How will the new mac pro fare as a Bitcoin mining machine?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Cape Dave, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    Seems like it might be pretty good right out of the box. Any thoughts?
  2. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    I suspect it will take a while to pay for itself...
  3. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    Wow, that was a quick response! Yeah, if it was cheap and easy everyone wold be doing it :)

    I thought that maybe the Dual Video processors would work some magic quickly.

    and I guess one could load up the USB channels with plugin miners. That can get expensive quickly.
  4. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    I would estimate the base model to be able to do over 1GH/s

    compared to a dedicated ASIC box that can be had for the same price doing about 50GH/s, I think its a non starter to be honest

    at 1GH/s it would earn about $26 a month (going down as difficulty increases)

    mining calculator
  5. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I don't think he would break even at all, especially after factoring in electricity.
  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    ASIC box > GPU > CPU for bitcoin mining.

    The problem is, even ASIC box makers are selling them (instead of using them themselves but speculations are that they use the products until it's not profitable and then deliver them). Thus, unless you have free or low cost electricity you won't break even (unless bitcoin price keep going up but that's probably due to speculations). However, ASIC box are worthless after awhile, but you can use Mac Pro to make money in other ways (say produce something).

    This article describes the tradeoffs.
  7. Cape Dave thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    Very good article. It is as I suspected. But I was hoping for at least a quick few millions :)

    Back to the WordPress salt mines for me :) Which is really fun too.

    Thanks to this great forum for your quick answers.
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Buying a machine for Bitcoin mining today cannot possibly pay off. If it did, the folks selling the bitcoin mining machines would simply turn them on instead of bother with selling them. Which is exactly what they do.

    You could speculate that the value of bitcoin will go up thus providing a payoff, but (A) that would have been true had you simply bought bitcoins in the first place, and (B) it might also go down in value.
  9. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    No way it'll pay for itself purely on Bitcoin mining, I investigated the possibility of it being a good way to subsidise the cost but even then I just don't think you'll earn enough unless you do the mining solo and hope to get lucky (unlikely). If you wanted to make money on Bitcoins then you should have bought some a while ago (I really wish I had) as you could have made a lot of money as the price went up, maybe more if it keeps on going up.

    There are alternative currencies like Litecoin, but they also have difficulty considerations which means they will get less and less profitable with time, especially once people with much faster hardware (ASICs) get involved.

    It's potentially an okay way to eat up wasted processing power, especially if you can let it run faster when idle (e.g - overnight), though you need to consider whether you're paying most of that on the extra electricity it will use. If you've got an energy provider that charges less for energy use at certain off-peak times then scheduling work to run in those times could make it a little profitable, though most household energy providers don't do this.

    But I wouldn't expect to do more than earn yourself a bit of extra spending money for peripherals etc.
  10. The Giver macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2013

    Greetings everyone! First time writer here.

    I understand the new MacPro will not be powerful enough to mine Bitcoin but will it be powerful enough to mine Litecoin, Feathercoin, Quarkcoin or Cinnamoncoin?

    Also does anyone know if mining with any of these coins also gets more difficult as time goes on as it does with Bitcoin?

    Best Wishes

    Lorain, Ohio
    Still on my Black MacBook
  11. Nugget macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Houston Texas USA
    How about growing Dutch Tulips? I think maybe the center heat sink might be able to act as a nice pot for growing.
  12. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    Bitcoins will burn your cash sooner or later.

    The moment a major government regulates or taxes them or fools with them in some way, the value will evaporate to be less-than-dookie.
  13. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    The other day my wife asked me, as the resident computer nerd, "What are these Bitcoins I'm hearing about?"

    I explained a little about the math, the mining, and the markets and she suddenly said, "Oh, I get it. They're tulips."

