DreamMicro Crypto HPC
VERY NOISY, VERY EXPENSIVE AND POOR VALUE
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.
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”