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GIGABYTE Intros H110-D3A Motherboard for Mining Rigs

GIGABYTE today rolled out the H110-D3A, a low-cost socket LGA1151 motherboard for crypto-currency mining builds, based on Intel H110 Express chipset. Built in the ATX form-factor, this board is characterized by five PCI-Express x1 slots, besides an x16 slot, and "Ultra Durable" components, which GIGABYTE claims, have been tested for prolonged operation. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and two optional 4-pin Molex inputs, conditioning power for the CPU with a simple 5-phase VRM.

The CPU is wired to two DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory; and the board's lone PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. Storage connectivity includes a 32 Gbps M.2 slot, and four SATA 6 Gbps ports. There's a host of legacy connectivity, including LPT and COM ports, separate PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports, and D-Sub display output. Four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two by headers), gigabit Ethernet, and 6-channel HD audio make for the rest of it. Expect a sub-$70 pricing.

Cybenetics Announces New Program to Identify Best PSUs for Mining

Mining is highly popular lately (again) thanks to Ethereum and besides suitable GPUs you will also need the proper power supply (PSU) for the job. The PSU has to be highly efficient, in order to keep the electricity cost as low as possible, and reliable as well since it will have to operate 24/7 under highly stressful conditions. For mining purposes, the PSU's noise isn't among the top priorities since most crypto-currency farming facilities operate in dedicated spaces where the operators don't have to stay long; even home miners should install their mining systems in isolated rooms, where noise won't be a problem. As a matter of fact, in PSUs used for mining purposes the fan is expected to operate close to its full speed most of the time, given the high load output, effectively cooling down sensitive components. This way the PSU's reliability is dramatically improved.

Our purpose for this program isn't to torture test each and every PSU that a manufacturer sends for certification since we already do this in our 10-110% load tests (part of the ETA Certification) during which we overload the PSU with the ambient temperature exceeding 45°C, but mostly to examine closely its components in order to find out whether it will survive on the (very) long run. For example, a PSU with a bulk cap which is rated at 85°C will have a significantly shorter lifetime compared to a PSU with a 105°C rated bulk cap under hard operating conditions. The same applies to the filtering capacitors on the secondary side. A PSU that uses low quality filtering capacitors with 1-3,000 hours lifetime under 105°C won't last as long as a PSU that uses 6-10,000 hours caps rated at the same temperature. Another important factor is the cooling fan, since if the fan breaks down then the PSU will most likely follow immediately, especially if it doesn't have Over Temperature Protection.

No End to GPU Supply Woes: Germany Supplier Hit by Shortage, Pulls Cards

There seems to be no end in sight for current high-performance, discrete graphics cards' supply constraints. If you've been looking for a specialized graphics processing unit to push eye-candy on your favored 3D experiences to the max, you've probably been having trouble for a while now. It all stems from a crazy, dizzying wave of cryptocurrency mining. And the fact that this mining spree has already taken global mining power consumption to levels close to a 17 million population country, as one of our editors puts it, kind of has a human problem. And it would seem that not even NVIDIA and AMD's partners' attempts to sate current miners' appetite for profit-generating graphics cards has put a dent on demand.

On Cryptocoins: I think I know why Satoshi Nakamoto Hides

To all you out there wondering why you can't get a GPU for gaming at a reasonable rate, or why we are using record numbers in energy usage to mint so called "toy money," depleting our planets energy in the process, I have a bit of a statement to make as a former miner and "part of the problem" so to speak.

I'm sorry, it wasn't supposed to be this way. None of it was supposed to go down like this.

That probably requires some justification, yes? I mean mining is an inherently energy expensive operation, right? Well, yes and no, respectively. Yes, it requires justification, and that's precisely because mining is NOT an inherently energy expensive operation, despite public perception. It has become that way due to human greed, and nearly everything bad to come from cryptocurrency has decidedly come from that group: humans. Cryptocurrency is not inherently responsible. The inventors, pioneers, and early miners such as myself never anticipated what was to come, and we did not intend it to be this way. Bitcoin was intended to do good, and in the end, it wasn't cryptocurrency that screwed it all up, it was humans. Human greed, particularly.

Cryptocurrency Mining Consumes More Power Than 17M Population Country

So, yes, the headline is accurate. We all know that cryptocurrency mining has now reached an all time high, which has affected availability and pricing of most graphics cards from both AMD and NVIDIA. Who doesn't want to make a quick buck here and there? So long as it's profitable, right?

Well, that kind of thinking has already brought the global mining power consumption to unprecedented levels (some might also say demented.) The two top cryptocurrencies right now (by market-cap), Bitcoin and Ethereum, are each responsible for 14.54 TWh and 4.69 TWh power consumption figures. As of now, Ethereum consumes almost as much power as the 120th most power-consuming country, Moldova, which has a population of around 3 million. Bitcoin, on the other hand, stands at 81st on the list, in-between Mozambique and Turkmenistan, the latter of which has a population estimated at 5.17 million people. Combined, Ethereum and Bitcoin consume more power than Syria, which had an estimated 2014 population above 17 million.

