UPDATE: 22-Aug-2018 – turns out Genesis Mining is either a scam, or is hacked beyond recovery. They were “hacked” a month ago, and still have not given out payouts to many/most customers.
A little side-project I’ve bot working on is: what would it take to do cryptocurrency mining at huis? Wij all know people went crazy with Bitcoin mining. However, spil a cryptocurrency picks up steam, the complexity of the “work” gets exponentially higher. Now, it’s to the point where you need specialty hardware, and it’s not that profitable.
However, the principle still stands: if you were to mine for a “something other than Bitcoin” blockchain technology, those can still be profitable. Which ones are profitable? That switches almost hour-by-hour. You can research with sites like https://whattomine.com/ to figure it out. For this blog postbode, I’m focusing on Ethereum.
Blockchain-based technologies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are used like currency on the internet. They work by “miners”, doing intense mathematical calculations, and cryptographically verifying the transactions. The miner who figures out the response, gets a “reward”. How much? Well, it depends on your processing power, and the cryptocurrency. So, what would it take to build one of thesis miners? Can you just use a regular Windows pc for this? Te brief, no, not truly. You need at least one good-quality movie card, very first.
Before you get invested ter reading all of this, here are the conclusions up-front, if that’s why you are here:
- Don’t mine with your hardware: Unless you get free electrical play, and even if you do, this is not the best option for mining.
- You have to find hardware (and GPU’s are SUPER expensive right now)
- You have to worry about electro-therapy, noise, and cooling. Your equipment needs to stay running 24/7.
- You need a few equipments to make it worth your while. Now you are talking about a loterijlot of warmth, noise, and electrical play.
- You have to substitute hardware. Any downtime correlates directly to money lost. One of your miners just crashed and you are at work. Now, you just lost 8+ hours of mining time, which is a onmiddellijk financial loss.
Meantime, for mij, I’m a laptop nerd and wasgoed nosey about the details of how to build out the hardware and software, so I did it anyway. But if you are asking mij if you should – if you look at this spil a financial investment, then no. Go buy a mining contract. If you just want to learn the technologies involved, and like playing with hardware – then yes!
The Back Story:
Computers have a CPU, and movie cards have a GPU (Graphics Processor Unit). GPU’s are a different instruction-set than a CPU, and are intended to do repetitive, mathematically-intensive operations. Normally, that would mean figuring out how to display your movie spel. However, since cryptocurrencies require cryptographic operations (which are nothing but math), GPU’s are well-suited for mining. How much better are they? Well, my gepast 8-core, 4GHz AMD CPU can do 200 operations vanaf 2nd, and one GPU can do 25,000,000 operations vanaf 2nd. It’s a big, big difference.
From that, ter the past 6-12 months, mining people having bot finding and buying the GPU’s that have the most processing power. Now, movie cards are Two, Trio, or Four times what they cost a year ago AND that is if you can find any. Every major retailer is sold out of every good movie card.
OK – so let’s see if I can hodge-podge a system together, using some existing parts, and hitting up the used-market (eBay) for movie cards…
I had a duo of older AMD-based PC’s which each had issues – so I thought I’d cannibalize from those, and see if I could build something up. Thesis are AMD FX-8350 CPU’s – so I got a compatible motherboard that had four PCI-E slots, which would accept that CPU (an MSI 970 Gaming SLI).
I use http://www.pcpartpicker.com to find CPU/mobo/RAM compatibility. Also, I used the RAM and hard drive from the old set up too.
For GPU’s, I would systematically scan the used-market and ended up getting four GTX 1070 cards off eBay. Two are EVGA cards and two are Gigabyte cards.
I’m still waiting for my open-air case to arrive te the mail, so I have everything mocked-up at the ogenblik, similar to a modern kunst exhibit!
