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Surge In Litecoin Mining Leads To Graphics Card Shortage

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the cost-of-doing-business dept.

Bitcoin 213

New submitter Kenseilon writes "Extremetech reports that the recent price hike of Litecoins has triggered yet another arms race for the *coinminers out there, leading to a shortage of AMD graphics cards. While Bitcoin mining is quickly becoming unfeasible for GPU rigs with general purpose graphics cards, there are several alternative currencies with opportunities. The primary candidate is now Litecoin, which has the aim of 'being silver if Bitcoin is gold' Swedish Tech site Sweclockers also reports [in Swedish] that GPU manufacturer Club3D have told them that miners are becoming a new important group of potential customers. However, concerns are being raised that this is a temporary boom that may hurt AMD in the long run, since gamers, their core consumer group, may not be able to acquire the cards and instead opt for Nvidia."

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Obligatory first post: (2, Funny)

Zanadou (1043400) | about 9 months ago | (#45687675)

Re:Obligatory first post: (1)

gagol (583737) | about 9 months ago | (#45687731)

The haves create the money has it always has been, what's new?

ReFlash (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688547)

AMD should re-flash or otherwise modify their cards so that they are not useable for bitcoin mining.

To the not-so-rich ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687847)

... alt-coin mining is one of the few remaining industries that they can get in with not so much upfront money.

Re:To the not-so-rich ... (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#45688339)

After the gold rush was over, there was still plenty of money to be made selling picks, shovels and mules to the prospectors.

Ummm Bullshit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687687)

All my usual retailers have stock, this is just an article to pump up litecoin activity and interest.
It isn't silver to BTC gold, it offers no great advantages over BTC hat can't be integrated into the bitcoin protocol if deamed worthy and you cant buy anything with it except other crypto-currencies.

This article is spam at best , a pump and dump endorsement at worst.

Re:Ummm Bullshit (4, Informative)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 9 months ago | (#45687759)

Newegg has had a hard time keeping any 280x, 290, and 290x cards in stock. I haven't seen a 290 card in stock for a week now.

Newegg has them priced $50-100 over retail, the demand is huge and when they restock, they tend to sell out within an hour or two.

Re:Ummm Bullshit (5, Informative)

martinux (1742570) | about 9 months ago | (#45687763)

What in fact has happened is the availability of a number of optimal* cards - particularly the Radeon 7950 - have massively decreased due to miners buying them. As you would expect market demand has resulted in a significant price hike. Radeon cards provide higher hash rates than nVidia cards and so they are more popular to miners in general. There are a number of benefits to litecoin, particularly the faster transaction time. If you're a litecoin miner decryption is optimised for GPUs rather than ASICs (which have a much, much higher uptake in bitcoin mining) and thus is not the realm of high-cost ASICs or FPGAs.

Whilst I do appreciate that bitcoin and litecoin are 'hot topics' at the moment there are many interesting consequences that have emerged as a result of the uptake in both the currency and technology required to maintain the currency. Thus, I do think there is something to talk about here.

* The cards are optimal in that they give the fastest hash-rate to power-consumption ratio.

How about the latest batch of the Rx 200 cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687873)

What is the performance of the latest batch of the ATI cards, the Rx 200 series, codename Hawaii, as compared to the HD7950 ?

Are they faster than HD7950 ?

Re:How about the latest batch of the Rx 200 cards? (4, Interesting)

martinux (1742570) | about 9 months ago | (#45687947)

The general consensus is that the newer cards are faster but they are also drawing more power per 'unit of work' and thus are not as good a solution. Note that this has not stopped people using these cards (and indeed, older, less powerful cards) as one can still make a small profit on relatively modest hardware.

Ultimately the aim of the coin miner is to find the hardware that provides a reasonable mining rate whilst costing as little to run as possible. At some point the value of a litecoin may increase to the point where electricity costs become less of a factor in the choice of mining hardware. You'll start to see people moving to the newer cards if this happens.

Another thing to consider is ASICs. These devices are generally expensive in terms of R&D but their performance can be orders of magnitude higher than GPUs. The problem described in the article is that ASICs are not ideal at solving scrypt. However, I think it's inevitable that hardware specifically designed to mine litecoin is inevitable if the value continues to rise.

