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Old 05-24-2011, 10:57 PM   #1
Chiropteran
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Default Cryptocoin Mining?

edit: this post is very obsolete, because mining bitcoin with GPU is not viable anymore. However, I will leave it as-is as an interesting look at how things were a few years ago.

For modern GPU mining, scrypt based coins such as litecoin are the best bet.

<Newbie info>

How do I get started mining?

1- download the bitcoin client, install and run, this gives you a wallet and receiving address
http://bitcoin.org/
Current version is 0.7

2- choose a pool and create a pool account (some pools works without accounts), and create (at least one) worker account
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Comparison_of_mining_pools
http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?board=41.0
[I use https://www.btcguild.com/ ]

3- download a miner program and install and run
http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=3878.0

3b- if you don't see your graphic card as a valid openCL device, you might need to update to more recent drivers. catalyst 11.5, 11.6 are known to work, older drivers may not include the openCL driver new 12.2 drivers reported to be very good for mining

4- configure your miner. point it to the pool you signed up at, your pool worker account you created, for extra flags -v -w128 -f120 is recommended for 5 and 6 series AMD GPUs if you want to also use the computer for other uses. If you are only going to mine and don't need a response GUI, you can use -v -w128 -f0 and you will get slightly more mhash. * These settings are for guiminer* Other miner software requires different settings

5- start mining. you may want to open a program that allows you to view your GPU temperature, as mining is makes the GPU work very hard and you don't want to damage your graphic card

6- tweak settings, OC, buy more mining hardware, or post in this thread.

7- spend your bitcoins

FUN FACTS:

Since the original post aprox 3 weeks ago, I have mined 44 bitcoins, currently valued at $16.80 each. That totals $739. I am mining on 1 dedicated dual 5850 machine, another dual GPU machine I use for gaming, as well as 3 single GPU 5850-5770 machines I had available. I spent aprox $900 on hardware to mine at this rate (in addition to old hardware I had available). Even if I could only get 50% of original hardware value on resale, the operation has already paid for itself.

6/30 update: I spent 34 bitcoins on about $550 worth of hardware at newegg.com to add to my mining collection. If the whole thing collapses tomorrow, at least I have some "free" hardware.

2/19/2012 update-

Heh, looking at this post reminds me of the good old days of $16 bitcoins. Value now around $4.50. Still somewhat profitable though, especially given that waste heat is a useful thing in these winter months. Recently spent some 80 BTC to build another mining box.


Old OP: Does anyone do this? I have played around with distributed computing stuff before, but lost interest mainly due to there being no real point other than bragging rights. But bitcoins are worth real money... sorta (after an hour I've made half a cent with the CPU miner, although it looks like using GPU is much more effective). Not really much, but kinda fun to play around with at least.

I found it interesting that for various reasons AMD is vastly superior to nvidia in this.
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Why_a_GPU...n_Nvidia_GPUs?

Anyone else messed around with this? Tips?

edit: I realize there is a distributed computing forum, but I am bringing up the AMD/nVidia performance disparity and I think it fits better with video card discussion. Feel free to move if disagreed.

Renamed to "Cryptocoin Mining?" because no one mines Bitcoins on GPUs anymore
-ViRGE
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Last edited by Chiropteran; 12-28-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:37 AM   #2
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There has to be a catch, there always is.

You dont get anything for free, and your pc doing some random workload which turns into a currency is just odd.

Im willing to bet the guy behinde it will eventually screw everyone over somehow.
Kinda like those pyramid schemes...
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:38 AM   #3
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that site looks pretty shady to me too
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:24 AM   #4
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move along... nothing to see here !
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:11 AM   #5
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Its pretty interesting to read about it. I think like 42 million worth of bitcoins are out there as of now. You can buy actual stuff with them so its not real shady. Just not popular.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkadrel View Post
Im willing to bet the guy behinde it will eventually screw everyone over somehow.
Kinda like those pyramid schemes...
It's all open source, smarter people have looked at it and seem to trust it.