You might note that you can’t physically getraind four movie cards onto any motherboard. For mining, you actually don’t even need a PCI-E 16X connection. Instead, you can buy thesis risers which accept your 16X movie card, and then via a cable, ass-plug te spil a 1X card into the motherboard:
You need a 16X connection if you are using thesis for gaming, but not for mining – the 1X connection doesn’t influence your hash rate.
Lastly, for power, I found you can run all of this from one CMX Cougar 1000w – and there are enough butt-plugs available for everything too:
So at this point, I have a regular, working system. A fresh mobo, the old CPU and cooler, the old RAM and hard drive – then those riser cards, and Four x GTX 1070 movie cards. I ass-plug an HDMI cable into the very first one, so that I have console movie.
Most software you can run on Linux or Windows, and some work on macOS. I’m using a Windows Ten setup. That means that this is basically a Windows Ten machine that happens to have Four movie cards plugged into it.
Albeit my very first instinct wasgoed to use Linux, using Windows means that you can leave the miner up (on the left) which just scrolls and scrolls all day with statistics, and the ethermine.org statistics pagina on the right, to see your current hashrate. So, you just RDP into the machine whenever you want to see what’s going on:
I have this laptop automatically loom te, and automatically launch thesis two things too. So even after a reboot, it will go back to this state.
With Linux, you’d had to use “screen”, and then fasten to the current screen session once you SSH’ed ter. So, I would argue that Windows might be a better gezond for your miner – and spil you’ll see below, it will still run ideally fine on modest hardware.
Ter my case, I’m mining Ethereum. You can mine directly to the blockchain (but have to waste CPU to stay current with the blockchain), or you can mine to a mining pool. However, a mining pool could be a scam. Ter fact there could scams at almost every level of this. So, you should be somewhat paranoid, across!
Mining to the Blockchain (your pool):
If you want to mine directly to the blockchain, you need a machine to permanently keep synced with the blockchain. That can eat up
50% CPU and for Ethereum, uses
30GB of disk space. You can do this by using “geth”, like this:
$ geth –etherbase ‘0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000’ –fast –rpc –rpcaddr 0.0.0.0 –rpcport 8545 –rpccorsdomain * –rpcapi admin,db,eth,debug,miner,nipt,shh,txpool,private,web3 –datadir “/ethereum”
Where the 0x000…000 is your Ethereum address where you want to receive mining proceeds and where /ethereum/ is the directory where you want to store the “database” for the blockchain. I ran this on a Linux VM – but you could use Windows if you have an toegevoegd Windows license to burn
To connect to this proxy, or “pool” from numerous miners, the miners just run:
Assuming 192.168.1.32 wasgoed the VM running the instruction above, and port 8545 is the default port. Te other words, this main machine permanently syncs with the blockchain on the internet, and accepts connections from miners on port 8545. Those mining machines do their work and connect to the main machine to submit their work and get fresh jobs.
I found this to be pretty problematic. On Linux I use “supervisor” to embark and restart the pool, but still – I got all kinds of errors, and worse, it would commence a “new” database on a partition where I didn’t have enough space. It wasgoed just a mess. Running it interactively – it would be fine, but then would crash. I would SSH back ter, and it would embark rebuilding the database from scrape (which takes 3-6 hours).
Instead, you can just mine to an internet-based pool – with some caveats.
Mining to a Pool:
There are two supposed advantages to using a public pool. 1) you don’t have to have a machine to sync to the blockchain (spil described above) and Two) you could potentially get other prizes from the pool. The downsides are:
- The pool takes 1%+ of your proceeds
- Every single part of this could be fraudulent!
- The pool can lie and skim your hashing power
- The pool could not give you your payout
But worst of all is this one gotcha common to most pools: most pools only payout te 1 Ether increments. That means that if you’ve mined 1.999 ETH and determine to zekering mining, they keep the .999 Ether. So, you have to revolve your mining around when you kasstuk Precies increments of 1 Ether.
