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I literally have tens of thousands of dollars in top-shelf hardware, looking to repurpose some before selling on eBay to build a NAS system, possibly a dedicated firewall device as well. o_O
Q1) What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.** A1) This will be a dedicated NAS system for my home network. As such, I'm looking to have it: - Host ##TB's of 720, 1080 & up resolution Movies and TV Shows I'm about to begin ripping from a MASSIVE DVD & Blueray collection I have. - My kids are big on Minecraft. I understand it's possible to host your own "worlds" (or whatever they call the maps you can build) on your own "server". I think it would be pretty neat to offer them (& their friends - if can be done 'safely/securely') their own partition on one of my NAS HDD's. - I also have accounts with a couple diff VPN companies... I understand it's possible (?) to sync said VPN's with a NAS, this might be a more relative topic on the next point/purpose... - I'd like to be able to remotely link to this NAS for when I travel overseas and want to stream at my temp location from my house/this NAS. ______________________ Q2) What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?** * A2) Here's where I make matters more complicated than most others would... I've been an advocate for Bitcoin and crypto-currencies in general since 2013. I invested in a small mining outfit back in 2014 (strictly Bitcoin/ASIC's). One of my buddies is the President of a large-scale mining operation (foreign and domestic) and he convinced me to dabble in the GPU mining-space. I made my first hardware purchase in Q4, 2017 and launched a small-scale GPU-Farm in my house since then. I had the rigs mining up until Q3 of 2018 (not cost-efficient to keep on, especially living in SoFlo) and since then, the hardware's been collecting dust (& pissing off my family members since they lost access to 3X rooms in the house - I won't let anyone go near my gear). One of my New Years Resolutions for 2019 was to clear out the house of all my mining equipment so that's all about to go up on eBay. So "budget" is relative to whatever I "MUST" spend if I can't repurpose any of the parts I already have on hand for this build... (Anyone having something I "need" and is looking to barter for one of the items I'll list later on in here, LMK). ______________________ Q3) When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.** A3) IMMEDIATELY! :) ______________________ Q4) What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc\)** A4) Well I had a half-assed idea approximately 1 year ago that it might be wise to build a bunch of 'gaming rigs' to sell on eBay with my intended repurposed mining hardware so I went on a shopping spree for like 6 months. That said; I've got a plethora of various other components that aren't even unboxed yet. 90% of the items I've purchased for this additional project were items that were marked down via MIR (mail-in-rebates) & what-not...
AFAIK, there are only 3X items I absolutely do not have which I 'MUST' find. Those would be - 1) Motherboard which accepts "ECC RAM". 2) CPU for said MOBO. 3) Said "ECC RAM".\*
______________________ Q5) Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?** A5) I'm located in Southwest Florida. No Microcenter's here. Best Buy is pretty much my only option although I am a member of Newegg, Amazon & Costco if that makes any difference? ______________________ Q6) If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.** A6) In an attempt to better clean up this Q&A, I'm going to list the items I have on-hand at the end of this questionnaire in-case passers-by feel like this might be a TLDR.* (Scroll to the bottom & you'll see what I mean). ______________________ Q7) Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?** A7) I don't think that's necessary for my intended purpose although - I'm not against it if that helps & FWIW, I'm pretty skilled @ this task already (it's not rocket science). ______________________ Q8) Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)** A8) As stated in A4; ECC RAM is non-negotiable... RAID seems like a logical application here as well. - This will predominantly be receiving commands from MacOS computers. I don't think that matters really but figured it couldn't hurt to let you guys know.\* - I'd also be quite fond of implementing "PFSENSE" (or something of that caliber) applied to this system so I could give my Netgear Nighthawks less stress in that arena, plus my limited understanding of PFSENSE is that it's ability to act as a firewall runs circles around anything that comes with consumer-grade Wi-Fi routers (like my Nighthawks). Just the same, I'm open to building a second rig just for the firewall.\* - Another desirable feature would be that it draws as little electricity from the wall as possible. (I'm EXTREMELY skilled in this arena. I have "Kill-A-Watts" to test/gauge on, as well as an intimate understanding of the differences between Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium rated PSU's. As well as having already measured each of the PSU's I have on-hand and taken note of the 'target TDP draw' ("Peak Power Efficiency Draw") each one offers when primed with X amount of GPU's when I used them for their original purpose.