The Value of Gridseed Scrypt ASICs

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Over and over, when hearing about the Gridseed Scrypt ASICs, I have heard the same argument: they are not worth it when they cost the same as GPUs, or a little bit more than them. I think people are looking at their cost from the completely wrong perspective when it comes to whether or not they have value, and that is something I want to clear up through this article. Hopefully it helps explain why these types of ASICs are here to stay, and why they matter.

Speed Is Not Everything

When we look at the cost for speed, it is easy to get caught up in the mentality that says this is all that matters. If you can get a GPU that hashes out at 600 for $400 or you can get a Scrypt ASIC that hashes out at 600 for $500, it looks like the GPU is the better choice out of these. On top of this, you can then turn around and remember that the ASICs are designed for one purpose and one purpose only: hashing and block solving. The GPUs, on the other hand, can be used for gaming, display, or a multitude of other purposes. In other words, the GPU has more uses and therefore has a longer usability period (assuming, of course, that you would want to stop mining before the ASICs died).

Now, the issue here is that the speed is not all that matters. Think about the electric usage. Using the above scenario, we have what is basically a 25% increase in cost for the ASIC over that of the GPU. Now, let us throw out some numbers to help illustrate this:

  • GPU: 600 KH/s takes 200W
  • ASIC: 600 KH/s takes 50W

Keep in mind that the watts used for each of these are based on an hour. But none of that really matters here. What we need to pay attention to is the fact that $1 in electricity for the ASIC would cost $4 for the GPU. The long term cost of running the ASICs, then is actually lower than that of the GPUs, despite the fact that the ASICs cost more in the beginning. If you really want to push things a bit further, you can even take in to consideration how much power you can draw from your outlets before you pop a breaker. With the ASICs, you can load up as much as four times the speed as you could with the GPUs, meaning that your profit goes up massively while still ensuring you are running your systems safely!

The Future

It is hard to tell for sure whether or not the ASICs are going to get to the super cheap area they are with SHA256 ones. My personal guess is going to be no; I think that what we are looking at now is probably going to be at least closer to our maximum potential when it comes to these things, but I do think that they may be able to get more and more power conservative. And when we are mining coins for no other purpose than as a method for transferring wealth, I think it is important to cut down on our electric usage. So while we may not ever have, say 200 MH/s Scrypt ASICs, I think we are still moving in the right direction and it will be a great thing regardless. Even where we are right now is still a lot better than just running GPUs, which are pretty inefficient at the mining process when we look at its long term costs.

Mining


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