Best Bitcoin Mining Software - 2020 Edition | CaptainAltcoin
Best Bitcoin Mining Software - 2020 Edition | CaptainAltcoin
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Crypto Mining for Beginners. Is it really worth it?
Image from blokt.com Mining cryptocoins is an arms race that rewards early adopters. You might have heard of Bitcoin, the first decentralized cryptocurrency that was released in early 2009. Similar digital currencies have crept into the worldwide market since then, including a spin-off from Bitcoin called Bitcoin Cash. You can get in on the cryptocurrency rush if you take the time to learn the basics properly.
Which Alt-Coins Should Be Mined?
Image from btcwarp.com If you had started mining Bitcoins back in 2009, you could have earned thousands of dollars by now. At the same time, there are plenty of ways you could have lost money, too. Bitcoins are not a good choice for beginning miners who work on a small scale. The current up-front investment and maintenance costs, not to mention the sheer mathematical difficulty of the process, just doesn't make it profitable for consumer-level hardware. Now, Bitcoin mining is reserved for large-scale operations only. Litecoins, Dogecoins, and Feathercoins, on the other hand, are three Scrypt-based cryptocurrencies that are the best cost-benefit for beginners. Dogecoins and Feathercoins would yield slightly less profit with the same mining hardware but are becoming more popular daily. Peercoins, too, can also be a reasonably decent return on your investment of time and energy. As more people join the cryptocoin rush, your choice could get more difficult to mine because more expensive hardware will be required to discover coins. You will be forced to either invest heavily if you want to stay mining that coin, or you will want to take your earnings and switch to an easier cryptocoin. Understanding the top 3 bitcoin mining methods is probably where you need to begin; this article focuses on mining "scrypt" coins. Also, be sure you are in a country where bitcoins and bitcoin mining is legal.
Is It Worth It to Mine Cryptocoins?
As a hobby venture, yes, cryptocoin mining can generate a small income of perhaps a dollar or two per day. In particular, the digital currencies mentioned above are very accessible for regular people to mine, and a person can recoup $1000 in hardware costs in about 18-24 months. As a second income, no, cryptocoin mining is not a reliable way to make substantial money for most people. The profit from mining cryptocoins only becomes significant when someone is willing to invest $3000-$5000 in up-front hardware costs, at which time you could potentially earn $50 per day or more.
Set Reosonable Expectations
If your objective is to earn substantial money as a second income, then you are better off purchasing cryptocoins with cash instead of mining them, and then tucking them away in the hopes that they will jump in value like gold or silver bullion. If your objective is to make a few digital bucks and spend them somehow, then you just might have a slow way to do that with mining. Smart miners need to keep electricity costs to under $0.11 per kilowatt-hour; mining with 4 GPU video cards can net you around $8.00 to $10.00 per day (depending upon the cryptocurrency you choose), or around $250-$300 per month. The two catches are: 1) The up-front investment in purchasing 4 ASIC processors or 4 AMD Radeon graphic processing units 2) The market value of cryptocoins Now, there is a small chance that your chosen digital currency will jump in value alongside Bitcoin at some point. Then, possibly, you could find yourself sitting on thousands of dollars in cryptocoins. The emphasis here is on "small chance," with small meaning "slightly better than winning the lottery." If you do decide to try cryptocoin mining, definitely do so as a hobby with a very small income return. Think of it as "gathering gold dust" instead of collecting actual gold nuggets. And always, always, do your research to avoid a scam currency.
How Cryptocoin Mining Works
Let's focus on mining scrypt coins, namely Litecoins, Dogecoins, or Feathercoins. The whole focus of mining is to accomplish three things: - Provide bookkeeping services to the coin network. Mining is essentially 24/7 computer accounting called "verifying transactions." - Get paid a small reward for your accounting services by receiving fractions of coins every couple of days. - Keep your personal costs down, including electricity and hardware.
The Laundry List: What You Will Need to Mine Cryptocoins
https://preview.redd.it/gx65tcz0ncg31.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f99b79d0ff96fe7d529dc20d52964b46306fb070 You will need ten things to mine Litecoins, Dogecoins, and/or Feathercoins. 1) A free private database called a coin wallet. This is a password-protected container that stores your earnings and keeps a network-wide ledger of transactions. 2) A free mining software package, like this one from AMD, typically made up of cgminer and stratum. 3) A membership in an online mining pool, which is a community of miners who combine their computers to increase profitability and income stability. 4) Membership at an online currency exchange, where you can exchange your virtual coins for conventional cash, and vice versa. 5) A reliable full-time internet connection, ideally 2 megabits per second or faster speed. 6) A hardware setup location in your basement or other cool and air-conditioned space. 7) A desktop or custom-built computer designed for mining. Yes, you may use your current computer to start, but you won't be able to use the computer while the miner is running. A separate dedicated computer is ideal. Do not use a laptop, gaming console or handheld device to mine. These devices just are not effective enough to generate income. 8) An ATI graphics processing unit (GPU) or a specialized processing device called a mining ASIC chip. The cost will be anywhere from $90 used to $3000 new for each GPU or ASIC chip. The GPU or ASIC will be the workhorse of providing the accounting services and mining work. 10) A house fan to blow cool air across your mining computer. Mining generates substantial heat, and cooling the hardware is critical for your success. 11) You absolutely need a strong appetite of personal curiosity for reading and constant learning, as there are ongoing technology changes and new techniques for optimizing coin mining results. The most successful coin miners spend hours every week studying the best ways to adjust and improve their coin mining performance. Original Blog Post: https://www.lifewire.com/cryptocoin-mining-for-beginners-2483064
how to shibecoin v rich in minutes much instruct so simple any doge can do
UPDATE 1/21/14: I'm not updating this guide anymore. Most of the steps should still work though. See the wiki or check the sidebar for updated instructions. Before you do anything else, you need to get a wallet. Until there's a secure online wallet, this means you need to download the dogecoin client. Now open the client you just downloaded. You'll be given a default address automatically, and it should connect to peers and start downloading the dogechain (aka blockchain in formal speak). You'll know because there will be a progress bar at the bottom and at the lower right there should be a signal strength icon (TODO: add screenshots). If you've waited 2 or 3 minutes and nothing is happening, copy this:
And paste it into a new text file called dogecoin.conf, which you then place into the dogecoin app directory.
On Windows this is C:\Users\[YOUR_USER]\AppData\Roaming\DogeCoin
On Macs it's ~/Library/Application Support/DogeCoin
Now restart your qt client and the blockchain should start downloading in about 1-2 minutes. Once it finished downloading, you're ready to send and receive Dogecoins!
Decide how you want to get Dogecoin. Your options are:
I'll go into detail about each of these. I'm currently writing this out. I'll make edits as I add sections. Suggestions are welcome.
Mining is how new dogecoins are created. If you're new to crypto currencies, read this. To mine (also called "digging"), a computer with a decent GPU (graphics card) is recommended. You can also mine with your CPU, but it's not as efficient.
These instructions cover only Windows for now. To mine, you'll need to figure out what GPU you have. It'll be either AMD/ATI or Nvidia. The setup for both is approximately the same.
Step One: Choose a pool
There's a list of pools on the wiki. For now it doesn't really matter which one you choose. You can easily switch later. NOTE: Youcanmineintwoways.Solominingiswhereyouminebyyourself.Whenyoufindablockyougetallthereward.Poolminingiswhenyouteamupwithotherminerstoworkonthesameblocktogether.Thismakesitmorelikelythatyou'llfindablock,butyouwon'tgetallofit,you'llhavetosplititupwithothersaccordingtoyourshareofthework.Poolminingisrecommendedbecauseitgivesyoufrequentpayouts,becauseyoufindmoreblocks.Thelargerthepoolyoujoin,themorefrequentthepayouts,butthesmallertherewardyouget. Overalongperiodoftimethedifferencebetweenpoolandsolomininggoesaway,butifyousolomineitmightbemonthsbeforeyougetanycoins.
Step two: Set up pool account
The pool you chose should have a getting started page. Read it and follow the instructions. Instructions vary but the general idea is:
Create an account
Create a worker under the account
Grab the mining URL (usually on the getting started page)
Setup your cash out options in your account settings by entering one of your wallet's receiving addresses
When you're done with this, you'll need to know:
Your account, worker name, and worker password
The mining (stratum) URL (usually the pool's URL followed by a port)
Step three: Download mining software
For best performance you'll need the right mining software.
Create a text file in the same folder as your miner application. Inside, put the command you'll be running (remove brackets). For AMD it's cgminer.exe --scrypt -o stratum+tcp://: -u -p For Nvidia it's cudaminer.exe -o stratum+tcp://: -O : Substitute the right stuff in for the placeholders. Then on the next line of the text file type pause. This will let you see any errors that you get. Then save the file with any name you want, as long as the file extension is .bat. For example mine_serverName.bat.