Re:How about the latest batch of the Rx 200 cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688043)

Another thing to consider is ASICs. These devices are generally expensive in terms of R&D but their performance can be orders of magnitude higher than GPUs. The problem described in the article is that ASICs are not ideal at solving scrypt. However, I think it's inevitable that hardware specifically designed to mine litecoin is inevitable if the value continues to rise

For what I have read so far in the many articles in the alt-coin mining sites, the scrypt-based coins rely heavily upon the RAM.

In fact, there are some articles saying that it's better to OC the RAM so that it matches the speed of the GPU in order to get the "optimum hash rate".

I dunno. I'm still experimenting / tweaking the 7970 card I have.

Thanks for the heads up, buddy !!

Re:How about the latest batch of the Rx 200 cards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688311)

The issue is that yes, you could make asics perform better than gpus, but it's not as dramatic as an increase from going to asic on bitcoin. Bitcoin depends on maybe thousands or ten thousands of gates to construct an effective solver core.

Litecoin needs something similar plus a ton of RAM bandwidth into a bit more than a 128KB RAM. So, now you have a much more complicated and difficult to manufacture solver core that you won't fit as many of on a chip. Interestingly though, it doesn't appear that current GPU cores are particularly well suited to this RAM requirement (there is a bonus to using GPUs with fast RAM chips). Future GPU generations may be able to run it in internal cache. For this reason, scrypt algorithm seems strangely chosen. If you require a "large" RAM, why not require a *large* RAM? There won't be 1GB caches on-chip for a while.

For what it's worth, an FPGA with lots of 32-128KB or so RAMs would probably not be much less effective than an ASIC, as the RAM can be manufactured just as well there.

Re: How about the latest batch of the Rx 200 cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688519)

Does the latency of the RAM matter, or more sheer bandwidth? I just wonder how an xbone would do with it's low latency ram available to the GPU. It wouldn't do so well if it's just bandwidth that's needed though.

Re:How about the latest batch of the Rx 200 cards? (3, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 9 months ago | (#45688329)

Not all of us who are mining LTC now bought new cards solely for that purpose.

Personally, I just happened to derive some unexpected profits from the few BTC I had lying around for ages, and, having looked at LTC mining feasibility, decided that I'll use that cash to entertain myself with a new graphics card for my gaming rig - and will also use it to mine LTC while it's reasonably profitable, to recoup as much of the card's cost as possible. So I've got Radeon 280X, not because it had the best hashrate, but because it seemed like the best deal in terms of price to perf right now, within the lower performance limit that I've set.

Re:Ummm Bullshit (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 9 months ago | (#45688107)

Can anyone explain why the Radeons is faster than the Nvidia cards?

I could simply look over at wikipedia for how the cores are configured but I guess that may not tell the whole story. Anyone got the technical details?

Is it a hardware difference or do it have anything to do with drivers too?

Re:Ummm Bullshit (2)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 9 months ago | (#45688221)

Apparently, Radeons have an instruction that's really important for Scrypt mining, which nVidia cards lack. That's why Radeons of the same price generally reach perhaps 10 times as many hashes per second.

Re:Ummm Bullshit (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 9 months ago | (#45688449)

And for bitcoins (SHA256?)? Same there?

Re:Ummm Bullshit (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | about 9 months ago | (#45688479)

Probably, though I wouldn't know. I hadn't looked into mining until Bitcoins got so difficult to mine that graphics cards were completely irrelevant already. It's all ASICs now, and if you try to buy one you won't get it until it's become worthless. Expect to be scammed. That's mostly why Scrypt was made, afaik: to put power back in the users' hands, by making it difficult to mine by graphics card (failed) and by ASIC (hasn't failed yet; might later)

Re:Ummm Bullshit (1)

auric_dude (610172) | about 9 months ago | (#45688335)

Now you have your graphics cards and hard mined coin what do you do next?
Do you sit on them in the hope they grow; Do you purchase something with them or do you arbitrage them https://medium.com/bitcoin-bits-1/fc0098ac0511 [medium.com] ?
Decisions, decisions, decisions. . .

Re:Ummm Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687877)

Yeah umm i call bullshit on your bullshit. The 280x is almost impossible to find right now, And any time a new shipment comes in its sold out again within 24 hours.
The 290x is not nearly as good a price to kilo-hash ratio as the 280x and thus has sold slower but never the less has become itself difficult to track down. Only the 270x is still readily find-able right now due having the worst kilo-hash to cost ratio of the new line of AMD cards.

Re:Ummm Bullshit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688063)

You are right, it isn't silver to BTC gold. They do not have any advantages - they are exactly the same. Only more people use BTC these days.