But I am just playing around with it, I am not about to convert all my cash to bitcoins.

Anyway, to get the topic related to this forum, anyone have any thoughts about how AMD cards are so superior for this sort of work?

Quote:
This approximate 2x-3x performance difference exists across the entire range of AMD and Nvidia GPUs. It is noticeably visible in all ALU-bound GPGPU workloads such as Bitcoin, password bruteforcers, etc."
Reviews on cards always seem to hint that nVidia's cuda is an advantage, but based on this it seems like for a whole category of GPU processing AMD is vastly superior. Is there another area where nVidia's advantage over AMD is similarly massive?
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:23 AM   #7
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The Radeons seem to do better on massively parallel integer workloads, which is exactly what cryptography is.

It seems the same sort of thing is the basis for "finding" and processing these bitcoin transactions.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:23 AM   #8
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Folding@home favors Nvidia cards.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/gra...-for-folding/3
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:08 AM   #9
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^ Congratulations. Another triumph.

Back to the topic:

http://www.weusecoins.com/mining-guide.php
has a brief technical explanation of the crytographic hashing required for bitcoin mining, and

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison
has a list of actual performance achieved by various GPU & CPU (see the Mhash/s and Mhash/J column for raw speed & efficiency).
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiropteran View Post
It's all open source, smarter people have looked at it and seem to trust it.

But I am just playing around with it, I am not about to convert all my cash to bitcoins.

Anyway, to get the topic related to this forum, anyone have any thoughts about how AMD cards are so superior for this sort of work?



Reviews on cards always seem to hint that nVidia's cuda is an advantage, but based on this it seems like for a whole category of GPU processing AMD is vastly superior. Is there another area where nVidia's advantage over AMD is similarly massive?
Response to question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by notty22 View Post
Scratches head and wonders:

Quote:
Originally Posted by betasub View Post
^ Congratulations. Another triumph.

Back to the topic:

http://www.weusecoins.com/mining-guide.php
has a brief technical explanation of the crytographic hashing required for bitcoin mining, and

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison
has a list of actual performance achieved by various GPU & CPU (see the Mhash/s and Mhash/J column for raw speed & efficiency).
???
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenmitch View Post
???
Fair enough. I was looking at title and OP's initial questions & missed this final question in a later post opening out the topic.

Last edited by betasub; 05-25-2011 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:07 AM   #12
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I just started mining the other day because running the main client alone for a week didn't get me anything. The official client at this time appears to only use the CPU.

With the GUIMiner client and deepbit.net I'm earning 1 bitcoin a day running on my HD 6970.

The catch is that the people who supply the services change a service fee. They take a small percentage.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiropteran View Post
But bitcoins are worth real money... sorta (after an hour I've made half a cent with the CPU miner, although it looks like using GPU is much more effective). Not really much, but kinda fun to play around with at least.
Know how to make more money? Turn your PC off for that hour.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:08 PM   #14
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You guys definitely missed the bus on this one. Difficulty is destroying miners profits pretty effectively. I used to make ~30 bitcoins/day with my dual 6970s in February. Since then difficulty has increase from 25k to 250k and difficulty is about to jump by over 70% in the next ~24 hours.

Those of you who are naysayers, it isn't a pyramid scheme with a nasty catch. The system is completely open source, you aren't crunching numbers to destroy America. The one catch is that it is not free money, you may make some money in the short run, but unless you have cheaper electricity and can stay ahead of the pack hardware wise, and I'm not just talking about GPUs. People are starting to develop ASICs for this and using FPGAs due to their better performance per/watt. In a few months time I'll probably be selling all my cards because the difficulty just continues to march ever higher and I won't have the capital to purchase swarms of FPGAs and the ASICs probably won't be sold to the public.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:04 PM   #15
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I'm glad I bought my cards to primarily play games !
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUnk View Post
Know how to make more money? Turn your PC off for that hour.
LOL, just what I was thinking
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notty22 View Post
Quote:
I'm glad I bought my cards to primarily play games !
Pease stop trolling and thread crapping.. Kthxbai


EDIT: Replied without forethought and not reading the thread in its entirety.

