Author Topic: Best value for $ GPU board  (Read 5169 times)

Offline Magnate

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Best value for $ GPU board
« on: February 09, 2013, 04:32:27 AM »
For people wanting to get into lite coin mining now-what is the best value for money board to buy?

Once you start stepping up in Radeon models you start getting faster ram (which is better) but you also get more and more of the rather expensive/fast ram which for mining is probably over kill.

Which boards provide a good fast GPU with good fast ram for great mining speeds but then has a great investment price to speed return?

7xxx boards are on a smaller die size too so would use less Kw, but being new cost more. What is the power usage difference between 6xxx boards and 7xxx boards?

Offline UKMark

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 05:19:00 PM »
2nd hand High end 6950 2gb (with unlocked 6970 shaders), around £100 on eBay = circa 500kh/s - approx 150watt = 3.333kh/s per watt
2nd hand 7970 3gb high end boards, around £200 on eBay = circa 700kh/s - approx 200watt = 3.5kh/s per watt

While the newer gen' cards get slightly more kh/s per watt, they cost twice as much and IMO that cost difference would be difficult to offset against that slight hash to power increase.
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Offline MKEGuy

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 10:28:05 PM »
Honestly I think it depends on what your gonna do.   I'm looking at putting a good deal of power together and the efficency loss just isn't worth it to me.

Not to mention I'm really liking the sounds of the 8000 series and being able to sell 7970's at a decent price to upgrade is a factor for me.  Resale price should be a consideration for anyone really.  So the initial out lay of cash is justified IMHO.
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Offline UKMark

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 01:05:35 AM »
Fair point, I need to calculate the total savings based on an approx 0.167kh/s/w difference, I can't seem to get my head around the damn sum though  :' I've got LTC, GBP, KWH's & Watts spinning around in my head :D
BTC = 1AmYBJ9vzeTWJebrg8wkh8sRh7Rc2TvgyB
LTC = LhcW62pTvAudYSxsAfGRDwGSJEJj1dummG
FTC = 6f4n2UGCd5NcV5r3SnNeEnub7ZhkANcRjT
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Offline Magnate

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2013, 05:48:18 AM »
I'm looking at two different 6950 boards. One has 1gb, the other 2gb. The price difference is $45-$60 depending on how the auctions go. So 30-40% more.

Would the 2gb of ram make a difference once clocked to to be a 6970? Both have twin fans.

How do you know which boards can be reclocked to be a 6970?
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 07:48:28 AM by Magnate »

Offline MKEGuy

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 09:00:08 AM »
If you are worried about efficiency the 6900 series is not for you.
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Offline UKMark

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 12:57:34 PM »
I'm looking at two different 6950 boards. One has 1gb, the other 2gb. The price difference is $45-$60 depending on how the auctions go. So 30-40% more.

Would the 2gb of ram make a difference once clocked to to be a 6970? Both have twin fans.

How do you know which boards can be reclocked to be a 6970?

AFAIK Litecoin is more about memory & processing speed, so 2GB or more of DDR5 is the way to go....



BTC = 1AmYBJ9vzeTWJebrg8wkh8sRh7Rc2TvgyB
LTC = LhcW62pTvAudYSxsAfGRDwGSJEJj1dummG
FTC = 6f4n2UGCd5NcV5r3SnNeEnub7ZhkANcRjT
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Offline UKMark

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2013, 01:17:57 PM »
If you are worried about efficiency the 6900 series is not for you.

I was toying with a 7990 for £600-£700 now I'm not sure what the proven kh/s is for one of these but I bet its not much better than my 3 x 6950's? @ 1260kh/s

I was also looking at the cost usage more in depth:

7990 @ 100% = 555 - 575w figures from this link: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7990-devil13-7970-x2,3329-12.html
3 x 6950 a 100% = 570w (what I see on kill-a-watt = total card usage)

Now how long to cover the £300 - £400 price difference @ 15w MAX saving (maybe even no saving at all)
By rough calculations I'd say at the price I currently pay for electricity and on a 24/7/365 I would save £1.20 a month using the 7970 - so £350 (halfway price difference point) / 1.20 = 291 months (approx) or about 24years & 3months to justify the initial outlay cost difference :D
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FTC = 6f4n2UGCd5NcV5r3SnNeEnub7ZhkANcRjT
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Offline MKEGuy

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 10:31:06 PM »
I would not compare 7990's to 6950's.   The dual gpu cards are always a bit power hungry.

