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Bitcoin Mining Tests On 16 NVIDIA and AMD GPUs

samzenpus posted about 3 years ago | from the mine-faster dept.

Bitcoin 403

Vigile writes "For users that have known about the process of bitcoin mining the obvious tool for the job has been the GPU. Miners have been buying up graphics cards during sales across the web but which GPUs offer the most dollar efficient, power efficient and quickest payoff for the bitcoin currency? A series of tests over at PC Perspective goes through 16 different GPU configurations including older high-end cards through modern low-cost options and even a $1700+ collection with multiple dual-GPU cards installed. The article gives details on how the mining programs work, why GPUs are faster than CPUs inherently and why AMD seems to be so much faster than NVIDIA."

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$1700+? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 3 years ago | (#36755788)

How much is that in Bitcoins?

Re:$1700+? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36755820)

like 6

Re:$1700+? (0)

macraig (621737) | about 3 years ago | (#36755840)

A *LOT*... now.

Re:$1700+? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36755952)

A *LOT*... now.

Current exchange is $14, so thats about 120 Bitcoins for that

Re:$1700+? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36755842)

less Jimmy Two-Toes' handling charge, it comes to about 170.

Re:$1700+? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 years ago | (#36756032)

About 121 bitcoins at the current exchange rate.

Re:$1700+? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 years ago | (#36756094)

121 bitcoins at current exchange rates. It'd take you about 4 months to make that using that machine. Of course, that all depends on the market for bitcoins which is anyones guess.

Re:$1700+? (1)

HisMother (413313) | about 3 years ago | (#36756378)

Plus the electricity, to run that machine flat out for four months, which I imagine will be way more than pocket change.

how much are they paying for these? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36755816)

How much *official currency* are they paying for all these bitcoin articles?

Thank god (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36755818)

Did you know that it's been nearly a week since the last Bitcoin story on Slashdot? I was worried that the standards were changing and blatant slashvertisements for bitcoin were no longer getting through! Never been happier to be proved wrong.

Re:Thank god (4, Insightful)

geekd (14774) | about 3 years ago | (#36756010)

Bitcoin is the PERFECT Slashdot topic:

Open Source
Peer to peer
Cryptography
Computer Hardware
Libertarian

THAT'S why it shows up so much. What's not to like?

Re:Thank god (1, Informative)

kernelphr34k (1179539) | about 3 years ago | (#36756254)

Great topic, I concur! I've got one dedicated mining rig with two 6870's. I'm getting more than 300Mhash a card, but that's tweaks I can't talk about. :)

Fair warning, If you decide to join a pool be CAREFUL what pool you join. Some have fee's and you're forced to donate. Some of these pools are also skimming off the top.. I.E saying you submitted 5000 shares, when you really submitted 10000 shares.... I'm currently mining @ bitcoinpool dot com, so far no issues. Pool ops stay on top of things and are alot more verbose when it comes to stats while the other pools are unwilling to share as much data.

Re:Thank god (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | about 3 years ago | (#36756530)

Using the Phoenix miner with optimum settings and overclock, perhaps? (I get 380 MHash/s on 5870s and made a rig with 4 on one motherboard ... yeah you're damn right I had to set up liquid cooling...)

Re:Thank god (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756424)

When was the last time those issues were the main topics on slashdot? 2003? These days, its mostly focused on inflammatory YRO articles, and how the evil government is trying to take you down.

Bitcoin is just a scam pretending to be legitimate. Only rubes can actually believe this shit is worth anything.

Re:Thank god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756522)

Counterpoint - Obviously dumb

Re:Thank god (1)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | about 3 years ago | (#36756574)

+1

I never understood why so many /.'ers speak so vehemently against Bitcoin, which has so many interesting comp sci. aspects, or even just social experiment. No-one's going to force them to go out and exchange any of their 'real' money for BTC.
I figured in the end it was so they can be in the elite, cynical 'I told you so!' chorus if it fails.
According to some, even the stories about MtGox being hacked were somehow "slashvertisments" for BTC

Re:Thank god (-1)

hacksoncode (239847) | about 3 years ago | (#36756856)

Other than being a pyramid scheme, you mean?

Re:Thank god (-1, Flamebait)

geekd (14774) | about 3 years ago | (#36756916)

Please explain to me how Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme. Oh, you can't, because you have not really thought about it, you are just parroting what others have said.

