Gridseed started the Scrypt ASIC miner race with its first foray into the market with the DualMiner. The DualMiner is a single chip USB miner that performed at 70 kh/s in Scrypt only mode. Gridseed quickly followed it up with the 5 Chip Orb which ran at 360 kh/s Scrypt only. As everyone was buying the Orbs at a speedy rate, they introduced the Blade.
The specifications are solid.
-There are 2 PCB Panels in each Miner.
-Each Panel has 40 GC3355 chips.
-Each panel has its own power socket and USB port.
-Official Scrypt hashrate is 5.2M (2.6M on each panel).
-Scrypt only mode: 64-70W on each panel for 140W total.
[dropcap size=small]F[/dropcap]or this review, I used both MultiMiner with the Gridseed pre-release of BFGMiner and for overclocking I used Sandor's cpuminer.
The miner arrived in a secure rubber type lined box. There is no chance of it getting broken unless your delivery driver really hates you.
In the box I found the miner and two USB cables (you will need a PSU and power cables. You can buy them from GAWMiners, HolyBitcoin, or Cablez of BitcoinTalk where I bought mine).
The first thing you will notice is that the boards are in the middle of two huge heatsinks. On the front is a 92mm fan that pushes a large amount of air through the unit without being noisy. With 80 chips total, it is good that it has both - as they keep the Blade cool. On the back of the miner you can find two power connections for the barrel plugs and the mini-USB connections. There are no switches or gadgets on these just a simple, clean design.
Everything connects simple making it easy to use for new or first time miners. MultiMiner saw it immediately, and it mined on LTCRabbit at 3.5 mh/s. In looking for a reason it was not up to the full speed, I found BFGMiner Gridseed release was not quite ready for the Blade. Support is on the way for it soon.
I decided to try Sandor's cpuminer as I had heard great things about it. Once I entered my pool information it was mining at 4.6 mh/s to 5.4 mh/s running at stock frequency.
An easy way to overclock is to add "--debug --log" to your config and keep an eye on the output. This way each time you make a change you can see more than just errors and hash rate. These additions will make it a powerful tool for finding the best working frequency for your miner.
For testing, I decided to use clevermining because multipool is the way many people are mining now. I wanted to have a test that represented that.
The miner maintains a 4.6 mh/s to 5.4 mh/s average. I overclocked the frequency to 838, this change made the Blade stable at 5.4 mh/s. 838 seems to be the sweet spot for Blade frequencies as anything higher tended to get too many errors, and lower it would have wide swings in speed.
Cpuminer made it very easy to change frequencies and the support on the thread is great, as well.
Unlike my Bitmine 1 th/s review unit, I had no surprises or setup issues with the Gridseed Blade. Everything worked as advertised.
The Blade stays cool even when I overclocked it to 860, and the fan is not loud like many others at that this size. At peak, the Blade only used 152W. The build quality is excellent. The heat-sinks fit together well. On the top and bottom is a thin layer of rubberized foam, so they do not slip. They also would be very secure stacked due the rubberized foam pads. There were not any obvious flaws other than I would have liked and extra foot or two on the USB cables that were included. Having a grill over the fan is a nice improvement over the Orbs that were open. It was not nice to catch a finger in those when they were going.
The Blades are still priced a bit high at $995+. That should be changing as many different manufacturers such as the Zeus Scrypt miners are going to be shipping soon giving Gridseed some competition in the Scrypt ASIC market.
Even at these prices though with the power saving over setting up a GPU rig at these speeds are significant.
I recommend the Blade if you want a Scrypt miner now and not have to wait for any pre-orders that are coming out from competitors in the near future, this is the unit to get.