This laptop from 1989 can mine Bitcoin, but it definitely won't make you rich

Toshiba T3200SX
Toshiba T3200SX (Image credit: PCBitz)

A developer has managed to turn a laptop from 1989 into a cryptocurrency mining machine, but it won’t be making anyone rich any time soon.

The computer in question is the once cutting-edge Toshiba T3200SX, which is powered by a 16MHz Intel 386SX processor and runs on MS-DOS. When it first hit the market, the T3200SX was available at the low, low price of $6,299 (or $13,896 in today’s money).

The architect of the mining project, Dmitrii Eliuseev, has published a blog post setting out 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

Transforming unlikely hardware into Bitcoin mining machines has become something of a tradition in recent years; smartphones, Raspberry Pis 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 just 15 hashes per second, which Eliuseev estimates would yield one dollar’s worth of Bitcoin every 584 million years. Predictably, the Toshiba T1100 Plus from 1986 didn’t fare any better, producing 3.5H/s running the same code.

Toshiba T1100 Plus

The Toshiba T1100 Plus fared even worse than the T3200SX. (Image credit: Dmitrii Eliuseev)

For context, the most performant ASIC miners on the market today produce 110 terahashes/second, 100 trillion times more than the T3200SX. And Bitcoin mining farms are packed out with many hundreds of these ASICs.

As noted by our sister site Tom’s Hardware, there’s more bad news for anyone hoping to turn a profit using the T3200SX. Under load, the laptop guzzles roughly 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 $1 earned, you’ll lose $23.1 billion to the utilities company.

Via Tom's Hardware

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.