\* - Last, but not least, sound (as in noise created from the rig). I'd like to prop this device up on my entertainment center in the living room. I've (almost) all of the top-shelf consumer grade products one could dream of regarding fans and other thermal-related artifacts. - Almost forgot; this will be hosting to devices on the KODI platform (unless you guys have better alternative suggestions?) ______________________ Q9) Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?** A9) Definitely! Desired theme would be WHITE. If that doesn't work for whatever reason, black or gray would suffice. Regarding "Case Size". Nah, that's not too important although I don't foresee a mini-ITX build making sense if I'm going to be cramming double digit amounts of TB in the system, Internal HDD's sounds better than a bunch of externals plugged in all the USB ports. ______________________ Q10) Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?** A10) I don't know. If I do need a copy of Windows, I don't have one so that's something I'll have to consider I guess. I doubt that's a necessity though. ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ **Extra info or particulars:*\* AND NOW TO THE FUN-STUFF... Here's a list of everything (PARTS PARTS PARTS) I have on-hand and ready to deploy into the wild &/or negotiate a trade/barter with: CASES - Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 Arctic White (Model# Crypto-Currency-9011048-WW) - (Probably my top pick for this build). Cooler Master HAF XB EVO (This is probably my top 1st or 2nd pick for this build, the thing is a monster!). Cooler Master Elite 130 - Mini ITX - Black Cooler Master MasterBox 5 MID-Tower - Black & White Raidmax Sigma-TWS - ATX - White MasterBox Lite 5 - ATX - Black w/ diff. Colored accent attachments (included with purchase) NZXT S340 Elite Matte White Steel/Tempered Glass Edition EVGA DG-76 Alpine White - Mid Tower w/ window EVGA DG-73 Black - Mid Tower w/ window (I have like 3 of these) ______________________ CPU's - ***7TH GEN OR BELOW INTEL's ("Code Name Class mentioned next to each one)**\* Pentium G4400 (Skylake @54W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC CAPABLE" Celeron G3930 (Kaby Lake @ 51W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC CAPABLE" :) i5 6402P (Skylake @65W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( i5 6600k (Skylake @ 91W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( i7 6700 (Skylake @ 65W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( i7 7700k (Kaby Lake @ 95W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( ***8TH GEN INTEL's **\* i3-8350K (Coffee Lake @91W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "ECC FRIENDLY" :) I5-8600K (Coffee Lake @95W TDP) - Intel ARK states is "NOT ECC CAPABLE" :( ***AMD RYZEN's **\* Ryzen 3 2200G Ryzen 5 1600 Ryzen 7 1700X ______________________ MOTHERBOARDS - ***7TH GEN AND BELOW INTEL BASED MOBO'S - **\* MSI Z170A-SLI ASUS PRIME Z270-A ASUS PRIME Z270-P ASUS PRIME Z270-K EVGA Z270 Stinger GIGABYTE GA-Z270XP-SLI MSI B150M ARCTIC MSI B250M MICRO ATX (PRO OPT. BOOST EDITION) ***8TH GEN INTEL BASED MOBO'S - **\* EVGA Z370 FTW GIGABYTE Z370XP SLI (Rev. 1.0) MSI Z370 SLI PLUS ***AMD RYZEN BASED MOBO'S - **\* ASUS ROG STRIX B350-F GAMING MSI B350 TOMAHAWK MSI X370 GAMING PRO ASROCK AB350M PRO4 ______________________ RAM - Way too many to list, nothing but 4 & 8GB DDR4 sticks and unfortunately, none are ECC so it's not even worth mentioning/listing these unless someone reading this is willing to barter. At which time I'd be obliged to send an itemized list or see if I have what they're/you're specifically looking for.\* ______________________ THERMAL APPLICATIONS/FANS - JUST FANS - BeQuiet - Pure Wings 2 (80mm) Pure Wings 2 (120mm) Pure Wings 2 (140mm) Silent Wings 3 PWM (120mm) NOCTUA - PoopBrown - NF-A20 PWM (200mm) Specifically for the BIG "CoolerMaster HAF XB EVO" Case GREY - NF-P12 Redux - 1700RPM (120mm) PWM Corsair - Air Series AF120LED (120mm) CPU COOLING SYSTEMS - NOCTUA - NT-HH 1.4ml Thermal Compound NH-D15 6 Heatpipe system (this thing is the tits) EVGA (Extremely crappy coding in the software here, I'm like 99.99% these will be problematic if I were to try and use in any OS outside of Windows, because they barely ever work in the intended Windows as it is). CLC 240 (240mm Water-cooled system CRYORIG - Cryorig C7 Cu (Low-Profile Copper Edition*) A few other oversized CPU cooling systems I forget off the top of my head but a CPU cooler is a CPU cooler after comparing to the previous 3 models I mentioned. I almost exclusively am using these amazing "Innovation Cooling Graphite Thermal Pads" as an alternative to thermal paste for my CPU's. They're not cheap but they literally last forever. NZXT - Sentry Mesh Fan Controller ______________________ POWER SUPPLIES (PSU's) - BeQuiet 550W Straight Power 11 (GOLD) EVGA - 750P2 (750W, Platinum) 850P2 (850W, Platinum) 750T2 (750W, TITANIUM - yeah baby, yeah) ROSEWILL - Quark 750W Platinum Quark 650W Platinum SEASONIC - Focus 750W Platinum ______________________ STORAGE - HGST Ultrastar 3TB - 64mb Cache - 7200RPM Sata III (3.5) 4X Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD's 2X Team Group L5 LITE 3D 2.5" SSD's 480GB 2X WD 10TB Essential EXT (I'm cool with shucking) + 6X various other external HDD's (from 4-8TB) - (Seagate, WD & G-Drives) ______________________ Other accessories worth mentioning - PCI-E to 4X USB hub-adapter (I have a dozen or so of these - might not be sufficient enough &/or needed but again, 'worth mentioning' in case I somehow ever run out of SATA & USB ports and have extra external USB HDD's. Although, I'm sure there would be better