What’s the difference between an ASIC and an FPGA? Which is better for mining?

So, you want to be a Cryptominer! In that case, you would want to read this article thoroughly to sought out which is best for you ASIC Mining Vs GPU Mining ? As you all know, Crypto-mining or Mining is one of the ways to actually earn Cryptocurrencies, be it Bitcoin or any Altcoin, besides other methods like trading or buying Crypto coins for fiat currency. Your graphic card or ASIC Rig will be on their way to finding new blockchain blocks while you will be making what’s the difference between an ASIC and an FPGA? Which is better for mining? by practically doing nothing.

By mining you can add more amount to your existing coin assets and thus more profit. This also makes you unafraid of the market fluctuations as in a way you will always get more coins if you incur losses. Best GPU For Mining in 2018? What is Crypto Mining in Layman Terms? ASIC Mining : Everything you should know5. Should you invest in ASIC Mining?

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GPU Mining : Everything you should know6. Should you invest in GPU Mining? Conclusion : Best Way to Go? If you don’t have time to read this post in detail then here’s a brief summary of this post. This table explains in short what is the main difference between ASIC Mining Vs GPU Mining.

What's the difference between an ASIC and an FPGA? Which is better for mining?

So before we start with our main article let’s first understand What is Cryptocurrency Mining? Unlike trading or simply buying, Mining is a different process where specialized computers are used to find blocks by solving extremely complex math problems. By solving the problem, the miners receive the right to add a new Block to the existing Block-chain which in turn legitimizes the transactions. This confirmation of a transaction is needed to prevent problems like double spending etc.

For this work done, you as a miner get the particular coin as a reward or incentive for your effort and hardware used. The mining difficulty becomes harder and harder as the number of miners increase. For some coins like Bitcoin, the block reward is halved after fixed intervals. The next halving of Bitcoin block reward will happen in the mid-2020.

In short, Mining becomes more difficult and less rewarding with time due to more miners joining and finite amount of coins left for mining, much like mining resources in the real world. So basically, Miners are nodes in a large peer to peer network whose sole aim is to solve a PoW Problem so that the transaction is processed effectively. This in turn earns the miner a reward in the form of coins. Now that you know about mining Let’s hop on to the very motive of this article and talk about the different types of mining based on Hardware used. In the initial years of Bitcoin’s launch, mining could be easily done via any computer component that had processing power and memory. As of today, you can still mine using older methods but the fact is there will be non-significant profitability and hence useless effort.

There was a time when home desktops were more than enough for Bitcoin Mining. With time people switched to GPU’s for more hashrate and desktop PC’s became obsolete for mining. As of now we have specially designed hardware available for Mining known as ASIC’s. Some coins are ASIC resistant and can be mined using GPU’s only.

So, let’s classify the ways you can still mine at present. So, these were the various ways we can do crypto mining at present and for each type the Algorithm of a coin decides which type of mining is apt for it. As of this date the two most common and competitive ways of mining are the GPU Mining and ASIC Mining. These both are also the most profitable in terms of prominent coins that support them. So, in this post we will go in detail about ASIC Mining Vs GPU Mining and help you understand Which is the best for you?

Always Check the Developer Team behind the coins before mining or Trading. Not every coin is there to stay and some are just scams. Also check their volume so that you know it’s popular enough. If you think coin is profitable to mine but doesn’t have a promising future then dump it immediately after mining. Coin Mining Algorithms determine what ASIC can mine and what GPU’s can mine. You will have to join one or other Mining Pool so that you can collectively act as a very powerful machine.

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The rewards can be then divided depending on the input you gave in terms of hash power. This will enable you to start your own pool. ASIC stands for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit which is basically a machine specially built for the sole purpose of mining a certain Cryptocoin only. A Bitcoin ASIC machine solves complex algorithms and receives an incentive in the form of a small fraction of bitcoin. Though there are ASIC’s that can mine more than one algorithms but mostly they are specific to one or other coins.

