A developer succeeded in transforming a laptop from 1989 into a cryptocurrency mining machine, but it won’t make anyone rich anytime soon.
the the computer in question is the once state-of-the-art Toshiba T3200SX, which is powered by a 16 MHz Intel 386SX processor and runs under MS-DOS. When it first hit the market, the T3200SX was available for the very low price of $6,299 (or $13,896 in today’s money).
The architect of the mining project, Dmitrii Eliuseev, published a blog post outlining his process, which included programming his own mining software for MS-DOS (now available on GitHub) and calculating potential earnings over time.
Retro crypto mining rig
Turning unlikely hardware into Bitcoin mining machines has become something of a tradition in recent years; smart phones, Udder with raspberry and even Teslas have been used to mine cryptocurrency. Thanks to Eliuseev, the Toshiba T3200SX now joins this prestigious list.
However, while the T3200SX is indeed capable of mining Bitcoin, it achieves a performance of only 15 hashes per second, which Eliuseev claims would yield one dollar worth of Bitcoin every 584 million years. As expected, the 1986 Toshiba T1100 Plus did no better, producing 3.5 H/s with the same code.
For context, the highest performing ASIC miners on the market today produce 110 terahashes/second, 100 trillion times more than the T3200SX. And Bitcoin mining farms are teeming with several hundred of these ASICs.
As our sister site Tom’s Hardware noted, there’s more bad news for anyone hoping to turn a profit using the T3200SX. Under load, the laptop draws around 39W of power, which would cost the owner around $3.30/month.
Unfortunately, therefore, mining Bitcoin on the T3200SX will make you the opposite of rich: for every dollar earned, you will lose $23.1 billion to the utility company.
Going through Tom’s gear