suited components if I get to that point that probably won't cost all that much). ______________________ ______________________ ______________________ Needless to say, I have at least 1X of everything mentioned above. In most all cases, I have multiples of these items but obviously won't be needing 2X CPU's, Cases, etc... Naturally, I have GPU's. Specifically; At least 1X of every. Single. NVIDIA GTX 1070 TI (Yes, I have every variation of the 1070 ti made by MSI, EVGA and Zotac. The only brand I don't have is the Gigabyte line. My partners have terrible experience with those so I didn't even bother. I'm clearly not going to be needing a GPU for this build but again, I'm cool with discussing the idea of a barter if anyone reading this is in the market for one. I also have some GTX 1080 TI's but those are already spoken for, sorry. It's my understanding that select CPU's I have on this list are ECC Friendly and AFAIK, only 1 of my MOBO's claims to be ECC Friendly (The ASROCK AB350M PRO4), but for the life of me, I can't find any corresponding forums that confirm this and/or direct me to a listing where I can buy compatible RAM. Just the same, if I go w/ the ASROCK MOBO, that means I'd be using one of the Ryzens. Those are DEF. power hungry little buggers. Not a deal-breaker, just hoping to find something a little more conservative in terms of TDP. In closing, I don't really need someone to hold my hand with the build part as much as figuring out which motherboard, CPU and RAM to get. Then I'm DEFINITELY going to need some guidance on what OS is best for my desired purpose. If building 2X Rigs makes sense, I'm totally open to that as well... Rig 1 = EPIC NAS SYSTEM Rig 2 = EPIC PFSENSE (or the like) DEDICATED FIREWALL Oh, I almost forgot... The current routers I'm using are... 1X Netgear Nighthawk 6900P (Modem + Router) 1X Netgear Nighthawk X6S (AC 4000 I believe - Router dedicated towards my personal devices - no IoT &/or Guests allowed on this one) 1X TP-Link Archer C5 (Router). Total overkill after implementing the Nighthawks but this old beast somehow has the best range, plus it has 2X USB ports so for now, it's dedicated towards my IoT devices. ---- I also have a few other Wi-Fi routers (Apple Airport Extreme & some inferior Netgear's but I can only allocate so many WiFi Routers to so many WiFi channels w/out pissing off my neighbors) On that note, I have managed to convince my neighbors to let me in their house/WiFi configuration so we all have our hardware locked on specific, non-competing frequencies/channels so everyone's happy. :) Please spare me the insults as I insulted myself throughout this entire venture. Part of why I did this was because when I was a kid, I used to fantasize about building a 'DREAM PC' but could never afford such. To compensate for this deficiency, I would actually print out the latest and greatest hardware components on a word document, print the lists up & tape to wall (for motivation). I was C++ certified at the age of 14 and built my first PC when I was 7. At the age of 15 I abandoned all hope in the sector and moved on to other aspirations. This entire ordeal was largely based off me finally fulfilling a childhood fantasy. On that note = mission accomplished. Now if I'm actually able to fulfill my desires on this post, I'm definitely going to feel less shitty about blowing so much money on all this stuff over the last couple years. TIA for assisting in any way possible. Gotta love the internets! THE END. :) EDIT/UPDATE (5 hours after OP) - My inbox is being inundated with various people asking for prices and other reasonable questions about my hardware being up for sale. Not to be redundant but rather to expound on my previous remarks about 'being interested in a bartetrade' with any of you here... I did say I was going to sell my gear on eBay in the near future, I also said I wanted to trade/barter for anything relative to helping me accomplish my OP's mission(s). I'm not desperate for the $$$ but I'm also not one of those people that likes to rip other people off. That said; I value my time and money invested in this hardware and I'm only willing to unload it all once I've established I have ZERO need for any of it here in my home first. Hence my writing this lengthy thread in an attempt to repurpose at least a grand or two I've already spent. One of the most commonly asked questions I anticipate receiving from interested bodies is going to be "How hard were you on your hardware?" Contrary to what anyone else would have probably done in my scenario which is say they were light on it whether they were or weren't, I documented my handling of the hardware, and have no problem sharing such documentation with verified, interested buyers (WHEN THE TIME COMES) to offer you guys peace of mind. I have photo's and video's of the venture from A-Z. I am also obliged to provide (redacted) electricity bill statements where you can correlate my photo's (power draw on each rig), and also accurately deduct the excess power my house consumed with our other household appliances. Even taking into consideration how much (more) I spent in electricity from keeping my house at a constant, cool 70-72F year-round (via my Nest thermostat). Even without the rigs, I keep my AC @ 70 when I'm home and for the last 1.5-2 years, I just so happened to spend 85% of my time here at my house. When I would travel, I'd keep it at 72 for my wife & kids. Additionally; I had each GPU 'custom' oveunderclocke'd (MSI Afterburner for all GPU's but the EVGA's).