ASIC miners are designed specifically for mining particular targeted coins and hence they have a smaller and compact form factor as compared to GPU Mining Rigs which takes up space. Instead of a full computer setup, they are compact devices ready to be used out of the box. Gigantic Hash Power : Being an Application Specific Device the ASIC Mining machines have evolved very abruptly in Hash Power and are way faster than GPU’s. ASIC’s are already pre-built complete setups with no setup hassles. Instead ASIC is the nearest to what we can call Plug and Play. As of today if the relative basic cost of ASIC is compared to GPU mining rigs then ASIC tends to be cheaper as GPU Mining rigs usually need a whole setup with a bunch of GPU’s to perform optimally which in turn makes them costlier. ASIC on the other hand is a single device which is not really cheap but relatively cheaper if you mange to pre-order one.

If you buy the latest ASIC available then you will get a High Return of Investment just way better than GPU’s. This is basically due to the fact that ASIC machine are mostly made for major coins that are in the market and the fact they have a significantly high hash power. If a coin can be mined using both GPU and ASIC then the ASIC will easily overpower the GPU. In-fact, ASIC destroys the GPU’s profitability completely because of the above mentioned advantages. GPU miners have to resort to ASIC resistant coins as winning in competition with an ASIC on the same ground is impractical. ASIC’s are coin specific machines and hence once they become obsolete they cannot be used for any other computational purposes.

What's the difference between an ASIC and an FPGA? Which is better for mining?

Due to this, they cannot be re-sold or re-used and end up becoming Electronic Junk. As the name suggests ASIC miners are specifically built for specific coins or algorithms only. In addition to this whenever an ASIC miner gets an upgrade that is a new version is released the older one becomes obsolete. This in turn kills the profitability of the old miner. ASIC machines are very difficult to get hands on due to their limited availability.

The ones that are commercially available are mass produced only in China and due to the high demand and low supply, they are usually on pre-orders. ASIC takes around anywhere from 2-3 months to actually ship back to you! If you want it delivered instantly then you may have to easily pay three times the original amount. ASIC works at a very high hashrate and hence the power consumption and thermals also shoot the sky. Better but noisier fans are used to keep the temperature at bay. 7 hence the noise problem is something to be considered.

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In Fact, it is advisable to not set up an ASIC mining Rig at home instead try warehouses or garages etc. In short it’s not Home friendly. ASIC miners come with an Official Warranty of either 3 or 6 months depending on the model you choose. This in comparison to the 3 or 5 Year warranty of a GPU seems minuscule. China or ship it to and fro from China.

Yes, if you get the miner at the actual price. 2000 but if you want it instantly you can get it from Amazon. If you can have separate dedicated room for mining. You can’t live on the same room due to ASIC heat and noise. Bitcoin is the next Bubble or still under valued. If the Bubble pops out then you are left with zero value as it happened in 2013 due to Mt. Many Bitcoin Mining farms were shutdown that time as Bitcoin Prices plundered by 80 percent.

ASIC Mining is for a person  who wants to run mining like a business as professionally as possible. ASIC that you purchased will have zero value. So manage it methodically as there will be a sure shot rapid influx of mining whenever a new ASIC is released. You will have to get your ROI back as soon as possible before this point. Hope this detailed info about ASIC Mining helps but before you decide let’s have a look at GPU mining too!

What's the difference between an ASIC and an FPGA? Which is better for mining?

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GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit and yes it’s the same thing that gaming enthusiasts crave for. Similar to the above thing, In GPU Mining also, a complex Proof of Work Problem is solved to legitimize a transaction and add a new block to the original Block chain, only this time it’s done using GPU’s. Again similar to ASIC Mining you will get a reward in the form of the current crypto currency that your GPU Rig is mining. There are many different types of GPU mining currencies. Some of the popular ones are listed in the below table along with their algorithms. GPU mining rigs unlike ASIC ones can mine multiple coins and are not dedicated solo miners. It’s flexible to the extent that GPU rigs can even mine several coins at once.