Re:Thank god (2)

Trogre (513942) | about 3 years ago | (#36756884)

All those wasted CPU/GPU cycles that could have gone towards something actually useful, like F@H.

Re:Thank god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36757092)

-Poor security
-Legality issues
-Useless in many online transactions

Re:Thank god (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | about 3 years ago | (#36756296)

And before that, the last article was two weeks previous.

Seriously, people are exaggerating how often we get a bitcoin story. Yes, for a short period we got them near daily, but now they're a lot more infrequent.

Re:Thank god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756418)

An advertisement for who, exactly? Nobody profits from bitcoin. It's news for nerds, and stuff that may or may not matter. We'll see later.

Shut the fuck up and go die, we don't need morons like you.

Re:Thank god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36757186)

"Slashvertisement" means "Story about a topic that I actually care deeply about, but feel I must pretend not to in order to gain credibility with the multitude of unseen strangers to whom I have granted control over my self-esteem".

There has never, even once, been a use of the term that had any other meaning. All claims to the contrary are lies.

folding@home etc (4, Insightful)

jaymz2k4 (790806) | about 3 years ago | (#36755844)

With all that computation power being used I can't help but think about projects like Folding@Home and think it's a bit wasted on the sort of margins you'd be getting back - even at the optimistic high end (which don't factor in power costs).

Re:folding@home etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756684)

I've been contributing computing time to various distributed projects through BOINC for about 4 years now. I'll stay anonymous, but in that time I've reached a standing in the top 3000 participants in the world. I don't mind burning electricity and having my computer act as a space heater for my room since I know that these projects are actually beneficial. You get "credits" through BOINC projects, which are just really a measure of how much time you have contributed, and mean nothing. I would love to see Bitcoin integrated as a rewards system for those who want compensation. We could solve some meaningful problems that way.

Re:folding@home etc (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756886)

Well, maybe bitcoin will open people's eyes to the amazing computational power of their GPUs, while encouraging graphics companies to make their graphic processors more general purpose so people can easily exploit them. Go look at the linux source code for one of the GPU mining programs. The program that does the hashes on the GPU is shockingly small and easy to understand, A whole generation of hackers are being introduced to dirt-cheap parallel processing. Isn't that virtue enough?

Re:folding@home etc (4, Informative)

Vigile (99919) | about 3 years ago | (#36756964)

We did a follow up based on finding out how much it costs to run these Bitcoin operations and looked at retail energy prices across the US! I think the results are a big hindrance for mining... http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/Bitcoin-Mining-Update-Power-Usage-Costs-Across-United-States [pcper.com]

Re:folding@home etc (1)

Shaterri (253660) | about 3 years ago | (#36757206)

Strange, then, that the 'bitcoin isn't worth the energy it's minted on!' article isn't the one that made Slashdot headlines...

Re:folding@home etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756972)

With all the power and resources thrown at mining gold for stupid people to wear as decoration, I can't help but think we could house the worlds poor and homeless or, off the top of my head, build a million gigantic public schools all over the world.

Re:folding@home etc (1)

MichaelKristopeit411 (2018832) | about 3 years ago | (#36757084)

i thought they were mining gold for stupid people to use as a conductor on the slot connections for their GPU cards

What are bitcoins? Do they have any value? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36755852)

What are bitcoins? Do they have any value (like being able to exchange them for real money)?

You know how much polar bears die per bitcoin? (-1, Troll)

dotmatrix9 (2370706) | about 3 years ago | (#36755854)

Well, at least 10. See, I rather make money [thoughts.com] by helping the environment (yes, its possible to be paid for this. Not much but more that you can yearn in bitcoins)

Re:You know how much polar bears die per bitcoin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36755922)

I dunno if this is supposed to be goatse or what, but clicker beware on parent.

Re:You know how much polar bears die per bitcoin? (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 3 years ago | (#36756266)

It is goatse. It's always the same link or an easily recognizable variation of it.

Misleading Article (4, Interesting)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 3 years ago | (#36755862)

Given that the difficulty increases exponentially [googleapis.com] you're not going to be making their calculated B$/day for the whole year, so while the quickest to pay of is 70 days if the difficulty increases at the usual rate, you'd probably want to add on another month or two.

For the ones taking nearly half a year to pay off at the current rate, you'll probably spend closer to a year before you'll even break even.