I understand why BTC people hate LTC so much. It's because when BTC owners come to others and tell them "Come and play our game. We already have all the best cards in our hands, but that's OK because bla bla bla." they tell you "No, thanks. We have our own game."

Re:Ummm Bullshit (1, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#45688343)

It isn't silver to BTC gold, it offers no great advantages over BTC hat can't be integrated into the bitcoin protocol if deamed worthy and you cant buy anything with it except other crypto-currencies.

This article is spam at best , a pump and dump endorsement at worst.

Sure, that's what they used to say about Bitcoin but look where Bitcoin is now.

Litecoin is the future!

Re: Ummm Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688491)

pump and dump... just like bitcoin, danish tulips and bad debt.

Re: Ummm Bullshit (0)

chill (34294) | about 9 months ago | (#45688515)

And your mom. Proof that "pump and dump" is a recurring, profitable business.

Re:Ummm Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688747)

You lost us at "it offers no great advantages over BTC "...

Lol@fads. (1, Troll)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | about 9 months ago | (#45687719)

Litecoin. Give me a fucking break.

Re:Lol@fads. (5, Informative)

neiras (723124) | about 9 months ago | (#45687885)

I bought into Litecoin at under $5 with some hobby money some months ago and it's hanging out at $30. I cashed out my original investment (leaving several times that in Litecoin, yay profit), bought ten Radeon cards and some cheap motherboards with the money, threw together some Debian USB sticks in an evening and am now mining on P2Pool for shits and giggles.

In a few weeks the equipment will have paid for itself, even accounting for the insane difficulty increases. Power is cheap here, so I will do pretty well for a while yet. Bonus: the rigs run hot so I'm basically making a little money heating my house.

You can laugh all you want. I'm having a blast, I've made a tidy profit, I have a bunch of new toys to play with, and if Litecoin ever does go ballistic like Bitcoin did I won't be left on the sidelines like you will. Don't really care about the likelihood of *coins taking over the world, or whatever - there is money to be made and I'm happy to make it.

It's a fun hobby. Honestly, it's play money to me and I've multiplied it several times. Not complaining. More fun than hitting the casino like some people I know, even if it's gambling all the same.

Re:Lol@fads. (4, Insightful)

jhol13 (1087781) | about 9 months ago | (#45688407)

This is exactly why I think Bitcoin will collapse. Or perhaps, "should". There are quite a few with high percentage of all the money, one with at least 20%.
Sooner or later some of them are going to dump. Getting $1'000'000 for "nothing" is very tempting.
Later, much later, the gullible are going to understand they were ripped of, several times. Then, again it might be so that they never understand as they see Bitcoin as "mathematically proven" money missing the problems entirely.

I hope you have luck. I just cannot do the same for ethical & moral reasons. Damn, parents!

Re:Lol@fads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688437)

How do you turn those coins into money?
All the online credit card things accepted by mtgrox or something like that look like russian scam sites.

Re:Lol@fads. (3, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | about 9 months ago | (#45688835)

Now that's the right attitude to have. You know it's a bunch of people buying an investment (not a currency), hoping it will appreciate so that they can cash out once it hits a high enough price point.

Bitcoin/Litecoin is an (irrational) investment, not a currency.

Re: Lol@fads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688933)

I have a passive solar house and the modest litecoin operation I have going is just enough to keep our electric furnace off on cold cloudy days. I run the waste heat right into our furnace out duct.

Re:Lol@fads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688379)

I bought in at almost zero I have 6100 and I'll be fadding the shit out of those fuckers soon. I'm already living the easy life because of the BC "fad" 29 and retired set for life.

If GW ca do it so can I

An Honest Question (3, Interesting)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | about 9 months ago | (#45687735)

Please help me out here. I'm asking seriously. If all you need to do to succeed at bitcoin mining is throw computer resources at it, and they are $1000 apiece, then why aren't all the world's supercomputers on the job making a thousand bucks a minute? The answer is of course, they have more important things to do. But even if they don't, they have the capacity to. It doesn't make sense to me. The whole currency could be deflated to nothing in one swell foop. If it could be so easily destroyed, then is its foundation really a solid one. I await enlightenment.

Re:An Honest Question (3, Interesting)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 9 months ago | (#45687749)

Bitcoin is designed to be issued at a steady rate. If a dozen supercomputers suddenly starting mining, far fewer bitcoins would be issued. It would force the workload to the next harder level much sooner and thus reduce everyone's income.