Step five: Launch your miner
Just open the .bat file and a command line window should pop up, letting you know that the miner is starting. Once it starts, it should print out your hash rate. If you now go to the pool website, the dashboard should start showing your hashrate. At first it'll be lower than what it says in the miner, but that's because the dashboard is taking a 5 minute average. It'll catch up soon enough. NOTE: Anormalhashrateisbetween50Kh/suptoeven1Mh/sdependingonyourGPU.
You're now mining Dogecoins
That's it, nothing more to it.
CPU mining isn't really recommended, because you'll be spending a lot on more on power than you'd make from mining Dogecoin. You could better spend that money on buying Dogecoin by trading. But if you have free electricity and want to try it out, check out this informative forum post.
Trading has been difficult so far, but Dogecoin just got added to a few new exchanges. If you don't have a giant mining rig, this is probably the best way to get 100k or more dogecoins at the moment. I'll write up a more complete guide, but for now check out these sites:
Faucets are sites that give out free coins. Usually a site will give out somewhere between 1 and 100 Dogecoin. Every site has its own time limits, but usually you can only receive coins once every few hours, or in some cases, days. It's a great way to get started. All you do is copy your address from the receive section of your wallet and enter it on some faucet sites. Check out /dogecoinfaucets for more. If you go to each site on there you might end up with a couple hundred Dogecoin!
This method is pretty straightforward. Post your receiving address, and ask for some coins. Such poor shibe. The only catch is, don't do it here! Please go to /dogecoinbeg.
Other redditors can give you Dogecoin by summoning the tip bot, something like this: +dogetipbot 5 doge This might happen if you make a good post, or someone just wants to give out some coins. Once you receive a tip you have to accept it in a few days or else it'll get returned. Do this by following the instructions on the message you receive in your inbox. You reply to the bot with "+accept". Commands go in the message body. Once you do that, the bot will create a tipping address for you, and you can use the links in the message you receive to see your info, withdraw coins to your dogecoin-qt wallet, see your history, and a bunch of other stuff. As a bonus, so_doge_tip has a feature where you can get some Dogecoins to start with in exchange for how much karma you have. To do this, send the message "+redeem DOGE" to so_doge_tip. You'll need to create a tipping account if you don't have one. If you want to create a tipping account without ever being tipped first, message either of the bots with "+register" and an address will be created for you.
1/21/14 - Added note about this thread no longer being updated
1/21/14 - Changed wallet links to official site
12/27/13 - Added 1.3 wallet-qt links
12/21/13 - Added new windows 1.2 wallet link
12/20/13 - Fixed +redeem text
12/18/13 - Added short blurb on trading.
12/18/13 - Updated cudaminer to new version (cudaminer-2013-12-18.zip).
Console gaming is hardly different from PC gaming, and much of what people say about PC gaming to put it above console gaming is often wrong.
I’m not sure about you, but for the past few years, I’ve been hearing people go on and on about PCs "superiority" to the console market. People cite various reasons why they believe gaming on a PC is “objectively” better than console gaming, often for reasons related to power, costs, ease-of-use, and freedom. …Only problem: much of what they say is wrong. There are many misconceptions being thrown about PC gaming vs Console gaming, that I believe need to be addressed. This isn’t about “PC gamers being wrong,” or “consoles being the best,” absolutely not. I just want to cut through some of the stuff people use to put down console gaming, and show that console gaming is incredibly similar to PC gaming. I mean, yes, this is someone who mainly games on console, but I also am getting a new PC that I will game on as well, not to mention the 30 PC games I already own and play. I’m not particularly partial to one over the other. Now I will mainly be focusing on the PlayStation side of the consoles, because I know it best, but much of what I say will apply to Xbox as well. Just because I don’t point out many specific Xbox examples, doesn’t mean that they aren’t out there.
“PCs can use TVs and monitors.”
This one isn’t so much of a misconception as it is the implication of one, and overall just… confusing. This is in some articles and the pcmasterrace “why choose a PC” section, where they’re practically implying that consoles can’t do this. I mean, yes, as long as the ports of your PC match up with your screen(s) inputs, you could plug a PC into either… but you could do the same with a console, again, as long as the ports match up. I’m guessing the idea here is that gaming monitors often use Displayport, as do most dedicated GPUs, and consoles are generally restricted to HDMI… But even so, monitors often have HDMI ports. In fact, PC Magazine has just released their list of the best gaming monitors of 2017, and every single one of them has an HDMI port. A PS4 can be plugged into these just as easily as a GTX 1080. I mean, even if the monitoTV doesn’t have HDMI or AV to connect with your console, just use an adaptor. If you have a PC with ports that doesn’t match your monitoTV… use an adapter. I don’t know what the point of this argument is, but it’s made a worrying amount of times.
“On PC, you have a wide range of controller options, but on console you’re stuck with the standard controller."
Are you on PlayStation and wish you could use a specific type of controller that suits your favorite kind of gameplay? Despite what some may believe, you have just as many options as PC. Want to play fighting games with a classic arcade-style board, featuring the buttons and joystick? Here you go! Want to get serious about racing and get something more accurate and immersive than a controller? Got you covered. Absolutely crazy about flying games and, like the racers, want something better than a controller? Enjoy! Want Wii-style motion controls? Been around since the PS3. If you prefer the form factor of the Xbox One controller but you own a PS4, Hori’s got you covered. And of course, if keyboard and mouse it what keeps you on PC, there’s a PlayStation compatible solution for that. Want to use the keyboard and mouse that you already own? Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Of course, these aren’t isolated examples, there are plenty of options for each of these kind of controllers. You don’t have to be on PC to enjoy alternate controllers.
“On PC you could use Steam Link to play anywhere in your house and share games with others.”
PS4 Remote play app on PC/Mac, PSTV, and PS Vita. PS Family Sharing. Using the same PSN account on multiple PS4s/Xbox Ones and PS3s/360s, or using multiple accounts on the same console. In fact, if multiple users are on the same PS4, only one has to buy the game for both users to play it on that one PS4. On top of that, only one of them has to have PS Plus for both to play online (if the one with PS Plus registers the PS4 as their main system). PS4 Share Play; if two people on separate PS4s want to play a game together that only one of them owns, they can join a Party and the owner of the game can have their friend play with them in the game. Need I say more?
“Gaming is more expensive on console.”
Part one, the Software This is one that I find… genuinely surprising. There’s been a few times I’ve mentioned that part of the reason I chose a PS4 is for budget gaming, only to told that “games are cheaper on Steam.” To be fair, there are a few games on PSN/XBL that are more expensive than they are on Steam, so I can see how someone could believe this… but apparently they forgot about disks. Dirt Rally, a hardcore racing sim game that’s… still $60 on all 3 platforms digitally… even though its successor is out.
See my point? Often times the game is cheaper on console because of the disk alternative that’s available for practically every console-available game. Even when the game is brand new. Dirt 4 - Remember that Dirt Rally successor I mentioned?
Yes, you could either buy this relatively new game digitally for $60, or just pick up the disk for a discounted price. And again, this is for a game that came out 2 months ago, and even it’s predecessor’s digital cost is locked at $60. Of course, I’m not going to ignore the fact that Dirt 4 is currently (as of writing this) discounted on Steam, but on PSN it also happens to be discounted for about the same amount. Part 2: the Subscription Now… let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: PS Plus and Xbox Gold. Now these would be ignorable, if they weren’t required for online play (on the PlayStation side, it’s only required for PS4, but still). So yes, it’s still something that will be included in the cost of your PS4 or Xbox One/360, assuming you play online. Bummer, right? Here’s the thing, although that’s the case, although you have to factor in this $60 cost with your console, you can make it balance out, at worst, and make it work out for you as a budget gamer, at best. As nice as it would be to not have to deal with the price if you don’t want to, it’s not like it’s a problem if you use it correctly. Imagine going to a new restaurant. This restaurant has some meals that you can’t get anywhere else, and fair prices compared to competitors. Only problem: you have to pay a membership fee to have the sides. Now you can have the main course, sit down and enjoy your steak or pasta, but if you want to have a side to have a full meal, you have to pay an annual fee. Sounds shitty, right? But here’s the thing: not only does this membership allow you to have sides with your meal, but it also allows you to eat two meals for free every month, and also gives you exclusive discounts for other meals, drinks, and desserts. Let’s look at PS Plus for a minute: for $60 per year, you get:
2 free PS4 games, every month
2 free PS3 games, every month
1 PS4/PS3 and Vita compatible game, and 1 Vita-only game, every month
Exclusive/Extended discounts, especially during the weekly/seasonal sales (though you don’t need PS Plus to get sales, PS Plus members get to enjoy the best sales)
access to online multiplayer
So yes, you’re paying extra because of that membership, but what you get with that deal pays for it and then some. In fact, let’s ignore the discounts for a minute: you get 24 free PS4 games, 24 free PS3 games, and 12 Vita only + 12 Vita compatible games, up to 72freegames every year. Even if you only one of these consoles, that’s still 24 free games a year. Sure, maybe you get games for the month that you don’t like, then just wait until next month. In fact, let’s look at Just Cause 3 again. It was free for PS Plus members in August, which is a pretty big deal. Why is this significant? Because it’s, again, a $60 digital game. That means with this one download, you’ve balanced out your $60 annual fee. Meaning? Every free game after that is money saved, every discount after that is money saved. And this is a trend: every year, PS Plus will release a game that balances out the entire service cost, then another 23 more that will only add icing to that budget cake. Though, you could just count games as paying off PS Plus until you hit $60 in savings, but still. All in all, PS Plus, and Xbox Gold which offers similar options, saves you money. On top of that, again, you don't need to have these to get discounts, but with these memberships, you get more discounts. Now, I’ve seen a few Steam games go up for free for a week, but what about being free for an entire month? Not to mention that; even if you want to talk about Steam Summer Sales, what about the PSN summer sale, or again, disc sale discounts? Now a lot of research and math would be needed to see if every console gamer would save money compared to every Steam gamer for the same games, but at the very least? The costs will balance out, at worst. Part 3, the Systems
Xbox and PS2: $299
Xbox 360 and PS3: $299 and $499, respectively
Xbox One and PS4: $499 and $399, respectively.
