Take the 2-minute tour ×
Bitcoin Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Bitcoin crypto-currency enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized $25 (or $45, for the deluxe option) computer, designed for educational use. Has anyone tried running mining software on it? If so, what's the hashrate like? (apparently the CPU is approximately equivalent to a P2 300MHz - I know the hashrate will be very low!)

Also, can the GPU be used to mine? What's the hashrate for that, if it's been done.

From the FAQ on the above linked site: "The GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode. The GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute and features a bunch of texture filtering and DMA infrastructure. That is, graphics capabilities are roughly equivalent to Xbox 1 level of performance. Overall real world performance is something like a 300MHz Pentium 2, only with much, much swankier graphics."

Note: The price of $25 or $45 excludes a way of powering it (via MicroUSB), a keyboard, a mouse and likely a USB hub. I think you need to provide an SD card too.

share|improve this question
2  
Not quite an exact duplicate of this question but there may be some good info there for you. –  David Perry Mar 15 '12 at 0:52
add comment

6 Answers

The Raspberry Pi uses the VideoCore IV series of GPU, which to my understanding are either a single or dual core GPU running at or around 700 MHz. Since the primary benefit of GPU mining is that you can run many parallel processes on the hundreds of cores typically found in most GPUs, the single-core nature of the VideoCore GPU undoes most of that benefit.

I don't have exact numbers, nor the necessary knowledge to compute an estimate, but I can tell you that the Folding@Home folks already discussed this and came to the conclusion that an AMD Phenom II X4 940 was almost 5 times as efficient for their needs as utilizing both the CPU and GPU of the Raspberry Pi. Since the needs of Folding@Home are very similar (but not identical) to Bitcoin's, it's probably not a stretch to say that if CPU mining (admittedly with a fairly nice CPU) is 5x more efficient, the Raspberry Pi doesn't look like a strong contender.

Of course, until we have solid MH/s and actual at-the-wall wattage numbers it's very difficult to say if, at scale, a cluster of $35 Raspberry Pis could compete with other setups on initial price or power cost. Personally, I'd guess not.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. Will leave this one open awaiting a more definitive figure though. From the thread you linked to, it sounds like the (API) access to the GPU may not be adequate to efficiently use it for mining, which would make a big difference. –  Highly Irregular Mar 17 '12 at 21:26
add comment

There is a nice wiki page here: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison

The raspberry pi is listed by its processor in the arm section: ARM1176JZ(F)-S. It gets 0.2 Mhash/s when clocked at 800 MHz.

share|improve this answer
2  
Hey Gus, welcome to bitcoin.SE! Please don't post just a link, because if the link is dead, then the answer isn't useful. I've edited your answer to fix that. Thanks! –  Nick ODell Mar 17 '13 at 15:07
    
This is not a useful answer because that page doesn't consider the pi GPU. –  Scuba Steve Dec 16 '13 at 3:30
add comment

The one thing I should probably answer on is about the difference between OpenGL / OpenGL-ES and OpenCL. OpenGL and it's variants are not used for hash bashing / virtual currency mining at all, however OpenCL is.

Where as GL means Graphics Language and CL stands for Compute Language. GL is for graphics and CL is for mathematical and scientific calculations. While your system may have OpenGL support of some sort, it's more than likely doesn't have OpenCL 1 & 2 support for the GP-GPU (Nvidia Tegra) which would allow you to get okay to medium hash rates. As I see to remember, the Tegra in the Pi doesn't support it in hardware (OpenCL version 1 or 2).

Which means you'd have to rely on those ASIC miners that are connected via the USB port hub or even a dedicated mining rig that is connected via the UTP network connector (RJ-45 jack / Ethernet).

Well, at least we're having a good amount of information / data coming out so the next people that read this will have a good idea on what to do with their RPIs if they want to do any mining.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I will step up and answer the Raspberry Pi question too. The RPI in and of itself is not worth using to do virtual currency mining on by itself. However, if you a nice powered USB hub and connect in the ASICs that plug in via the USB ports and download the proper software that can access these devices, then you've got a descent mining rig to speak of.

Note:

Due to the way in which the ASICs are designed, they can only do SHA256D and that alone although, performance per watt is the best way to go. Essentially, all the RPI does is act as the surrogate for all the ASIC slave units and constantly feeds them data and ferries the data hashes back and forth from their source.

You can't use Scrypt with these USB ASICs at all. You'll be stuck using the GETWORK protocol until someone can come up with an ASIC that can do both SHA256D and Scrypt.

One last thing, you may have heard of the Stratum protocol vs. the old GETWORK protocol. This can be used with Scrypt or SHA256D algorithms. Stratum helps you get less stale and has even better network performance than the old protocol.

Hope this clears things up like my message above.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the answer! A Pi goes nicely with ASICs too because it keeps the overall power consumption very low, especially if you're only running small low-wattage ASICs like the 330MH/s block eruptors... –  Highly Irregular Jul 19 '13 at 8:25
add comment

Do you even know what FLOPS are, first off?

FLOPS stands for FLoating-point OPerations per Second. Hashes are calculated via signed integers in the form of hexadecimal numbers, those numbers are then run through a series of logical operations (You know; AND, OR, NOR, XOR, NAND).

FLOPS means absolutely jack when it comes to your processing speed of your Hash Bashing rig (your crypto-currency mining computer).

ATI cards are known for their single-precision floating point performance over Nvidia, that much is true.

ATI also has better signed and unsigned integer performance than Nvidia does too.

ATI has slightly better logical operations per second than Nvidia does.

Now, floating point is screaming fast on the ATIs as compared to the Nvidia but it's too bad it's not actually being used for SHA256D and Scrypt.

Integers both signed and unsigned actually take less time on the CPU or GP-GPU to calculate and thus much faster.

The logical operations are the slowest and since you use a combination of both logical and unsigned integer you get a composite average of the performance between the two and of course the implementation of the mining application.

If it's done correctly, you should get around 85 to 90% maximum of what your card or embedded system claims it's capable of doing. Simply put, you will never achieve 100% because you have an operating system that is using the card and of course interfacing to the rest of the system.

While the indicators tell you are getting 100% of the cores, what it's really means is that you are getting 100% of the 85 ~ 90% theoretical maximum you can achieve with the hardware you have.

I hope this clears things up for y'all.

share|improve this answer
    
... so by the (very, very rough) estimate that the graphic card might achieve a similar number of integer operations per second as it does for floating point operations, you can guess that maybe 10 MHash/s might be in the realm of possibility, if you can get documentation for programming it (sign a non-disclosure agreement with the manufacturer?). I'm using the ballpark figure of ca. 2000 to 3000 integer operations per double SHA-256 hash to get this from the guess that 24000 MIPS (based on 24 GFLOPS) are available. –  pyramids Nov 21 '13 at 10:22
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.