Ironically, if the NSA wanted to mess with bitcoin, just spending a few weeks mining would really mess up the income of a lot of miners.

Re:An Honest Question (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#45687755)

Simple: At the moment the electricity you need for Bitcoin mining costs more then the coins you get out of it, unless you have very specific hardware that is completely tuned to this task. Mining with graphics cards costs you money.

The other thing is of course that Bitcoin is not a real currency and may crash at any time and without warning. All it takes is one large owner to cash in and the market panics. Even rumors of this happening could be enough. People that operate supercomputers are a bit more rational than the Bitcoin fanatics.

Re:An Honest Question (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 9 months ago | (#45687815)

People that operate supercomputers are a bit more rational than the Bitcoin fanatics.

Unless the owner of a supercomputer wants to crash the Bitcoin market. :)

Re:An Honest Question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687837)

BitCoin has real value now. That is due to China (so much that the government had to take action.)

There is no way BitCoin can become worthless now. It is just like gold and other precious metals -- it has value, and it can't be created willy-nilly like fiat currencies.

So, it might be the "fifth element" for one's portfolio, in addition to gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

Re:An Honest Question (0)

rhodium_mir (2876919) | about 9 months ago | (#45687859)

Idiot, you forgot rhodium.

Re:An Honest Question (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#45687889)

Nonsense. Every bubble is built on suckers like you, always trying to convince themselves the scam is real. Bitcoin does not even have the value the current used to create it had, as that cannot be recovered.

Re:An Honest Question (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688705)

The 'value' of something is how much money you can get for it.

BTC go for over $900.

Re:An Honest Question (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 9 months ago | (#45688293)

I can easily envision three ways in which it could become worthless:
1. A mathematical weakness in the protocol is found allowing for effective fraud. Not super-fast mining, but something like coin duplication or impersonation.
2. A systematic crackdown by one or more major governments renders it impractical to openly accept bitcoins as payment. Right now, governments tolerate bitcoin because it's not really a force of any note. If it really took off? You can count on them to ban bitcoin in commercial operations. Later on, they will declare that posesssion of bitcoins is a sign of intent to purchase drugs or commit fraud, much in the same way that carrying around $10,000 in a briefcase might get you an interview with police today. Even if the crackdown was only half-effective, the fear would lead to a collapse in value - those $1000 coins would be selling for $5 each.
3. Confidence crash. Bitcoin currently has value not so much because it can be spent (There isn't a great deal you can buy with it) as it does because of speculation. That's a dangerous situation - it's a perfect bubble. If the price should drop, even a little, then a lot of people are going to fear a decline and start selling off their coins - which will cause exactly the decline they fear. It's happened before many times. Ask anyone who's traded Noxcium in EVE.

Re:An Honest Question (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#45688371)

I can easily envision three ways in which it could become worthless:
3. Confidence crash. Bitcoin currently has value not so much because it can be spent (There isn't a great deal you can buy with it) as it does because of speculation. That's a dangerous situation - it's a perfect bubble. If the price should drop, even a little, then a lot of people are going to fear a decline and start selling off their coins - which will cause exactly the decline they fear. It's happened before many times.

You mean like whatever-it-was that nearly halved its value last week?

Yeah, that.

Bitcoin has found its level. It's not going up any more, it's just going to oscillate around $1000 (a magic 'psychological' number that pretty much proves it's all speculation). There's nothing more to see here, time to move on to the Next Big Thing.

Re:An Honest Question (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 9 months ago | (#45688349)

Simple: At the moment the electricity you need for Bitcoin mining costs more then the coins you get out of it, unless you have very specific hardware that is completely tuned to this task. Mining with graphics cards costs you money.

That's why you mine other altcoins that are still minable on commodity hardware, like Litecoin. Their value goes up and down together with BTC, so the current sky-high BTC price also means that others are similarly high.

The other thing is of course that Bitcoin is not a real currency and may crash at any time and without warning. All it takes is one large owner to cash in and the market panics. Even rumors of this happening could be enough.

True, but if you pick the right coin, and you already have the hardware, you can completely recoup all present and future power costs for a month ahead in a couple of days right now. Cash those out (as in, money in your account in the bank), and from there on anything you mine is basically free money, with no risk whatsoever.

You don't have to be a "Bitcoin fanatic" to be able to add up the numbers and conclude that, right now, this is a profitable game to play. Ideology has zero relevance here so long as there's real money to be had.

