Litecoin Mining on Mac OS X – G-Blade ASICs

Scrypt ASICs continue to make waves in the digital currency mining scene. Both 1-chip and 5-chip ASIC designs from GridSeed are “old news” and the G-Blade and ZeusMiner series are in the hands of anxious miners.

In my previous article on Litecoin mining with ASICs I discussed the 5-chip GridSeed Orb. In this article we’ll be taking a look at the Orb’s big brother: the GridSeed G-Blade.

The G-Blade is powered by 80 of the GC3355 ASIC chips from GridSeed and is available directly from X-Hash.

GridSeed G-Blade

While the majority of these GridSeed devices come to market with their own custom software, I have been actively working with several GridSeed vendors (and lately GridSeed themselves) to support these ASICs in BFGMiner. CGMiner no longer supports any algorithm or coin other than SHA-2 and Bitcoin, so BFGMiner was the natural choice here.

BFGMiner 4.0 contains support for the 1-chip GridSeed USB stick and the 5-chip Orb while BFGMiner 4.1, released June 6th, contains full support for the G-Blade.

Miner Installation

As with the previous Scrypt ASICs, the G-Blade is currently only supported on OS X by BFGMiner. So, the first step is to install BFGMiner. There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums which discusses various ways to install BFGMiner on Mac OS X. The most full-proof method is to use Homebrew:

  1. Launch Terminal.app from Spotlight or your Applications folder
  2. Install Homebrew by entering the following in the command prompt:
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go/install)"
  3. Run the following command and then fix any reported issues:
    brew doctor
  4. Tap the following Homebrew repository so that you can install packages from it:
    brew tap nwoolls/xgminer
  5. Finally, install BFGMiner:
    brew install bfgminer

Driver Installation

BFGMiner requires the correct kernel extension to be loaded in order to detect the GridSeed G-Blade. When using BFGMiner the Apple Communication Device Class (CDC) driver will be used and should be automatically loaded by Mac OS X.

To load the required Apple drivers manually, execute the following commands:

sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDC
sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDCACMData

Detection

With the BFGMiner properly installed and the CDC driver installed, you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with BFGMiner:

bfgminer -d? -S noauto -S gridseed:all --scrypt
[2014-06-03 22:30:16] Started bfgminer 4.0.0
[2014-06-03 22:30:19] Devices detected:
[2014-06-03 22:30:19] Device (driver=gridseed; procs=1; path=/dev/cu.usbmodem3a21)
[2014-06-03 22:30:19] Device (driver=gridseed; procs=1; path=/dev/cu.usbmodem5d11)
2 devices listed

Note the additional --scrypt argument since we will be Scrypt mining. I’ve also included the -S noauto argument to prevent GPU detection (for simplicity). Finally, note that a single G-Blade shows up as two individual devices as it is, in fact, two boards.

Mining

Once the GridSeed G-Blade is detected you can start BFGMiner using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:

bfgminer -S noauto -S gridseed:all --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner GridSeed-Blade

You can also over-clock the G-Blade using BFGMiner and the --set argument.

bfgminer -S noauto -S gridseed:all --set gridseed:clock=835 --scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

BFGMiner GridSeed-Blade OC

All in all this is an excellent performer that works great on OS X (as well as Windows and Linux in my testing).

If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below or on this thread at the Bitcoin Talk forums. And thanks again to both GridSeed and X-Hash for providing sample hardware. And now, happy Scrypt ASIC mining!

4 thoughts on “Litecoin Mining on Mac OS X – G-Blade ASICs

  1. Pingback: Litecoin Mining on Mac OS X – GridSeed ASICs | blog.nwoolls.com

  2. Tony

    Just one quick small correction, the line above:

    bfgminer -S noauto -S dualminer:all –set gridseed:clock=835 –scrypt -o hostname -u username -p password

    should replace “-S gridseed:all” as opposed to “-S dualminer:all”

    By the way, have you had any issues in terms of the maximum number of USB devices created with the CDC drivers?

    Reply
  3. Matthew

    Is it possible to run scrypt and sha256 on the same instance of bfgminer? Or do you need to run separate instances?

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Litecoin Mining on Mac OS X – ZeusMiner ASICs | blog.nwoolls.com

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