Rounded up a few dollars, that’s $1,000 - $1,300 in day-one consoles, just to keep up with the games! Crazy right? So called budget systems, such a rip-off. Well, keep in mind that the generations here aren’t short. The 6th generation, from the launch of the PS2 to the launch of the next generation consoles, lasted 5 years, 6 years based on the launch of the PS3 (though you could say it was 9 or 14, since the Xbox wasn’t discontinued until 2009, and the PS2 was supported all the way to 2014, a year after the PS4 was released). The 7th gen lasted 7 - 8 years, again depending on whether you count the launch of the Xbox 360 to PS3. The 8th gen so far has lasted 4 years. That’s 17 years that the console money is spread over. If you had a Netflix subscription for it’s original $8 monthly plan for that amount of time, that would be over $1,600 total. And let’s be fair here, just like you could upgrade your PC hardware whenever you wanted, you didn’t have to get a console from launch. Let’s look at PlayStation again for example: In 2002, only two years after its release, the PS2 retail price was cut from $300 to $200. The PS3 Slim, released 3 years after the original, was $300, $100-$200 lower than the retail cost. The PS4? You could’ve either gotten the Uncharted bundle for $350, or one of the PS4 Slim bundles for $250. This all brings it down to $750 - $850, which again, is spread over a decade and a half. This isn’t even counting used consoles, sales, or the further price cuts that I didn’t mention. Even if that still sounds like a lot of money to you, even if you’re laughing at the thought of buying new systems every several years, because your PC “is never obsolete,” tell me: how many parts have you changed out in your PC over the years? How many GPUs have you been through? CPUs? Motherboards? RAM sticks, monitors, keyboards, mice, CPU coolers, hard drives— that adds up. You don’t need to replace your entire system to spend a lot of money on hardware. Even if you weren’t upgrading for the sake of upgrading, I’d be amazed if the hardware you’ve been pushing by gaming would last for about 1/3 of that 17 year period. Computer parts aren’t designed to last forever, and really won’t when you’re pushing them with intensive gaming for hours upon hours. Generally speaking, your components might last you 6-8 years, if you’ve got the high-end stuff. But let’s assume you bought a system 17 years ago that was a beast for it’s time, something so powerful, that even if it’s parts have degraded over time, it’s still going strong. Problem is: you will have to upgrade something eventually. Even if you’ve managed to get this far into the gaming realm with the same 17 year old hardware, I’m betting you didn’t do it with a 17 year Operating System. How much did Windows 7 cost you? Or 8.1? Or 10? Oh, and don’t think you can skirt the cost by getting a pre-built system, the cost of Windows is embedded into the cost of the machine (why else would Microsoft allow their OS to go on so many machines). Sure, Windows 10 was a free upgrade for a year, but that’s only half of it’s lifetime— You can’t get it for free now, and not for the past year. On top of that, the free period was an upgrade; you had to pay for 7 or 8 first anyway. Point is, as much as one would like to say that they didn’t need to buy a new system every so often for the sake of gaming, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been paying for hardware, and even if they’ve only been PC gaming recently, you’ll be spending money on hardware soon enough.
“PC is leading the VR—“
Let me stop you right there. If you add together the total number of Oculus Rifts and HTC Vives sold to this day, and threw in another 100,000 just for the sake of it, that number would still be under the number of PSVR headsets sold. Why could this possibly be? Well, for a simple reason: affordability. The systems needed to run the PC headsets costs $800+, and the headsets are $500 - $600, when discounted. PSVR on the other hand costs $450 for the full bundle (headset, camera, and move controllers, with a demo disc thrown in), and can be played on either a $250 - $300 console, or a $400 console, the latter recommended. Even if you want to say that the Vive and Rift are more refined, a full PSVR set, system and all, could cost just over $100 more than a Vive headset alone. If anything, PC isn’t leading the VR gaming market, the PS4 is. It’s the system bringing VR to the most consumers, showing them what the future of gaming could look like. Not to mention that as the PlayStation line grows more powerful (4.2 TFLOP PS4 Pro, 10 TFLOP “PS5…”), it won’t be long until the PlayStation line can use the same VR games as PC. Either way, this shows that there is a console equivalent to the PC VR options. Sure, there are some games you'd only be able to play on PC, but there are also some games you'd only be able to play on PSVR. …Though to be fair, if we’re talking about VR in general, these headsets don’t even hold a candle to, surprisingly, Gear VR.
“If it wasn’t for consoles holding devs back, then they would be able to make higher quality games.”
This one is based on the idea that because of how “low spec” consoles are, that when a developer has to take them in mind, then they can’t design the game to be nearly as good as it would be otherwise. I mean, have you ever seen the minimum specs for games on Steam? GTA V
Actually, bump up all the memory requirements to 8 GBs, and those are some decent specs, relatively speaking. And keep in mind these are the minimum specs to even open the games. It’s almost as if the devs didn’t worry about console specs when making a PC version of the game, because this version of the game isn’t on console. Or maybe even that the consoles aren’t holding the games back that much because they’re not that weak. Just a hypothesis. But I mean, the devs are still ooobviously having to take weak consoles into mind right? They could make their games sooo much more powerful if they were PC only, right? Right? No. Not even close. iRacing
CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, i7 or better or AMD Bulldozer or better
Memory: 8 GB RAM
GPU: NVidia GeForce 2xx series or better, 1GB+ dedicated video memory / AMD 5xxx series or better, 1GB+ dedicated video memory
These are PC only games. That’s right, no consoles to hold them back, they don’t have to worry about whether an Xbox One could handle it. Yet, they don’t require anything more than the Multiplatform games. Subnautica
So what’s the deal? Theoretically, if developers don’t have to worry about console specs, then why aren’t they going all-out and making games that no console could even dream of supporting? Low-end PCs. What, did you think people only game on Steam if they spent at least $500 on gaming hardware? Not all PC gamers have gaming-PC specs, and if devs close their games out to players who don’t have the strongest of PCs, then they’d be losing out on a pretty sizable chunk of their potential buyers. Saying “devs having to deal with consoles is holding gaming back” is like saying “racing teams having to deal with Ford is holding GT racing back.” A: racing teams don’t have to deal with Ford if they don’t want to, which is probably why many of them don’t, and B: even though Ford doesn’t make the fastest cars overall, they still manage to make cars that are awesome on their own, they don’t even need to be compared to anything else to know that they make good cars. I want to go back to that previous point though, developers having to deal with low-end PCs, because it’s integral to the next point:
“PCs are more powerful, gaming on PC provides a better experience.”
This one isn’t so much of a misconception as it is… misleading. Did you know that according to the Steam Hardware & Software Survey (July 2017) , the percentage of Steam gamers who use a GPU that's less powerful than that of a PS4Slim’s GPU is well over 50%? Things get dismal when compared to the PS4 Pro (Or Xbox One X). On top of that, the percentage of PC gamers who own a Nvidia 10 series card is about 20% (about 15% for the 1060, 1080 and 1070 owners). Now to be fair, the large majority of gamers have CPUs with considerably high clock speeds, which is the main factor in CPU gaming performance. But, the number of Steam gamers with as much RAM or more than a PS4 or Xbox One is less than 50%, which can really bottleneck what those CPUs can handle. These numbers are hardly better than they were in 2013, all things considered. Sure, a PS3/360 weeps in the face of even a $400 PC, but in this day in age, consoles have definitely caught up. Sure, we could mention the fact that even 1% of Steam accounts represents over 1 million accounts, but that doesn’t really matter compared to the 10s of millions of 8th gen consoles sold; looking at it that way, sure the number of Nvidia 10 series owners is over 20 million, but that ignores the fact that there are over 5 times more 8th gen consoles sold than that. Basically, even though PCs run on a spectrum, saying they're more powerful “on average” is actually wrong. Sure, they have the potential for being more powerful, but most of the time, people aren’t willing to pay the premium to reach those extra bits of performance. Now why is this important? What matters are the people who spent the premium cost for premium parts, right? Because of the previous point: PCs don’t have some ubiquitous quality over the consoles, developers will always have to keep low-end PCs in mind, because not even half of all PC players can afford the good stuff, and you have to look at the top quarter of Steam players before you get to PS4-Pro-level specs. If every Steam player were to get a PS4 Pro, it would be an upgrade for over 60% of them, and 70% of them would be getting an upgrade with the Xbox One X. Sure, you could still make the argument that when you pay more for PC parts, you get a better experience than you could with a console. We can argue all day about budget PCs, but a console can’t match up to a $1,000 PC build. It’s the same as paying more for car parts, in the end you get a better car. However, there is a certain problem with that…
“You pay a little more for a PC, you get much more quality.”
