DreamMi­cro Crypto HPC

VERY NOISY, VERY EX­PEN­SIVE AND POOR VALUE

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS - NICK ROSS

In 1958 Ray Har­ry­hausen ve­hi­cle, The 7th Voy­age of Sin­bad, the evil ma­gi­cian, Sakura, tells of an “ac­cursed is­land in­hab­ited by wail­ing demons. Their scream­ing is heard over 100 leagues. Men hear­ing it are driven mad. They drive their ships onto the jagged rocks and are de­voured by sea ser­pents.” This puts us in mind of the DreamMi­cro Cryp­toCur­rency Min­ing HPC 6X.

This is no tra­di­tional PC. The large, metal chas­sis is as Spar­tan on the out­side as the in­side. It is rack-mount­able and houses three, server-grade fans which con­sis­tently run at over 3,500rpm. At full power they hit 83 decibels which only drops to 73 decibels with soft­ware and BIOS tweaks. It still hit 63 decibels when we un­plugged two of them.

The brute-force air cool­ing coun­ters heat from six over­clocked graph­ics cards. There’s not much else in­side: a be­spoke, min­i­mal­lyfea­tured moth­er­board with built-in, quad-core CPU, 4GB of lap­top RAM and a 64GB M.2 drive. You’ll need an old D-Sub mon­i­tor to set ev­ery­thing up – we hadn’t seen one in years, so be­ware of this be­ing an ad­di­tional ex­pense. The PSU only has four-pin power con­nec­tors so you won’t be able to stick any old cards in­side. A top­mounted bar with rub­ber buf­fers helps keep the cards se­cure and min­i­mizes vi­bra­tions. If it crashes it will re­boot and start min­ing again au­to­mat­i­cally. Ul­ti­mately, it can’t re­ally do any­thing but mine cryp­tocur­rency.

The sys­tem is highly con­fig­urable. Via the Pi­o­neer site there’s a choice of seven 7th-gen In­tel CPUs, mem­ory can be 8/16 or 32GB and there are a dozen stor­age op­tions. All stan­dard fare for a reg­u­lar desk­top PC, yet mostly not ap­pli­ca­ble to a min­ing rig which only wants a ba­sic CPU, mem­ory and stor­age set up. It ap­pears Pi­o­neer has sim­ply used its desk­top PC on­line or­der­ing tem­plate for this prod­uct. Nar­row­ing down the ir­rel­e­vant op­tions and dis­play­ing just what mat­ters for the cus­tomer to choose would give us more con­fi­dence that Pi­o­neer is se­ri­ous about sell­ing min­ing rigs.

To the specs that DO mat­ter, it can be con­fig­ured with six or eight AMD RX470/570 graph­ics cards. Our re­view unit shipped with six, adding an­other two in­creases the cost by $1,444. Of course you can add your own cards if you like.

How does it fare? Min­ing Ethereum with six RX470 GPUs hits 156Mh/s us­ing 1050kW giv­ing you (at cur­rent dif­fi­culty) about 0.34ETH p/m at a rough cost of $200-$250 elec­tric­ity. That’s a monthly profit of about $80 at the time of writ­ing. Pay­ing off the $5,899 pur­chase price would take six years - over which time the min­ing land­scape would change un­recog­niseably and the sys­tem would be ob­so­lete.

If crypto prices sky­rocket, the value propo­si­tion changes. How­ever, there’s far bet­ter value to be had by investing in vir­tual min­ing ser­vices like Krambu or buy­ing two ASIC Bitcoin min­ers which are equally noisy but sig­nif­i­cantly-more prof­itable. As such it’s hor­ri­ble to use, ex­treme­ly­poor value and has noth­ing pos­i­tive go­ing for it at all.

KEY SPECS

Quad-core 1.5GHz CPU • 4GB SODIMM • 64GB SSD • 2 x USB 3 • 4 x USB2 • 2 x gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net • 6x RX470 or RX570 graph­ics cards • D-Sub video out

$5,899 • www.pi­o­neer­com­put­ers.com.au

“Pay­ing off the $5,899 pur­chase price would take six years”

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