* I doubt everyone reading this is aware so this is for those that don't.... EVGA had the brilliant idea of implementing what they call "ICX technology" in their latest NVIDIA GTX GPU's. The short(est) explanation of this "feature" goes as follows: EVGA GPU's w/ "ICX 9 & above" have EXTRA HEAT/THERMAL SENSORS. Unlike every other GTX 1070 ti on the market, the one's with this feature actually have each of 2/2 on-board fans connected to individual thermal sensors. Which means - if you were to use the MSI Afterburner program on one of these EVGA's and create a custom fan curve for it, you'd only be able to get 1/2 of the fans to function the way intended. The other fan simply would not engage as the MSI Afterburner software wasn't designed/coded to recognize/ communicate with an added sensor (let alone sensor'S). This, in-turn, would likely result in whoever's using it the unintended way having a GPU defect on them within the first few months I'd imagine... Perhaps if they had the TDP power settings dumbed down as much as I did (60-63%), they might get a year or two out of it since it wouldn't run as near as hot, but I doubt any longer than that since cutting off 50% of the cooling system on one of these can't be ignored too long, surely capacitors would start to blow and who knows what else... (Warning = RANT) Another interesting side-note about the EVGA's and their "Precision-X" OveUnderclocking software is that it's designed to only recognize 4X GPU's on a single system. For miners, that's just not cool. My favorite builds had 8X and for the motherboards that weren't capable of maintaining stable sessions on 8, I set up with 6X. Only my EVGA Rigs had 3 or 4X GPU's dedicated to a single motherboard. Furthermore, and as stated in an earlier paragraph, (& this is just my opinion) = EVGA SOFTWARE SUCKS! Precision X wasn't friendly with every motherboard/CPU I threw at it and their extension software for the CLC Close-Loop-Cooling/ CPU water-coolers simply didn't work on anything, even integrating into their own Precision-X software. The amount of time it took me to finally find compatible matches with that stuff was beyond maddening. (END RANT). Which leads me to my other comments on the matter. That's what I had every single 1070 ti set at for TDP = 60-63%. Dropping the power load that much allowed me to bring down (on average) each 1070 ti to a constant 110-115W (mind you, this is only possible w/ "Titanium" rated PSU's, Platinum comes pretty damn close to the Titanium though) while mining Ethereum and was still able to maintain a bottom of 30 MH/s and a ceiling of 32 MH/s. Increasing the TDP to 80, 90, 100% or more only increased my hashrates (yields) negligibly, like 35-36 MH/s TOPS, which also meant each one was not only pulling 160-180W+ (Vs. the aforementioned 115'ish range), it also meant my rigs were creating a significantly greater amount of heat! Fortunately for the GPU's and my own personal habits, I live in South Florida where it's hot as balls typically, last winter was nothing like this one. Increasing my yields by 10-15% didn't justify increasing the heat production in my house by >30%, nor the added electricity costs from subjecting my AC handlers to that much of an extra work-load. For anyone reading this that doesn't know/understand what I'm talking about - after spending no less than 2-3 hours with each. and. every. one. I didn't play with the settings on just one and universally apply the settings to the rest. I found the 'prime' settings and documented them with a label-maker and notepad. Here's the math in a more transparent manner: *** I NEVER LET MY GPU's BREACH 61C, EVER. Only my 8X GPU rigs saw 60-61 & it was the ones I had in the center of the build (naturally). I have REALLY high power fans (used on BTC ASIC MINERS) that were sucking air from those GPU's which was the only way I was able to obtain such stellar results while mining with them. **\* Mining at "acceptable" heat temps (not acceptable to me, but most of the internet would disagree = 70C) and overclocking accordingly brings in X amount of yields per unit. = 'Tweaking' (underclocking) the GPU's to my parameters reduced my yield per unit from -10-15%, but it SAVED me well over 30-35% in direct electricity consumption, and an unknown amount of passive electricity consumption via creating approximately 20%+ less heat for my AC handler to combat. I say all this extra stuff not just for anyone interested in mining with their GPU's, but really to answer (in-depth) the apparent questions you people are asking me in PM's. Something else that should help justify my claims of being so conservative should be the fact I only have/used "Platinum and Titanium" rated PSU's. Heat production, power efficiency and longevity of the hardware were ALWAYS my top priority.