Today there is a particularly active discussion about , and many users are wondering where to start mining coins and how it happens in general. The popularity of this industry has already had a tangible impact on the GPU market and a powerful video card has long been associated by many people not with demanding games, but with crypto farms. In this article we will tell you how to organize the whole process from scratch and start mining on your own farm, what to use for this and why it is impossible.
What is video card mining
Video card mining is the process of mining cryptocurrencies using graphics processing units (GPUs). This is done using a powerful video card in a home computer or a specially assembled farm of several devices in one system. If you wonder why GPUs are used for this process, the answer is very simple. The thing is that graphics cards were originally designed to process large amounts of data by performing the same type of operations, as in the case of video processing. The same is true for cryptocurrency mining, where the hashing process is just as uniform.
Full discrete video cards are used for mining. Laptops or chips integrated into the processor are not used. There are also articles online about mining on an external video card, but that also does not work in all cases and is not the best solution.
What video cards are suitable for mining
So, in terms of choosing a video card, the usual practice here is to buy AMD rx 470, rx 480, rx 570, rx 580 or Nvidia 1060, 1070, 1080 ti. Video cards like r9 280x, r9 290, 1050, 1060 will also do – but will not bring much profit. Absolutely, will not bring profit mining on weak graphics cards like geforce gtx 460, gts 450, gtx 550ti. If we are talking about memory, it is better to take 2 gb or more. It might be enough even 1gb, not to mention 512 mb. If we talk about mining on a professional video card, it brings about as much as the usual, or even less. Considering the cost of such VCs – it is not profitable, but it is possible to mine with them if you already have them at your disposal.
It is also worth noting that all video cards can get a performance boost by unlocking the values laid down by the manufacturer. Such a process is called overclocking. However, it is not safe, leads to a loss of warranty and the card can fail, for example, starting to show artifacts. It is possible to overclock graphics cards, but you should read the materials on the subject and proceed with caution. Do not try to immediately set all of the values to maximum, and even better – look on the Internet for examples of successful overclocking settings specifically for your video card.
The most popular video cards for mining 2021
Below is a comparison of video cards. The table contains the most popular devices and their maximum power consumption. It should be said that these indicators may vary, depending on the specific video card model, its manufacturer, the memory used and some other characteristics. There is no point in writing about outdated indicators, such as mining litecoin on a video card, so only the three most popular algorithms for video card farms are considered.
Is it possible to mine on a single video card?
If you have no desire to assemble a full-fledged farm of many GPUs or you just want to try this process on your home computer, you can also mine with a single video card. There is no difference and in general the number of devices in the system does not matter. Moreover, you can install devices with different chips or even from different manufacturers. You only need to run two programs in parallel for chips from different companies. Let us remind you once again that mining is not done on an integrated video card.
What cryptocurrencies can be mined on video cards
You can mine any cryptocurrency on GPU, but you should understand that performance on different ones will be different on the same card. Older algorithms are already bad for video processors and will not bring any profit. This is due to the emergence of new devices on the market – the so-called . They are much more productive and greatly increase the complexity of the network, but their cost is high and runs into thousands of dollars. That’s why SHA-256 (Bitcoin) or Scrypt (Litecoin, Dogecoin) coin mining at home is not a good idea.
Besides LTC and DOGE, ASICs made it impossible to mine Bitcoin (BTC), Dash and other currencies. A much better choice would be cryptocurrencies that use ASIC-protected algorithms. For example, using GPU will be able to mine coins on algorithms CryptoNight (Carbovanets, Monero, Electroneum, Bytecoin), Equihash (ZCash, Hush, Bitcoin Gold) and Ethash (Ethereum, Ethereum Classic). The list is not complete and new projects based on these algorithms appear all the time. Among them, there are forks of more popular coins, as well as brand new developments. There are even new algorithms, which are designed for solving specific tasks and can use different hardware. The following will tell you how to find out the hash rate of your video card.