So if in case due to market fluctuation if one coin incurs loss then you will always have several options to choose from. GPU’s are manufactured by mainstream companies like Nvidia and AMD and hence easily available, that too at good reasonable prices. Because you are basically making a super powerful computer hence all the parts needed to make a GPU Mining Rig is easily and widely available. Once you are done with Mining, the GPU Rig can be easily sold at good prices as it will still be usable for gaming, video editing and other GPU intensive tasks. Each and every component will still have a good resale value and are easy to sell as they are still useful for many other purposes.

It’s similar to selling a perfectly fine second hand computer system. As GPU’s can mine several coins hence the hash rate required to mine different coins is different depending on Miner numbers and amount of coins mined. Hence the mining rig won’t consume full power each time as power required depends on the coin. So, in a way video cards can always be tuned to consume less electricity. GPU’s were never specifically made for Mining instead they were always an integral part of the computer design and were used for Gaming, Video editing and other heavy processing purposes. This makes them multipurpose machines which along with mining can also be used for several other computational purposes.

This makes them useful even if mining industry becomes obsolete. If you buy a new GPU, you know that you are in good hands as the warranty you get is around 3 to 5 Years and that too from a trusted source. You don’t have to ship it into mainland China and can get the repairing done at your very city. GPU companies are generation old companies and cater to the needs of their customers as readily as possible.

One of the goals of the GPU companies is to make a more compact, silent and thermally efficient GPU because it’s a home use device. For a Layman, assembling and setting up a GPU Mining Rig is fairly difficult task. You need to be a techie to be able to handle all the assembling and setting up of the rig. Hence you will need support in the start until you get trained enough for handling the rig yourself. GPU’s cannot function on their own hence you will need to build a fully functional computer with a bunch of GPU’s attached to it.

Components like CPU Case, Motherboard, RAM, SSD and PSU along with wiring has to be purchased separately. Only then can you start mining. The cost of the above mentioned components along with the GPU’s cost adds up to more than what an ASIC comes for. So GPU Mining Rig may be a long term option but one thing is for sure, It’s not cheap at all, even Pricier than ASIC Mining Rig. GPU’s have comparatively low hash power and mine coins that are not exactly what we can call prominently mainstream. Due to this reason, the Return of Investment period is way longer than that of ASIC.

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Of course, as mentioned before this depends majorly on the market fluctuations but it’s practical to not expect the ROI for at-least six months or more. It has Low per day earning as compared to ASIC. Compared to ASIC, GPU’s are far inferior in the field of mining hence it’s advisable to mine only the ASIC Resistant Coins using a GPU Mining Rig. It would be sheer foolishness to mine a coin that has an ASIC machine available for it using GPU. Profitability will be less hence never compete against ASIC instead choose those coins that cannot be mined using ASIC.

A GPU itself alone is as compact as an Antminer but unlike Antminer it cannot function itself. You will need a bunch of GPU’s and other computer components to setup the rig. This takes up way more space than what a Antminer would. So it’s not portable or easy going regarding usage of space. Yes, if you don’t want to get stuck with one single coin. If you don’t have a dedicated room for mining as they are less noisy and produce less heat compared to ASIC’s. If you don’t want warranty hassles.

There are a lot of companies that manufacture the GPU and each of them is reputable and trusted. The multi million dollar business had been thriving since even the advent of Bitcoin itself. GPU Mining is for a person who does not want a high risk factor. Of Course, he has to invest more than ASIC Mining but as explained above it is a much safer method. You can always be patient on the ROI as eventually it will come for sure.

GPU Mining is for the common man who wants to make some extra bucks without taking a greater risk. Want to know Which is Best GPU For Mining Equihash Algo ? So these were the main differences between ASIC Mining and GPU Mining. Choice will always be yours which one to go for.