The idea here is that the more you pay for PC parts, the performance increases at a faster rate than the price does. Problem: that’s not how technology works. Paying twice as much doesn’t get you twice the quality the majority of the time. For example, let’s look at graphics cards, specifically the GeForce 10 series cards, starting with the GTX 1050.
1.35 GHz base clock
2 GB VRAM
This is our reference, our basis of comparison. Any percentages will be based on the 1050’s specs. Now let’s look at the GTX 1050 Ti, the 1050’s older brother.
1.29 GHz base clock
4 GB VRAM
This is pretty good. You only increase the price by about 27%, and you get an 11% increase in floating point speed and a 100% increase (double) in VRAM. Sure you get a slightly lower base clock, but the rest definitely makes up for it. In fact, according to GPU boss, the Ti managed 66 fps, or a 22% increase in frame rate for Battlefield 4, and a 54% increase in mHash/second in bitcoin mining. The cost increase is worth it, for the most part. But let’s get to the real meat of it; what happens when we double our budget? Surely we should see a massive increase performance, I bet some of you are willing to bet that twice the cost means more than twice the performance. The closest price comparison for double the cost is the GTX 1060 (3 GB), so let’s get a look at that.
1.5 GHz base clock
3 GB VRAM
Well… not substantial, I’d say. About a 50% increase in floating point speed, an 11% increase in base clock speed, and a 1GB decrease in VRAM. For [almost] doubling the price, you don’t get much. Well surely raw specs don’t tell the full story, right? Well, let’s look at some real wold comparisons. Once again, according to GPU Boss, there’s a 138% increase in hashes/second for bitcoin mining, and at 99 fps, an 83% frame rate increase in Battlefield 4. Well, then, raw specs does not tell the whole story! Here’s another one, the 1060’s big brother… or, well, slightly-more-developed twin.
1.5 GHz base clock
6 GB VRAM
Seems reasonable, another $50 for a decent jump in power and double the memory! But, as we’ve learned, we shouldn’t look at the specs for the full story. I did do a GPU Boss comparison, but for the BF4 frame rate, I had to look at Tom’s Hardware (sorry miners, GPU boss didn’t cover the mHash/sec spec either). What’s the verdict? Well, pretty good, I’d say. With 97 FPS, a 79% increase over the 1050— wait. 97? That seems too low… I mean, the 3GB version got 99. Well, let’s see what Tech Power Up has to say... 94.3 fps. 74% increase. Huh. Alright alright, maybe that was just a dud. We can gloss over that I guess. Ok, one more, but let’s go for the big fish: the GTX 1080.
1.6 GHz base clock
8 GB VRAM
That jump in floating point speed definitely has to be something, and 4 times the VRAM? Sure it’s 5 times the price, but as we saw, raw power doesn’t always tell the full story. GPU Boss returns to give us the run down, how do these cards compare in the real world? Well… a 222% (over three-fold) increase in mHash speed, and a 218% increase in FPS for Battlefield 4. That’s right, for 5 times the cost, you get 3 times the performance. Truly, the raw specs don’t tell the full story. You increase the cost by 27%, you increase frame rate in our example game by 22%. You increase the cost by 83%, you increase the frame rate by 83%. Sounds good, but if you increase the cost by 129%, and you get a 79% (-50% cost/power increase) increase in frame rate. You increase it by 358%, and you increase the frame rate by 218% (-140% cost/power increase). That’s not paying “more for much more power,” that’s a steep drop-off after the third cheapest option. In fact, did you know that you have to get to the 1060 (6GB) before you could compare the GTX line to a PS4 Pro? Not to mention that at $250, the price of a 1060 (6GB) you could get an entire PS4 Slim bundle, or that you have to get to the 1070 before you beat the Xbox One X. On another note, let’s look at a PS4 Slim…
800 MHz base clock
8 GB VRAM
…Versus a PS4 Pro.
911 MHz base clock
8 GB VRAM
128% increase in floating point speed, 13% increase in clock speed, for a 25% difference in cost. Unfortunately there is no Battlefield 4 comparison to make, but in BF1, the frame rate is doubled (30 fps to 60) and the textures are taken to 11. For what that looks like, I’ll leave it up to this bloke. Not to even mention that you can even get the texture buffs in 4K. Just like how you get a decent increase in performance based on price for the lower-cost GPUs, the same applies here. It’s even worse when you look at the CPU for a gaming PC. The more money you spend, again, the less of a benefit you get per dollar. Hardware Unboxed covers this in a video comparing different levels of Intel CPUs. One thing to note is that the highest i7 option (6700K) in this video was almost always within 10 FPS (though for a few games, 15 FPS) of a certain CPU in that list for just about all of the games. …That CPU was the lowest i3 (6100) option. The lowest i3 was $117 and the highest i7 was $339, a 189% price difference for what was, on average, a 30% or less difference in frame rate. Even the lowest Pentium option (G4400, $63) was often able to keep up with the i7. The CPU and GPU are usually the most expensive and power-consuming parts of a build, which is why I focused on them (other than the fact that they’re the two most important parts of a gaming PC, outside of RAM). With both, this “pay more to get much more performance” idea is pretty much the inverse of the truth.
“The console giants are bad for game developers, Steam doesn't treat developers as bad as Microsoft or especially Sony.”
Now one thing you might’ve heard is that the PS3 was incredibly difficult for developers to make games for, which for some, fueled the idea that console hardware is difficult too develop on compared to PC… but this ignores a very basic idea that we’ve already touched on: if the devs don’t want to make the game compatible with a system, they don’t have to. In fact, this is why Left 4 Dead and other Valve games aren’t on PS3, because they didn’t want to work with it’s hardware, calling it “too complex.” This didn’t stop the game from selling well over 10 million units worldwide. If anything, this was a problem for the PS3, not the dev team. This also ignores that games like LittleBigPlanet, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Metal Gear Solid 4 all came out in the same year as Left 4 Dead (2008) on PS3. Apparently, plenty of other dev teams didn’t have much of a problem with the PS3’s hardware, or at the very least, they got used to it soon enough. On top of that, when developing the 8th gen consoles, both Sony and Microsoft sought to use CPUs that were easier for developers, which included making decisions that considered apps for the consoles’ usage for more than gaming. On top of that, using their single-chip proprietary CPUs is cheaper and more energy efficient than buying pre-made CPUs and boards, which is far better of a reason for using them than some conspiracy about Sony and MS trying to make devs' lives harder. Now, console exclusives are apparently a point of contention: it’s often said that exclusive can cause developers to go bankrupt. However, exclusivity doesn’t have to be a bad thing for the developer. For example, when Media Molecule had to pitch their game to a publisher (Sony, coincidentally), they didn’t end up being tied into something detrimental to them. Their initial funding lasted for 6 months. From then, Sony offered additional funding, in exchange for Console Exclusivity. This may sound concerning to some, but the game ended up going on to sell almost 6 million units worldwide and launched Media Molecule into the gaming limelight. Sony later bought the development studio, but 1: this was in 2010, two years after LittleBigPlanet’s release, and 2: Media Molecule seem pretty happy about it to this day. If anything, signing up with Sony was one of the best things they could’ve done, in their opinion. Does this sound like a company that has it out for developers? There are plenty of examples that people will use to put Valve in a good light, but even Sony is comparatively good to developers.
“There are more PC gamers.”
The total number of active PC gamers on Steam has surpassed 120 million, which is impressive, especially considering that this number is double that of 2013’s figure (65 million). But the number of monthly active users on Xbox Live and PSN? About 120 million (1, 2) total. EDIT: You could argue that this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, sure, so if you want to, say, compare the monthly number of Steam users to console? Steam has about half of what consoles do, at 67 million. Now, back to the 65 million total user figure for Steam, the best I could find for reference for PlayStation's number was an article giving the number of registered PSN accounts in 2013, 150 million. In a similar 4-year period (2009 - 2013), the number of registered PSN accounts didn’t double, it sextupled, or increased by 6 fold. Considering how the PS4 is already at 2/3 of the number of sales the PS3 had, even though it’s currently 3 years younger than its predecessor, I’m sure this trend is at least generally consistent. For example, let’s look at DOOM 2016, an awesome faced-paced shooting title with graphics galore… Of course, on a single platform, it sold best on PC/Steam. 2.36 million Steam sales, 2.05 million PS4 sales, 1.01 million Xbox One sales. But keep in mind… when you add the consoles sales together, you get over 3 million sales on the 8th gen systems. Meaning: this game was best sold on console. In fact, the Steam sales have only recently surpassed the PS4 sales. By the way VG charts only shows sales for physical copies of the games, so the number of PS4 and Xbox sales, when digital sales are included, are even higher than 3 million. This isn’t uncommon, by the way. Even with the games were the PC sales are higher than either of the consoles, there generally are more console sales total. But, to be fair, this isn’t anything new. The number of PC gamers hasn’t dominated the market, the percentages have always been about this much. PC can end up being the largest single platform for games, but consoles usually sell more copies total. EDIT: There were other examples but... Reddit has a 40,000-character limit.
