Help With Configuring A Mining Setup

Discussion in 'Rigs' started by optipus, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. 2017/12/15 - Decred v1.1.2 released! → Release Notes  → Downloads
  1. optipus

    optipus New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
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    Female
    Is there anyone knowledgeable about these things and living in the Central Coastal area of California able and willing to help me build a reasonable mining setup?? I've been researching this on my own, but am confused about what will work best for Decred. I would really like to do this, but almost assuredly can't alone.
    Thanks,
    Opti
     
  2. David

    David Sr. Member

    Jan 22, 2016
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    How big of a mining setup are you looking at building?
     
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  3. optipus

    optipus New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
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    Female
    Big enough to make it worthwhile and cover the expenses for electricity. Not so slow that other miners gobble up the work before it can reach me. I don't know if this means a Raspberry Pi with a GPU attached (if that is possible and not laughably naïve), or what?? I am pretty ignorant about all of this, but I want to learn and build.
     
  4. David

    David Sr. Member

    Jan 22, 2016
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    Well... if you want the current value to cover electricity/cooling costs, you probably need several gigahash worth of hashing power. Of course this depends on where you live and what your power rates are. Solo mining is already out of the picture unless you have several hundred gigahash (read: ten thousand+ dollars) to commit just for Decred PoW mining. Even with several hundred gigahash, it may not be profitable as the multiple mining pools are already dominating the network.

    That's good news for you though.. It's not too late to get in on PoW mining in a pool. There are several pools already out there:
    https://www2.coinmine.pl/dcr/
    https://dcr.suprnova.cc/index.php
    https://dcr.maxminers.net/index.php
    https://pool.mn/dcr/

    I can't tell you what may or may not be worth using to mine - but start here to gauge the performance of popular video cards. Then you can start to spec out a system. As far as connecting a video card to a Raspberry Pi... not worthwhile for mining. The Raspberry Pi is tremendously under-powered to handle a massive GPU's input/output requirements (and there isn't really an interface for connecting PCIe to the Raspberry Pi). Although the Raspberry Pi does have other uses for other aspects of Decred.
     
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  5. optipus

    optipus New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
    18
    3
    Female
    David, thank you for your replies. But I am more ignorant than you give me credit for... I just read through the information on popular video cards, but I have no idea how to "spec out a system". To what do you attach the GPU? Maybe I'm so far behind that I will never get this. The lingo alone is like Greek to me. Still, if someone could point me to a really simplified description of what a moderate setup is, I could maybe do this. I've read through everything I could find on this site for hardware setup, but I still don't know much more than I did.
     
  6. David

    David Sr. Member

    Jan 22, 2016
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    No worries! I'm here to help. I will try to explain from step one.

    Hardware mining (Proof of Work [PoW] mining) is most commonly performed with video cards. The specs you just read through were reports from various users on the mining performance of different models of video cards - some are more powerful than others. Video cards are just one part of a computer. If you have a recently made desktop computer (within the last ~2 years), chances are it has a video card in it already. To answer your question, the video card attaches to the motherboard inside the computer case. Video cards are mainly used for video performance in PC games and video rendering... but because they have such powerful processors, they are also useful for cryptocoin mining.

    Miners are a huge part of the Decred network. They are dedicating their computer's processing power to finding the correct hash for every transaction that takes place on the Decred network. A hash is a shortened and cryptographically secure version of all the transaction details that took place, such that it is near impossible for the hash to be reverse engineered. These hashes are then included in the blockchain, the public list of all transaction records. This keeps the network secure because if any attempt to modify transaction details was made, the hash in the blockchain would change and not be accepted by the network. When miners find the correct hash (specified by the Decred blockchain code), they are rewarded Decred coins, which is the ultimate goal of PoW miners.

    Anyways, to mine, you need a standard PC configuration:
    - Processor
    - Motherboard
    - Power Supply (power output needed will vary depending on which video card you choose)
    - Hard Drive
    - Memory (RAM)
    - Mid Size (or full size) PC case
    - One or more video cards, depending on the hash rate you wish to achieve.

    If you are using a laptop or any Apple computer, you will need a whole new PC system. If your current PC is running Windows, there's a good chance all you'll need is a video card and a stronger power supply unit.
     
  7. sambiohazard

    sambiohazard Sr. Member

    Jan 21, 2016
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    I would recommend you to do more reading & research before getting into large scale mining. Once you go beyond a single PC or 3-4 cards, its not that straightforward as plug and play. You will have to know a lot about how GPUs, miners, pools work. There will be maintenance, upgrades, failures and more along the way. I don't thik its wise sink your hard earned money into mining unless you enjoy lots of troubleshooting & challenges. I would say you rather buy some decred on an exchange and stake it if you are a novice with mining. It is much easier & requires very little maintenance other than having a 24/7 running machine.
     
  8. David

    David Sr. Member

    Jan 22, 2016
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    I agree with @sambiohazard, although I won't discourage anyone from trying anything. There is definitely a lot to know with PoW mining and there is a substantial learning curve, but if you have the questions then I or many others might have the answers. Sambiohazard mentioned proof of stake mining, which I'll assume you're not familiar with @optipus. This is where you obtain Decred (either by mining or purchase via an exchange, but let's just say you buy some through an exchange) and invest it back into the network by "staking" these funds. Staking is basically temporarily trading your Decred for stake tickets. While it's definitely easier than building, configuring, and managing a PoW miner, it too has a learning curve.
     
