Print 13 comment(s) - last by Argon18.. on Jan 15 at 10:52 AM

Investment is less risky, as if you get bored of mining you can always play games on it

While any hardcore cryptocurrency miner these days will use application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) to chug through the proof-of-work calculations need to "discover" blocks of bitcoins, dogecoins, litecoins, etc. (or in a pinch use field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) flashed with similar purpose-built hardware), there's still plenty of casual miners who aren't necessarily looking to get rich quick and are just looking to have a bit of fun.

If you fit in that crowd you might want to consider the newly announced iBuyPower MINE system, a just announced rig tuned towards mining.

The base Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) branded rig gives you:
  • FX-6300 CPU
    • hex-core Vishera chip
    • 3.5 GHz
    • 4.1 GHz turbo
    • 95 watt
  • 2x Radeon R9 270X
    • 2 GB GDDR5
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 500 GB hard disc drive (HDD)
  • 1000 watt AZZA Titan
    • 80+ Bronze power efficiency rating
  • Gigabyte Technology Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2376) GA-970A-D3P motherboard

Just the power supply, the processor, and the pair of video cards will set you back about $640 USD, if you were to build it yourself, so this is a pretty decent deal -- even more so when you factor in the scarcity and shortages of AMD cards that hit at times.

The iBuyPower MINE

The Intel Corp. (INTC) variant comes with a slightly more aggressive base spec for $1,559:
  • Core i3-4130
    • dual-core Haswell
    • 3.4 GHz
    • 54 watts
  • 2x Radeon R9 280X
    • 2 GB GDDR5
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 500 GB hard disc drive (HDD)
  • 1000 watt AZZA Titan
    • 80+ Bronze power efficiency rating
  • Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3 motherboard

Applying the same formula as before (processor + GPUs + power supply) you arrive at a cost of around $1,090.
AMD Asus
The ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II Top [Image Source: AnandTech]

Both machines are fully customizable with up to three GPUs, and up to the Radeon HD R9 290X, if you want to go all out.  If you're not buying the rig solely for mining and you go Intel's way you might want to upgrade the CPU as well, as the i3-4130 is a pretty anemic chip, which lacks even turbo-clocking.

As for the kind of performance you can expect, remember the GPUs are doing all the work.  Here's a quick reference chart:
  • Avalon ASIC #1 mining rig

    Avalon mining asic
    Avalon mining ASICs, in the wild. [Image Source: Motherboard]
  • 66,300,000 khps
  • 620 watts
  • $1,499 USD (discontinued)
  • Terasic DE2-115 from Altera Corp. (ALTR)

    Terasic DE2
    • 80,000 khps
    • ~5 watt
    • $595 USD
  • 3x AMD R9 290x
    • 2126 khps
    • 1200 watts
    • $1,620 USD
  • 2x NVIDIA Corp. GTX 780 Ti (compute edition)
  • 2x Radeon R9 280x
    • 1,400 khps
    • 620 watts
    • $840 USD
  • 2x Radeon R9 270X
Even, today AMD still retains a healthy lead over NVIDIA in mining rigs.  Based on the above you should recognize that iBuyPower's rig won't be the fastest on the market, but it will give you some of the best performance you can get without jumping to an FPGA or ASIC.
One clear advantage of the iBuyPower system is that if you get bored of mining you can still play games on it.  The same cannot be said of the ASIC or FPGA (well, the FPGA can, but not in a traditional Windows gaming sense).
Also you don't have to worry about the scams that are littering the coveting ASIC market (for example some have suggested that the Germany-based Xtreme Miners may be a scam, as they have yet to ship their upcoming ASIC-product.

Source: iBuyPower

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Too late
By ritualm on 1/14/2014 3:59:20 PM , Rating: 4
I feel bad for all the folks who are just getting into coin mining. Lose several thousand bucks and make barely enough for a Big Mac combo (with coupon) every other week.

RE: Too late
By FITCamaro on 1/14/2014 5:19:27 PM , Rating: 2
I just got into it but already had a 7950. So for me it's just costing power.

RE: Too late
By Shig on 1/14/2014 8:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's just that after the custom hardware became available, even GPU's aren't even close to their hashes per watt and hashes per hour.

RE: Too late
By Samus on 1/15/2014 2:35:19 AM , Rating: 2
My buddy financed his entire wedding with lightcoins generated on a couple Radeon's over the last year.

So I'd say he did pretty well.

RE: Too late
By StevoLincolnite on 1/15/2014 7:11:25 AM , Rating: 3
AMD must really be loving the extra business thanks to miners.

RE: Too late
By superflex on 1/15/2014 9:10:42 AM , Rating: 2
Tulips were all the craze in the 1600's too.
Mining with a GPU is a waste of time and power.

RE: Too late
By FITCamaro on 1/15/2014 9:58:42 AM , Rating: 2
Hey I think its dumb too. But people are giving these things a value. And I'm making $100 a month for doing absolutely nothing. That's after power costs.