This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with PC gaming, and this isn’t to exalt consoles. I’m not here to be the hipster defending the little guy, nor to be the one to try to put down someone/thing out of spite. This is about showing that PCs and consoles are overall pretty similar because there isn’t much dividing them, and that there isn’t anything wrong with being a console gamer. There isn’t some chasm separating consoles and PCs, at the end of the day they’re both computers that are (generally) designed for gaming. This about unity as gamers, to try to show that there shouldn’t be a massive divide just because of the computer system you game on. I want gamers to be in an environment where specs don't separate us; whether you got a $250 PS4 Slim or just built a $2,500 gaming PC, we’re here to game and should be able to have healthy interactions regardless of your platform. I’m well aware that this isn’t going to fix… much, but this needs to be said: there isn’t a huge divide between the PC and consoles, they’re far more similar than people think. There are upsides and downsides that one has that the other doesn’t on both sides. There’s so much more I could touch on, like how you could use SSDs or 3.5 inch hard drives with both, or that even though PC part prices go down over time, so do consoles, but I just wanted to touch on the main points people try to use to needlessly separate the two kinds of systems (looking at you PCMR) and correct them, to get the point across. I thank anyone who takes the time to read all of this, and especially anyone who doesn’t take what I say out of context. I also want to note that, again, thisisn’t “anti-PC gamer.” If it were up to me, everyone would be a hybrid gamer. Cheers.
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4152240-amds-growing-cpu-advantage-intel?page=1 AMD's Growing CPU Advantage Over Intel Mar. 1.18 | About: Advanced Micro (AMD) Raymond Caron, Ph.D. Tech, solar, natural resources, energy (315 followers) Summary AMD's past and economic hazards. AMD's Current market conditions. AMD Zen CPU advantage over Intel. AMD is primarily a CPU fabrication company with much experience and a great history in that respect. They hold patents for 64-bit processing, as well as ARM based processing patents, and GPU architecture patents. AMD built a name for itself in the mid-to-late 90’s when they introduced the K-series CPU’s to good reviews followed by the Athlon series in ‘99. AMD was profitable, they bought the companies NexGen, Alchemy Semiconductor, and ATI. Past Economic Hazards If AMD has such a great history, then what happened? Before I go over the technical advantage that AMD has over Intel, it’s worth looking to see how AMD failed in the past, and to see if those hazards still present a risk to AMD. As for investment purposes we’re more interested in AMD’s turning a profit. AMD suffered from intermittent CPU fabrication problems, and was also the victim of sustained anti-competitive behaviour from Intel who interfered with AMD’s attempts to sell its CPU’s to the market through Sony, Hitachi, Toshiba, Fujitsu, NEC, Dell, Gateway, HP, Acer, and Lenovo. Intel was investigated and/or fined by multiple countries including Japan, Korea, USA, and EU. These hazard needs to be examined to see if history will repeat itself. There have been some rather large changes in the market since then. 1) The EU has shown they are not averse to leveling large fines, and Intel is still fighting the guilty verdict from the last EU fine levied against them; they’ve already lost one appeal. It’s conceivable to expect that the EU, and other countries, would prosecute Intel again. This is compounded by the recent security problems with Intel CPU’s and the fact that Intel sold these CPU’s under false advertising as secure when Intel knew they were not. Here are some of the largest fines dished out by the EU 2) The Internet has evolved from Web 1.0 to 2.0. Consumers are increasing their online presence each year. This reduces the clout that Intel can wield over the market as AMD can more easily sell to consumers through smaller Internet based companies. 3) Traditional distributors (HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc.) are struggling. All of these companies have had recent issues with declining revenue due to Internet competition, and ARM competition. These companies are struggling for sales and this reduces the clout that Intel has over them, as Intel is no longer able to ensure their future. It no longer pays to be in the club. These points are summarized in the graph below, from Statista, which shows “ODM Direct” sales and “other sales” increasing their market share from 2009 to Q3 2017. 4) AMD spun off Global Foundries as a separate company. AMD has a fabrication agreement with Global Foundries, but is also free to fabricate at another foundry such as TSMC, where AMD has recently announced they will be printing Vega at 7nm. 5) Global Foundries developed the capability to fabricate at 16nm, 14nm, and 12nm alongside Samsung, and IBM, and bought the process from IBM to fabricate at 7nm. These three companies have been cooperating to develop new fabrication nodes. 6) The computer market has grown much larger since the mid-90’s – 2006 when AMD last had a significant tangible advantage over Intel, as computer sales rose steadily until 2011 before starting a slow decline, see Statista graph below. The decline corresponds directly to the loss of competition in the marketplace between AMD and Intel, when AMD released the Bulldozer CPU in 2011. Tablets also became available starting in 2010 and contributed to the fall in computer sales which started falling in 2012. It’s important to note that computer shipments did not fall in 2017, they remained static, and AMD’s GPU market share rose in Q4 2017 at the expense of Nvidia and Intel. 7) In terms of fabrication, AMD has access to 7nm on Global Foundries as well as through TSMC. It’s unlikely that AMD will experience CPU fabrication problems in the future. This is something of a reversal of fortunes as Intel is now experiencing issues with its 10nm fabrication facilities which are behind schedule by more than 2 years, and maybe longer. It would be costly for Intel to use another foundry to print their CPU’s due to the overhead that their current foundries have on their bottom line. If Intel is unable to get the 10nm process working, they’re going to have difficulty competing with AMD. AMD: Current market conditions In 2011 AMD released its Bulldozer line of CPU’s to poor reviews and was relegated to selling on the discount market where sales margins are low. Since that time AMD’s profits have been largely determined by the performance of its GPU and Semi-Custom business. Analysts have become accustomed to looking at AMD’s revenue from a GPU perspective, which isn’t currently being seen in a positive light due to the relation between AMD GPU’s and cryptocurrency mining. The market views cryptocurrency as further risk to AMD. When Bitcoin was introduced it was also mined with GPU’s. When the currency switched to ASIC circuits (a basic inexpensive and simple circuit) for increased profitability (ASIC’s are cheaper because they’re simple), the GPU’s purchased for mining were resold on the market and ended up competing with and hurting new AMD GPU sales. There is also perceived risk to AMD from Nvidia which has favorable reviews for its Pascal GPU offerings. While AMD has been selling GPU’s they haven’t increased GPU supply due to cryptocurrency demand, while Nvidia has. This resulted in a very high cost for AMD GPU’s relative to Nvidia’s. There are strategic reasons for AMD’s current position: 1) While the AMD GPU’s are profitable and greatly desired for cryptocurrency mining, AMD’s market access is through 3rd party resellers whom enjoy the revenue from marked-up GPU sales. AMD most likely makes lower margins on GPU sales relative to the Zen CPU sales due to higher fabrication costs associated with the fabrication of larger size dies and the corresponding lower yield. For reference I’ve included the size of AMD’s and Nvidia’s GPU’s as well as AMD’s Ryzen CPU and Intel’s Coffee lake 8th generation CPU. This suggests that if AMD had to pick and choose between products, they’d focus on Zen due higher yield and revenue from sales and an increase in margin. 2) If AMD maintained historical levels of GPU production in the face of cryptocurrency demand, while increasing production for Zen products, they would maximize potential income for highest margin products (EPYC), while reducing future vulnerability to second-hand GPU sales being resold on the market. 3) AMD was burned in the past from second hand GPU’s and want to avoid repeating that experience. AMD stated several times that the cryptocurrency boom was not factored into forward looking statements, meaning they haven’t produced more GPU’s to expect more GPU sales. In contrast, Nvidia increased its production of GPU’s due to cryptocurrency demand, as AMD did in the past. Since their Pascal GPU has entered its 2nd year on the market and is capable of running video games for years to come (1080p and 4k gaming), Nvidia will be entering a position where they will be competing directly with older GPU’s used for mining, that are as capable as the cards Nvidia is currently selling. Second-hand GPU’s from mining are known to function very well, with only a need to replace the fan. This is because semiconductors work best in a steady state, as opposed to being turned on and off, so it will endure less wear when used 24/7. The market is also pessimistic regarding AMD’s P/E ratio. The market is accustomed to evaluating stocks using the P/E ratio. This statistical test is not actually accurate in evaluating new companies, or companies going into or coming out of bankruptcy. It is more accurate in evaluating companies that have a consistent business operating trend over time. “Similarly, a company with very low earnings now may command a very high P/E ratio even though it isn’t necessarily overvalued. The company may have just IPO’d and growth expectations are very high, or expectations remain high since the company dominates the technology in its space.” P/E Ratio: Problems With The P/E I regard the pessimism surrounding AMD stock due to GPU’s and past history as a positive trait, because the threat is minor. While AMD is experiencing competitive problems with its GPU’s in gaming AMD holds an advantage in Blockchain processing which stands to be a larger and more lucrative market. I also believe that AMD’s progress with Zen, particularly with EPYC and the recent Meltdown related security and performance issues with all Intel CPU offerings far outweigh any GPU turbulence. This turns the pessimism surrounding AMD regarding its GPU’s into a stock benefit. 