If you believe that is the best decision, by all means - its your decision! :)
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Offline bels

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2013, 07:09:09 PM »
I would say to cover your ROI it is almost always better to get cards that are a couple of gen behind and preferably used ones at that.

Offline Magnate

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2013, 06:14:46 AM »
have you tried to unlock your 6950s? you should be getting more than ~420kh per board

I'd stick with the 3 6950s. Even once you sell them second hand you'll still have to spend more again for the 7990. Chances are once you unlock the 6950s you'll be hashing more anyway and that will pay for the slight power increase of the unlocked cards.

Have a look at this table. Doesn't have all the cards unfortunately and some figures are clocked some aren't.
https://github.com/litecoin-project/litecoin/wiki/Mining-hardware-comparison

Because I'm building a new rig I'm probably going to go with 7950s

Offline UKMark

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 04:58:36 PM »
have you tried to unlock your 6950s? you should be getting more than ~420kh per board

I'd stick with the 3 6950s. Even once you sell them second hand you'll still have to spend more again for the 7990. Chances are once you unlock the 6950s you'll be hashing more anyway and that will pay for the slight power increase of the unlocked cards.

Have a look at this table. Doesn't have all the cards unfortunately and some figures are clocked some aren't.
https://github.com/litecoin-project/litecoin/wiki/Mining-hardware-comparison

Because I'm building a new rig I'm probably going to go with 7950s

I can get more, but not on Linux only on Windows I was seeing approx 478 stable per card, but that was on my gaming rig for testing purposes - 2500k + ROG Maximus board -16 GB Vengeance RAM, I bought a cheap 140 Sempron and a cheap Gigabyte board and set up my miner with 2gb value ram (probably explains the Zombie State I have been witnessing tbh) , but I wanted to use Linux as I really like bash :)
I suppose I should try Windows with the cheap setup, but I'm worried that the cheapness of the components and the 2gb RAM will not really help me to achieve the same results as I was seeing in my gaming rig? So I'm a bit unsure whether to stop everything to find out and then realise it will only get the same as I am now.....  :-\ What do you think?....
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Offline Magnate

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 11:35:48 PM »
was that higher speed with the unlocked cards or just because the windows drivers allowed better over clocking and performance than the linux drivers?
With an unlocked card you can get over 500khs

On the zombie state- what intensity were you using? Were you mining on the cpu as well? I found on high intensities that the graphics card really struggles to do graphics work as there is such a cue of mining using all the processing capacity.
Try turning down the intensity and not mining on the cpu (if you were)

Offline UKMark

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2013, 11:42:56 AM »
The cards are supposedly unlocked...I bought them as such, but now I am beginning to doubt  :-\ How can I check whether they are or they are not...And what would I look for?...Via Linux preferably...
And I was presuming it was down to Windows drivers and my gaming rig being better, but I can't say for sure?...

--18 intensity and no CPU mining, TBH its OK as once it settles down it just mines away quite happily 24/7 it just seems zombie'ish if I ever wish to go and check anything. maybe I'll try another 2gb of RAM and see if that helps, but I don't want to be throwing more money at it if it doesn't....
BTC = 1AmYBJ9vzeTWJebrg8wkh8sRh7Rc2TvgyB
LTC = LhcW62pTvAudYSxsAfGRDwGSJEJj1dummG
FTC = 6f4n2UGCd5NcV5r3SnNeEnub7ZhkANcRjT
There's an app a bash for that!
LiteCalc @ Google Play

Offline Magnate

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Re: Best value for $ GPU board
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2013, 01:39:32 PM »
what clock settings are you using? You should max the memory clock then test the GPU clock at different lower speeds to check for hash rate but also stability.
Check the beginner setup guide for recommended setting for your boards.

No idea about the zombie state. But if works better in windows....also windows drivers are going to be better developed since they are the huge majority of the market.