What you need to mine on a video card
Below is a list of what you will need to create a farm:
Video cards. The choice of specific models depends on your budget or what you already have available. Of course, older AGP devices will not work, but you can use any mid-range or top-of-the-line card from recent years. Above you can go back to the graphics card performance chart, which will allow you to make the right choice.
The computer to install them. It is not necessary to use top hardware and make a farm based on high-performance components. Some old AMD Athlon, a few gigabytes of RAM and a hard disk to install the operating system and necessary programs will be enough. The motherboard is also important. It must have enough PCI slots for your farm. There are special versions for miners, which contain 6-8 slots, and in certain cases it is more profitable to use them than to build several PCs. Special attention should be paid only to the power supply, because the system will work under a high load all day long. It is strongly recommended to buy a PSU with extra power reserve and preferably with 80 Plus certificates. It is also possible to connect two blocks into one with special adapters, but such a solution is controversial on the Internet. It is better not to use a case at all. For better cooling it is recommended to make or buy a special stand. Video cards in such a case are taken out with the help of special adapters, which are called raisers. You can buy them in specialized stores or on “Aliexpress”.
A well-ventilated dry room. The farm should be placed in a non-residential room, or better in a separate room. This will get rid of the discomfort that arises from the noisy operation of the cooling and heat dissipation systems. If this is not possible, you should choose video cards with the quietest possible cooling system. You can learn more about it from reviews on the Internet, for example, on YouTube. You should also think about air circulation and ventilation to reduce the temperature as much as possible.
Miner program. GPU mining is done with a special , which can be found on the Internet. For ATI Radeon and Nvidia manufacturers use different software. The same applies to different algorithms.
Maintenance of the equipment. This is a very important point, as not everyone understands that a mining farm requires constant maintenance. The user needs to monitor the temperature, change the thermal paste and clean the CO from dust. You should also keep safety in mind and regularly check that the system is in good working order.
How to set up mining on a video card from scratch
In this section, we will look at the entire mining process from currency selection to withdrawal. It should be noted that this whole process can be slightly different for different pools, programs and chips.
How to choose a video card for mining
We recommend that you read the table above and the section on calculating potential earnings. This will allow you to calculate the approximate income and decide what kind of hardware you can afford, as well as to understand the payback period of your investments. Also, you should not forget about the compatibility of power connectors of video card and power supply unit. If they are different, you should get the appropriate adapters beforehand. All this is easy to buy in Chinese online stores or from local sellers with a certain markup.
Now it’s important to decide what kind of coin you are interested in and what goals you want to reach. If you are interested in making money in real time, you should choose currencies with highest profit at the moment and sell them right after you get them. You can also mine the most popular coins and hold them until the price spikes. There is also a kind of strategic approach, when you choose a little-known, but promising, in your opinion, currency – and you invest your power in it, in the hope that in the future the value will greatly increase.
Choosing a pool for mining
Also have some differences. Some of them require registration, while some require only your wallet address to get started. The former usually keep your earnings until you reach the minimum amount to be paid, or waiting for you to withdraw money manually. Suprnova.cc is a good example of such a pool. It offers many cryptocurrencies and all you need to do to work in each pool is to register once on the site. The service is easy to set up and will work well for beginners.
Minergate offers a similar simplified system. And if you don’t want to register on some website and keep your earnings there, you will need to choose a pool in official thread for the coin you are interested in on BitcoinTalk forum. Simple pools require only an address to accrue crypto and later you can use the address to find out the statistics of mining.
Creating a cryptocurrency wallet
You don’t need this point if you use a pool which requires registration and has a built-in purse. If you want to receive payments automatically to your wallet, then read about creating a wallet in the article about the corresponding coin. This process can differ significantly for different projects.
You can also simply enter your wallet address to some of the exchangers, but you should note that not all exchange platforms accept transactions from pools. The best option would be to create a wallet directly on your computer, but if you work with a lot of currencies, storing all the blockchains would be inconvenient. In this case, you should look for reliable online wallets, or lightweight versions that do not require downloading the entire blockchain.