Re:Misleading Article (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about 3 years ago | (#36756048)

But the value of a Bitcoin can vary with the difficulty. Right now its about 1 B$ = 14 USD but if the difficulty doubled the value could double to 28 USD.

Re:Misleading Article (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756112)

No, the exchange rate of Bitcoins varies with the supply and demand, which has nothing to do with difficulty. Difficulty exists to keep the rate of new Bitcoin creation constant. If what you were claiming was true, then the exchange rate should've doubled since hit $30, since difficulty has more than doubled since then; however, the exchange rate has actually halved.

Re:Misleading Article (-1, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#36756116)

Or in a more likely scenario it could fall to zero again, like it did before.

Re:Misleading Article (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756556)

No it didn't. One exchange was hacked and things in their database got all screwy for a little while. MtGox is not the sole arbiter of what people think a Bitcoin is worth.

Re:Misleading Article (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 3 years ago | (#36756758)

The hacking is not what caused the the price to tank. The sell off was spurred by their moronic decision to shut the exchange off when they noticed a large sale of stolen coins.

Re:Misleading Article (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756076)

According to that graph, difficulty is doubling every ~50 days. That means that if a card takes 70 days to pay off at current rates, it will *never* payoff at time-discounted rates.

That's exactly what you'd expect, of course. In efficient economy, the value of non-productive activity is equal to 0.

Re:Misleading Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756196)

F'reals. I I bought four GPUs maybe two months ago, and managed to mine -just- enough bitcoins that the hardware completely paid for itself.

I'm thrilled that I essentially got a few free cards, but the difficulty has gone up so sharply since then that it would take ( quick visit to the calculator ) 75 days for one of them to pay for itself, then start producing a profit of just over a dollar per day.

In 75 days though, the difficulty will be even higher. They may never pay for themselves. Which is good for the currency itself ( I certainly wasn't -buying in- to the system and helping support the value of bitcoins when I could crank out a free coin per day ), but sad for me and my GPUs.

On the other hand, I can now play Fallout: New Vegas without feeling like my hardware has better things to do than play with me.

I think my current rate may still be high enough to pay my 6-dollar monthly Skype bill. They seem to have issues with my debit card, and PayPal takes five days to transfer for money from the bank to themselves for use with Skype... which means it is, shockingly, easiest for me to pay Skype by unloading a a couple of bitcoins on the market in exchange from a PayPal payment.

you forgot about the power use cost (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#36756348)

you forgot about the power use cost

Re:Misleading Article (2)

DriedClexler (814907) | about 3 years ago | (#36756436)

I thought the same way, back in the good ol' days (March of this year...). I figured that the increase in difficulty would kill my profits, but a while later it turned out that the dollar price of bitcoins increased right in step with the difficulty so that the dollar return each day stayed roughly constant. (On 1.6 GHash/s, it hovered around $40/day despite huge increases in difficulty.) This persisted until about a few weeks ago, when it seemed to stick around $14/BTC.

I agree that it's less certain that this relationship will hold in the future, as more professional, optimized mining farms come online, but you're right that there's significant danger in assuming a constant difficulty or BTC value. But then, the risk goes both ways -- if bitcoins catch their "big break" and make it mainstream, the value can go up (again) faster than the difficulty.

So, if you're in it for the money, just be aware of how highly speculative this is. Don't pull a Rick Falkvinge [falkvinge.net] and put all your savings in bitcoins, that's for damn sure.

Why should we care? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36755892)

Other than being a decent applied cryptography experiment, BitCoin has no real use in the real world. It isn't anonymous, it isn't backed by anyone that matters. The currency is too unstable to trust for anything. Its architecture gives a lot more power to people who come on early, and whom likely are going to cash out if people catch on.

I'd rather hear about an Amiga emulator, checkered ball spinning while formatting an 880K floppy disk running on the nVidia hardware than yet another BitCoin article, because BitCoin reminds me a lot of the old MAKE.MONEY.FAST posts of yore.

Re:Why should we care? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 years ago | (#36756174)

Other than being a decent applied cryptography experiment, BitCoin has no real use in the real world. It isn't anonymous, it isn't backed by anyone that matters. The currency is too unstable to trust for anything. Its architecture gives a lot more power to people who come on early, and whom likely are going to cash out if people catch on.

More power to people who come early.... sounds a lot like the domain name system....