Re:An Honest Question (3, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#45688821)

Simple: At the moment the electricity you need for Bitcoin mining costs more then the coins you get out of it, unless you have very specific hardware that is completely tuned to this task. Mining with graphics cards costs you money.

That's why you mine other altcoins that are still minable on commodity hardware, like Litecoin. Their value goes up and down together with BTC, so the current sky-high BTC price also means that others are similarly high.

Pure fantasy, designed to drive more people into the pyramid-scheme.

The other thing is of course that Bitcoin is not a real currency and may crash at any time and without warning. All it takes is one large owner to cash in and the market panics. Even rumors of this happening could be enough.

True, but if you pick the right coin, and you already have the hardware, you can completely recoup all present and future power costs for a month ahead in a couple of days right now. Cash those out (as in, money in your account in the bank), and from there on anything you mine is basically free money, with no risk whatsoever.

You don't have to be a "Bitcoin fanatic" to be able to add up the numbers and conclude that, right now, this is a profitable game to play. Ideology has zero relevance here so long as there's real money to be had.

No, it is not "profitable" at all. It is a pyramid scam, even if it is a complicated one. The fact of the matter is that in a pyramid scam, almost everybody involved looses big-time, while a few in early make tons of money. It also requires people like you driving more greedy, but stupid sheep in there, or otherwise the few early ones do not get their desired earnings.

So, no, even if a few people manage to scam a lot of money with Bitcoin or Litecoin or any other Scamcoin, most that were not in it from very early on will just lose everything they invested.

Re:An Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687783)

There are a limited amount of coins being produced, 25 every 10 minutes. As you have to compete against all the other people mining to get the coins if all the world's supercomputers started mining they would all struggle to get many coins. While the coins are ~$1000 a piece the cost to mining a single coin is pretty high both in initial cost to get a powerful enough computer and in electricity costs to keep mining at maximum capacity.

Re:An Honest Question (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#45688639)

Indeed, the best way to get rich with cryptocurrency is to create your own version, mine an initial amount for yourself, get enough people to join, and then sell yours before the bubble bursts. ;-)

Re:An Honest Question (1)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 9 months ago | (#45688881)

That seems to be a good explanation of why the the originator of Bitcoin currently is anonymous: I assume they've done just that.

Re:An Honest Question (1)

Keruo (771880) | about 9 months ago | (#45687787)

Problem with bitcoin and other virtual currencies is pretty much same as real currencies as well.
It accumulates to certain individuals who instead of keeping the cash flowing and market running hoard it like Scrooge McDuck.
The imagined lack of availability with increased interest drives the price point up for those who participate at the market and this creates valuation bubble.
Bitcointalk has nice estimates of the distribution in this thread [bitcointalk.org]

Re:An Honest Question (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#45688327)

It accumulates to certain individuals who instead of keeping the cash flowing and market running hoard it like Scrooge McDuck.

That isn't a problem. It just means few coins will exchange for more goods or services due to availability or lack there of.

Sure long term deflation that does not end would be a problematic but there isn't much historic precedent out there for long term deflationary patterns. Where they have happened its been after a major inflationary event like a war, and the deflation mostly stops when the currency reaches prewar values such as the panics after the war of 1812.

Ultimately deflation at the macro level is just a redistribution from debtors to creditors. At the macro level a monetary event not real wealth changing event. The creditors having just witnesses how the relative value of money can change start to want to diversify or just want a way to make more money so they start investing (lending) again.

The only reasons this is a problem at all is because we have decided its a good political policy to enable half the population to run around with a negative net worth for large portions of their adult lives. Which leaves them with no flexibility whatsoever to cope with changing market conditions. If they can't get their paycheck for a few weeks, or if wages go down, or if interest rates go up, they can't adjust.

Re:An Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688753)

he only reasons this is a problem at all is because we have decided its a good political policy to enable half the population to run around with a negative net worth for large portions of their adult lives.

What policy forces people to have debt and who is "we" that determined it? People have debt because of their own doing. Blame yourself for your debt, not someone else.

Re:An Honest Question (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | about 9 months ago | (#45688763)

So in other words: People are the issue.

Lol

Re:An Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687857)

Actually all those supercomputers your talking about are sorely outmatched by the sheer network processing capabilities of both bitcoin and litecoins. Also the General purpose processing capabilites of those supercomputers is poorly suited for mining either bitcoin or litecoin. Primecoin works fine though. And yes some actually are running primecoin mining software on those supercomputer systems in their off time. Most of those supercomputers are owned by partys interested in using them for a specific purpose. Which is at this time is almost never going to have anything to do with mining cryptocoins.