* . I truly thought Crypto would continue to gain and/or recover and bounce back faster than it did. If this project had maintained positive income for 12 months+, I'd have expanded one of our sites to also cater to GPU mining on a gnarly scale. Once I have my NAS (& possibly 2nd rig for the firewall) successfully built, I'll be willing/able to entertain selling you guys some/all of the remaining hardware prior to launching on eBay. If there's something you're specifically looking for that I listed having, feel free to PM me with that/those specific item(s). Don't count on an immediate response but what you can count on is me honoring my word in offering whoever asks first right of refusal when the time comes for me to sell this stuff. Fortunately for me, PM's are time-stamped so that's how I'll gauge everyone's place in line. I hope this extra edit answers most of the questions you guys wanted to have answered and if not, sorry I guess. I'll do my best to bring light to anything I've missed out on after I realize whatever that error was/is. The only way anyone is getting first dibs on my hardware otherwise is if they either offer compelling insight into my original questions, or have something I need to trade w/. THE END (Round#2)
Hello, I’ve been trying to decide on a FPGA development board, and have only been able to find posts and Reddit threads from 4-5 years ago. So I wanted to start a new thread and ask about the best “mid-range” FGPA development board in 2018. (Price range $100-$300.) I started with this Quora answer about FPGA boards, from 2013. The Altera DE1 sounded good. Then I looked through the Terasic DE boards. Then I found this Reddit thread from 2014, asking about the DE1-SoC vs the Cyclone V GX Starter Kit: https://www.reddit.com/FPGA/comments/1xsk6w/cyclone_v_gx_starter_kit_vs_de1soc_board/ (I was also leaning towards the DE1-SoC.) Anyway, I thought I better ask here, because there are probably some new things to be aware of in 2018. I’m completely new to FPGAs and VHDL, but I have experience with electronics/microcontrollers/programming. My goal is to start with some basic soft-core processors. I want to get some C / Rust programs compiling and running on my own CPU designs. I also want to play around with different instruction sets, and maybe start experimenting with asynchronous circuits (e.g. clock-less CPUs) Also I don’t know if this is possible, but I’d like to experiment with ternary computing, or work with analog signals instead of purely digital logic. EDIT: I just realized that you would call those FPAAs, i.e. “analog” instead of “gate”. Would be cool if there was a dev board that also had an FPAA, but no problem if not. EDIT 2: I also realized why "analog signals on an FPGA" doesn't make any sense, because of how LUTs work. They emulate boolean logic with a lookup table, and the table can only store 0s and 1s. So there's no way to emulate a transistor in an intermediate state. I'll just have play around with some transistors on a breadboard. UPDATE: I've put together a table with some of the best options:
A very simple FPGA development board that plugs into a Raspberry Pi, so you have a "backup" hard-core CPU that can control networking, etc. Supports a huge range of pmod accessories. You can write a program/circuit so that the Raspberry Pi CPU and the FPGA work together, similar to a SoC. Proprietary bitstream is fully reverse engineered and supported by Project IceStorm, and there is an open-source toolchain that can compile your hardware design to bitstream. Has everything you need to start experimenting with FPGAs.
Xilinx Zynq 7-Series SoC - ARM Cortex-A9 processor, and Artix-7 FPGA. 125 IO pins. 1GB DDR2 RAM. Texas Instruments WiLink 8 wireless module for 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. No LEDs or buttons, but easy to wire up your own on a breadboard. If you want to use a baseboard, you'll need a snickerdoodle black ($195) with the pins in the "down" orientation. (E.g. The "breakyBreaky breakout board" ($49) or piSmasher SBC ($195)). The snickerdoodle one only comes with pins in the "up" orientation and doesn't support any baseboards. But you can still plug the jumpers into the pins and wire up things on a breadboard.
Has one of the latest Xilinx SoCs. 2 GB (512M x32) LPDDR4 Memory. Wi-Fi / Bluetooth. Mini DisplayPort. 1x USB 3.0 type Micro-B, 2x USB 3.0 Type A. Audio I/O. Four user-controllable LEDs. No buttons and limited LEDs, but easy to wire up your own on a breadboard
Xilinx Zynq 7000 SoC (ARM Cortex-A9, 7-series FPGA.) 1 GB DDR3 RAM. A few switches, push buttons, and LEDs. USB and Ethernet. Audio in/out ports. HDMI source + sink with CEC. 8 Total Processor I/O, 40 Total FPGA I/O. Also a faster version for $299 (Zybo Z7-20).
Same as DE10-Standard, but not as many peripherals, buttons, LEDs, etc.
icoBoard ($100). (Buy it here.) The icoBoard plugs into a Raspberry Pi, so it's similar to having a SoC. The iCE40-HX8K chip comes with 7,680 LUTs (logic elements.) This means that after you learn the basics and create some simple circuits, you'll also have enough logic elements to run the VexRiscv soft-core CPU (the lightweight Murax SoC.) The icoBoard also supports a huge range of pluggable pmod accessories:
numato Mimas A7 ($149). An excellent development board with a Xilinx Artix 7 FPGA, so you can play with a bigger / faster FPGA and run a full RISC-V soft-core with all the options enabled, and a much higher clock speed. (The iCE40 FPGAs are a bit slow and small.)
I ordered a iCE40-HX8K Breakout Board to try out the IceStorm open source tooling. (I would have ordered an icoBoard if I had found it earlier.) I also bought a numato Mimas A7 so that I could experiment with the Artix 7 FPGA and Xilinx software (Vivado Design Suite.)
What can I do with an FPGA? / How many LUTs do I need?
VexRiscv is "A FPGA friendly 32 bit RISC-V CPU implementation." This is a RISC-V implementation written in SpinalHDL. VexRiscv has a lot of plugin and configuration options. The Murax SoC is a very light SoC that can run on an iCE40-HX8k (but probably not the 1k FPGA that only has 1,280 LUTs). The Briey SoC only runs on Xilinx or Altera FPGAs.