Speaking of which, perhaps Bitcoin transactions could be used to facilitate a replacement for hierarchical DNS, due to the public and forever verifiable nature of Bitcoin transactions, you have a distributed database much like DNS, that is also peer-to-peer and universally verifiable, a technology like Bitcoin would always be able to "prove" who asked to register for a name first, and if a bitcoin transaction was required for it to happen, the registration action be free, abuse/squatting would be self-limiting, "expiration" after X years of registration would not be required, and it could be made impossible for a central authority to revoke a name registration based on "legal" demands, DMCA, etc....

Re:Why should we care? (2)

SilentChasm (998689) | about 3 years ago | (#36756510)

Speaking of which, perhaps Bitcoin transactions could be used to facilitate a replacement for hierarchical DNS, due to the public and forever verifiable nature of Bitcoin transactions, you have a distributed database much like DNS, that is also peer-to-peer and universally verifiable, a technology like Bitcoin would always be able to "prove" who asked to register for a name first, and if a bitcoin transaction was required for it to happen, the registration action be free, abuse/squatting would be self-limiting, "expiration" after X years of registration would not be required, and it could be made impossible for a central authority to revoke a name registration based on "legal" demands, DMCA, etc....

Namecoin [wikipedia.org]

Looking at that, it looks like it could actually work if adopted. They've got most of the basics down as far as I can tell, and what they really need now is user-friendly interfaces (currently CLI only).

Re:Why should we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756560)

already been done, using the Bitcoin protocols.

look into Namecoin...

Re:Why should we care? (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | about 3 years ago | (#36756752)

As they mentioned, Namecoin is still in its infancy but serves exactly that purpose. There's even one (maybe two) Bitcoin/Namecoin exchange sites out there. Right now there's a fee to register domains, to discourage initial domain squatting, and those coins are lost forever into the ether, but that fee will eventually dwindle down to zero (no clue what the timeframe is though).

Re:Why should we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756214)

Bitcoin has one characteristic that could make it desirable and useful. It is a non-inflatable currency. There is no central bank that can manipulate the currency by printing large amounts of it for their friends. The quantatative future of bitcoins is baked into the algorithm. You may or may not like the algorithm, but it makes the currency very predictable. This could make it useful as an inflation-resistant digital reserve medium, like gold. Of course, the crazy fantasy is that it does supplant gold in the midst of some world financial disintegration. What would it mean to own 3 twelve-millionths of all the world's reserve currency?

It also sucks you in psychologically like nothing I've ever seen. I've got an HD5770 cranking away in a pool and I get about one bitcoin every 10 days. I've got 3 bitcoins and I'm closing in on number 4. I'm actually quite happy with the rate of production. I have no intent of selling them, because I think that in 20 or 30 years they will be either worth a lot or worthless curiosities. One or the other. But either way, now I have a few, which is entirely my motivation in running the software.

Re:Why should we care? (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | about 3 years ago | (#36756478)

Bitcoin has one characteristic that could make it desirable and useful. It is a non-inflatable currency.

It's deflatable as hell, though. Not sure why anyone would think it was a good idea for a growing economy.

Re:Why should we care? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#36756486)

Strictly speaking, Bitcoins are only kind of non-inflatable:

Each bitcoin is mathematically verifiable, so you can't just print a duplicate or 10,000 duplicates, and each chain yields only a finite number of them(presumably a slowly-shrinking pool; because some will be lost to bit-rot over time).

However, there isn't any particular reason why you couldn't start additional chains. The products of such would be distinguishable as children of different chains that the original bitcoins(just as many bills/coins have their year and origin printed on them, only cryptographically verifiable).

With the sole advantage of cryptographic security(which is certainly a nice feature) "Bitcoins are non-inflatable" is true in the same sense that "Dollars printed in 1988 are non-inflatable".

Re:Why should we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36757076)

Those additional chains would be incompatible with each other. Dollars printed in 1988 are interchangeable with dollars printed in any other year. Bitcoins are only recognized within their own chain. Parker Brothers prints a lot of monopoly money, but that doesn't interfere with the value of the U.S. Dollar. Ultimately the value of money is a social construct, and bitcoins has the egalitarian draw of putting new money in circulation by mining. Anyone with a computer and graphics card can get a taste if they want.

Bitcoins are non-inflatable in the sense that the likes of Bernanke and Geithner can't manipulate the quantity in circulation. That alone might become incredibly important within our lifetime.