Re:An Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687861)

My understanding is that the cost of the electricity to do that would be greater than the value of the bitcoin mined. So the only viable ways to make money mining bitcoin today are to a) steal electricity by using someone else's computers, b) build some kind of highly efficient FPGAs that have no purpose other than bitcoins, c) steal someone's keychain.

Re:An Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688033)

Aside from the reasons already stated, say you get a coin or two per day using a supercomputer. How much do you think it costs you to buy those CPU cycles?

Re:An Honest Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688127)

Essentially, all of the world's supercomputers ARE being used to mine bitcoin. well, at least, there's more than 256x the compute resources being thrown at mining BTC than the fastest 500 supercomputers combined.[1] Most of that is very specialized chips that can do nothing but mine bitcoin, but it's still a staggering amount of cycles being burnt through at an ever-increasing rate.

[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/reuvencohen/2013/11/28/global-bitcoin-computing-power-now-256-times-faster-than-top-500-supercomputers-combined/

Re:An Honest Question (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 9 months ago | (#45688179)

Supercomputers are generally built of a large number of general purpose CPUs, which aren't all that good at bitcoin mining compared to dedicated ASICs... Even with hundreds or thousands of CPUs, you will consume more in power than you ever make in bitcoin.

Re:An Honest Question (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#45688377)

why aren't all the world's supercomputers on the job making a thousand bucks a minute?

A dozen basement dweller with a few dozen specialized ASICs each is probably as good as a "supercomputer" at mining bitcoins.

People who pay for supercomputers have better things to do than try to make a couple of hundred bucks in a lottery^W market speculation.

It hurt AMD today... (2, Interesting)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 9 months ago | (#45687741)

I would love to buy a pair of 290x cards and Crossfire them, but the delay in aftermarket coolers has hurt and the overall beta state of their newest drivers hurts as well.

NewEgg shipped my new pair of 780 TI cards today, equipped with Gigabyte Windforce aftermarket coolers, I'll finally get rid of most of the crappy FPS problem on my 3 Dell 30" monitors thanks to only having a single AMD 7970 card.

Why not just buy a second 7970 card and Crossfire them? I considered it, but since they are impossible to find for a reasonable price, forget it (2 months ago they were under $300, today they are closer to $500). The microstutter problem also remains when Crossfiring two cards and also running Eyefinity.

Given that the problem has been known for a year and still isn't fixed, I'm not giving AMD any more time.

Off to NVidia for me! Oh well, shame on you AMD, loyal customer here, but you just didn't leave me any options.

Re:It hurt AMD today... (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 9 months ago | (#45687767)

that stutter thing with eyefinity is AMD SAYS they will have driver for in January, but its AMD and they have a shakey record keep time tables for things like this.

Re:It hurt AMD today... (0)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 9 months ago | (#45687791)

:) AMD said they would have a driver for it last month (November). That came and went without so much as a squeak.

The thing is, the 290/290x cards were released without finished drivers. The 280x is just a 7970 rebadge so I'm sure those drivers are fine, so long as you don't use both crossfire and eyefinity.

Since I use both, it is annoying. I actually used to crossfire and pulled the second card because of this issue. I thought it would be fixed a year ago, then it was, for single cards.

I watched several youtube reviews of BF4 and other modern games played on the 780 in SLI on 3 monitors, looked very smooth to me, so NVidia just got $1,400 from me yesterday. (well, Newegg did, don't know how much goes to NVidia).

Playing games on three 30" monitors at 7680x1600 with a single 7970 has sucked for awhile now. :)

For example, Mass Effect 3 is playable, so long as AA is turned off and you don't mind slowdowns here and there. Turn AA on even 2x and it is unbearable. More modern stuff like BF4 is completely unplayable on my 3 monitors with my current card.

From the numbers I've seen, a pair of 290x cards in Crossfire would have been beautiful, oh well...

Re:It hurt AMD today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687939)

Dude, half the people of the world suffer from hunger right now, and you complain about driver for 30" gaming? Fuck off!

Re:It hurt AMD today... (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 9 months ago | (#45688019)

Must... not... respond... to... flamebait... :)

Re: It hurt AMD today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687773)

You could have crossfired an amd 7970 with a r9 280x.

Re: It hurt AMD today... (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 9 months ago | (#45687829)

You could have crossfired an amd 7970 with a r9 280x.

