The Beast – Bitcoin Mining Powerhouse

If you wanted some impressive numbers for Bitcoin mining, you have come to the right place.  The Beast is a rig build around a Core i7 processor and motherboard and 5 GPUs working in tandem off of a single power supply. 

Here you can see three cards lining up to be utilized for profit computing: the Radeon HD 6990, Radeon HD 5970 and Radeon HD 6970.  With a total of 5 GPUs in this configuration we were really pushing the boundaries of our power supply and office air conditioning.  

This screen grab shows you the 5 GPUs at work and the impressive (and dangerous) temperatures as a result.  The HD 6990 card GPUs actually hit the 103 degree Celsius mark!  Power consumption on this combination peaked at 1067 watts which actually tells how well built the Corsair AX1200 power supply is!  The cards got HOT very quickly and the fans were spinning a much higher rate than we are used to.  While the configuration did work for a while in our test bed I would not recommend anyone with a sane mindset build it for actual 24/7 usage. 

So, let’s look at some of the performance results from "The Beast"!

Pushing nearly 1.6 Ghash/s, The Beast nearly doubles the performance of the overclocked ASUS ARES card.

Somewhat surprisingly, even at an estimated cost of $1710, the GPUs on The Beast were a better value than most of our other configurations and were only bested by the HD 5750, HD 5830 and HD 6850. 

So, yes, The Beast used about 1067 watts during peak power consumption but in terms of performance per watt, again it impressed us by coming in second in this metric!  The use of a pair of dual-GPU cards seems to be helping it out as those appeared to be the most power-efficient options. 

As expected The Beast earns the most with just about $14.65 entering into your virtual wallet every 24 hours.

So it cost you $1710 to buy the cards but how long until you pay it off at that rate?  A surprisingly modest 116+ days.

Because of the high cost of the ARES relative to other dual-GPU cards, The Beast is able to out gain the overclocked version of it by a factor of 2.18x with a potential profit of $3,637 per year AFTER paying off your $1,710 investment.  

When we first decided to build The Beast for this article we thought it would definitely be an outlier in the performance metrics with that much power but we also though it would be way to power hungry and costly to make sense.  That wasn’t really the case though – not only did we reach 1.6 Ghash/s but the power consumption and costs, though very high, were actually better than expected in relation to that performance.  This indicates the hashing and SHA256 key creation process scales VERY close to linearly on these GPUs; something gaming rarely does.

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