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Just out of curiosity, would it be possible to use a lot of RAM and treat it as an FPGA capable of mining other cryptocurrencies, or would it be too expensive to implement and not worth it?

5

The statement "treat it as an FPGA" doesn't make sense. Both RAM and FPGA (or ASIC) are electronics but that's where the comparison ends. RAM is designed for one specific task and cannot by itself do calculations required for mining.

  • Whoops, I forgot to add the idea of using RAM as something similar to a primitive look up table, like the ones implemented in ROM's. – Primordial Feb 8 '14 at 18:59
  • If that were possible, it would already have been done. As fast as it is, RAM is too slow for a huge lookup table like that. CPUs have caches to improve the performance of the slower RAM. – Greg Hewgill Feb 8 '14 at 19:42
  • @GregHewgill Actually, to a small extent, it is possible to use RAM as a lookup table to accelerate mining, and that is in fact done to the extent that it is possible. Mining algorithms are intentionally designed to require enormous amounts of RAM to accelerate significantly through lookup tables. – David Schwartz Feb 8 '14 at 23:39
  • @DavidSchwartz Interesting. What would the feasibility of implementing it in a DDR3 RAM module or other RAM chip? Is this implemented in SHA256 ASIC's? – Primordial Feb 9 '14 at 1:54
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Your CPU would still be performing the calculations, and so you'd see a slower speed than if you used a CPU miner.

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