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  9. optipus

    optipus New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
    18
    3
    Female
    Thank you both so much!! You have shared a lot of information, and also given me a lot to think about. I will do more research, and see how it feels. David, special thanks to you for being so willing to educate such an ignoramus. I will have more questions, for sure!
     
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  10. optipus

    optipus New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
    18
    3
    Female
    I just checked to see what I have computer-wise:
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 745
    Intel Core i5-4960 CPU 3.20 GHz
    8 GB RAM
    x64-based processor
    Windows 10

    I was planning on configuring something separate, but would this be suitable to start? Could it keep up with the others??
     
  11. sambiohazard

    sambiohazard Sr. Member

    Jan 21, 2016
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    Is this a laptop? I wouldn't suggest PoW mining on a laptop as it will get hot and probably get damaged if you mine for too long. This machine looks good for stake mining. Also GTX745 seems like a mobile GPU, it will give you around 100-200 MH/s. Just to test mining you can run a miner for 5-10 minutes and see if it gets too hot.
     
  12. optipus

    optipus New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
    18
    3
    Female
    No it's not a laptop.
     
  13. optipus

    optipus New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
    18
    3
    Female
    Of course it's encased. Would it be better if I screwed up enough courage to take it out of the case? (Although I have two long-haired cats and I would worry about tons of hair gumming it all up. Is 100-200 MH's enough? That seems sort of weak. But maybe it doesn't matter just to try it?
     
  14. sambiohazard

    sambiohazard Sr. Member

    Jan 21, 2016
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    hmm its an OEM version card, anyways it will give around 100-200 MH/s, you can use it to learn how things work. Yeah its low hashrate, you will be lucky to get 0.1-0.2 DCR/day on a pool.
     
  15. optipus

    optipus New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
    18
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    Female
    couple more questions: if I mine 24/7, will it render the computer impossible to use for my usual things? Would it be feasible, given the rest of the components, to switch the GPU out to a "hashier" one?
     
  16. sambiohazard

    sambiohazard Sr. Member

    Jan 21, 2016
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    I am mining right now on my PC from which i am posting this, so no it will not render it unusable. WRT changing the GPU there is only one consideration to make, that is your PC's power supply. Higher end GPUs with high hashrate consume a lot more power so you need to change your power supply as well. Your PC looks like a pre-assembled one from some company like Dell. Those generally have very low end power supply that only supports what is pre-installed. Also if there is a warranty, it will be void if you open the case.
     
  17. optipus

    optipus New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
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    3
    Female
    Exactly...it's a Dell. What is yours? Did you put it together yourself? Could I buy a pre-assembled computer with a high hashrate GPU and a power supply that complimented it? It sounded like most piece their own together, from the reading I've done.
     
  18. sambiohazard

    sambiohazard Sr. Member

    Jan 21, 2016
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    yeah most people assemble their own mining PC. That is why i told you, you need to learn a lot. There are high end PC available for gaming but they are much more expensive due to branding. Also there are parts like CPU & storage etc, which need not be the best in a mining PC but are included in a gaming PC. I have assembled my own PC but its mining/"my precious" ;) so it has some fancy parts.
     
  19. David

    David Sr. Member

    Jan 22, 2016
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    @optipus My PC is also custom made. I am an avid PC gamer as well (well I was before Decred came along :D), so my PC just happened to be suitable for mining. Your current computer will do okay with mining.. I would suggest to take the side panel off the PC and set a small fan to blow cool air into the case should you decide to mine with it. I think you will see over 200 Mh/s using that GTX 745. I'm not sure how much DCR that will come out to but it is probably around what sambiohazard predicted.

    The miner program that runs on the computer has a dynamic setting, so it adjusts how much resources it uses based on whether or not you are using the computer. You can also hard code the setting so that it performs at a constant level, which can degrade your usage performance. With that computer, and a power supply upgrade, you can put any video card in there that you like, as long as it will fit inside the case. My guess is the case isn't very large inside and probably won't fit a full length video card inside, but there are some short cards that perform well (like the AMD Radeon R9 Nano).

    You could buy a preassembled "gaming" computer, but I wouldn't recommend doing this for a miner as you'd be wasting money on high-end components that are not necessary for mining. All you'd need is a stronger power supply and a video card.

    With your current setup, I'd recommend getting it ready to mine in a pool and see how it does after running for a day or two. With that video card, it won't be much, but it'll be a good way for you to learn everything in case you do decide to purchase some more powerful hardware.
     
  20. optipus

    optipus New Member

    Dec 17, 2015
    18
    3
    Female
    I am still mulling over all that you've told me. Right at the moment, I am leaning towards morphing the idea of mining into buying tickets. But not before I read a lot more about it. SamBH: your comment about having built "My Precious" is still making me laugh. And David, thank you again for all of your patient answering of my questions, and for believing that I could be successful in mining. I am busy buying a lot of what you two are pumping out, so at least you know where some of your coins are going, offsprings of Precious. You guys are great!!
     
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