Of course, bitcoins can go out of circulation forever when people's bitcoin wallets are accidently destroyed. But the more valuable bitcoins become the more people are motivated to protect them. People can lose cash also.

Re:Why should we care? (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36756218)

Because it is growing.
And is becoming more useful in the real world all the time.

If people put value on it, it will be useful. That's true of ANYTHING. gold, flowers, love, and bitcoin.

The you need to look at your question from an effort perspective. Do I get more out of bitcoin then not doing bit coin?

all that said this along is enough for it to be here:
"... decent applied cryptography experiment,"

Re:Why should we care? (0)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 3 years ago | (#36756324)

Too bad Bitcoin will always have a demand imbalance compared to currencies that can be used to pay taxes. Over time, you should expect Bitcoin to be devalued as people are forced to sell Bitcoin to pay their taxes and settle other debts (whereas nobody is forced to buy Bitcoin).

That's precisely what it is (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 3 years ago | (#36756468)

All this hype is not coincidence, and it is not because bitcoins became useful suddenly. It is people hyping it to try and get others in to the market. They want to cash out, but can't in any large amount without tanking the value. Need to get new suckers lined up.

Re:That's precisely what it is (2, Informative)

fireteller2 (712795) | about 3 years ago | (#36756712)

That's a theory. I have a theory too. People who poo poo bitcoin despite it's obvious success, haven't actually done their due diligence on what it is and how it works.

Bitcoin works for me. I use it to get work done and buy things. I can do this now, I don't need you to be involved, and I don't need to "cash out."

Re:Why should we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756474)

it isn't backed by anyone that matters

I agree with your other points, but not this one. Consider this: in what sense is the US dollar backed? It's not tied to any useful resource, or even a useless one (like the gold standard). It's "backed" by the US government in the sense that they are the issuing authority, so they alone have the ability to inflate it away into oblivion.

The way BitCoin is set up, no one has the ability to inflate it beyond the low, basic rate built into the protocol. So in terms of "backing" it's an improvement on current fiat currencies.

Re:Why should we care? (3, Interesting)

fireteller2 (712795) | about 3 years ago | (#36756614)

Interestingly bitcoin is working despite all the arguments for or against it. The only valid question with regard to the viability of bitcoin as a currency today, is "Is it a currency today?" and the answer is without question YES.

Aside from the uses, for which there are now many (I have personally paid for survives, from freelancers around the world with bitcoin), approximately 7200 new bitcoins are introduced into the supply every day, and yet the value of the bitcoins has be rising over the past months. Even lately with the price off it's highs the constant influx of new bitcoins is not causing the bitcoin to lose significant value.

Fairness of early adopters doesn't enter into it. Early adopters helped to lay the foundation of the security which backs bitcoins, and were compensated for that service. You can participate and be compensated for that service too.

I would love to have been an Apple stock, gold or even U.S. dollar early adopter. But just because I wasn't doesn't me I should adopt now.

If you don't like the idea of it as a currency, or a commodity, then just think of it as a software tool that allows you to move money electronically without friction (unlike any other monetary device in the world), and therein you will find it's value.

Lots of uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36757150)

I have been selling items for BitCoin for a few months now. It allows me to sell 10 cent LED's and other low priced items as well as more expensive items like Arduino boards without much in the way of fees. By using the exchanges for groups of orders ($200 at a time) my fees are less then 1% TOTAL to my bank account. Selling multiple $3 items on paypal would have fees closer to 10%. BitCoin is useful for me.

I get it (3, Interesting)

melikamp (631205) | about 3 years ago | (#36755912)

So now it induces nerds to stock op on GPU hardware? I get it! BitCoin is not currency at all, is just a new game genre: MMOM (pronounced like "mom"), Massively Multiplayer Online Money. The hottest MMOM in town. Spread the word.

Re:I get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36755970)

I've got two racks of PCs going. Already paid off after 7 months and I'm going to make $20-30k this year profit.

Re:I get it (1)

melikamp (631205) | about 3 years ago | (#36756026)

You had me at "two racks".

Re:I get it (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#36756172)

Makes no economic sense. If you are "cashing out" of bitcoins, presumably you are taking a profit and leaving someone else with a loss. If the only way to realize your profit with bitcoins is to cash out, everyone who is mining for profit is taking equity out of the system. What happens when everyone decides to cash out at the same time? Oh, it already happened recently...

