Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Don' Think Crypto Currency Is Affecting You?

Don't think that Crypto Currency affects you?
Think agai.
If you build your own gaming PC's or visit certain websites, digital money is causing an impact on your life.
I saw my NewEgg alert this morning, and it was down right depressing. NewEgg is a online retailer of computer parts and consumer electronics. I've been on the lookout for deals on components, as my daughter is taking classes for New Media and Digital Design. A PC having more horse-power is a necessity for her now. Motherboards are cheap. Prices of processors are dropping, as well as some other components - but not Random Access Memory sticks (RAM) or Graphical Processing Units (GPU's / video cards).
16GB of DDR4 was running anywhere from $150 - 230 - and that wasn't even high-zoot stuff either.
You could get 16 GB of G Skill for 68 bucks a few years ago. A friend of mine got an incredible deal on 32 GB of GSkill RAM three years back, for less than $135.
NewEgg didn't even have video cards on special, because they are having a hard time getting them in stock.
The AMD 580X I got for my wife's machine, last year, is $200+ MORE than what it launched at.
The super high end stuff is available; as is the rebadged, low end, 2 gen old crap. AMD 560X / 570X / and 580X's are no where to be had; nor are GTX 1050 / 1060 / 1070's. Basically the mid-range cards are gone.
Oooppps - sorry I was wrong.
The card I got the wife, is now 500 dollars more than what I got it for a year ago!

What is causing this shortage of computer components, and causing prices to spike,you may ask?
Bitcoin mining.
The recent resurgence of cryptocurrency and the growing popularity of Ethereum has led to a massive shortage in the GPU market. Prices are oscillating wildly, and ...

These mining farms are sucking up all of the RAM and GPU's for their shear parallel processing power. While initial mining PC's just used a low power ATOM processors to chug away mining Bitcoin, current mining machines use racks upon racks of multiple-GPU equipped motherboards.
The appeal of GPU's over the main processor of a PC is the amount of concurrent threads they each can handle per instruction clock cycle. A typical high end quad core, Intel processor can process eight threads at a time. Where as a video card can grind through hundreds, to low thousands, in the same time.

As you can see, a GPU absolutely gut stomps a CPU for shear processing power.
When Bitcoins were cheap and plentiful, it didn't make sense to dump a pile of money on high end equipment. Now that the perceived value of Bitcoin has launched through the roof, there are actually people mortgaging their houses to pay for crypto-mining PC's.
Thanks CUDA.......
You can forget about me building anything for the foreseeable future. đŸ˜’
Now to top it off, it seems certain web sites are hi-jacking your computer, remotely through the ads on their pages, to cryptomine. The most prominent, that I frequent, is Drudge Report. This is an accurate article as well - as my boss looked into his PC's resource management. Network and processing power were being consumed whenever he left Drudge open. This doesn't seem to affect my PC, as I use add ons in Firefox such as Ghostery, AdBlock Plus, and Blur. SpyBot Search and Destroy might be helping me as well.
The reach of Crypto-currency is ever expanding, and like it or not, it is affecting your life.

In one way or another.

H/T to Leigh in Whitehall


  1. Nope... you've misunderstood SIMD vs multi-cores. SISD, SIMD: Single Instruction Single Data, Single Instruction Multiple Data.

    Break it down to simple math instructions, Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide, ..etc.. A CPU is SISD: Add these two numbers together. a GPU is SIMD. Add this set of numbers to that set of numbers and get all the answers.

    Multiple cores in a CPU is giving you multiple CPUs.. so an multi core cpu:
    1. Add these two numbers
    2. Multiply these two,
    3. Divide these two,
    4. Subtract these two,
    ... etc... all at once.

    a GPU does only 1 thing at a time. Single instruction.. but on LOTS of data.
    1. Multiply this set of a million numbers with that set of million and give me the million answers.

    So... that actually means that GPUs are powerful, but for only certain jobs. your link points out that Etherium specifically is driving graphics card prices. Not Bitcoin. Bitcoin is best mined with purpose built ASICS, very limited hardware in terms of your daughters high-zoot needs, but efficient at the specific math Bitcoin's Proof of Work algorithm needs.

    This problem should be clearing up shortly. Etherium is moving from a Proof of Work to a Proof of Stake, so all those then useless to miners video cards are going to crash the used card market and you'll get a good one for $3.50..

    1. OK, so I admit I over simplified the serial vs parallel nature of CPU vs GPU. But it doesn't mean I was wrong about the comparative computing power of each. There are several programs that leverage the power of the GPU for tasks that used to be the domain of the CPU.

      The graph which showed the calculation power of GPU's vs CPU's didn't go through, unfortunately. That highlighted how quickly GPU's have outpaced the CPU. In 32 bit applications nVidia was around 4500 GFlops, AMD was 4200, and Intel was 500. Even the Playstation and XBox had higher theoretical computational power. And that was back in 2013.

      The Bit coin Wiki also comes right out and says video cards are faster at mining, than a CPU.

      Then you have to factor in that a GPU is typically cheaper than an Application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miner. When ASIC's become more prevalent in the mining game, and prices come down, then you will see mainstream computer hardware become abandoned for the more specialized equipment. When that happens, the PC add in market will take a pretty big hit with the glut of surplus equipment.

      These links provide hash calculation rates for specialized and general mining equipment:

      PCGamer also has an article on the subject -

      Whitehall, NY

    2. yea. it was all the why leading up to the point being... Graphics card price is going to crash shortly when the major GPU using miners, Etherium, no longer have use for 'em. Other coins will still be vector mined for a while, but their throughput and demand are nothing compared to the big 2. So if the smaller copy of you can get by for a bit the high-zoot will be cheaper in a few months to year.

  2. http://www.pricewatch.com/video_cards/

    Hope this helps


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