POWER9 Could Be A Game Changer For Cryptocurrency Mining
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 6 November 2017 at 09:07 PM EST. 35 Comments
HARDWARE --
Forthcoming POWER9 processors could be a game changer for cryptocurrency mining based upon some preliminary performance data we have received.

Raptor Engineering passed along word that with their initial POWER9 testing they are seeing great performance out of these high-end IBM processors with Monero cryptocurrency mining.

Using the xmr-stak-power PPC64LE-focused Monero miner, they are seeing great performance with it running on dual pre-production 16-core POWER9 processors. There's a hash rate of 2945H/s while this POWER9 system is pulling 350 Watts DC power.

This hash rate is higher and greater performance-per-Watt than AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and almost three times the hash rate of large Opteron miners and with much higher power efficiency. Granted, the raw performance and perf-per-Watt may be splendid, but POWER systems will generally cost you more than x86 hardware. Some more Monero comparison points for H/s can be found via this recent independent article using Threadrippers and Vega GPUs.

This rate of 2945H/s for Monero is only expected to go up too as the system was tested with pre-production firmware that doesn't yet enable turbo boost as well as other parts of the Linux POWER9 software stack still being optimized.

We should be learning more soon and will be getting remote access to POWER9 hardware for Linux benchmarking when available thanks to Raptor and their upcoming Talos II workstation. POWER9 CPUs are expected to be available from 12 to 24 cores per package, up to 4GHz clock speeds, and manufactured on a 14nm FinFET process by Global Foundries. POWER9 as well features four-way multi-threading (SMT4).

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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