Re:I get it (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 3 years ago | (#36756490)

Replace bitcoin with housing, gold, or oil in your post? It is no different, heck most stocks dont even pay dividends anymore. People get rich as well as start great recessions and depressions. If the price keeps going up your 14 coins will be worth twice as much. Until wages and jobs reapoear people will try anything to get a buck.

Re:I get it (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#36756842)

Oil can be burned for energy. Gold is always in demand as a means of exchange, is a de facto symbol of wealth and is used in jewelry and has great use in electronics. Housing has a purpose - shelter. Tell me again what the point of bitcoin is, apart from greed? Even something as silly as a US dollar has more point to it than bitcoin - because people do not acquire US dollars with the intention of dumping their US dollars as soon as some exchange rate reaches a pre-determined level. They see US dollars as a store of value and a means of exchange, not a means of wealth acquisition.

People who are mining bitcoins have the SOLE INTENTION of dumping their bitcoins at some time in the future. They far outnumber people who use bitcoin for everyday trade. Therefore the collapse of the bubble is built in to the inflation of the bubble. The minute sellers > buyers, the price will go down. And the minute the price goes down, everyone who was counting on an ever inflating price is going to panic and try to cash out right away. In fact this has already happened.

Really? (1)

Luke727 (547923) | about 3 years ago | (#36755932)

I'm pretty sure I remember reading that the Bitcoin rush was over relatively early in its lifetime and that mining (in any meaningful capacity) was more-or-less infeasible at this point.

Re:Really? (1)

click2005 (921437) | about 3 years ago | (#36756040)

Yes mostly. Your best bet at this point if would be to (in true Slashdot list style)

1. Create a rival currency.
2. Get a lot of 'miners' to jump aboard hoping to get in early enough and maximize profits.
3. Dump your hidden cache of new-bitcoins oops I mean ????
4. Disappear with your profits

Wow. You just described the S&P 500 (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 3 years ago | (#36756484)

Rival currency being share certificates.
Miners being traders leveraged to their eyeballs.

It's all a big ponzi.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756308)

Two months ago you could buy a couple cards, turn a significant profit, plow it back in, repeat, and make a bundle. I think bitcoin has hit a magic mark of some kind... you no longer produce a -number- of bitcoins that it pleasing, even though they might have almost no value ( because hey, if it goes up, I'll be rich! And it did go up! ), and after a brief spike, it also no longer produces enough money per-small-number-of-generated-coins that you can justify doing it for -actual- money instead of speculative future-money.

In theory, for bitcoins to represent the sum of the world's wealth, they would have to be worth something ridiculous, like one million dollars per bitcoin. In reality, that seems... profoundly unrealistic.

Slashgold? (4, Insightful)

MikeTheGreat (34142) | about 3 years ago | (#36755984)

I keep wondering why do BitCoin articles keep showing up here. Any given article doesn't really seem quite nerdy enough to be real 'News For Nerds' (and yes, I agree that most of the articles here haven't been News For Nerds for a quite some time), and it's kind of a weird topic.

I kinda feel like "BitCoin articles is to Slashdot as gold advertisements is to the Fox News Network".

So I'm going to coin a term that we can add to the Slashdot Taxonomy (or the 'slashonomy', as I like to call it: :) ): Slashgold!

As in:
Random dude: "So, was the article good?"
You: "Naw, it was just another fluff piece promoting slashgold"

Factoring in energy costs... (2, Interesting)

allanw (842185) | about 3 years ago | (#36755990)

I've always thought Bitcoin was stupid, but let's do some more analysis on the energy costs here, which this site really should have included.

The best GPU perf/watt was the 5870x2 (Ares OC) at 1.584 (Mhash/s)/watt. Not sure where they got their total watt figures from, but from a review site, it is 500W [pcper.com] , unoverclocked. This site says it's 50W more overclocked. I'll be generous and not include this since the CPU isn't being taxed as much. So 500W power consumption.

So, typing 500 watts * 1 year * (10 cents / (kilowatt*hour) [eia.gov] ) into Google: about $482. Taking their $1,666 one year profit figure (mining profits - cost of card), it is now really a cost of $1,184. Which isn't as bad as I thought it'd be.

They didn't include the effect of increasing difficulty on decreased mining speed, but theoretically the currency should become more valuable as it goes on.