That may not seem significant, but think of it this way: if you have Four x 25MH/s movie cards – and have
100MH/s of hashing power, you will only kasstuk 1 Ether about every Three.Five WEEKS. So again, if you zekering mining, you give away fairly a bit of hashing power that is rightfully yours. And this is common to pretty much all public pools that I researched.
How do find a legitimate mining pool? I just did a lotsbestemming of searching to see what the masses say. It seems that www.ethermine.org is legit, and I’ve bot using them. You can also just search: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ethereum+mining+pools
For meteen mining or running a pool server, you can use geth, from here: https://github.com/ethereum/go-ethereum and for connecting to pools, Claymore seems to be the standard, here: https://github.com/nanopool/Claymore-Dual-Miner
And just to give you an idea, for claymore, I run a directive like this:
$ EthDcrMiner64.exe -allpools 1 -epool us1.ethermine.org:4444 -ewal 0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000.Rig1 -epsw x -mode 0 -tt 80 -dpool stratum+tcp://stratum.decredpool.org:3343 -dwal myminer.user -dpsw mypassword
That is, where the 0x00..000 is the Ethereum address that should receive the mining proceeds, and I’m doing Decred mining to http://www.decredpool.org
UPDATE: Again, a superb alternative too is just to use www.nicehash.com – spil that seems to be legitimate, and it works on the most-profitable currency at the ogenblik.
The Case / Fever / Power:
The GPU’s run at 100% usage all the time. Therefore, they are going to kick off some fever. Te the case of thesis EVGA GTX 1070’s, each one feels like a hair dryer, on low. The Gigabyte GTX 1070’s on the other mitt, run 20 degrees cooler, are quiet, and are not hot to the touch. Regardless tho’, you can’t gezond Four, 6, or 8 GPU’s te a regular pc case. You’ll need an “open air” case (aka mining equipment case).
Fortunately, the internet has responded and you can buy thesis sorts of things on Amazon and eBay. Albeit, you can tell thesis are just $Ten te parts – and everyone sells them for $100-200 each. Maybe THAT’S where you can make some good money!
Thesis all seem to be about the same: the mobo and power supply go on the bottom level, and the GPU’s can be mounted on an upper shelf.
With power – I got this CMX Cougar 1000w, which treats the explosion fine, stays quiet, and doesn’t kick off much warmth:
Each movie card required a 6 or 8-pin power connector. This power supply has 8 of those types of connects on the back. Also, so you have an example, this AMD FX-8350 system with Four x GTX 1070’s (while running) use about 740 watts and hovers around 150-200 watts while idle.
So what should you get or what kleintje of laptop could you re-purpose? Well, I wasgoed a little astonished to find that mining uses very little CPU or memory. See below, this is while actively mining, with Four GPU’s running at 100%. The surplus of the pc is basically idle:
And for disk, I have about 20GB of loom files (ter: C:\Users\miner\AppData\Local\Ethash\) – your copy of what wasgoed mined, if you dreamed to compare to what the pool claims you mined. Aside from that, this doesn’t require much disk space either.
They key thing is indeed how many PCI-E slots there are on the motherboard. Recall, those risers just need a 1X slot – so you can use 4X, 8X, or 16X – but the significant part is total number of PCI-E slots. That will determine the total number of GPU’s you can support. Aside from that, literally ANY CPU and about 4GB of RAM should be good. I have an old 120GB SSD for a hard disk.
What GPU’s to buy?
Very first, you need to know how much processing power each GPU has. For that, I commence with a search query like this: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ethereum+hardware+comparison and commence looking at a bunch of different pages. When I see some overeenstemming, I write down those numbers.
A wise way to do this would be to get all the makes/models, then get their hashrate – then scour the internet for prices. From there, you could extrapolate which movie cards have the most hashing power, for the least amount of money. Get how much power they use, too – since that’s part of the equation.