You can choose keeping in mind which one is favorable for you according to circumstance like Electricity Cost. If you are looking for suggestions then here’s a piece of advice. Don’t Keep all your eggs in one Basket. Start with GPU Mining and eventually when the ROI is done go for ASIC Mining. Also if you still have any questions regarding ASIC Mining Vs.

GPU Mining then do hit us a comment in the comment box down below and we will come up with a reply. For more Posts on Crypto Coin Mining and other Crypto Currency Updates, Don’t forget to Subscribe for Notifications from JKCrypto. What is the Best GPU For Mining? What’s new in CPUs since the 80s?

What's the difference between an ASIC and an FPGA? Which is better for mining?

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My mental model of CPUs is stuck in the 1980s: basically boxes that do arithmetic, logic, bit twiddling and shifting, and loading and storing things in memory. What cool developments have I been missing? What can today’s CPU do that last year’s CPU couldn’t? How about a CPU from two years ago, five years ago, or ten years ago? SMT, but I’m not honestly sure. Everything below refers to x86 and linux, unless otherwise indicated.

History has a tendency to repeat itself, and a lot of things that were new to x86 were old hat to supercomputing, mainframe, and workstation folks. The Present Miscellania For one thing, chips have wider registers and can address more memory. In the 80s, you might have used an 8-bit CPU, but now you almost certainly have a 64-bit CPU in your machine. I’m not going to talk about this too much, since I assume you’re familiar with programming a 64-bit machine. Caches Of the remaining topics, the one that’s most likely to have a real effect on day-to-day programming is how memory works. My first computer was a 286.

On that machine, a memory access might take a few cycles. A few years back, I used a Pentium 4 system where a memory access took more than 400 cycles. Processors have sped up a lot more than memory. As a first-order approximation, using predictable memory access patterns and operating on chunks of data that are smaller than your CPU cache will get you most of the benefit of modern caches. If you want to squeeze out as much performance as possible, this document is a good starting point.

TLBs There are lots of little caches on the chip for all sorts of things, not just main memory. You don’t need to know about the decoded instruction cache and other funny little caches unless you’re really going all out on micro-optimizations. If you use 4k pages, that limits the amount of memory you can address without incurring a TLB miss. It’s something worth looking into if you’ve got a long-running application that uses a lot of memory. Also, first-level caches are usually limited by the page size times the associativity of the cache.

If the cache is smaller than that, the bits used to index into the cache are the same regardless if whether you’re looking at the virtual address or the physical address, so you don’t have to do a virtual to physical translation before indexing into the cache. This sometimes results in odd performance hiccups. That restriction that things look like they executed in order means that, for the most part, you can ignore the existence of OoO execution unless you’re trying to eke out the best possible performance. The major exceptions are when you need to make sure something not only looks like it executed in order externally, but actually executed in order internally. An example of when you might care would be if you’re trying to measure the execution time of a sequence of instructions using rdtsc.

The mov that follows the rdtsc will write the value of eax to some location in memory, and because eax is an externally visible register, the CPU will guarantee that the mov doesn’t execute until after rdtsc has executed, so that everything looks like it happened in order. However, since there isn’t an explicit dependency between the rdtsc and either foo or bar, the rdtsc could execute before foo, between foo and bar, or after bar. It could even be the case that baz executes before the rdtsc, as long as baz doesn’t affect the move instruction in any way. To precisely order the rdtsc with respect to other instructions, we need to an instruction that serializes execution. Precise details on how exactly to do that are provided in this document by Intel. Concurrency In addition to the ordering restrictions above, which imply that loads and stores to the same location can’t be reordered with respect to each other, x86 loads and stores have some other restrictions. In particular, for a single CPU, stores are never reordered with other stores, and stores are never reordered with earlier loads, regardless of whether or not they’re to the same location.