Yes, but two problems with that... the 280x cards are expensive and hard to find, and the microstutter when running on 3 monitors has not been solved by AMD yet.

They did solve it in hardware on the 290/290x cards, so crossfiring those would have been fine, but the 7970/280x cards still have microstutter and it is annoying.

Re:It hurt AMD today... (-1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 9 months ago | (#45687875)

I left ATI (now acquired by AMD) 9 years ago. And just the other day, I find their drivers are still written in .NET.

It's not the hardware, it's the driver base that I detest!

Re:It hurt AMD today... (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 9 months ago | (#45687913)

Im fairly certain the actual drivers are NOT .NET. The interface might be, but Id hazard that the actual drivers are C, C++, or assembly. like 99% of the drivers out there.

Re:It hurt AMD today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687917)

Well, at least we now know you're a complete idiot.
Hint: CCC != driver. Additionally, anything CCC does can be done through the ADL API.

Re:It hurt AMD today... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45688089)

I left ATI (now acquired by AMD) 9 years ago. And just the other day, I find their drivers are still written in .NET.

Hahhhahhaaa... drivers written in .NET, sure... :D

Re:It hurt AMD today... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 9 months ago | (#45688353)

He means their Control Panel integration.

Re:It hurt AMD today... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45688477)

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know... although Catalyst Control Center is integrated to the Control Panel (Settings Manager or something like that) only under Linux.

Re:It hurt AMD today... (1)

Chris Katko (2923353) | about 9 months ago | (#45688269)

All that money... just so you can play the same videogames at twice the resolution as everyone else...

Re:It hurt AMD today... (1)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 9 months ago | (#45688297)

Yes, that is true... however, in all fairness... once you have a trio of 30" monitors that cost over $3,000 to buy, spending $1,400 on video cards isn't quite as insane.

Yea, ok, it is... a bit... :)

People spend money on funny things, I've posted here before what I drive and where I live, so, well, this isn't the end of the world. Hopefully I get 2 to 3 years of good gaming out of these cards.

Frankly, I would have been happy crossfiring a second 7970 (or 280x) with my current card, if the prices hadn't gone up and if the drivers didn't still suck.

I could have purchased a pair of standard 780 cards and saved $400, but I figure if you're going to do it, do it right.

Re:It hurt AMD today... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#45688389)

A trio of 30" monitors just to play a video game isn't insane enough?

Re:It hurt AMD today... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45688561)

You guys have nothing, I mean nothing, on people who do 'recreational' boating.

If you look at the etymology of the word 'boat' you'll find all sorts of silly things. It's simply an acronym:

Bring On Another Thousand.

$1400? I sneeze on your three digit gizmo.

Don't worry (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#45687745)

When the bubble bursts, cheap cards will be available in large numbers. And the bubble will burst, even Bitcoin is subject to economic rules and historically demonstrated facts. Its very volatility shows that its value has no basis in reality.

Re:Don't worry (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 9 months ago | (#45687879)

Bitcoin is speculative. By design, it's not backed by any sovereign nation and its government. It's truly a double-edge sword. It also makes for great legalized gambling. Anyone that's in the Bitcoin scene knows it. It's always been a game of skill and luck as to who can cash out in real Dollars/Yuan/Euros/ before the majority does. You know, to the kind that is sovereign currency! Hah!

Bitcoin, Litecoin... what next? (0)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 9 months ago | (#45687839)

I think sexcoin [sexcoin.info] has the best name
But Junkcoin [junkcoin.org] has the most accurate name. Looks like it's already junk though.

Re:Bitcoin, Litecoin... what next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688047)

Fuckcoin. So yes. A single fuck was given that day!

Re:Bitcoin, Litecoin... what next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688317)

Well the interesting thing is if currencies themselves can be so easily created, does that not just devalue all currencies and make exhanges and regulation incredibly complex?

Imagine if each person on the planet could have their own currency and demand that they are paid in their own currency. A unique version of "MyCoin"...
Now what happens? Your employer has to either mine your coins to pay you, or buy them from you, to pay you. The more need of your services there is, the higher the value of your personal currency becomes. Crazy idea, but logistical nightmare. Insurances companies would like it, as now you would have a personal value of worth.

Re:Bitcoin, Litecoin... what next? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#45688673)

Third option: Your employer can simply decide not to be your employer (that is, not employ you, or fire you if you are already employed) unless you accept your payment in legal tender. And every court in the world would approve that.