Re:Factoring in energy costs... (1)

allanw (842185) | about 3 years ago | (#36756002)

Sorry, a few typos: 500 watts -> $438 per year in energy costs, which makes for a total profit of $1,228.

Re:Factoring in energy costs... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 3 years ago | (#36756358)

the currency should become more valuable as it goes on.

That is a bad thing. Deflation has very destructive effects on an economy.

Re:Factoring in energy costs... (1)

allanw (842185) | about 3 years ago | (#36756450)

No comment about that. I was just pointing out that profitability should theoretically be the same as time goes on. Of course, whether it does will have a huge effect on the long-time viability of bitcoin mining for profit. Even if it only lasts a few more years, you can still make 100% returns on investment in only a year which is pretty good.

Re:Factoring in energy costs... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756460)

Deflation has very destructive effects on an economy.

Only if you borrow money.

Re:Factoring in energy costs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36757098)

That doesn't factor in cooling cost to get rid of those 500W going into your room. It's about 2x the cost to remove heat (from AC) then it is to heat so you'll be making No profit at all unless you live in a cold place.

GUIMiner is most likely optimized for AMD cards (1)

robbyjo (315601) | about 3 years ago | (#36756034)

The performance of GPU-based codes is highly dependent on the video cards. I highly doubt the dismal performance of NVIDIA cards. I think the authors most likely optimized the kernel code to AMD cards. This is evident when you look at the CL kernel code and you see that there are so many hardwired constants and fixed arrays (aligned to 128 ints or longs). Moreover, the authors GUIMiner don't seem to take advantage of NVIDIA's more local workthreads (compared to AMD's).

I'd say that declaring AMD a victor is premature.

nope, AMD is clear victor for bitmining (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756264)

Nvidia may be the best for games but ATI/AMD clearly kick Nvidia's ass for bitcoin mining. It's not about optimized code, it's about ATI having a lot more shaders. Nvidia may be able to do a lot more per cycle with their's but in this case it's the number of shaders that determines how fast the card can generate the sha 256 hashes.

Re:GUIMiner is most likely optimized for AMD cards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756282)

There's a simple, technical reason why AMDs GPUs are faster for Bitcoin Mining:

They can do 32 bit rotations in a single instruction while NVIDIA needs three: shift left, right and or.

Re:GUIMiner is most likely optimized for AMD cards (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | about 3 years ago | (#36757136)

The number of instructions does not directly equate to the computing time required to perform the operations.

Nobody cares about bitcoin (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756044)

Nobody cares about bitcoin. We don't give a rat's ass about bitcoin. Please stop posting stories about bitcoin. I don't know how many other ways there are to say it, but we don't give a fsck about bitcoin.

Re:Nobody cares about bitcoin (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#36756198)

They have to keep the hype going, it's the only way to feed the bubble.

Re:Nobody cares about bitcoin (-1, Redundant)

ThePeices (635180) | about 3 years ago | (#36756234)

For somebody who doesnt give a rats ass about Bitcoins, you had to mention Bitcoin four times in your one-line post.

U mad?

I'm going to issue my own Fiat currrency (5, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | about 3 years ago | (#36756090)

I'm going to issue my own Fiat currency, backed by Fiats (the automobile). I still haven't worked out how much the average Fiat should be worth. There's no real purpose in this, other than to confuse the hell out of people who think I'm issueing a fiat currency (illegal) rather than a Fiat currency (perfectly legal, AFAIK). BTW, I'm not even sure if Fiat is still making cars, and they have a repuation for being a real POS. Therefore, it shouldn't be too hard for me to fill a lot with rundown Fiats to back my currency.

Re:I'm going to issue my own Fiat currrency (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 years ago | (#36756288)

Just for a baseline I paid $400 for a 69 Fiat 850 sport convertible with a VW drive train incompetently retrofitted.

That's about -$300 value for the Fiat. The 1600 dual port and IRS trans is worth more then the car with it in it. But that's because the guy who did the install was a moron. After I rip it out and redo it (by welding the top of the Fiat to a bug pan) it will pull 1/8 mile wheelies. Maybe not with the 1600...

If I didn't live in CA the sound of rust from my driveway would keep me awake at night. I own two Italian cars bodies, no Italian drive trains.