Sapphire Makes Mining-Oriented Graphics Cards Available for Pre-Order

Ah mining. The revival of an old craze. Who doesn't want to make their room's temperature increase to insane levels over the summer in order to cash in on the mining wagon? Who doesn't want to pull their hardware by the ankles and wrists, stretching it in utilization so as to maintain the PoW (proof of Work) cryptographic security in cryptocurrencies? Apparently, a not insignificant number of users and would-be miners does want that. That has, in turn, placed a whole lot of pressure on the graphics card market from both AMD and NVIDIA, with prices climbing and skyrocketing for graphics cards in the $200-$400 price ranges, as you know. It remains to be seen whether the flow of new miners decreases somewhat now, considering the recent market correction (read: dip) in the cryptocurrency market value (down around 42% from the all-time high of 357€ [~$400] of June 12th.)

After ASUS, it would seem like it's Sapphire's time to try and sway miners from their consumer-oriented, gaming graphics cards, through the launch of five different graphics cards models especially geared for mining. These are currently available for pre-order on Overclockers UK, and there are five different products in total, one based of RX 560 silicon, and four different takes on the RX 470 silicon (no, that's not a typo; it really is the 400 series.)

NVIDIA "Pascal" Based Mining GPU Lineup Detailed

GPU-accelerated crypto-currency mining poses a threat to the consumer graphics industry, yet the revenues it brings to GPU manufacturers are hard to turn away. The more graphics cards are bought up by crypto-currency miners, the fewer there are left for gamers and the actual target-audience of graphics cards. This is particularly bad for AMD, as fewer gamers have Radeon graphics cards as opposed to miners; which means game developers no longer see AMD GPU market-share as an amorphous trigger to allocate developer resources in optimizing their games to AMD architectures.

To combat this, both AMD and NVIDIA are innovating graphics cards designed specifically for crypto-currency mining. These cards are built to a cost, lack display outputs, and have electrical and cooling mechanisms designed for 24/7 operation, even if not living up to the durability standards of real enterprise-segment graphics cards, such as Radeon Pro series or Quadro. NVIDIA's "Pascal" GPU architecture is inherently weaker than AMD's "Polaris" and older Graphics CoreNext architectures at Ethereum mining, owing in part to Pascal's lack of industry-standard asynchronous compute. This didn't deter NVIDIA from innovating a lineup of crypto-mining SKUs based on its existing "Pascal" GPUs. These include the NVIDIA P104 series based on the "GP104" silicon (on which the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 are based); and P106 series based on the "GP106" silicon (GTX 1060 series is based on this chip). NVIDIA didn't tap into its larger "GP102" or smaller "GP107" chips, yet.

ETH Mining: Lower VRAM GPUs to be Rendered Unprofitable in Time

Hold on to your ETH hats: you will still be able to cash in on the ETH mining craze for a while. However, you should look towards your 3 GB and 4 GB graphics cards with a slight distrust, for reasons that you should know, anyway, since you have surely studied your mining cryptocurrency of choice. Examples are the GTX 1060 3 GB, or one of those shiny new 4 GB RX 480 / RX 580 which are going at ridiculously premium prices right now. And as a side note, don't you love the mechanisms of pricing and demand?

The problem here stems from ETH's own design for its current PoW (Proof of Work) implementation (which is what allows you to mine the currency at all.) In a bid to make ETH mining unwieldy for the specialized silicon that brought Bitcoin difficulty through the roof, ETH implements a large size data set for your GPU to work with as you mine, which is stored in your GPU's memory (through the DAG, which stands for Directed Acyclic Graph). This is one of the essential differences between Bitcoin mining and Ethereum mining, in that Ethereum mining was designed to be memory-intensive, so as to prevent usage of ASICs and other specialized hardware. As a side-note, this also helps (at least theoretically) in ETH's decentralization, which Bitcoin sees more at risk because of the inherent centralization that results from the higher hardware costs associated with its mining.

New NVIDIA Specialized Pascal 1060-based Cryptocoin Mining GPUs Photographed

Pictures of the new Pascal 1060-based Cryptocoin-specific mining GPUs have surfaced on the Chinese tech site expreview.com. They look markedly different than their gaming variety, not only lacking any display outputs (as expected), but also lacking any fan or active cooling at all and merely having a passive aluminum heatsink to cool it. It is likely that it could expect external active cooling or high airflow cases to function properly.
The design also seems to sport a custom PCB, and a single PCI-e power connector, suggesting a reasonably low power draw. The site also hints at a 1080 "mining edition" GPU being in the works, but has no photographic evidence on that front.

Expreview appears to have a lot of them already set up in a good quality rack-miner style setup, so feel free to oogle over this article's photographs if you happen to be interested in the Cryptocoin "wave" as of late.Source: expreview.com
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