Re:Bitcoin, Litecoin... what next? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#45688745)

For sexcoin, your proof of work is in form of a sperm probe?

Dogecoin overtook litecoin twice last night (-1, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | about 9 months ago | (#45687865)

For two brief periods of time, the still-new Dogecoin overtook Litecoin in value. /g/ is learning how to manipulate the currency very quickly. I suggest getting some while you can.

D82R7E4w23DpwRpBf51MmRYZhMJvpxfmqL - if you'd like to donate for the advice. Dogecoin plz, much thx, such grateful.

Re:Dogecoin overtook litecoin twice last night (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 9 months ago | (#45688357)

Who cares about the absolute value of any particular coin? What matters is the ratio of its value to mining difficulty - i.e. how much $$$ you can mine per day. CoinWarz maintains a list [coinwarz.com] , and there are mining pools now which automatically switch coins based on which one is the most profitable currently (and immediately exchange them for BTC at the end of the round).

Re:Dogecoin overtook litecoin twice last night (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#45688683)

Who cares about the absolute value of any particular coin?

Anyopne speculating with them, I guess. And anyone using it as a payment system.

What matters is the ratio of its value to mining difficulty

That matters to miners. To others it only matters very little.

Poor AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687929)

I can really see the "hurt" for AMD here...given that they cannot keep up with demand! -I'm pretty confident they will post some impressive sales figures.

Perhaps now it's time AMD will create a mining edition card? -so the games can have something & the miners as well.

Let's see what mantle can do for mining.

Make mining useful (5, Insightful)

benob (1390801) | about 9 months ago | (#45687985)

When will a *coin virtual currency make calculations useful for science? I can't help but feel this whole thing is total a waste of energy.

Re:Make mining useful (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688021)

When will a *coin virtual currency make calculations useful for science? I can't help but feel this whole thing is total a waste of energy.

There already is, Timekoin is the most efficient digital currency out there, any spare CPU time can be used for a whole range of science research from any number of old servers given new life.

Re:Make mining useful (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#45688697)

SETICoin? However that would collapse the very moment extraterrestrial life is found. :-)

Amusing day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45687997)

Amusing day for this newspiece. Just a day after steamos launches with only nvidia support and no amd.

Waiing for . .. KiteCoin myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688001)

Because if you can't kite a coin what good is it?

Re:Waiing for . .. KiteCoin myself (1)

game kid (805301) | about 9 months ago | (#45688031)

Why would you need to kite [wiktionary.org] a coin? It's not like it would know how to nuke you with an AOE.

what a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688085)

load of tripe!

Stop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688161)

just... stop it.
Anyone willing to even taking virtual currency and exchange it for goods/real money is just plain crazy and shouldn't have those to begin with. These are just get rich quick scheme that only benefits the early adopters, it's too late for anyone to just join in and actually make it rich.

Re:Stop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688241)

Sounds like someone is a bit grumpy for not jumping in at the ground floor... ;-)

Re:Stop... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 9 months ago | (#45688303)

A lot of people are. We saw what looked like some crazy flash-in-the-pan project. By the time we realised this might actually be worth taking seriously, it was already too late to make the mega-bucks.

I've looked at it, but by the time I did it was already at the point where GPU mining was barely covering the cost of power. ASICs still turn a profit, but that's a big investment in something that might well collapse any day now. It's a bubble, everyone knows it, and when it bursts it'll burst fast.

Re:Stop... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 9 months ago | (#45688361)

These are just get rich quick scheme that only benefits the early adopters, it's too late for anyone to just join in and actually make it rich.

Make it rich, no.

Buy a new shiny video card and recoup its cost is totally doable, though.

The environment thanks you. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688275)

Buying multiple carbon intensive products and running them 24/7. I'll stick with actual coins thanks.

Re:The environment thanks you. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#45688723)

You mean, those where you first have to move tons of material to get the ore (and in doing so not only consume energy, but also damage the environment), then to consume energy to transport it to the place where the ore can be converted to metal, a process which itself takes a lot of energy, then you have to transport the metal to the mint (consuming energy) where you have to again melt it to get it into the right portions, and finally you coin them, probably using a machine which again uses energy for operation?

AMD stock has just been upgraded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45688285)

time to buy some AMD stock I guess!!!

PSU's too (1)

nicxz (552916) | about 9 months ago | (#45688481)

Lots of >=1000W PSU's are hard to come by also at the moment. I expect because of Litecoin mining also.
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