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Old 05-25-2011, 01:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busydude View Post
Please stop trolling and thread crapping.. Kthxbai

Learn how to follow and read a thread.
The OP specifically asked twice if there was other situations where one hardware vendors cards showed superiority like AMD's apparently do in this.

Quote:
Reviews on cards always seem to hint that nVidia's cuda is an advantage, but based on this it seems like for a whole category of GPU processing AMD is vastly superior. Is there another area where nVidia's advantage over AMD is similarly massive?
MY ANSWER
Originally Posted by notty22
Folding@home favors Nvidia cards.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/gra...-for-folding/3
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:24 PM   #19
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Yeah.. I missed that. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUnk View Post
Know how to make more money? Turn your PC off for that hour.
With some exceptions, I'm guessing that if it wasn't worthwhile and people were spending more on electricity than making with mining bitcoins...they probably wouldn't do it.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownstone View Post
With some exceptions, I'm guessing that if it wasn't worthwhile and people were spending more on electricity than making with mining bitcoins...they probably wouldn't do it.
While I can't vouch for how valid this is, I found this posted on the bitcoin forums-

Quote:

2x 550w Coolermaster GX psu (binded/chained)
4x HD5850 @ 1100/1250 1.275v pulling full load 220watt per card so thats total 880watt
MSI 890FXA-GD70
AMD Sempron 145 underclocked from 2.8ghz to 1.4ghz @ ~30watt

Total full load as read from kill-a-watt is 1050watt for the whole system which equals 1.05 kwh @ 0.072c (avg out peak/offpeak to be conservative with calculations)

So I am hashing at 420mhash/s per card totalling 1680mhash/s for total power usage of 1.05 kwh comes down to the following net gain:


Revenue per time frame: 842.01 USD
Revenue minus power costs: 786.78 USD (this is taken on a monthly run at next difficulty, so if you want to be a prune half this if you want to make up for extra difficulty increases)
Hardware break even: 0 seconds (allready paid for)
Net profit first time frame: 786.78 USD (this is a gain not a loss, and a hefty one for just 4cards)
If that is even approximately accurate, it would take a pretty massive difficulty increase with no bitcoin value increase to reach a point where power costs are greater than coin mined. Of course, this is discounting the cost of hardware, but for most of us hardware is already paid for and we would have it even if we weren't going to mine.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:48 PM   #22
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^^ I also doubt he is making 420M/hashes per card. I made mid 300's on a 5870

So pics or shens on that one, but also unless you have free electricity it may not be worth it for you (think about heat in the summer also).
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:52 PM   #23
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Yes my hardware is paid for already and my electricity is cheap at the moment. The key is having a very good quality PSU that won't start sucking down power at the high loads. It's also why many of the people are using AMD cards instead of FERMI.

My goal is to pay for my electricity and raise money for my big hardware upgrade.

And yeah I missed the boat on this, I'll be making some money on this but not what I could have.

EDIT:

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Old 05-25-2011, 02:12 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notty22 View Post
I'm glad I bought my vastly superior NVIDIA cards to primarily play games !
Fixed that for you.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max347 View Post
^^ I also doubt he is making 420M/hashes per card. I made mid 300's on a 5870

So pics or shens on that one, but also unless you have free electricity it may not be worth it for you (think about heat in the summer also).
Its not too unrealistic. At those clock speeds with the BFI_INT optimization and phakt kernel, I wouldn't be too surprised.

Currently electricity cost is not an issue. Yes lower is better, but at current prices and difficulty electricity would have to cost me $2.26/kwh for me to not profit from my mining operation.

Heat is an issue, I won't disagree with that.
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