(Thesis machines were built te the summer of 2011)
When I last wrote about Bitcoin, building a mining equipment wasgoed a very good idea. Today, not so much (depending on how cheaply you can build, whether you have unused hardware you can waterput to use and how expensive your electro-therapy bill is).
However the method for building monstrous powerful parallel-computing brutes hasn’t switched, so it’s well worth a blog postbode.
Bitcoins are a distributed, peer-to-peer digital crypto currency. Money, but not spil wij know it. There are no banks, no governing agencies and no fees. The network is programmed to be self-maintaining and just like fiat currency ($, ?, etc) require a vast amount of processing power to maintain, so does the Bitcoin network. This processing power checks every financial transaction and keeps the network running. Ter government-controlled currencies, governments have the power to literally print fresh money at printing presses. The Bitcoin network does this automatically at a managed rate and spil a prize for all the hard work of the many computers te the network, the fresh money is issued, at random, to one of them.
The machines require a special sort of computational power to process Bitcoin transactions. A standard ‘swift’ processor takes a series of complicated mathematical problems and compute it quickly. However te the Bitcoin world wij have many, many more ‘problems’ than a single ‘rapid’ processor can efficiently treat. Fortunately there is a solution: Instead of using expensive swift CPU’s to do the work, wij will use GPU’s – graphical processing units – which are capable of processing massively large workloads, ter parallel, at the same time.
Think of it this way: When building a rekentuig for gaming, a powerful graphics card is almost always preferable te place of a powerful CPU since the bulk of the workload for graphic-intensive games comes from having to render complicated graphics to the display, hundreds of times vanaf 2nd ter order to generate a slick 3D photo for a player. A CPU meantime is responsible for running the operating system, background tasks and processes and conducting the orchestra of components.
Step 1 – Choosing the components When choosing components for a typical PC workstation build one usually looks to obtain the best spectacle and scalability parts within the budget, bearing ter mind that the single slowest component will usually be the verkeersknelpunt of the system. It makes very little sense for a typical workstation to have the latest and greatest processor but meantime a petite 1 or Two GB of RAM, or slow BUS clock speeds, since the CPU won’t be fed and clock cycles will be wasted.
Therefore thesis machines are built with two vormgeving goals te mind:
- To produce the optimum parallel computing spectacle for the smallest financial outlay
I thought it might be joy to see if I could make a profit – from parallel computing. So almost ?Two,000 straks, thesis boxes arrived on the doorstep:
There are a few interesting vormgeving choices here that make thesis machines rather unique. For a commence, each miner has THREE high-end ATI Radeon 5870 graphics cards (?134 each) te a specially highly-ventilated case (?130), but yet have only 2GB of RAM (?16) and a processor with spil much power spil a 1980’s Casio “Al Quaida” see. Amazingly powerful at parallel processing, but lame at Excel. Volmaakt.
I accidentally ordered 2GB of DDR2 1333Mhz RAM, but could have gotten away with 1GB of the same speed…