Introduction to Blockchain | Why do miners overclock and downclock?

Column introduction : "Qi Min University's Q & A" is a form of question and answer, inviting senior practitioners in the industry to answer questions related to mining.

@ 若水 归 苍海 Question:

Why does the miner reduce the frequency when the market is bad, and overclock when the market is good? Why can the income of the mining machine be changed through frequency modulation?

Zhiwen University editor @OWEN answer:

After the rapid decline in the currency price on March 12, many miners shut down, and the computing power of the entire network fell from 130EH / s to less than 100EH / s. There are also some miners who use the frequency reduction method to allow the miners that were to be shut down to continue mining with a slight profit. Some friends are curious why the frequency is reduced when the market is bad, and overclocked when the market is good? Why can the income of the mining machine be changed through frequency modulation? Today we will talk about overclocking and downclocking of the mining machine.

01 What is overclocking and downclocking

Both overclocking and downclocking are relative to the normal working mode of the miner. Overclocking / frequency reduction is essentially changing (optimizing) the mining machine chip algorithm and its voltage and current, thereby changing the power consumption and computing power of the mining machine. It can be simply understood that the miner can adjust different gears. Low computing power gears, normal computing power gears and high computing power gears correspond to frequency reduction, normal and overclocking working modes, respectively.

Of course, the premise of overclocking or downscaling is a firmware that supports FM. The firmware can be understood as the operating system of the mining machine. Only the operating system that supports frequency modulation can achieve overclocking and frequency reduction.

02 Purpose of overclocking and downscaling

The purpose of overclocking and downscaling is to increase the profit of the mining machine. The net income of the mining machine depends not only on the output value of the mining machine, but also on the electricity cost of the mining machine. In theory, if increasing the computing power of the mining machine can bring positive benefits, that is, after increasing the computing power, the increased output value is greater than the increased cost, then overclocking is profitable and should be overclocked. Conversely, if the reduction in computing power can bring positive benefits, in other words, after the reduction in computing power, the cost decline rate is greater than the output decline rate, then the frequency should be reduced. The limit of frequency reduction is shutdown.

For example, in the current situation, when a miner chooses overclocking mode, the 24-hour output value of the miner increases by 2 yuan, and the resulting electricity cost rises by 1.5 yuan. Under the overclocking mode, the net income of the miner increases by 0.5 yuan per day. , The miner can select the overclocking mode.

Conversely, if a miner chooses the frequency reduction mode after the currency price drops, the miner ’s 24-hour output value will drop by 2 yuan, and the resulting electricity cost will drop by 2.5 yuan. In the case of a positive overall income, the miner You should choose the frequency reduction mode.

Let's take the S9 mining machine as an example:

Assuming that the current output per T of computing power per 24 hours is 0.000019 bitcoins, the bitcoin price is 45,000 yuan / bitcoin, and the electricity price is 0.38 yuan / KWh. Under the three operating modes of frequency reduction, normal and overclocking, S9 One day's net income is: 0.64 yuan, 0.02 yuan, -0.24 yuan.

▲ The above calculation power and corresponding power data come from the measured data of Lebit mining pool

Under the above circumstances, the S9 miner adopts the frequency-reducing mode to make higher returns.

Assuming other conditions remain unchanged, the currency price rises to 80,000 yuan / bitcoin, then the S9 adopts the overclocking model with the highest daily net income:

The FM firmware of the S9 mining machine supports more adjustable gears. The picture above selects one each in the frequency reduction area and the overclocking area, and the frequency adjustment of the mining machine is very simple. You only need to select the gear on the mining machine control page. The batch selection of gears of multiple mining machines can be realized through supporting batch tools.

▲ You can choose different working gears on the miner control page

There is a special case where the miner has the biggest gain when it is down-frequency, but chooses not to down-convert or even chooses the overclocking mode. This must be because the mine signed a power agreement with the power plant before . If it is not used, it is equivalent to wasting the electricity purchased, and it can only be used to fill the load. Or to put it another way, the electricity bills previously paid are already sunk costs, or they wo n’t come back, so how much you need to use, otherwise you will lose more money.

03The impact of overclocking and downscaling on mining machines

The essence of changing the miner's net income through overclocking and downscaling is to change the energy efficiency ratio of the miner. We still use the above S9 miner to see the energy efficiency ratio in different working modes:

▲ Energy efficiency ratio of S9 mining machine in different working modes

It can be seen that after the frequency adjustment of the mining machine , the energy efficiency ratio is not a linear change . In order to maximize revenue, it is necessary to dynamically adjust the working mode of the mining machine according to market conditions.

When the market is sluggish, the energy efficiency ratio of the mining machine can be reduced by frequency reduction, which can not only improve the net profit of the mining machine, but also reduce the shutdown currency price of the mining machine and improve the safety margin of the mining machine . Although overclocking increases the cost of mine electrical and mechanical costs, the increase in revenue is more than the cost. Therefore, overclocking can be used to increase revenue and shorten the return period.

Overclocking mode has potential adverse effects on the stable operation and life of the mining machine. Overclocking means that the mining machine is running beyond the rated load of the mining machine. If the mining machine is running in normal mode, the computing power is 5% or more than the theoretical value, the computing power is unstable, the board is off, the chip is incomplete, and the power output is insufficient. In other situations, it is not recommended to use overclocking mode.

The frequency reduction mode has no adverse effects on the mining machine. As long as the miner can operate in normal mode, it can be operated at reduced frequency, which has no impact on the life of the miner.

04 Matters needing attention in overclocking and down-frequency of mining machine

As mentioned earlier, the premise of overclocking or downscaling is to have firmware that supports FM, but it does not mean that all FM firmware can be used. The FM firmware released by some third parties may not only cause damage to the miners, but also may involve the risk of implanting viruses and hijacking the computing power of the miners, and ultimately cause the miners to suffer losses. The safest way is to only use the official firmware released by the original miner manufacturer. When upgrading the firmware, you should first try to find one or two mining machines to see the firmware stability and revenue performance, and to do network isolation. Once the mining machine is poisoned by upgrading the firmware, the impact can also be controlled to a minimum.

05 Summary

The purpose of the frequency adjustment of the mining machine is to maximize the profit. Its essence is to optimize the profit of the mining machine by adjusting the energy efficiency ratio of the mining machine .

The frequency adjustment firmware is available in advance for the miner to achieve frequency modulation, and it is best to be the official firmware released by the original miner manufacturer. Overclocking has an impact on the service life and working stability of the mining machine. Therefore, when overclocking the mining machine, in addition to considering the maximum profit, the condition of the mining machine itself and the ambient temperature of the work must also be considered. Overclocking.

You also know which tips can increase the income of miners, welcome to share in the message area. Anyone who wants to know about mining and halving is also welcome to ask Zhimin University.