1) A pessimistic group prevents the stock from becoming a bubble. -It provides a counter argument against hype relating to product launches that are not proven by earnings. Which is unfortunately a historical trend for AMD as they have had difficulty selling server CPU’s, and consumer CPU’s in the past due to market interference by Intel. 2) It creates predictable daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly fluctuations in the stock price that can be used, to generate income. 3) Due to recent product launches and market conditions (Zen architecture advantage, 12nm node launching, Meltdown performance flaw affecting all Intel CPU’s, Intel’s problems with 10nm) and the fact that AMD is once again selling a competitive product, AMD is making more money each quarter. Therefore the base price of AMD’s stock will rise with earnings, as we’re seeing. This is also a form of investment security, where perceived losses are returned over time, due to a stock that is in a long-term upward trajectory due to new products reaching a responsive market. 4) AMD remains a cheap stock. While it’s volatile it’s stuck in a long-term upward trend due to market conditions and new product launches. An investor can buy more stock (with a limited budget) to maximize earnings. This is advantage also means that the stock is more easily manipulated, as seen during the Q3 2017 ER. 5) The pessimism is unfounded. The cryptocurrency craze hasn’t died, it increased – fell – and recovered. The second hand market did not see an influx of mining GPU’s as mining remains profitable. 6) Blockchain is an emerging market, that will eclipse the gaming market in size due to the wide breath of applications across various industries. Vega is a highly desired product for Blockchain applications as AMD has retained a processing and performance advantage over Nvidia. There are more and rapidly growing applications for Blockchain every day, all (or most) of which will require GPU’s. For instance Microsoft, The Golem supercomputer, IBM, HP, Oracle, Red Hat, and others. Long-term upwards trend AMD is at the beginning of a long-term upward trend supported by a comprehensive and competitive product portfolio that is still being delivered to the market, AMD referred to this as product ramping. AMD’s most effective products with Zen is EPYC, and the Raven Ridge APU. EPYC entered the market in mid-December and was completely sold out by mid-January, but has since been restocked. Intel remains uncompetitive in that industry as their CPU offerings are retarded by a 40% performance flaw due to Meltdown patches. Server CPU sales command the highest margins for both Intel and AMD. The AMD Raven Ridge APU was recently released to excellent reviews. The APU is significant due to high GPU prices driven buy cryptocurrency, and the fact that the APU is a CPU/GPU hybrid which has the performance to play games available today at 1080p. The APU also supports the Vulcan API, which can call upon multiple GPU’s to increase performance, so a system can be upgraded with an AMD or Nvidia GPU that supports Vulcan API at a later date for increased performance for those games or workloads that been programmed to support it. Or the APU can be replaced when the prices of GPU’s fall. AMD also stands to benefit as Intel confirmed that their new 10 nm fabrication node is behind in technical capability relative to the Samsung, TSMC, and Global Foundries 7 nm fabrication process. This brings into questions Intel’s competitiveness in 2019 and beyond. Take-Away • AMD was uncompetitive with respect to CPU’s from 2011 to 2017 • When AMD was competitive, from 1996 to 2011 they did record profit and bought 3 companies including ATI. • AMD CPU business suffered from: • Market manipulation from Intel. • Intel fined by EU, Japan, Korea, and settled with the USA • Foundry productivity and upgrade complications • AMD has changed • Global Foundries spun off as an independent business • Has developed 14nm &12nm, and is implementing 7nm fabrication • Intel late on 10nm, is less competitive than 7nm node • AMD to fabricate products using multiple foundries (TSMC, Global Foundries) • The market has changed • More AMD products are available on the Internet and both the adoption of the Internet and the size of the Internet retail market has exploded, thanks to the success of smartphones and tablets. • Consumer habits have changed, more people shop online each year. Traditional retailers have lost market share. • Computer market is larger (on-average), but has been declining. While Computer shipments declined in Q2 and Q3 2017, AMD sold more CPU’s. • AMD was uncompetitive with respect to CPU’s from 2011 to 2017. • Analysts look to GPU and Semi-Custom sales for revenue. • Cryptocurrency boom intensified, no crash occurred. • AMD did not increase GPU production to meet cryptocurrency demand. • Blockchain represents a new growth potential for AMD GPU’s. • Pessimism acts as security against a stock bubble & corresponding bust. • Creates cyclical volatility in the stock that can be used to generate profit. • P/E ratio is misleading when used to evaluate AMD. • AMD has long-term growth potential. • 2017 AMD releases competitive product portfolio. • Since Zen was released in March 2017 AMD has beat ER expectations. • AMD returns to profitability in 2017. • AMD taking measureable market share from Intel in OEM CPU Desktop and in CPU market. • High margin server product EPYC released in December 2017 before worst ever CPU security bug found in Intel CPU’s that are hit with detrimental 40% performance patch. • Ryzen APU (Raven Ridge) announced in February 2018, to meet gaming GPU shortage created by high GPU demand for cryptocurrency mining. • Blockchain is a long-term growth opportunity for AMD. • Intel is behind the competition for the next CPU fabrication node. AMD’s growing CPU advantage over Intel About AMD’s Zen Zen is a technical breakthrough in CPU architecture because it’s a modular design and because it is a small CPU while providing similar or better performance than the Intel competition. Since Zen was released in March 2017, we’ve seen AMD go from 18% CPU market share in the OEM consumer desktops to essentially 50% market share, this was also supported by comments from Lisa Su during the Q3 2017 ER call, by MindFactory.de, and by Amazon sales of CPU’s. We also saw AMD increase its market share of total desktop CPU’s. We also started seeing market share flux between AMD and Intel as new CPU’s are released. Zen is a technical breakthrough supported by a few general guidelines relating to electronics. This provides AMD with an across the board CPU market advantage over Intel for every CPU market addressed. 1) The larger the CPU the lower the yield. - Zen architecture that makes up Ryzen, Threadripper, and EPYC is smaller (44 mm2 compared to 151 mm2 for Coffee Lake). A larger CPU means fewer CPU’s made during fabrication per wafer. AMD will have roughly 3x the fabrication yield for each Zen printed compared to each Coffee Lake printed, therefore each CPU has a much lower cost of manufacturing. 2) The larger the CPU the harder it is to fabricate without errors. - The chance that a CPU will be perfectly fabricated falls exponentially with increasing surface area. Intel will have fewer high quality CPU’s printed compared to AMD. This means that AMD will make a higher margin on each CPU sold. AMD’s supply of perfect printed Ryzen’s (1800X) are so high that the company had to give them away at a reduced cost in order to meet supply demands for the cheaper Ryzen 5 1600X. If you bought a 1600X in August/September, you probably ended up with an 1800X. 3) Larger CPU’s are harder to fabricate without errors on smaller nodes. -The technical capability to fabricate CPU’s at smaller nodes becomes more difficult due to the higher precision that is required to fabricate at a smaller node, and due to the corresponding increase in errors. “A second reason for the slowdown is that it’s simply getting harder to design, inspect and test chips at advanced nodes. Physical effects such as heat, electrostatic discharge and electromagnetic interference are more pronounced at 7nm than at 28nm. It also takes more power to drive signals through skinny wires, and circuits are more sensitive to test and inspection, as well as to thermal migration across a chip. All of that needs to be accounted for and simulated using multi-physics simulation, emulation and prototyping.“ Is 7nm The Last Major Node? “Simply put, the first generation of 10nm requires small processors to ensure high yields. Intel seems to be putting the smaller die sizes (i.e. anything under 15W for a laptop) into the 10nm Cannon Lake bucket, while the larger 35W+ chips will be on 14++ Coffee Lake, a tried and tested sub-node for larger CPUs. While the desktop sits on 14++ for a bit longer, it gives time for Intel to further develop their 10nm fabrication abilities, leading to their 10+ process for larger chips by working their other large chip segments (FPGA, MIC) first.” There are plenty of steps where errors can be created within a fabricated CPU. This is most likely the culprit behind Intel’s inability to launch its 10nm fabrication process. They’re simply unable to print such a large CPU on such a small node with high enough yields to make the process competitive. Intel thought they were ahead of the competition with respect to printing large CPU’s on a small node, until AMD avoided the issue completely by designing a smaller modular CPU. Intel avoided any mention of its 10nm node during its Q4 2017 ER, which I interpret as bad news for Intel shareholders. If you have nothing good to say, then you don’t say anything. Intel having nothing to say about something that is fundamentally critical to its success as a company can’t be good. Intel is on track however to deliver hybrid CPU’s where some small components are printed on 10nm. It’s recently also come to light that Intel’s 10nm node is less competitive than the Global Foundries, Samsung, and TSMC 7nm nodes, which means that Intel is now firmly behind in CPU fabrication. 4) AMD Zen is a new architecture built from the ground up. Intel’s CPU’s are built on-top of older architecture developed with 30-yr old strategies, some of which we’ve recently discovered are flawed. This resulted in the Meltdown flaw, the Spectre flaws, and also includes the ME, and AMT bugs in Intel CPU’s. While AMD is still affected by Spectre, AMD has only ever acknowledged that they’re completely susceptible to Spectre 1, as AMD considers Spectre 2 to be difficult to exploit on an AMD Zen CPU. “It is much more difficult on all AMD CPUs, because BTB entries are not aliased - the attacker must know (and be able to execute arbitrary code at) the exact address of the targeted branch instruction.” Technical Analysis of Spectre & Meltdown * Amd Further reading Spectre and Meltdown: Linux creator Linus Torvalds criticises Intel's 'garbage' patches | ZDNet FYI: Processor bugs are everywhere - just ask Intel and AMD Meltdown and Spectre: Good news for AMD users, (more) bad news for Intel Cybersecurity agency: The only sure defense against huge chip flaw is a new chip Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign Take-Away • AMD Zen enjoys a CPU fabrication yield advantage over Intel • AMD Zen enjoys higher yield of high quality CPU’s • Intel’s CPU’s are affected with 40% performance drop due to Meltdown flaw that affect server CPU sales. AMD stock drivers 1) EPYC • -A critically acclaimed CPU that is sold at a discount compared to Intel. • -Is not affected by 40% software slow-downs due to Meltdown. 