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With the introduction of ASICs and FPGAs, I am looking to upgrade my rig. However, I use the rig for academic research involving brute-force SHA-1 and SHA-2 cracking (I am working on make passwords more secure for my capstone project, trying to pay for everything by mining BTC during downtime).

What are my options? GPU's don't seem like they will matter much longer...

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You could possibly buy some FPGA miners. The ASICs can only do Bitcoin's specific hash function, and won't be of any use for your research.

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