Review: P104-100 x 9 Mining System Full
(Updated for 2019!)
Powerful nine-card P104-100 mining system with a fully enclosed one-piece design that's perfect for professional crypto mining operations
Incredible hash power
Fully enclosed professional casing
Very high quality construction
Great for large-scale deployment
Almost plug-and-go setup
Excellent power efficiency
Updated: 1st March 2019
Very noisy fans
Somewhat long lead-time
Picky Nvidia driver for a headless Linux configuration
Background: What is the P104-100 GPU Mining Card from NVIDIA?
Before we start talking about the system itself, we want to give you some context about mining. 2017 has been a great year for miners. With Bitcoin, Ethereum and other altcoin prices shooting through the roof, many folks have jumped on board the mining bandwagon. It is not uncommon to hear stories where a miner gets a 2 or 3 month ROI on his equipment investment. As a result of the popularity of mining, NVIDIA quietly released a series of products dedicated to delivering the best mining performance. You can read our P104-100 GPU Mining Accelerator full review here.
Basic facts about P104-100 GPU
P104-100 is effectively a 1080 with an optimized BIOS for mining operations. It uses the same 1080 Pascal GPU with 1920 CUDA cores. However, NVIDIA has decided to remove the display output function, meaning this "graphics card" is more like a dedicated mining accelerator card. This card has no HDMI or DVI or any output whatsoever.
The key word here is GDDR5X. If you are mining Ethereum, the memory bandwidth largely determines the mining performance of your graphics card. P104-100 uses 4GB GDDR5X memory clocked at 10010MHz (default). The memory has a 256-bit bus. The high clock rate combined with a wide bus means the GDDR5X memory can deliver a high bandwidth, perfect for the memory-intensive Ethash D.A.G. algorithm.
NVIDIA Pascal GPU architecture
NVIDIA P104-100 GPU Technical Specifications
Graphics Processor Unit NVIDIA P104-100
Core Clock Boost 1733 MHz / Base 1607MHz
CUDA® Cores 1920
Process Technology 16 nm
Memory Clock 10010 MHz
Memory Size 4 GB
Memory Type GDDR5X
Memory Bus 256 bit
Card Bus PCI-E 1.1 x4
PCB Form ATX
Power Connectors 8pin ATX (12V)
No DVI or HDMI output
What does the P104-100 x 9 Mining System look like?
The whole system rests within a fully enclosed metal enclosure. It looks and feels like a high quality product with good workmanship. Power is supplied via 7x 6-pin 12V ATX inputs on the left hand side of the miner.
The P104-100 x 9 complete mining system comes in a space-efficient package. The entire system has dimension 524 x 295 x 178mm, and can be lifted relatively easily. It weighs around 13kg without power supply, meaning you won't hurt your back moving this thing around. The case itself is designed to be stacked, so it is ideal for large-scale deployment in a mining farm.
Build quality feels very high to us - there are absolutely no dangling wires that you may find a typical home-made GPU miner setup. In addition, the lack of PCI-E riser means all the NVIDIA P104-100 graphics cards are securely fastened within the casing. Cable management within the system is excellent as you can see in the picture below (hover over to see airflow diagram).
Inside the P104-100 x 9 mining systems. The setup is very clean with nine P104-100 on both sides of the center CPU card (black). Cool air is sucked in from the front, while hot air is blown out from the back.
Left image depicts the individual P104-100 GPU mining card. There are nine of them in the system.
Right image depicts the CPU system board. The board contains a complete system including RAM, SSD, CPU, system chips etc.
All the I/O ports are located at the front of the system for easy setup and access. Power on/off button, system status LED, HDMI, Ethernet, and USB ports are all located on a small panel at the front. We booted our system using an Ubuntu ISO image burned onto a 8GB USB stick.
Power is supplied by a 2200W power supply through seven 6-pin 12V ATX plugs. All the plugs are located on the left hand side of the mining system. This means it's much, much easier to perform cable management and enjoy a set-up without dangling wires everywhere (yikes).
The power supply can be mounted on the side of the mining system, so the entire system can be carried around as a single piece of equipment. Once again, this is another useful feature for large-scale mining farm operations.
The system is powered by seven 6-pin 12V ATX connectors. All the connectors are located on the left hand side of the mining system for clean cable management.
Performance Test Set-up
P104-100 x 9 Complete Mining System
Intel Celeron Mobile Processor
64GB SSD Hard Drive
9 x NVIDIA P104-100 GPU mining accelerator graphics card
2200W Gold Standard Power Supply
Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS
NVIDIA Linux Driver Version 387.34
Claymore V10.0 miner (single-mining ETH)
What is the performance of the P104-100 x 9 mining system?
All the P104-100 GPU cards in the mining system comes pre-installed with an optimized BIOS from the manufacturer. The BIOS has unique memory timing settings that are ideal for mining Ethereum. With only a little bit of tweaking ourselves, we are able to achieve an astonishing 360MH/s hashrate with Claymore V10.0 (we heard V10.5 achieves a 2-3% performance increase).
Power consumption is capped at just 135W per card, meaning the total system power consumption is only around 1250W. This is assisted by the fact that the system uses a low power mobile Celeron processor, an efficient SSD drive, and a 2200W gold/platinum standard mining power supply. According to the manufacturer, the power supply achieves its optimal efficiency at around 50% load, which is around 1100W power.
The P104-100 x 9 mining sytem getting around 360MH/s with optimized settings. This is achieved by single-mining ETH using Claymore V10.0 in Ubuntu Linux 16.04.3 LTS. We use NVIDIA driver V387.34
Overclocked & optimized performance - 360MH/s ETH hashrate with Claymore V10.0
According to the system manufacturer, the P104-100 cards uses Samsung GDDR5X memory. This means the memory is great for overclocking (some examples here, here, and here) to achieve the best hash performance per $. With our testing, we have been able to achieve a stable 360MH/s ETH Ethash hashrate with core -200MHz and memory +1600MHz. By stable we mean we can run the system for days at this clock without any errors or crashing.
All the P104-100 cards stayed cool due to the case's clean airflow design. We have not seen the cards going above 60'C during our two months of deploying these machines at our mining farm.
Overclocked & Optimized
The P104-100 x 9 mining system running stable at 360MH/s with a powe consumption of 1250W. This is an impressive hashrate and a even more impressive MH/kWh power efficiency figure.
Watch the P104-100 x 9 mining system in operation achieving a stable 360MH/s performance
360MH/s P104-100 x 9 mining system. Each card is running at 40MH/s, while consuming 135W of power.