2) Raven Ridge desktop APU • - Targets unfed GPU market which has been stifled due to cryptocurrency demand - Customers can upgrade to a new CPU or add a GPU at a later date without changing the motherboard. • - AM4 motherboard supported until 2020. 3) Vega GPU sales to Intel for 8th generation CPU’s with integrated graphics. • - AMD gains access to the complete desktop and mobile market through Intel. 4) Mobile Ryzen APU sales • -Providing gaming capability in a compact power envelope. 5) Ryzen and Threadripper sales • -Fabricated on 12nm in April. • -May eliminate Intel’s last remaining CPU advantage in IPC single core processing. • -AM4 motherboard supported until 2020. • -7nm Ryzen on track for early 2019. 6) Others: Vega, Polaris, Semi-custom, etc. • -I consider any positive developments here to be gravy. Conclusion While in the past Intel interfered with AMD's ability to bring it's products to market, the market has changed. The internet has grown significantly and is now a large market that dominates when in computer sales. It's questionable if Intel still has the influence to affect this new market, and doing so would most certainly result in fines and further bad press. AMD's foundry problems were turned into an advantage over Intel. AMD's more recent past was heavily influenced by the failure of the Bulldozer line of CPU's that dragged on AMD's bottom line from 2011 to 2017. AMD's Zen line of CPU's is a breakthrough that exploits an alternative, superior strategy, in chip design which results in a smaller CPU. A smaller CPU enjoys compounded yield and quality advantages over Intel's CPU architecture. Intel's lead in CPU performance will at the very least be challenged and will more likely come to an end in 2018, until they release a redesigned CPU. I previously targeted AMD to be worth $20 by the end of Q4 2017 ER. This was based on the speed that Intel was able to get products to market, in comparison AMD is much slower. I believe the stock should be there, but the GPU related story was prominent due to cryptocurrency craze. Financial analysts need more time to catch on to what’s happening with AMD, they need an ER that is driven by CPU sales. I believe that the Q1 2018 is the ER to do that. AMD had EPYC stock in stores when the Meltdown and Spectre flaws hit the news. These CPU’s were sold out by mid-January and are large margin sales. There are many variables at play within the market, however barring any disruptions I’d expect that AMD will be worth $20 at some point in 2018 due these market drivers. If AMD sold enough EPYC CPU’s due to Intel’s ongoing CPU security problems, then it may occur following the ER in Q1 2018. However, if anything is customary with AMD, it’s that these things always take longer than expected.
When I decided to write this guide, I was throwing cryptocurrencies around like they were nothing. I was foolish in the fact that I disregarded the exchange fees that are attached with the services that those exchanges provided. I'm in by no means a cryptocurrency genius, and I'm still not extremely seasoned at it, but I've learned enough about cryptocurrencies in the past month that I feel confident to pass on the knowledge I have learned and to help those who are overwhelmed on where to start. So what exactly is a cryptocurrency? According to technopedia (n.d.) a Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that is based on cryptography. Cryptocurrency uses cryptography for security, making it difficult to counterfeit. Public and private keys are often used to transfer the currency from one person to another. When mining cryptocurrencies, one important concept needs to be established, and that's hash rate. Hash rate is simply a unit of measurement of processing power. The more your hash rate is, the more profitable mining becomes. This guide uses specific sites and software, chosen by myself, as a great springboard into the cryptocurrency world. These sites and software are extremely flexible, easy to use, and integrate very well together. The mining pools I've chosen are multiple currency pools, designed to consolidate a major of the cryptocurrencies together, and instead of using several mining pools, you use three. These are the things you'll need to get started: MultiMiner Accounts at Coinotron, The Mining Pool Co., and BitMinter Accounts at Cryptsy and Coinbase There are a few different ways to mine for cryptocurrencies, the common of which are using your Central Processing Unit (CPU), Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), and Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) devices. CPU based mining is not profitable any longer, and will cost you money in the end by increasing electricity costs. GPU based mining is still popular, but losing steam against ASIC based mining. If you choose to use your GPU for mining, AMD/ATI based graphics cards (especially the Radeon HD 79xx series of cards), are the most efficient. If you have an nVidia based graphics card, I'm sorry. You can still mine on nVidia cards, but your hash rates are going to be much slower when compared to their AMD/ATI counterparts. If you chose to use GPU mining, Black Friday or Cyber Monday are you best bets for upgrading your equipment. ASIC based mining is quickly losing value with the changing difficulty on all networks, but it's the most cost effective way to increase your hash rate, and see a positive return on any equipment purchases. If my math is correct, using the methods in this guide, in order for any ASIC device to yield a positive cash flow, you've got to get a device that has at least a 5Gh/s rate (such as the Butterfly Labs Jalapeno). Now for the fun part, explaining how everything in this well greased machine is going to work. Patience plays a big part in the cryptocurrency world, and when I first started, I had none. I was so eager to see the amount of Bitcoin go up, regardless of how much I was getting penalized in fees from trading. So, that's the first step on your journey. PATIENCE. I CANNOT emphasize this enough. Sometimes, you've just got to hurry up and wait, the effects of waiting things out on the cryptocurrency market WILL PAY OFF. Step one of this machine is signing up for all three pools (BitMinter, Coinotron, and Mining Pool Co.). This is so that you can actually get server addresses to plug into MultiMiner, after signing up for these services though, you've still got a ways to go. Step two is sign up for Cryptsy. I chose Cryptsy because of the features they're going to offer at a later time, as well as support for 60 cryptocurrencies (which covers all but one of which we can mine). When your Cryptsy account is setup, you will need to go into the Balances portion of Cryptsy, and find all of the currencies in which you will be mining from the pools. Once Balances are loaded up, you will need to click on the Actions button next to the currency, and click Deposit / Autosell, and then Generate Address. There's a small clipboard near the address it generated, and that will copy the address for pasting in the mining pool websites. You will want to copy, and paste all of them to a text document, along with which currency it belongs to. Not only does this keep you from juggling back and forth trying to figure out things, but it helps for reference and setting up MultiMiner. Once you have those accounts setup, you'll want to sign up for Coinbase. A WORD OF WARNING FOR THOSE WHO ARE PARANOID... Coinbase will want to link to a bank account, this is mandatory if you want to trade your currencies for cash. If you want to trade currencies, just for the sake of trading, then you can skip Coinbase altogether. You can transfer your Bitcoins from Cryptsy straight into Coinbase, and then sell the Bitcoins from Coinbase, and straight into your designated bank account. MultiMiner, oh how amazing you are. For every cryptocurrency available in all pools, you will need to add these coins, along with server addresses, log-ins and passwords. To do so, click on the drop down next to the Settings button, and click Coins. From there, click on Add Coin, and choose each coin from a pool. This will list it in the box to the left, and give you the ability to add information on the right. You can add multiple servers as well, in case the current server you're mining on goes down. After all your coins are setup, you'll need to setup your Strategies. Click the drop down next to Settings, and chose Strategies. Check the Enable Strategies check box, choosing Straight Profitability from the drop down, and checking the Strategy every five minutes (that way you're not losing money by mining something that has dropped in price). This aggressive price checking makes it to where you're always on top with whatever you're mining. Also make sure you have Mine the Single Most Profitable Coin selected. Stick with CoinChoose as your price source (under Settings), as CoinWarz charges for there services beyond a certain point. Click Start, and take a vacation. Reading the charts on Cryptsy can be a little tricky, and scary if you've never saw those types of graphs before. Those graphs are called Candlestick Charts, and are used primarily in the stock market. I won't go in to great detail on this, however, you can find a nice cheat sheet on the subject here. I hope everyone enjoyed the guide, sorry for being punctual and brief, but there isn't anything too elaborate of complicated about searching for cryptocurrencies. I love mining as a hobby, mining's fun, and if there is any money to be made off of mining from my end, great, if not, I had fun mining. While compiling a spreadsheet of the minable currencies in this guide, if everything is set up correctly (and assuming servers aren't down), you should be able to mine the following:
And while Mining Pool Co. offers ASICcoin and Unobtainium, ASICcoin isn't supported in MultiMiner, and Unobtanium isn't supported in Cryptsy. I still mine for Unobtanium in hopes that Cryptsy will include it one day. References Cryptocurrency. (n.d.). In technopedia. Retrieved from http://www.technopedia.com/
Backups: Luckily, I don't do desktop support. We have another IT group that does that, I'm completely independent from them and I only have to take care of servers (and my own desktop). The physical servers are backed up to tape with Bacula. Our virtual servers are backed up with Veeam. My own desktop is backed up to my NAS share using synctoy (yes, i use windows on my desktop).