Re:I'm going to issue my own Fiat currrency (0)

DriedClexler (814907) | about 3 years ago | (#36757014)

Is that supposed to be funny, like you're own little stand-up comedy routine we're supposed to nod our drone heads and laugh at?

Re:I'm going to issue my own Fiat currrency (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 3 years ago | (#36757090)

Oh noes! I've been heckled on the Internet and caught totally flat-footed. I'm dyin' up here.

Question (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#36756166)

What's to stop a large corporation with a lot of computing power to generate bitcoins? What if I have a cluster doing the work?

Re:Question (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about 3 years ago | (#36756338)

Nothing would stop them. They'd make money, other miners would make slightly less money, and Bitcoin would go on.

Re:Question (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | about 3 years ago | (#36756512)

Assuming it was substantial enough of a cluster, it would push the difficulty of generating them even higher.

Essentially its setup so that there is a set number of them created in a given time. The more people trying to make them, the more computer power required to make one. So, if you double the amount of people trying to make coins, you also double the amount of computer time needed to make one. Thusly, the more people who join this fad, the less anyone is going to make.

Bitcoin Mining Is Not Profitable (3, Insightful)

geekd (14774) | about 3 years ago | (#36756182)

Please don't start mining Bitcoin. You will not turn a profit. It's hard work. It's no fun. Don't do it.

(the difficulty is high enough, we don't need another influx of miners)

Re:Bitcoin Mining Is Not Profitable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756368)

Certainly could use an new influx of rubes to buy the coins..

Re:Bitcoin Mining Is Not Profitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36756926)

heh, so could the equally intrinsically valueless usd and eur...

FPGA compatibility? (1)

Fencepost (107992) | about 3 years ago | (#36756724)

I think that if there's any likelihood of Bitcoin becoming significant, there's also going to be an increasing likelihood of someone dividing the problem space in such a way that it's addressable with appropriately-designed FPGAs and thereby killing that likelihood of significance. Right now it's unlikely to be worth anyone's time & money (unless it's being examined in classes), but if there are significant $ there someone's going to be pursuing them.

Re:FPGA compatibility? (1)

geekd (14774) | about 3 years ago | (#36756792)

People are on it: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=22426.0 [bitcoin.org]

Re:FPGA compatibility? (1)

allanw (842185) | about 3 years ago | (#36756872)

I wonder if they know that FPGA's are typically only half the online price listed if you talk to a distributor. I'm not sure what kind of minimum order quantity you need though.

GUIMiner a Trojan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36757100)

McAfee has detected GUIMiner as a trojan.

Fairness is irrelevant (2)

fireteller2 (712795) | about 3 years ago | (#36757164)

The assertion that early adopters have an unfair amount of bitcoins is on the one hand completely irrelevant to the issues of usability, and on the other hand is completely typical of all inventions, commodities and the world in general.

This continued repetition of this idea stems from the misconception that Bitcoin is a Ponzi, pyramid or other type of scheme designed with the intent to defraud later adopters. That is not the design intent of bitcoin. It is an online medium of exchange that compensates people who improve it's security. The fact that people improved the security early on helps the security for everyone later. They got paid pennies at the time, and people who are helping now are getting paid pennies too. It has turned out that those pennies (if they kept them) have become valuable now. This is EXACTLY like being an early adopter of Apple stock, and could just as easily not have happened.

The reason bitcoin is being talked about so much is not because someone is trying to scam you and "cash out" their early adopter advantage. People are talking about it because regardless of the value of a bitcoin, it is a frictionless* way to exchange value over the internet. You needn't hold bitcoins to participate in bitcoins. You can change them to cash the second you receive them. Bitcoins are useable now. They are a currency now.

I would respectfully recommend that people who want to talk about what's wrong with bitcoin do their due diligence, before commenting on something that they clearly have little understanding of.

*frictionless means: 1) you can open a business and start excepting payments this very second anywhere in the world, with customers anywhere else in the world, (excepting money is no more difficult then paying money - try that with credit cards), 2) money you transfer to anyone in the world is instantaneous, in as little as an hour you can be 100% sure that you have received bitcoins that can never be taken away from you or reversed in any way. 3) It cost almost nothing to pay anyone any amount with bitcoins.

All of these elements provide value whither you call it currency, commodity or just software. I use it to do work, and I find that valuable to me right now. The value of bitcoins is not a theory, predictions of it's failure are what is theoretical.

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