Final version 1.3.0 of the core software was released bringing all the enhancements reported last month to the rest of the community. The groundwork for SPV (simplified payment verification) is complete, another reduction of fees is being deployed, and performance stepped up once again with a 50% reduction in startup time, 20% increased sync speed and more than 3x faster peer delivery of block headers (a key update for SPV). Decrediton's integrations of SPV and Politeia are open for testing by experienced users. Read the full release notes and get the downloads on GitHub. As always, don't forget to verify signatures. dcrd: completed several steps towards multipeer downloads, improved introduction to the software in the main README, continued porting cleanups and refactoring from upstream btcd. Currently in review are initial release of smart fee estimator and a change to UTXO set semantics. The latter is a large and important change that provides simpler handling, and resolves various issues with the previous approach. A lot of testing and careful review is needed so help is welcome. Educational series for new Decred developers by @matheusd added two episodes: 02 Simnet Setup shows how to automate simnet management with tmux and 03 Miner Reward Invalidation explains block validity rules. Finally, a pull request template with a list of checks was added to help guide the contributors to dcrd. dcrwallet: bugfixes and RPC improvements to support desktop and mobile wallets. Developers are welcome to comment on this idea to derive stakepool keys from the HD wallet seed. This would eliminate the need to backup and restore redeem scripts, thus greatly improving wallet UX. (missed in July issue) Decrediton: bugfixes, refactoring to make the sync process more robust, new loading animations, design polishing. Politeia: multiple improvements to the CLI client (security conscious users with more funds at risk might prefer CLI) and security hardening. A feature to deprecate or timeout proposals was identified as necessary for initial release and the work started. A privacy enhancement to not leak metadata of ticket holders was merged. Android: update from @collins: "Second test release for dcrandroid is out. Major bugs have been fixed since last test. Latest code from SPV sync has been integrated. Once again, bug reports are welcome and issues can be opened on GitHub". Ask in #dev room for the APK to join testing. A new security page was added that allows one to validate addresses and to sign/verify messages, similar to Decrediton's Security Center. Work on translations is beginning. Overall the app is quite stable and accepting more testers. Next milestone is getting the test app on the app store. iOS: the app started accepting testers last week. @macsleven: "the test version of Decred Wallet for iOS is available, we have a link for installing the app but the builds currently require your UDID. Contact either @macsleven or @raedah with your UDID if you would like to help test.". Nearest goal is to make the app crash free. Both mobile apps received new design themes. dcrdata: v3.0 was released for mainnet! Highlights: charts, "merged debits" view, agendas page, Insight API support, side chain tracking, Go 1.11 support with module builds, numerous backend improvements. Full release notes here. This release featured 9 contributors and development lead @chappjc noted: "This collaboration with @raedahgroup on our own block explorer and web API for @decredproject has been super productive.". Up next is supporting dynamic page widths site wide and deploying new visual blocks home page. Trezor: proof of concept implementation for Trezor Model T firmware is in the works (previous work was for Model One). Ticket splitting: updated to use Go modules and added simnet support, several fixes. docs: beginner's guide overhaul, multiple fixes and cleanups. decred.org: added 3rd party wallets, removed inactive PoW pools and removed web wallet. @Richard-Red is building a curated list of Decred-related GitHub repositories. Welcome to new people contributing for the first time: @klebe, @s_ben, @victorguedes, and PrimeDominus! Dev activity stats for September: 219 active PRs, 197 commits, 28.7k added and 18.8k deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 4-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: started and ended the month around 75 PH/s, hitting a low of 60.5 and a new high of 110 PH/s. BeePool is again the leader with their share varying between 23-54%, followed by F2Pool 13-30%, Coinmine 4-6% and Luxor 3-5%. As in previous months, there were multiple spikes of unidentified hashrate. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 98 DCR (+2.4). The price varied between 95.7 and 101.9 DCR. Locked DCR amount was 3.86-3.96 million DCR, or 45.7-46.5% of the supply. Nodes: there are 201 public listening nodes and 325 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 5% are v1.4.0(pre) dev builds (+3%), 30% on v1.3.0 (+25%), 42% on v1.2.0 (-20%), 15% on v1.1.2 (-7%), 6% on v1.1.0. More than 76% of nodes run v1.2.0 and higher and therefore support client filters. Data as of Oct 1.
Obelisk posted two updates on their mailing list. 70% of Batch 1 units are shipped, an extensive user guide is available, Obelisk Scanner application was released that allows one to automatically update firmware. First firmware update was released and bumped SC1 hashrate by 10-20%, added new pools and fixed multiple bugs. Next update will focus on DCR1. It is worth a special mention that the firmware source code is now open! Let us hope more manufacturers will follow this example. A few details about Whatsminer surfaced this month. The manufacturer is MicroBT, also known as Bitwei and commonly misspelled as Bitewei. Pangolinminer is a reseller, and the model name is Whatsminer D1. Bitmain has finally entered Decred ASIC space with their Antminer DR3. Hash rate is 7.8 TH/s while pulling 1410 W, at the price of $673. These specs mean it has the best GH/W and GH/USD of currently sold miners until the Whatsminer or others come out, although its GH/USD of 11.6 already competes with Whatsminer's 10.5. Discussed on Reddit and bitcointalk, unboxing video here.