Choosing and installing a mining program
The choice of a program for mining crypto depends on the selected coin and its algorithm. Probably all developers of such software have topics on BitcoinTalks, where you can find download links and information on how to set up and run it. Almost all of these programs have versions for both Windows and Linux. Most of these miners are free, but some percentage of the time they use to connect to the developer pool. This is a kind of commission for using the software. In some cases it can be disabled, but this leads to limitations in functionality.
Setting up the program is that you specify a pool for mining, a wallet address or login, a password (if any) and other options. It is recommended, for example, to set the maximum temperature limit, at which the farm will shut down, so as not to harm the video cards. The fan speed of the cooling system is adjusted and other more subtle settings are made, which are unlikely to be used by beginners.
If you do not know which software to choose, take a look at our material on , or study the instructions on the pool site. Usually there is a section devoted to getting started. It contains a list of programs that can be used and configurations for .bat files. You can use it to quickly figure out the configuration and start mining on a discrete video card. You can create batnets for all the currencies you want to work with to make it easier to switch between them later on.
Let’s start mining and keep track of the stats
After you run the .bat file with settings you will see a console window with a log of what is happening. It will also be available in the folder with the run file. In the console you can see the current hash rate and the card’s temperature. Hotkeys usually allow you to bring up the actual data.
You will also be able to see if the device does not find hashes. In this case a warning will be displayed. This happens when something is not set up correctly, the software selected is not suitable for the coin, or the GPU is not functioning properly. Many miners also use remote PC access tools to monitor a farm when they are not where it is installed.
If you use pools like Suprnova, then all the funds are simply accumulated in your account and you can withdraw them at any time. Other pools more often use system, when funds are deposited automatically to specified purse after receiving minimal withdrawal amount. You can usually find out how much you’ve earned at the pool site. You only need to specify the address of your purse or log into your personal cabinet.
How much can I earn?
The amount you can earn depends on the market situation and, of course, the total hash rate of your farm. It is also important what strategy you choose. You don’t have to sell everything you make at once. You can, for example, wait for a jump in the price of a mined coin, and get many times more profits. However, everything is not so unambiguous, and it is simply impossible to predict the further course of events.
Payback on video cards
To calculate the payback will help a special online calculator. There are a lot of them on the Internet, but we will consider this process using the example of the service . It allows you to get data on the current profit, based on the data of your farm. You just need to select the video cards you have in stock, and then add the cost of electricity in your area. The site will calculate how much you can earn per day.
It should be understood that only the current state of the market is taken into account, and the situation may change at any time. The rate can fall or rise, the complexity of mining will be different or new projects will appear. So, for example, may stop mining ether, due to possible transition of network to . If Ether mining will stop, the farms will need to allocate free capacities somewhere, like mining ZCash on GPU, which will affect the rate of that coin. There are many scenarios like this on the market, and it is important to understand that the current picture may not hold for the entire payback period of the equipment.
CPU mining VS video card mining
Video cards, as written above, are more suitable for cryptocurrency mining than . However, some CPUs still show quite good results, like the latest chips from AMD. Moreover, if you have a powerful hardware installed in your system, it is possible to simultaneously mine on CPU and video card. This does not cause any problems: you just need to run two separate processes on the computer.
So, for example, coins with CryptoNight algorithm are well mined on CPU, such as , or you can start mining Bytecoin (BCN) on video card and processor. Just remember that the processor also needs a good cooling system and the components should not overheat each other. This is especially true when all the equipment is installed in a standard PC case.
In conclusion, mining is an interesting investment that will not only make money, but also help the development of the cryptocurrency industry by supporting the network. Of course, now it is not as profitable as it was in the first half of 2017, and bitcoin mining on a video card has long been impossible, but things may change again in the future.
Of course, not everyone wants to do maintenance of hardware and take care of it, but there are people who are interested in the process itself. Also, the investment is needed, because mining on embedded Intel video card is not possible, as well as the use of old chips. We hope that our table, which contains the rating of video cards for mining by hash rate, can help you in the selection of equipment, and you were able to learn from this article about what this process is.