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Yes, I'm a dirty, filthy, miner. But I wasn't always that way.

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,903
6,872
126
A tale of need, and of greed. And an awful lot of BTUs.

Let's start by saying, I have a fairly long history of DC contributions and participation.

I remember hanging out on IRC, and participating in d.net's RC-56 cracking. (With an overclocked Pentium MMX overdrive chip.)

I moved on to seventeenorbust, and participated in that with my two E2140 Core2Duo/Pentium CPU, one was OCed 100% to 3.2Ghz, the other was 2.8Ghz.

Also, my (now late) friend participated for me on his PC, with his E5200 OCed to 3.85-4.0Ghz.

Anyways, my goal was top-10 for the TeAm, and I eventually achieved that, with my friend's help. It did take several years, maybe 3 at least, maybe more.

I eventually got some AMD Phenom II X6 rigs, and one of them, I had a pair of the then-new GTX 460 1GB cards. Those lasted me a number of years, just an altogether superb card for the day. I did some experiments with SLI gaming for the first time.

I also discovered F@H, and at that time, I think I had also moved on to BOINC and PrimeGrid and WCG.

I heated my apt with my rigs, nowadays not an altogether uncommon experience.

Sometime before that (when I still had my ATi HD4850 cards) I heard about Bitcoin. But I was kind of unimpressed / unconvinced, so I didn't participate at that time (when Bitcoin was directly GPU-minable.)

I think that I experimentally did some F@H when I still had my HD 4850 cards, too. I seem to recall having to download "stream" libraries or something. It was one of the first programmable-pipeline GPUs on the market, besides the Nvidia G80/G92 cards.)

That's right, I had an AM2+ K9A2+ Platinum (?), with four PCI x16 slots evenly-spaced. I used that with FOUR 9600 GSO (the original one, with 384MB of RAM) to Fold on, it was my sweet, sweet dedicated folding GPU rig. (Precursor to a mining rig?)

I think, at the time, I eventually made top-100 for our Folding Team. It was exciting. I participated in the Dec. Folding races with the TeAm.

Well, eventually I moved to my current place, been here almost 10 years now. I get electricity included with my rent, and I have a 120V 20A circuit, a 240V AC circuit that I've got a metered Tripp-Lite PDU, and a kitchen circuit.

Cooling is somewhat flow-through, I've got an exhaust fan by my servers, and an intake on the other side (of my apt).

(continued...)
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,903
6,872
126
(....continued, page 2)

Well, at some point, I don't remember when or how, but maybe RussianSensation here had something to do with it. He was always giving long, but well-written advice on video cards, and always talked up mining, before mining was really "mainstream" (and the resultant video-card shortages around Bitcoin's ATH of 20-22K in 2017-2018. Yep, I was there, and I was mining.)

I had discovered the elegance and simplicity of 'NiceHash'. It was a little more involved back then, than the current "press play" client, but it largely worked the same.

I was fascinated. You mean to tell me, you can actually make money with your (my) PC? Just by letting it run, like I was already want to do with my DC activities? I was hooked! (In more ways than one, as you will see.)

Now, there's something that you should know. I'm on disability. A fixed income, which back then, didn't allow for much more than just paying bills. My computing hobby needs $$$ too.

At first, I used the cards that I had, that were making pennies an hour. I think that the GTX 460 cards made some OK money.

Anyways, my memory of mining, pre-2017-2018 is a bit hazy. I think that I mostly just dabbled in it.

But the release of the RX 470/480 cards was, at the time, a bit ground-breaking. First 14nm-based GPUs, IIRC. I bought a few, and had to try several times, when AMD fire-saled the RX 470 for the 570 model. $150 per 4GB card. In hindsight, if I had purchased the 8GB cards, I could still be using them today.

So, I had two XFX RX 470 4GB cards mining away for me in my new apt with Nicehash, making me some actual profit.

In the run up to the 2017-2018 Bitcoin ATH, I borrowed money from a relative to buy another few cards, an RX 570 or two, and a GTX 1070 ti titanium. (That was the most expensive video card that I had ever purchased,, at over $500, being ever-so-slightly scalped by that time.)

Well, I made $500 that month, with like 4-5 cards. The GTX 1070 ti certainly made me a few hundred, and then when the bubble of Bitcoin started to burst, I sold it to someone here, I think a DC'er on the TeAm, for what I had paid for it, makings its few months of mining earnings pure profit. I didn't sell the other cards, and earning slowly started to peter out over the next 6-12 months after the bubble burst.

