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GatorLUG Meeting | 2011-07-20 | 6-8pm | Digital Gold - Bitcoin

Jul 20 2011 6:00 pm
Jul 20 2011 8:00 pm
America/New York
Description: 

GatorLUG Meeting Agenda for July, 20 2011

6:00 - 6:30 Announcements / General Discussion

Kindle Impressions | Zimbra Hosting |

6:30 - 7:30 Digital Gold - Bitcoin | Christian von Kleist, Ian Taylor

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency. Peer-to-peer means that no central authority issues new money or tracks transactions. These tasks are managed collectively by the network.

Interest in Bitcoin has been increasing rapidly in the last year. Just like mining for gold, finding new bitcoins takes a lot of work in the form of solving complex math. You won't get very far with a standard computer and CPU. That approach typically uses enough electricity to make "mining" for bitcoins a losing proposition. This presentation will discuss what bitcoins are, why they are useful and some of the challenges that are involved with designing a "bitcoin miner". A "bitcoin miner" is a system that is optimized for finding bitcoins cost effectively.

Regardless of your position on whether anonymous digital cash is a good idea or not, the concepts and use of cryptography that drive this system is extremely clever and interesting.

Christian and Ian can be found mining bitcoins, installing more cooling fans and discussing complex math at Skillhouse.

7:30 - 8:00 Open discussion, meet and greet someone new

Location: 
The Laboratory | 818 W University Ave., Suite C. Gainesville, FL, 32601

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GPU machines

So, for those that were at the meeting and might be wondering what else might be out there to handle some GPU's, take a bit of a look at this monster:

http://www.tyan.com/product_SKU_spec.aspx?ProductType=BB&pid=439&SKU=600000195

2400W power supply
2 X16 slots (Gen 1) with x4 link
8 X16 slots (Gen 2)
2 X1 slots (Gen 2)

So, without even bothering to hang a couple of cards up with PCI extenders, this thing can take 10(!) GPU cards and has the power capability to do so. Since it has IPMI on-board, you don't have to mess around with external devices to monitor for when the GPU's crap out on you.

Rig

Sure, just $4K for the server barebones! That's more expensive than the cards I would put in it.

Make sure you never mine with an NVidia board. Currently, my worst AMD GPU outperforms the best NVidia board at mining.

Btw, do you have any machines that successfully register more than 8 GPUs? That's the most I've been able to run on a single motherboard. I think it may have something to do with buggy bios memory mapping.

An example

So, the HPC Center actually got one of these units I mentioned above...

Here is what it looks like when you populate it with eight Fermi boards...

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