Demand for AMD’s upper echelon Radeon R9 series graphics cards went through the roof during the latter half of the holiday season last month. A number of factors led to worldwide shortages and in turn, price hikes. Chief among them was the sudden popularity of their use in virtual coin mining and now we’re seeing boutique PC makers get in on the trend.
iBuyPower recently announced a new line of custom computers designed specifically for cryptocurrency mining. Buyers can select from a base configuration powered by an AMD or Intel processor and get started mining any of the 30 or so virtual currency coins currently in existence.
The base AMD configuration starts at $999 and includes an FX-6300 CPU, a Gigabyte GA-970A-D3P motherboard, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, two AMD Radeon R9 270X cards capable of 840 KH/s and a 1,000 watt AZZA Titan power supply.
For a bit more coin (no pun intended), the Intel system starts at $1,559 which buys you a liquid cooled fourth generation Core i3-4130 processor, a Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3 motherboard, 8GB of DDR3 memory, a 1TB hard drive, two Radeon R9 280x GPUs (1,400 KH/s) and a 1,000 watt AZZA Titan power supply.
It’s worth noting that the Intel system can be configured with up to three R9 290x cards (2,640 KH/s) but you’ll need a beefier power supply to handle the load. All said and done, you’d be looking at roughly $2,900 for a triple 290x miner capable of earning about $16 in Litecoins per day based on current difficulty and rates, excluding the cost of electricity.
If you’ve got a bit of time and the technical know-how, building your own coin mining rig is another option. Keep your eyes peeled for our custom three-card Litecoin miner building guide in the near future.
The Radeon R9 290 is the non-X version of the company's flagship GPU, offering the greatest bang for your buck if you are looking for a top performing, high-end GPU. It features 4GB GDDR5 of RAM and 512-bit bus for 320GB/s of bandwidth. The I/O panel includes a pair of dual DL-DVI connectors, an HDMI 1.4a port and a DisplayPort 1.2 socket. The R9 290 supports a max resolution of 2560x1600 on up to three monitors as well as Ultra HD (also known as 4K) over both HDMI 1.4b and DisplayPort 1.2.
The Radeon R9 290X is AMD's latest and most powerful GPU set to go head to head with Nvidia's GTX 780 and the GTX Titan, in spite of being offered at a lower price at launch. The R9 290X GPU core is clocked at 1000MHz and packs a 4GB frame buffer. The R9 290X sports a pair of dual DL-DVI connectors, an HDMI 1.4a port, a DisplayPort 1.2 socket and a dual BIOS switch, it supports a max resolution of 2560x1600 on up to three monitors as well as Ultra HD.
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