One off systems: As in physical servers built by hand? 0. I'm pretty much a Fujitsu shop with a few Dells. I definitely don't have time to be piecing servers together. disk space: only a few TB per server. I think the better answer would be that we have an Isilon X200 cluster that is 140 TB.
I guess in that case I only manage a handful of physical servers and a few VMs that are made for running one special piece of software or analyze data from one piece of scientific equipment. We have many other scientific devices that are attached to PCs that are "community" devices, but I don't have to manage them. and we've got a microscopy group that is separate from me too, with their own machines and devices.
First, just to clarify, we're going to 10G from the 1G we have right now. I'm not our main network guy, so I'm not entirely sure but I doubt we'll change the MTU simply because we don't have a remote site so the majority of our traffic is regular internet traffic.
As for our backend network, I do use jumbo frames on a couple VLANs for our storage.
Intel makes good chips and they do keep pushing technology forward, but they will never do overclockers any favors. They will always be doing whatever they can to make money. AMD will also do the same thing. Intel seems to think enthusiast solely means "deep pockets". At the same time, there always seems to be a lot of "the sky is falling" reporting done by many tech journalists. Intel hasn't completely forgotten about overclockers and I don't think they ever will completely let that group disappear. And really, what incentive does Intel have to completely lock out overclockers? Sure, deny us our warranty, we'll go ahead and buy another chip and give you more money. How could you deny that as a company? as for overclocking headroom decreases, one can only hope that means we've got a whole new architecture coming out soon, something like the transition from Pentium 4 to Core.
At home I've got a 1u dell poweredge sitting in a closet which is my main server. I run bageez.us off it which was supposed to be my way of giving back to the community, by running a Linux torrent site. Other than that I've got two htpcs running Debian, a desktop windows machine for gaming/reviewing hardware, and a file server with 8 tb running Debian and KVM with a few Debian VMS.
Looks like I let the SSL cert expire. I'll fix that tomorrow. It works on my end but I think I want to recode a few things and possibly get it to work with other trackers. Right now the torrents will only work with my local tracker.
I think what really got me the best knowledge was forcing myself to use a "less polished" distro as my main rig for a few years. Once you are forced to learn, you'll learn quickly. Picking up an rhcsa book will help too even if you don't plan on taking the exam. Go through it and do the exercises. Install a distro, set it up, then format and do it all over. You can use virtual box for the same result without killing your main rig.
No, but I wish I did. I stopped using it because the GPU support in Linux was better on my desktop, and now I work mostly with CentOS, and it would be a lot of work to change 100ish servers over to FreeBSD.
Nice. I've heard that ROCKS becomes a bear at scale, but for now it's pretty simple and quick. My plan is to keep adding another 18 nodes every year (one full blade cluster) every year, as long as I can get funding, so I'm keeping my eyes open for other solutions for provisioning. Bright cluster manager is another one I have on my radar.
1st step i'd do is remove all nonessential parts from the computer. Leave the cpu and 1 stick of ram. Pull out the graphics card, don't connect any hard drives or cd drives. On the back, connect the monitor to the on board video card and connect the keyboard. Does it power on? Do you get any error messages other than it saying there is no OS? Then power down and connect things one by one until you figure out what part is causing the problem. If you think it's the drivers, you can boot into safe mode (i hope windows 8 still has that, press f8 while booting), then run Driver Sweeper, to remove the graphics drivers. I haven't tried this on windows 8 so i'm not sure if it will run or not. I don't think you need to do a full format and reinstall.
For benchmarking, mainly. The 3770k was our standard platform for reviews when I bought it. The rest is leftovers from various reviews. We don't get paid, so basically we work for hardware when we write reviews, more or less.
Well, it would work just as it does on any other group of computers. I'd have to run one client on each computer and they'd all check back to get their own workloads, so it would really take out the "cluster" usage and turn them just into regular blade servers.
I listed everything I could think of that I've done that was computesysadmin related. I had administered several web servers over the years, and experimented with many different distributions as my daily driver on my main desktop, so I was very comfortable on the command line and with day to day tasks. I was asked a few 'test' questions on the interview but I think they were more to gauge exactly what i did and didn't have experience with, not so much to make or break me.
I have start playing with configuration management, but haven't gotten anything in production yet. I only provision new VMs every once in a while, and once the computer nodes are up they are pretty stable.
LN2, at the benching party in philly last year. We definitely need to get one of those on schedule again. Also, my work has LN2 and D-ice sitting around but I haven't asked if it's ok for me to play with those yet. One day, i'll ask, and it will be awesome if they say yes. fingers crossed.
If it's not on my computer or benching station, it's in my closet. And my wife doesn't like the amount of computer stuff in my closet, so I'm sure I'll start looking for some way to recycle stuff soon.
Well, you could get yourself a RHCSA prep book (linked to the one i have and found useful) and go through all of the exercises. The way I learned was basically to set up my own servers, either physical or virtual, at home, and run them. I think FreeBSD, Gentoo, and Slackware were the most beneficial to me in that they don't really make choices for you, so you have to configure things for yourself which forces you to read the documentation and learn. They all have excellent documentation, btw. If you want to go a step further, linux from scratch will really teach you about the operating system from the ground up.
From there, come up with little projects for yourself. Like making a home NAS, setup NFS and Samba shares, install XBMC on a HTPC and hook it up to your tv to stream movies and music. Setup a webserver and owncloud. Stuff like that.
I was 19 when I first made that half life/counterstrike server. I didn't even know what ssh was and it took a good amount of explaining for me to finally understand. The freebsd documentation is amazing and will walk you through just about everything step by step. To get NAT configured I had to use another how to but setting up that server taught me a ton.
Most likely you will want to stay around 1.6v. I'm not very familiar with that chip specifically so I'd check hwbot to see what other people have posted and go by that. Obviously remember that not all chips are the same, so you can't expect to get exactly what other people get.
Back when I played CS in the dorm freshman year of college, I used to get killed all the time. So I started calling myself "jack splat", as a play on the nursery rhyme (jack sprat), then shortened it to 'splat' on most of the websites I signed up for.
I definitely have a few and luckily they aren't that bad. One of my first few months, I decided to connect this wireless ap to the network to test it out one morning. As I was being awesome managing the cable to make it look clean, one of the security guards came into the server room and said they had no internet. I looked at our switches and they were all lit up solid. By hooking up the ap, which had spanning tree turned on, I took down the network of the entire building.
Luckily, all I had to do was unplug it and everything went back to normal. I then set up a spare switch at my desk and played with it before figuring out that STP needed to be disabled on the AP. Now it's been running for over a year without incident.
Regarded as the best mining software for beginners, MultiMiner simplifies the process of mining a lot better than other software. Since the idea of mining Bitcoin can seem a little daunting at the beginning, new miners are better off starting with software that is easier to operate and understand. Some attractive features of MultiMiner include: The best Bitcoin mining software can run on almost any operating system, such as OSX, Windows, Linux, and has even been ported to work on a Raspberry Pi with some modifications for drivers depending on your mining setup. RPC Miner is one of the best bitcoin mining software for Mac operating system 10.6 and higher. It supports pool mining. The main features of RPC miner are multi GPU support, OpenCL miner for ATI GPU. It also has a remote control for the miner’s comfort. It is the most famous software in the market these days. #8. MacMiner The mining software is compatible with GPU mining hardware and runs on Mac, but if you have any of the current Nvidia drivers or an ATI Stream SDK 2.1, it’ll run on any operating system. You also have the option of either doing solo or pool mining. BFGMiner. BFGMiner is a software for mining coins which use SHA256 algorithm. Importance of Using a Bitcoin Mining Software. Keeping these things in mind, we have created a list of the best Bitcoin mining software that can help you choose the one that suits you the most. MultiMiner. OpenCL miner for ATI GPUs;
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