(continued...)
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,903
6,872
126
(... continued, page 3)

Eventually, Nvidia released their more power-efficient 20-series GPUs, and I was getting info from more savvy miners on YouTube like VoskCoin, and RedPandaMining, and found out that the new 16-series GTX 1660 ti was the most power-efficient GPU for mining at the time. So, I ended up picking a bunch up "refurb" from Newegg. Still part of my farm. Think those were based on 12nm.

Also heard about 7nm RX 5700, managed to snag a reference model from XFX from BestBuy for $290, like $50-60 off. Great deal. I made that my primary GPU.

But oh how the drivers and the mining programs / plugins sucked, for like 6 months. At least the GTX 1660 ti cards supported CUDA, and could do F@H. Eventually, I was mining with both successfully, in the same PC.

Last Dec., I expanded my farm with four more RX 5700 XT AIB cards and an RX 5700 AIB, because I knew from 2017, that prices were very soon going to rise to unprofitable levels (for mining ROI).

Well, I was right. Mining profits, as well as card prices, started going through the roof in late last Dec. - Early Jan. 2021.

So far, profits have been mostly good, to a few weeks when NFTs were all the rage, and ETH gas fees were through the roof, which was rather extraordinary for mining.

So far, I generally don't HoDL, I just cash out, sometimes multiple times a day. (Yes, my farm is that big. I have maybe 20 cards right now in various rigs.)

No Ampere cards, though, so no-one can really blame me for the current shortage.

Last Dec. getting back to my DC participation, one of my "excuses" that I told myself, to excuse choosing mining over the slightly-more egalitarian DC work, was that I always participate in the Dec. F@H race, and that in order to afford more GPUs for the race, that I would mine for the rest of the year (;possibly cutting down or eliminating mining in summer, especially if I had to run the A/C).

But, like most things involving income, I became "accustomed to the lifestyle", and became dependent on the mining income. Kind of like, if money is a drug, free internet money is an even worse drug.

Which is why I wasn't full-strength with my fleet of cards last Dec. for the F@H race, and why I actually stopped folding for a few days in the middle, so that I could make some money for food.

So, been making money the last 5-6 months, fairly decent money, but now that the hot weather is here, I've had to cut back or cut out mining altogether.

So, that's where I''m at. This "gravy train" may not last forever, there are things on the horizon for ETH mining, EIP-1559, which may reduce profits for miners, and ETH 2.0, which should eliminate "Proof of Work" for ETH entirely.

But there are other coins, rising stars to take ETH's place. ERGO is sometimes now more valuable to mine than ETH, especially on RTX 30-series GPUs.

I'm just a Dirty, Filthy, Miner, and this was my story. "It's not much, but it's honest work."

(-fin-)
 
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Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
5,331
981
126
My mining interest originated with DC as well, originally F@H on DX10 geforce cards, and C2Q and i7 CPUs. I remember I had 2 5870 cards in CF, and then 2 6950 cards in CF with unlocked shaders. I wish I knew of bitcoin back then. I would have had $millions if I had mined back then and held. I didn't start getting into crypto till I had my 7950, and right before I got my first 290. Still, one cannot predict the future, not perfectly, and one cannot change the past. I think I did alright considering.

Just one thing I will add, which I will caution you on Larry, is I would not trust nicehash. Sure, it is easy to setup, but if I understand correctly, you don't actually control your BTC. I would much rather mine on a decent pool with something like PhoenixMiner, with payouts to my own address. There should be different pools out there that do not require any account, where you can mine to an address. I have used ethermine for a while, though I am not pleased with their recent payout policy change. I suspect there are many decent pools to choose from though.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,903
6,872
126
Just one thing I will add, which I will caution you on Larry, is I would not trust nicehash.
That is why I cash out daily.

I only make $35-40/day right now, if that. (Edit: With the high temps here, been running more like partially or fully-off, maybe $10-20/day if I'm lucky.)

Edit: I will say, I'm still interested in DC, though it has taken a back-seat to my current demands for $$$ for delivery food, and that's been scarce because the heat coming into summer now, means that I can't mine effectively or at all. (In winter, it's great, and it's essentially free, since I have electric heat here.)