@matheusd started tests on testnet several months ago. I contacted him so we could integrate with the pool in June this year. We set up the machine in July and bought the first split ticket on mainnet, using the decredbrasil pool, on July 19. It was voted on July 30. After this first vote on mainnet, we opened the tests to selected users (with more technical background) on the pool. In August we opened the tests to everyone, and would call people who want to join to the #ticket_splitting channel, or to our own Slack (in Portuguese, so mostly Brazilian users). We have 28 split tickets already voted, and 16 are live. So little more than 40 split tickets total were bought on decredbrasil pool. (@girino in #pos-voting)
KuCoin exchange listed DCBTC and DCETH pairs. To celebrate their anniversary they had a 99% trading fees discount on DCR pairs for 2 weeks. Three more wallets integrated Decred in September:
Atomic desktop wallet added Decred in version 0.1.31. The team answered many questions on Reddit.
AnyBit wallet added Decred. It features built-in price and news tracking. Notably, the source code is open for their Android and iOS wallets.
Coboadded Decred support into their Android and iOS wallets.
ChangeNow announced Decred addition to their Android app that allows accountless swaps between 150+ assets. Coinbase launched informational asset pages for top 50 coins by market cap, including Decred. First the pages started showing in the Coinbase app for a small group of testers, and later the web price dashboard went live.
The birth of a Brazilian girl was registered on the Decred blockchain using OriginalMy, a blockchain proof of authenticity services provider. Read the full story in Portuguese and in English.
Advertising report for September is ready. Next month the graphics for all the ads will be changing.
Marketing might seem quiet right now, but a ton is actually going on behind the scenes to put the right foundation in place for the future. Discovery data are being analyzed to generate a positioning strategy, as well as a messaging hierarchy that can guide how to talk about Decred. This will all be agreed upon via consensus of the community in the work channels, and materials will be distributed. Next, work is being done to identify the right PR partner to help with media relations, media training, and coordination at events. While all of this is coming up to speed, we believe the website needs a refresher reflecting the soon to be agreed upon messaging, plus a more intuitive architecture to make it easier to navigate. (@Dustorf)
Raedah Group went on the streets of Portland, USA with a pretty blue tent. (photos)
Meetup at Binzantin Cafe in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore: "There were 20-ish attendees, and about half of them have joined the Chinese FB group. Most of them don't hear about Decred before, but have expressed the interest in learning more about it after the event. Overall, it's a good exposure for Decred in the Taiwan community.". A report with photos was posted on Facebook, more photos are here and here.
@joshuam made a Decred Jacket appearance at Singapore Grand Prix. (photos)
NewTech PDX meetup in Portland, USA. Raedah Group presented Decred and reported "lots of new converts". (photos)
North Shore Bitcoin & Blockchain in Glenview, USA. @dustorf gave a five minute overview of Decred and noted: "There were only about 25 people, but about 1/3 of them were aware of Decred prior. (...) Our simple presence and explanation of the project moved opinion from 'another shitcoin they sold after mining' to 'an interesting and viable project worthy of further investigation'.". (photos: 12)
Bitcoin Meetup CDMX in Mexico City on Oct 6. @elian will be talking about Decred at the oldest Bitcoin meetup in Mexico.
SF Blockchain Week in San Francisco, USA on Oct 9. @lukebp will discuss DPoS vs PoS on a panel 9:30a-10:15a at the Titans of Tech Stage, Hilton Union Square.
Decred Meetup in Casablanca, Morocco on Oct 27. @butterfly will host the event and talk about Decred in French.
Texas Bitcoin Conference Austin, USA on Oct 27-28. @BAB: "The great thing about this is that it will also be a Decred Summit. We will have half of the conference dedicated to Decred topics, updates, etc."
Websummit in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov 5-8. @moo31337 will be on a panel discussing "2018: A Rollercoaster Year for Cryptocurrencies"
We'll begin shortly reviewing conferences and events planned for the first half of 2019. Highlights are sure to include The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami (Jan 16-18) and Consensus in NYC (May 14-16). If you have suggestions of events or conferences Decred should attend, please share them in #event_planning. In 2019, we would like to expand our presence in Europe, Asia, and South America, and we're looking for community members to help identify and staff those events. (@Dustorf)
August issue of Decred Journal was translated to Russian. Many thanks to @DZ! Rency cryptocurrency ratings published a report on Decred and incorporated a lot of feedback from the community on Reddit. September issue of Chinese CCID ratings was published (snapshot), Decred is still at the bottom. Videos:
The underbelly of blockchain Governance - fiat licensing and our code with Marco Peerboom and Chris DeRose (youtube, tweet, decred, missed in August issue) Insightful dialogue about men's underwear, licenses, subtleties of GPL, BSD wars, tiling window managers and much more.
Introduction to Decred (Korean, youtube) @Killawhale collected a lot of feedback from the community and produced this video to spread the word in Korea.
Perspectives on Governance from Nathan Wilcox, Jonathan Zeppettini, Vitalik Buterin (z.cash)
Decred - an example of governance (Portuguese, youtube)
Decred, the crypto that wants to compete with Bitcoin (French, youtube)
Exodus.io Live with Marco from Decred! (youtube) Marco joins Exodus.io to discuss what makes DCR an asset that will stand the test of time.