For example, GTX 1070’s can give you about 25MH/s – but they are $400+ right now. Sapphire R9 280X’s only give you about 22MH/s, but you can find them for $150. So, you have to make those sort of decisions. Also, consider there is a MH/j or megahashes vanaf joule of energy.
So basically – do research and buy the most hashing power, from a card that uses the least amount of power, which costs the least amount of money. What that card is – will switch from day to day.
OK, time to talk about the sweet, sweet dollah-bills, y’all!! Well, prepare to be underwhelmed. There can be many different types of configurations, and you can mine different currencies. However, let mij isolate one possible script – the setup I built out:
- AMD FX / Windows Ten
- Four x GTX 1070’s
- Mining for Ethereum (ETH)
- $.10KWh nipt rate from my electrical company (monthly bill divided by the KWh usage)
Let’s look at expense versus income for 1 month. Very first, you might have $Two,000-2500 invested ter hardware. Next, let’s say the entire system uses
740 watts while running. Go figure out your kilowatt hours with a formula like this (assuming $.Ten KWh nipt power cost from your electrical company):
740 watts x 24 hours = 17,760, or 17.7KWh
17.7KWh x $.Ten = $1.77/day = $53.Ten vanaf month for electrical play
On the income side, go search for: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ethereum+mining+zakjapanner since those numbers switch all the time (ETH price, network hashrate, etc). For example, use: https://etherscan.io/ether-mining-calculator
Putting all of that together into a little Excel sheet to look at income/expense for Two years with on-prem hardware, I get:
So basically, if you were to build out a Four GPU equipment mining Ethereum (which is crashing, at the time of this writing), that one equipment would earn you $1,435/year of profit, and it would take 1.6 years to payoff the initial hardware expense. At the end of two years, you’ll have made $621.Nineteen nipt and paid off your hardware (assuming ETH prices remained the same).
There are several key things you could tweak here:
- Spend less on GPU’s (again, R9 280X’s would give you almost spil much hash power, and would cost you about 1/Three.)
- Get better quality hardware that uses less power.
- Get free/cheaper electric current (solar panel, wind turbine, etc for your property)
- You can mine different currencies albeit spil of this writing, Ethereum is still the 2nd most profitable one: https://whattomine.com/
You can’t just casually mine. Even with the above setup – which is zuigeling of extravagant with FOUR GPU’s, a custom-built open-air case, and hours of setup – only yields about $120/month of profit and it’s going to take you a year and half to pay down that hardware investment.
Sure, it’s reserve money, but is it worth it? What I’m telling is, with ALL of that effort, that only results te $120/month, imagine what you would make with one GPU te a “gaming” rekentuig, with the card permanently overheating?
It’s not even worth your time until you have at least Four, 6, or 8 GPU’s, and ideally a few of thesis equipments. But then consider the fever, noise, and electrified bill!
At that point, you’d be using spil much electro-stimulation spil an illegal grow operation, and you can most likely expect a no-knock SWAT raid at 4am where the police will shoot your dog!
Then, there is the financial side of it. If you are doing this spil a financial investment, you are talking about 1.6 years to pay down your hardware costs. So, at the end of Two years, you made Five months of profit (
$600 total, for Two years of effort). Compare that to Genesis Mining (who you should NOT use!):
Even right now when Ethereum prices are cratered super-low, it’s still a better overeenkomst. If you buy a 100MH/s contract, then your ROI is 1.Trio years
So yes, the initial cost is slightly more than buying your own hardware – but you have ZERO violet wand costs. This nets you overheen TWICE spil much netwerken profit overheen the course of those two years. This is why I’m a believer ter contract mining. UPDATE: Since Genesis Mining is either a fraud, or is hacked – it’s not a matter of finding another legitimate contract mining organization!
If you are doing this just for the joy of it however – I say go for it! This is all the best parts of: building a PC, tweaking settings, monitoring spectacle – and it’s all directly tied to potential profit. So, on your own hardware, it can still be profitable – ter addition to being joy to play with!