GiB memory for plotting, the granularity is 256 ( 1 TiB / 4 GiB ).

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