Building Decred With Systems Development Lead Marco Peereboom - Governance, Politeia, Lightning (youtube) Topics: early days, Politeia, the structure of Decred, dcrtime, Lightning Network, attracting users and developers, future plans (DEX, Schnorr signatures, privacy, DAEs).
Decentralized autonomous funding of blockchain projects by @Richard-Red (medium, discussion on decred and dashpay)
The trouble with infrastructure, "thin" protocols in particular, is that someone has to build them at a cost. e.g. LN takes a ton of work, doesn't necessarily generate value itself, but it magnifies the value of BTC or whatever coin that uses it. I see the DEX in a similar light - whoever creates it is not going to make a bunch of money from it, but it will magnify the value of the underlying asset(s) that end up having a deep order book on the DEX. (@jy-p in #dex)
Twitter: why decentralized governance and funding are necessary for network survival and the power of controlling the narrative; learning about governance more broadly by watching its evolution in cryptocurrency space, importance of community consensus and communications infrastructure. Reddit: yet another strong pitch by @solar; question about buyer protections; dcrtime internals; a proposal to sponsor hoodies in the University of Cape Town; Lightning Network support for altcoins. Chats: skills to operate a stakepool; voting details: 2 of 3 votes can approve a block, what votes really approve are regular tx, etc; scriptless script atomic swaps using Schnorr adaptor signatures; dev dashboard, choosing work, people do best when working on what interests them most; opportunities for governments and enterprise for anchoring legal data to blockchain; terminology: DAO vs DAE; human-friendly payments, sharing xpub vs payment protocols; funding btcsuite development; Politeia vote types: approval vote, sentiment vote and a defund vote, also linking proposals and financial statements; algo trading and programming languages (yes, on #trading!); alternative implementation, C/C++/Go/Rust; HFTs, algo trading, fake volume and slippage; offline wallets, usb/write-only media/optical scanners vs auditing traffic between dcrd and dcrwallet; Proof of Activity did not inspire Decred but spurred Decred to get moving, Wikipedia page hurdles; how stakeholders could veto blocks; how many votes are needed to approve a proposal; why Decrediton uses Electron; CVE-2018-17144 and over-dependence on single Bitcoin implementation, btcsuite, fuzz testing; tracking proposal progress after voting and funding; why the wallet does not store the seed at all; power connectors, electricity, wiring and fire safety; reasonable spendings from project fund; ways to measure sync progress better than block height; using Politeia without email address; concurrency in Go, locks vs channels. #support is not often mentioned, but it must be noted that every day on this channel people get high quality support. (@bee: To my surprise, even those poor souls running Windows 10. My greatest respect to the support team!)
In September DCR was trading in the range of USD 34-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0063. On Sep 6, DCR revisited the bottom of USD 34 / BTC 0.0054 when BTC quickly dropped from USD 7,300 to 6,400. On Sep 14, a small price rise coincided with both the start of KuCoin trading and hashrate spike to 104 PH/s. Looking at coinmarketcap charts, the trading volume is a bit lower than in July and August. As of Oct 4, Decred is #18 by the number of daily transactions with 3,200 tx, and #9 by the USD value of daily issuance with $230k. (source: onchainfx) Interesting observation by @ImacallyouJawdy: while we sit at 2018 price lows the amount locked in tickets is testing 2018 high.
ASIC for Lyra2REv2 was spotted on the web. Vertcoin team is preparing a new PoW algorithm. This would be the 3rd fork after two previous forks to change the algorithm in 2014 and 2015. A report titled The Positive Externalities of Bitcoin Mining discusses the benefits of PoW mining that are often overlooked by the critics of its energy use. A Brief Study of Cryptonetwork Forks by Alex Evans of Placeholder studies the behavior of users, developers and miners after the fork, and makes the cases that it is hard for child chains to attract users and developers from their parent chains. New research on private atomic swaps: the paper "Anonymous Atomic Swaps Using Homomorphic Hashing" attempts to break the public link between two transactions. (bitcointalk, decred) On Sep 18 Poloniex announced delisting of 8 more assets. That day they took a 12-80% dive showing their dependence on this one exchange. Circle introduced USDC markets on Poloniex: "USDC is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin using the ERC-20 standard that provides detailed financial and operational transparency, operates within the regulated framework of US money transmission laws, and is reinforced by established banking partners and auditors.". Coinbase announced new asset listing process and is accepting submissions on their listing portal. (decred) The New York State Office of the Attorney General posted a study of 13 exchanges that contains many insights. A critical vulnerability was discovered and fixed in Bitcoin Core. Few days later a full disclosure was posted revealing the severity of the bug. In a bitcointalk thread btcd was called 'amateur' despite not being vulnerable, and some Core developers voiced their concerns about multiple implementations. The Bitcoin Unlimited developer who found the bug shared his perspective in a blog post. Decred's vision so far is that more full node implementations is a strength, just like for any Internet protocol.
About This Issue
This is the 6th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub, Medium and Reddit. Past issues are available here. Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research. Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit, GitHub or #writers_room on Matrix or Slack. Contributions are also welcome: some areas are adding content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Dustorf, jz, Haon, oregonisaac, raedah and Richard-Red.
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