But I need to come up with some sort of system, or strategy, or something, to allow me to participate meaningfully in the Dec. F@H race, while at the same time, adjust my earnings and my budgeting to allow for me to afford food and drinks and whatnot. (And who knows what mining earnings will be like in Dec.? My GTX 1660-series family cards, aren't really all that great at mining ERGO, probably about half the earnings that ETH gives, even when ERGO is earning as much or more than ETH for the 30-series NVidia cards, even the LHR ones.)
 
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Skillz

Senior member
Feb 14, 2014
310
282
136
I use Betterhash for mining personally. I dislike Nicehash because it automatically converts it to BTC. With Betterhash, whatever coin your cards are mining those coins are placed in your wallet for you to do what you want with them. Betterhash, (like Nicehash) has a way of profit switching so it'll mine the most profitable coin during it's checks, though I have that disabled as well. I just mine coins I want and move them to a different wallet where I hold on to them.

However, I do not mine "24/7" in a sense that I do still run DC with my cards, especially during competitions.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,903
6,872
126
I would like to speak a little bit about some of my mental-health (and physical health, mainly because of the heat, but also because of the constant loud fan noise) issues.

I used to check on my DC rigs, fairly often, maybe several times a day, maybe more often during the Dec. F@H race or a PrimeGrid race.

But when I started to really get into mining, I became a bit obsessed, kind of neurotic, just stupified watching my satoshis (and cents) build up. I would check them maybe every hour, to make sure that they were still hashing away. It has been kind of like a bad mental addiction, like some people can't be away from their phone screen for more than a few minutes.

Also, the heat that I "endured" (and check out that OT thread about the guy that caused himself brain damage from a mining rig in summer in heat with no A/C, that he fell asleep near, and got heatstroke while he slept.) Pretty scary stuff.

I've come close, a few times. I don't have central air, don't have a huge apt., and I'm running between 2-2.5KW. Which is a pretty massive space-heater. Enough to heat my tiny apt in winter (well, mostly), but also, a massive PITA in summertime.

I do have a 10,000 BTU (1KW) 120V window A/C, but it doesn't always work all that well. And to run it, I need to shut down most of my miners on my 120V circuit, it handles both the bedroom and the living room, for some stupid reason, although it is 20A.

Out of deference to my landlord, I generally shut down mining altogether, for the most part, if I'm going to run the A/C to cool the entire apt., like today, it's 95F outside. It's a non-mining day.

When it gets down to 65F or lower at night, then I'll run the mining rigs overnight, and turn off the A/C, but of course leave the window fans (intake in one room, exhaust in the other, right next to my server farm) running.

The fan noise, too, though, kind of gets to me. I don't think or realize that it does, but it does.

One day, I had everything turned off, except my main rig and laptop and networking gear and NAS cluster, and the intake fan turned off. It was wonderfully mostly silent, except in the living room with the exhaust fan going.

I felt a certain increased clarity of thought, that I hadn't felt in a long time.

Whether that was because the 1T (Tesla) of EMF was gone (was measured at my PC chair using a cell-phone app), or the fan noise was gone, or both, I don't know. But I felt way more at-ease. I felt like I could finally accomplish some cleaning-up of my apt., without the universe-at-large opposing me, which is kind of how I feel under the "Drag" of the fans and mining rigs and whatnot.

I mean, I don't really even have much in the way of open-air mining frames (zero, as a matter of fact). The closest that I come to those, are my two server chassis (with fans on both sides, intake and exhaust, and yes, they are "server fans" and a bit loud, but boy do they move air), and my two "mining frame rigs", which are gaming PCs with Z170 mobos with dual PCI-E x16 (physical) slots, running Win10 off of an SSD, with a pair of GTX 1660 Super and GTX 1660 ti in them. I don't have side-panels currently mounted on those cases, but I think that I still have the panels.
 
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Assimilator1

Elite Member
Nov 4, 1999
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Virtual Larry
I've read your thread with interest, I didn't reply as I had nothing to add.
I can certainly understand why you use your rigs for making money, especially when you have limited income, mining makes perfect sense!

If the loud fan noise is sub(?)consciously stressing you out though it sounds like you need to do some cooling tweaking etc, do you have any old less efficient rigs that you could mothball? Maybe sell off 2 old ones to part pay for a new more efficient rig? (if you have any spare $$). Or if not, just mothball the least efficient rig?
Also you mentioned the server fans are somewhat loud, can you change the fans for quieter ones? Or alter their cooling profile in the bios? Or fit speed controllers to slow them down a bit, in combination perhaps with a slight underclock and voltage drop? (perhaps do that for all rigs?).
You might think that you don't want to lose out on the hash rate, but if you can significantly cut heat output with a slight to moderate loss in hashrate then you can run your fleet more often and with no or less AC, in which case you'd gain some output there (and perhaps off setting the lower hashrate?), not to mention less noise which sounds like it would help your mental health.