    I was like, "What?!? No, this has nothing to do with tulips!" until she explained the history of the Dutch tulip market. Then I realized she understood perfectly.
  14. MacSociology macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2006
    Battleground Europe?!
    The new Mac Pro will be a waste of money using it for mining Bitcoin. ASICs are dominating SHA256 mining. In February we will see ASIC rigs mining at up to 7.5 thashes, while the Mac Pro will probably be mining at a few hundred mhashes.

    It'll do better with scrypt based mining, ex. Litecoin, but it'll still be way too expensive for a rig. In mining you will not use the CPU as mining rigs are primarily using the GPUs. A rig with 3 Radeon 7950 will result in approx. an income of 35-45 $ per day, and these are best GPUs for mining today. 280X won't be a bad choice today, but 7950 is still the best choice. (But it's not easy to get your hands on a 7950 these days.)

    If you would like to make some money you should probably buy dedicated hardware for the mining. You'll need a cheap CPU, 2-4 GB RAM, a MB with 3-4 PCIe lanes, and multiple GPUs. Preferably GPUs you will be able to overclock and undervolt. (Last one to save some power usage.)

    At the moment I got 4 rigs with 4 GPUs in each rig. The daily income is at the moment 150-250 $ as I am mining several coins.
  15. Celedral macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    might be better to mine litecoins instead as the complexity is lower. Also bitcoin mining is dead at this point. Might be best to build a rig with lower specced parts and a few 7950s.
  16. The Giver macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2013
    MacSociology; is there a way to contact you? I'm very interested in your operation.
  17. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    Yup, in fact, this is exactly why used 7950 prices are so overinflated. My younger brother is mining right now with a quad 290X rig for litecoins. The only problem with litecoins is it's not as easy to convert to 'real' currency as bitcoins at this time.
  18. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    Don't forget the cost of electricity it'll eat up while mining. Add that to the price of the machine.

    I wouldn't be surprised if most Bitcoin mining these days was done by malware. Make the unsuspecting victim pay the electric bill for your generated Bitcoins.
  19. MacSociology macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2006
    Battleground Europe?!

    Sorry for the late answer. Didn't notice your reply until now.

    I'm available via PM.
  20. seveej macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2009
    Helsinki, Finland
    Whatever argument you need to find to splurge on the nMP, you will find...

    Financial market theory dictates that no machine available on a public market can be able to pay for itself by mining bitcoins, because even if such a machine could be built (BOM < bitcoin income), the market would push up it's price until the price of such a machine would outstrip the possible bitcoin income.

    Seriously, bitcoins seem to be the ultimate hoax (I liked the reference to tulips), but I understand that the volatility of the market makes bitcoins attractive to day-traders, pathological gamblers and other parasitic entities.

  21. haravikk, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013

    haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    You're making the assumption that a machine mining Bitcoins has to pay for its full cost. If you also use the machine for other things and only run mining programs overnight for example, then that could still serve to help pay for a fraction of the machine's cost, or to help pay for peripherals, games or whatever else you spend money on.

    I wouldn't set my sights much higher than that of course, as once you factor in power consumed we're not talking huge earnings, and they're earnings that will decrease over time as mining difficulty goes up, alongside the power of machines being used by the serious miners. But if mining Bitcoins can pay for the occasional purchase then you're still getting something out of it, even if it's not much.
  22. Xerotech macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2011
    Imagine mining it in the background at work or students in the dorms :p
  23. ABCDEF-Hex macrumors 6502


    Feb 15, 2013
    I'll pass you name along to Bernie Madoff

    or you can just send me your cash.
  24. MartyGrohl macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2014
    I just set the mining operation up on my 13" Oct 2013 2.4Ghz i5 - 8Gb Mac pro.

    It reached a steady 25Gh/s which was admirable. However it is terrifying to run it off the Macbook pro alone as quite a few have tried and needed replacement boards/chips. The little amount of cooling means that thermal damage possibility is high.
  25. RobertSix macrumors member

    Sep 21, 2012
    Hi Marty. Impressive! Is that GPU or CPU mining? Could you elaborate on your setup.

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