It’s been two years since I did any Bitcoin mining. Yes, you’re right, I lost my original wallet (DAMN IT!) which had a couple of bitcoins stashed away but no problemo – onwards and upwards.
I decided to buy two ATI Radeon HD 7790’s. Why? Cost.In the UK, two Gigabyte 7790’s came in at just under £120. I’d also heard they were more energy efficient, with a new die construction for the card from the ground up. How true this really is only Gigabyte know, but they have performed as well as I could expect for the price point.
My kit setup is as follows:
[ Please note, I am using my old PC/Server in the garage where it is nice and cool, open case ]
ASUS P6T Deluxe Version 2 (Purchased 2008) http://uk.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1366/P6T_Deluxe_V2/
Intel Core i7 920 CPU http://ark.intel.com/products/37147
8 Gb Memory DDR3 1600Mhz
2 x Gigabyte Radeon HD 7790 Graphics Cards http://www.ebuyer.com/491754-gigabyte-hd-7790-1gb-gddr5-dual-dvi-hdmi-displayport-pci-e-graphics-card-gv-r779oc-1gd
64 Gb SSD for main Windows 8 installation
I am using Bitminter’s client to run these cards for Bitcoin (and at the same time, with no extra effort, Namecoin mining but don’t worry about that :)) http://bitminter.com/
The Science Bit
To be honest, it’s not been easy trying to sort this out. Firstly, Gigabytes OC (Overclock) Guru II software only seems to change the settings to higher speeds (overclocked) on a single card. I think this is due to the card being assessed by the drivers as disabled, yet Bitminter’s mining client sees the card just fine.
I am currently hashing at 309 Mhs on one card that has been overclocked to 1200Mhz (with RAM at stock speed) and 209 on the other.I’ve tried MSI Afterburner, another excellent and well-respected tool and that SEES the second card but does not provide the drop-down list to select it – ARRGGH!!!
Anyways, I am hitting 490+Mhs which is respectable, but not the magical 1Ghz I wished for when I started out blind. I now know I need to double up at least two 7950 Radeons OR go the full hog and get two/three 7970’s.
…is how much juice this is drawing and its going to be pretty hefty. I think the 7790’s are pretty awesome on power draw but I suspect if I go for the 7950s, especially the 7970’s, its going to LEAP in costs! There are very few, if none at all, power consumption/hash rate calculators for the UK electricity grid I have found thus far. If you do, please leave a comment pointing to it. I’d be very appreciative as I suspect others will be too.
Conclusions – 7790 Experiment
Lovely cards, clearly overclockable and to a respectable 309 on Bitminter software. But when you consider a SINGLE ATI 7950 can do circa 500+ Mhs, and at 250-300 quid, that’s a potentially wiser investment, especially if you get two and punch the 1gig barrier.
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