Re underclocking and under volting, I did that for my Ryzen 3600 rig, via a 65w PPT (restricts clock speed by 2.6-3.8%, as tested on a few DC projects), it cut power consumption by 12-18%, CPU temps dropped by 13-16C(!), and the Cinebench score only dropped by 5%. The fans also don't need to rev up anything like as much (although I didn't measure that as I'd changed the HSF too). Rosetta wall draw was 129w at the time (I later bought a platinum spec PSU which dropped it to 112w).
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,903
6,872
126
If the loud fan noise is sub(?)consciously stressing you out though it sounds like you need to do some cooling tweaking etc, do you have any old less efficient rigs that you could mothball? Maybe sell off 2 old ones to part pay for a new more efficient rig? (if you have any spare $$). Or if not, just mothball the least efficient rig?
Also you mentioned the server fans are somewhat loud, can you change the fans for quieter ones? Or alter their cooling profile in the bios? Or fit speed controllers to slow them down a bit, in combination perhaps with a slight underclock and voltage drop? (perhaps do that for all rigs?).
You might think that you don't want to lose out on the hash rate, but if you can significantly cut heat output with a slight to moderate loss in hashrate then you can run your fleet more often and with no or less AC, in which case you'd gain some output there (and perhaps off setting the lower hashrate?), not to mention less noise which sounds like it would help your mental health.
Well, the good news is that most of the rigs are in the living room, and I do have them very power-efficiently tuned, so card fanspeed is probably a bit lower, but those non-speed-controlled "server fans" (some came with one of the chassis), the other I filled with 'B-Gears' fans that Bryan from TechYesCity has talked about occasionally, always in deference to a very-powerful-but-louder fan variety.

I barely hear the servers from the bedroom. There's a couple of single-card small rigs shoved on a shelf in the bedroom, but those I turn off sometimes for heat / noise reasons. The A/C is in the bedroom as well.

I just wanted to get this story off of my chest, because I felt that the TeAm deserved some info about my spotty participation in the F@H Race last Dec., as well as my overall lack of participation in other DC things. It probably didn't help me that much, that I am not fully up-to-speed with the "advanced techniques" (lets leave it at that) that fellow TeAm members are able to work out and use during times of competition. Watching the TeAm "level up" their skills, has been a great sight to behold. I just wish that I was as up-to-speed with those things as the rest of you. I'm kind of a "simple miner" and "simple DC'er". Just point me at a project, tell me "go", and I'll plod along at my own pace. (It certainly hasn't helped that my mental facilities have been on the decline the last two years or so.)
 
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cellarnoise

Senior member
Mar 22, 2017
238
124
116
Love you Virtual L. I have only got back on Anand since Zen 1 came out and before only like every 5 years.

Please keep posting as you are one that I follow or at least read when you post.

Stay cool! and take care of yourself. Heat is bad now where I am at and I have shut down all my gear, except for one old phone!

I have had back issues from trying to get more active (walking) after the pandemic. Go slow at building and make sure to include plenty of light stretching and moving more. I recommend doing all of the above, but don't go aggressive. Listen to your body!

I do read your posts on several of these sub-forums, but not all.

Take care and when the time is right do what is best for YOU!
 

voodoo5_6k

Member
Jan 14, 2021
191
180
86
I just wanted to get this story off of my chest, because I felt that the TeAm deserved some info about my spotty participation in the F@H Race last Dec., as well as my overall lack of participation in other DC things. It probably didn't help me that much, that I am not fully up-to-speed with the "advanced techniques" (lets leave it at that) that fellow TeAm members are able to work out and use during times of competition. Watching the TeAm "level up" their skills, has been a great sight to behold. I just wish that I was as up-to-speed with those things as the rest of you. I'm kind of a "simple miner" and "simple DC'er". Just point me at a project, tell me "go", and I'll plod along at my own pace. (It certainly hasn't helped that my mental facilities have been on the decline the last two years or so.)
Although I'm no long standing member by any means, I guess most (if not all) will chime in when I say this: There is no obligation to achieve a certain output level or to participate in each and every event. This is supposed to be a fun hobby, and helps science in parallel. The individual and "real life" always takes precedence. Thanks for sharing your story and all the best for you :)
 

blckgrffn

Diamond Member
May 1, 2003
8,134
1,394
126
www.teamjuchems.com
My mining interest originated with DC as well, originally F@H on DX10 geforce cards, and C2Q and i7 CPUs. I remember I had 2 5870 cards in CF, and then 2 6950 cards in CF with unlocked shaders. I wish I knew of bitcoin back then. I would have had $millions if I had mined back then and held. I didn't start getting into crypto till I had my 7950, and right before I got my first 290. Still, one cannot predict the future, not perfectly, and one cannot change the past. I think I did alright considering.

