There were several posts when the new Mac Pro was announced that suggested it might be the best bitcoin mining machine ever. Admittedly, I have not tested one to get actual numbers, but I’ve done some spec comparisons and here’s what I’ve come up with.
The Dual AMD FirePro D500 processors that come in the midrange configuration of the Mac Pro are apparently comparable to the AMD FirePro W8000 with a few minor differences that probably won’t affect mining performance significantly. Let’s be generous and say the W8000 will mine at 500 Mh/s. Taking into consideration there are two in the new Mac Pro, that gives us a possible mining hash rate of 1 Gh/s. Not bad for an off the shelf computer.
Let’s compare to ASIC bitcoin mining hardware:
Mac Pro with Dual D500 – 1 Gh/s – $4000
Butterfly Labs – 25 Gh/s – $750
The Butterfly labs hardware performance to cost ratio is consistent with most ASIC mining hardware. It appears that you would do better buying a ASIC miner than spending $4000 on a Mac Pro to mine your bitcoins.
Needless to say, I’m disappointed. I wanted to use the fact I could mine bitcoins with my Mac Pro as additional justification to buy one. Oh well. I guess I need to find another reason. Maybe somehow it can be turned into a killer Candy Crush machine.
Of course, I could be totally wrong on all of this, so sue me. If anyone has mined bitcoins with their new Mac Pro, please let me know your findings. I will publish them here.