Digital currency popularity is on the rise. The earliest application of digital currency was in the form of game points used in closed gaming environments. Now, it has evolved into cryptocurrency such as the extremely popular Bitcoin or Ether that can be exchanged and traded bi-directionally. The birth of cryptocurrency has fueled the rise of new “professional mining” industry, attracting many more into joining the mining frenzy. Do professional miners face difficult hardware choices when building a mining system?
There are many articles written about hardware specs for mining systems, including many in-depth discussions focused on computational power of mining systems and block-chain technology. Their focus are often about discussing different motherboard/video card combination and performance. After Computex 2017, many vendors have also released one related product after another, and there are many product articles floating around the Internet as well. However, reports focusing on power supplies dedicated to mining systems are few and far between.
A relatively important cost concern for miners is electricity. Many professional miners often talk about the most suitable location for their mining operation due to the relatively cheap cost of electricity there. For example, Sichuan, China has many hydroelectric power plants, and its relatively cheap electricity cost has attracted many professional miners to set up their mining systems close to the plants and has become a unique local sight. Miners have also posted online discussing the possibility of moving to wind-powered regions during drought season when hydroelectricity cost goes up and loses its price edge. It’s a phenomenon that the new mining industry is built upon chasing after electricity.
Professional mining environments are far more harsh than personal mining rigs. Dust-proofing is rarely a concern in designing these server farms. In addition, due to the high cost concern for electricity usage, these mines rarely have air-conditioning system. Further limited by wiring layout of the mining hardware (the shorter the cables, the higher the efficiency), the setup of these mining systems are usually cluttered together operating under high temperature. Due to these concerns, miners must consider a number of extra factors when choosing mining hardware that differ from normal computing environments. FSP Technology Inc. makes the following recommendations regarding choosing the right power supply:
- High tolerance input voltage range:
Mining operations are usually built close to power plants. The input voltage usually have a higher variable range. This unstable variable input voltage can easily damage electrical equipment, thus the power supplies must be designed to accommodate a wider input voltage range.
- High shielding lightning protection:
Lightning strikes near power plants more frequently; however, lightning is also one of the major reasons for electrical equipment malfunction. Lightning often cause power surges resulting in equipment damage, so the power supply must have lightning and surge protection built to shield lightning strikes to some degree. Lightning protection should be one of the major consideration for miners choosing a power supply for their mining operation.
- High operating temperature and humidity tolerance:
The humidity near hydroelectric power plants are higher than other regions, coupled with the high operating temperature it can quickly shorten the lifespan of power supplies. Ventilation design in power supply becomes much more important under these requirements. FSP1300 power supply from FSP Technology Inc. is designed specifically for mining systems, as there are two powerful double-ball bearing fans in the front and back. The duct is designed to pull in air and venting it at the same time, negating any problems that might arise from high temperature / humidity operating conditions.
- High conversion efficiency:
It’s been mentioned that electricity bill is the main cost in mining operations. A high conversion efficient power supply can save miners on electricity. A typical mining rig usually comes equipped with six video cards and the power requirement is at 1200W. It is recommended to go with power supplies whose efficiency rating are 80 Plus Gold or above.
- Single +12V circuit design:
In order to ensure each video card’s power dynamic response, a single +12V circuit design allows miners to not have to worry about power distribution in mining systems. Multiple video cards powered by the same +12V power supply will have a better instant dynamic response, thus raising the overall stability of mining systems.
- Power products from brand manufacturers:
Brand manufacturers uses better components inside their power supplies, such as better capacitors, semiconductor parts, and magnetic pieces, etc. It was mentioned that environment in mines are relatively poor, and it is a known fact that operating temperature and product lifespan is inversely proportional. The higher the ambient temperature, the shorter the lifespan for components such as capacitors. The quality of components matter in this situation. It is highly recommended that miners spend a little extra on power supplies and go with an brand product in order to avoid the opportunity cost of having their mining operation constantly down due to having to frequently replace power supplies.
FSP Technology Inc. continues to cultivate in the power supply field and aim to provide professionals with the highest quality of products and services. We aim for carefree experience for all our customers so they can excel in their own respective fields and become long-term supporters of our products.