Just one thing I will add, which I will caution you on Larry, is I would not trust nicehash. Sure, it is easy to setup, but if I understand correctly, you don't actually control your BTC. I would much rather mine on a decent pool with something like PhoenixMiner, with payouts to my own address. There should be different pools out there that do not require any account, where you can mine to an address. I have used ethermine for a while, though I am not pleased with their recent payout policy change. I suspect there are many decent pools to choose from though.
Man, when I was just way more active here in the DC sub was *the* time to mine BTC. I had a 5870 and 5850 (along with some other GPUs) at my disposal. It could have been *crazy*. But GPU OpenCL projects were coming on line and you could really get a ton of points vs all those slow CPUs :D. So instead I came in only briefly before the ASICS instead when it was really more counting sats than btc. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Oh well. It would have butterfly effected everything so I have made peace with it. The kiddos that have come along since make me 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999% sure I made the right call ;)

Lost 40 LTC to a pool shutting down unexpectedly and I wasn't doing payouts because I was "waiting" (ie, too lazy) to create a wallet. Maybe an expensive lesson but it was valuable one when it came to trust in the crypto world.
 
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blckgrffn

Diamond Member
May 1, 2003
8,134
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www.teamjuchems.com
But when I started to really get into mining, I became a bit obsessed, kind of neurotic, just stupified watching my satoshis (and cents) build up. I would check them maybe every hour, to make sure that they were still hashing away. It has been kind of like a bad mental addiction, like some people can't be away from their phone screen for more than a few minutes.
Maybe the key to me dropping mining. It caused a lot of mental stress. I had moved onto LTC at the time, but the warring pools and DDOS attacks kept knocking stuff over and I would wake up at night wondering if my miners had work.

I've got 99 problems and mining didn't need to be one of them, so I just stopped.

(hence I never cashed out and then when LTC jumped like a year later I went to get "my" coins I realized they were never mine because I didn't move them to a wallet I controlled.)
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,903
6,872
126
I've shut down my miners, except for one card to keep my acct. actively mining. The overall heat, noise, and especially EMF was really getting to me.

I have a mental illness, and I may be becoming more what they call electro-sensitive. I have six wifi routers currently operating as well, which are not shut down. The only client devices that use wifi, are two mining PCs, a wireless bridge, and my phone and laptop.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
19,224
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And who knows what mining earnings will be like in Dec.?
I think everyone people are preping for exodus to ravencoin.
I mine on old gpu's i retire so it can pay out enough for my online subs which take BTC.
So i pay for my Debrid VPN Usenet ect,,, all from BTC.

Having a couple old gen GPU's... well not really old gen... RTX 2080Ti + 1080Ti + GTX1070 + 2 x 1660 + 1060 6gb really makes more then enough for me to have fun with online subscriptions.

Again i have nothing against miners who do it on a small scale to recoup some GPU cost or others.
I have issues with guys like Red Panda and Bits be Tripping on youtube, as guys like them are the reasons we don't have gpu's
But to guys like L arry, i won't be fighting over a 3080 or a 6800XT, so i am pretty down with them.
I don't see Larry owning 28 x 3080's mining.... so no... your not qualified in my definition as a "dirty miner".

Larry what is your hash at out of curiosity?
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,903
6,872
126
I have issues with guys like Red Panda and Bits be Tripping on youtube, as guys like them are the reasons we don't have gpu's
Well, BBT is the only one out of those two that has a commercial mining farm, and last vid that he did at the farm that I saw, they were all mostly Polaris GPUs.

But even if either one of them had a larger than normal number of hard to get GPUs, I wouldn't hold it against them, because they give back so much of their time and info back to the community.

And I've never known them to shill... *vosk*cough*.

Larry what is your hash at out of curiosity?
Maybe 700MH/sec on ETH, using NH. Got some RVN and XMR going too (4GB cards and Ryzen CPUs respectively.)
 
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