However, loads can be reordered with earlier stores. You could force the first example to execute as written by inserting a serializing instruction. But that requires the CPU to serialize all instructions. But that’s slow, since it effectively forces the CPU to wait until all instructions before the serializing instruction are done before executing anything after the serializing instruction. I’m not going to discuss the other memory fences, lfence and sfence, but you can read more about them here. We’ve looked at single core ordering, where loads and stores are mostly ordered, but there’s also multi-core ordering. 0 is observing core1, it will see that all of the single core rules apply to core1’s loads and stores.

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However, if core0 and core1 interact, there’s no guarantee that their interaction is ordered. For both cores, eax has to be 1 because of the within-core dependency between the first instruction and the second instruction. However, it’s possible for edx to be 0 in both cores because line 3 of core0 can execute before core0 sees anything from core1, and visa versa. That covers memory barriers, which serialize memory accesses within a core. Since stores are required to be seen in a consistent order across cores, they can, they also have an effect on cross-core concurrency, but it’s pretty difficult to reason about that kind of thing correctly.

The real cost of not locking also often ends up being the inevitable bugs. Doing clever things with memory barriers is almost always a bug waiting to happen. It’s just really hard to wrap your head around all the things that can happen on ten different architectures with different memory ordering, and a single missing barrier. The fact is, any time anybody makes up a new locking mechanism, THEY ALWAYS GET IT WRONG. And it turns out that on modern x86 CPUs, using locking to implement concurrency primitives is often cheaper than using memory barriers, so let’s look at locks. If it’s not obvious why the theoretical minimum is 2 and not 10000, figuring that out is a good exercise.

Not only do the results vary between runs, the distribution of results is different on different machines. We never hit the theoretical minimum of 2, or for that matter, anything below 10000, but there’s some chance of getting a final result anywhere between 10000 and 20000. Even though incl is a single instruction, it’s not guaranteed to be atomic. Internally, incl is implemented as a load followed by an add followed by an store. It’s possible for an increment on cpu0 to sneak in and execute between the load and the store on cpu1 and visa versa.

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The solution Intel has for this is the lock prefix, which can be added to a handful of instructions to make them atomic. If we take the above code and turn incl into lock incl, the resulting output is always 20000. So, that’s how we make a single instruction atomic. To make a sequence atomic, we can use xchg or cmpxchg, which are always locked as compare-and-swap primitives.

I won’t go into detail about how that works, but see this article by David Dalrymple if you’re curious. In addition to making a memory transaction atomic, locks are globally ordered with respect to each other, and loads and stores aren’t re-ordered with respect to locks. For a rigorous model of memory ordering, see the x86 TSO doc. All of this discussion has been how about how concurrency works in hardware. Although there are limitations on what x86 will re-order, compilers don’t necessarily have those same limitations. 0 can’t be pushed into the middle of the critical section.

Compiler barriers are distinct from CPU memory barriers. Since the x86 memory model is relatively strict, some compiler barriers are no-ops at the hardware level that tell the compiler not to re-order things. Porting If you’re porting code to other architectures, it’s important to note that x86 has one of the strongest memory models of any architecture you’re likely to encounter nowadays. 1 which causes an “invalidate y” to be sent to CPU1. Therefore, CPU2 can go through its MB.

How does an MB on CPU1 fix this? Hence, after the read of p, you do an MB which pulls in the invalidate to y for sure. And you can no longer see the old cached value for y. Even though the above scenario is theoretically possible, the chances of observing a problem due to it are extremely minute.

BTW, this is a major reason I’m skeptical of the Mill architecture. Putting aside arguments about whether or not they’ll live up to their performance claims, being technically excellent isn’t, in and of itself, a business model. That, itself, was new at one time. One of the interesting things about UC memory is that all loads and stores are expected to go out to the bus.

That’s perfectly reasonable in a processor with no cache and little to no on-board buffering. WC is a kind of eventually consistent UC. Writes have to eventually make it to memory, but they can be buffered internally. WC memory also has weaker ordering guarantees than UC. For the most part, you don’t have to deal with this unless you’re talking directly with devices. These make particular loads and stores act like they’re to WC memory, even if the address is in a memory region that’s marked WB.