Its interesting, but a waste of money, I think...
By Boze on 1/14/2014 4:47:45 PM , Rating: 4
I think this is mostly iBUYPOWER trying to cash in on the cryptocoin craze while they can.

Since they don't have the engineers to build ASIC-based machines for Bitcoin mining, the next best thing is to build machines for Scrypt-based mining.

I was very fortunate - I picked up an Avalon 60 GH/s unit when they were $1249. For mining hardware to really be worthwhile, you needed to have gotten in on the ground floor with whatever technology was the best before advancements occurred.

For instance, if you build a CPU-based rig to mine Bitcoins in 2010, you were eclipsed by GPUs... but if you built the GPU rig right when GPU mining took off, you could rack up some cash.

That was my situation with ASIC miners. I have others who went with Butterfly Labs and they're upset, to say the least. When the difficulty was just 12 million, I was hashing at 60 GH/s. They didn't get their 60 GH/s miners until October or November. All those machines have paid back their cost thus far, but to liken it to mining gold, they missed out on the really rich veins.

iBUYPOWER is merely selling tools to this generation of gold miners who are trying to stake their claim entirely too late.

By TSS on 1/15/2014 6:41:22 AM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't say that. Yeah, they'd be too late to the bitcoin party, but there's a myriad of other currencies they can still jump into.

Just mine a bunch of coin then hold onto it hoping it becomes worth more. Sure it's a gamble but then again so is the stock market. The only thing right now that isn't much of a gamble is putting your money in the bank - you *know* you're going to lose money there.

In fact, it's not that bad a gamble after all. Wether the price of bitcoin crashes or it becomes uneconomical to mine more bitcoin as the amount of bitcoin available approaches the theoretical limit, that isn't going to affect all this hardware bought specifically for mining. That's not going to go anywhere. Especially not when it was recently bought, those miners will still try to recoup their investment.

So, automatically, they will look to the other cryptocurrencies in order to mine them. The difficulty will shoot through the roof, and with it, the prices of said coins. Since everybody seems to percieve the value of these coins relative to the difficulty of getting them.

Right now it's the perfect time to jump into Litecoin or Namecoin. Litecoin has 4 times the possible available coins of bitcoin yet is worth 40 times less at the moment. Namecoin will have the same amount of coins available as bitcoin yet is worth $7, where bitcoin is $975 at the moment. PPcoin is a bad one to mine since with unlimited amount of coin there will never be a mining spike - it's price is more closely tied to hype then mining (looking at ppc charts it's price is entirely stable until you hit the spots where bitcoin was hyped and the price was dragged up as a whole).

You're almost guarranteed to make alot of money, without too much risk. Prices of coins might fluctuate but the hardware bought to mine coins will be far more stable. If you want a bigger payoff though, assume more risk and start mining a few of the newest, small name coins out there. Hell if you jumped into Dogecoin before christmas last year you're already looking at a profit today. But you'll have to guess right on which one will be the next big thing.

I'd suggest looking at for that one - There's 75 (!) cryptocurrencies already on there. Personally i'd bet on FourtyTwo - a marketcap of under $1 million but a 24h volume of $180,000? Instant money right there.

Or otherwise Craftcoin. A portable ingame currency for minecraft? Based on mining? That's going through the roof when the minecraft community hears about it. Only a market cap of <$60,000 at the moment so the amount of coins per blockchain are going to be huge. Then just wait for the word to spread.

The party's just getting started. The only thing it's too late for now is common sense - burning fossil fuels to get fiat currency rather then just printing it. But hey, considering nobody gives a damn about economics anymore, who cares, right?

By chµck on 1/14/2014 2:38:38 PM , Rating: 3
you can just buy AMD cards yourself if you can find them.

By Flunk on 1/14/2014 3:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
The numbers in this article mix specs for SHA256 and scrypt based mining. SHA256-based cryptocurrencies are the only ones you can mine with current ASICs E.G. Bitcoin, Namecoin, Ixcoin. Scrypt-based cryptocurrencies like Litecoin and Doge Coin don't currently have any supported ASICs. scrypt is a more complex algorithm, for example most AMD GPUs mine scrypt at 1/1000 the speed that they mine SHA256 .

This "rig" they're selling would be reasonable for mining scrypt-based coins, although almost everyone who is doing this would just build their own and skip the unnecessary parts. For Bitcoin, it would be worthless because the difficutly is too high to get any meaningful amount using GPUs.

By Argon18 on 1/15/2014 10:52:52 AM , Rating: 2
Mining Bitcoin using GPU's has been obsolete for many months. You'll use more in electricity than you'll earn from the mining; a net loss.

All other crypto currencies are 2nd rate clones, propped up only by the Bitcoin market. If Bitcoin crashes and burns, so will all the others.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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