Mining Ethereum: best GPU, pool and program

The Ethereum hashing algorithm is called ethash. It hashes the metadata of the last block using a special code called nonce: a random binary number that assigns the unique value of the hash function. For each new blockchain block the network sets its target hash value, while all the miners involved try to guess the nonce value, which will result in this value.

The hashing is based on cryptography principles making it practically impossible choose nonce randomly. This means that the only way to find the right nonce is to cycle through the entire range of possible solutions until the correct one is found. In this case, the solution can serve as a “proof of work” – that the computer that has uncaped the correct value of nonce should have actually performed the work, that is, use the processing power to run the hashing algorithm.

Miner, who has found the correct value of nonce, decrypts the block and receives five ethers, after which the process begins again. The cycle repeats every 12 seconds.

Ethereum mining starting kit

  1. At least one high-performance video card, but preferable 4-6 GPU per farm.
  2. A computer (system unit), of course, or a farm with installed operating system (Windows x64). Make sure that it is a 64-bit version.
  3. Decide on the currency that you want to mine. The Ethereum algorithm (dagger hashimoto) can be used to mine several cryptocurrencies, including: Ethereum Classic (ETC), Musicoin (MUSIC) etc.
  4. Since mining is on-line, we need Internet connection. Fast speed is not a must, but a good ping is desirable, we will explain this later.
  5. Select the Ethereum mining pool (POOL), choose the mining program and configure it.
  6. Select a stock exchange or Ethereum wallet where the coins will accumulate and a site where you can exchange coins for rubles and withdraw them into your bank account.

A fast internet connect is not a must, but it should have a good ping. The best option is cable connection, but also Wi-Fi can also be used.

GPU Ethereum mining

Actually, Ethereum mining is not so different from mining other cryptocurrencies. Therefore, graphics card requirements are much the same.

Let’s start with memory. Choose at least 3GB, soon the minimum rise to 4GB due to the constantly increasing DAG file size. In this case your work will be efficient and you will receive a fairly quick payback.

Mining Ethereum GPU

As for memory speed, the best is the DDR5 standard. Such GPUs have a good correlating between performance and power consumption.

You will need a 256-bit bus because 128-bit buses are less efficient, and the mining speed is too low.

Cooling system is very important in mining. Radeon is usually the best option. Among other things, they demonstrate a resistance to wear. But the last 10th generation of Nvidia demonstrates good results, and they are also easier to find in stores.

Another parameter that is less significant is the overclocking capability. Of course, one can add from 20 to 40 percent of the initial video card power, but you will have to deal with additional settings.

Ethereum pools

We have earlier reviewed Etherium mining pools, in this review you will find a complete analysis of pools with statistical data and a comparative table with rating. Here we will briefly list the seven most relevant pools for 2018:

  • ETHpool. This is the very first pool that started to decline new users due tohigh workload and continued to work with previous users. Its capacity is about 20% of the total system capacity, the number of users is close to 400.
  • Minergate. Is one of the popular pools, preference is given to nvidia GPUs. This is a multi-currency resource, that is, you mine different coins, including Ethereum. The site has a simple and intuitive interface. It’s enough to register 1 account and you can use several PCs simultaneously. You can mine with both the CPU and the graphics card. The “smart” mining mode is an option.
  • NiceHash. Mining several cryptocurrencies is also possible in this pool. Installation and setting are very simple, even a novice user can cope. The system automatically selects the most profitable mining algorithm, automatically transfers the received coins into BTC and automatically withdraws money to your wallet when you accumulate 100,000 Satoshi.
  • ETH Nanopool. A new ambitious project. Despite its youth, its share is almost 2 times larger than ETHpool. The number of users has already exceeded 400. Its fee is 2%, withdrawal fee – 0.005 ETH. But there is also something not quite pleasant – the administration “washes their hands” if there are technical or other problems (for example, balance loss), no compensation should be expected.
  • Ethereumpool. Another young service that is operating and being developed at the same time. Its share of the total network capacity is 1.8%, with the speed of 6 Gigahashs per second.
  • ETH Supernova. This service is known to users who are keen on mining altcoins. Now here you can mine Ethereum, which is good news for us. Registration is imperative, but the interface is user-friendly and security is at a high level. The pool is certainly trustworthy, reliable, give a chance to earn real money and is also customer-friendly.

Ethereum solo mining

As the name suggests, solo mining means Ethreum mining only by using your own capacities, if they are low, we do not recommend this option to you.

But if your capacities allow, we will share a small guide to solo (single) mining of ETH coins on a local system or within a network of several minings. Please keep in mind that at the moment it’s almost pointless to try mining alone, if you do not have enough CPU or GPU capacity, you are unlikely to complete the block.

Based on our experience, geth periodically locks itself and ceases to send new data from the current block (in case of solo mining), so you will have to monitor the performance of your systems very closely. If you want to mine in a pool, our article will definitely be interesting for you. Before you start, you will need to download the latest geth and ethminer Windows packages using the link at the end of the article.

Generating wallet address

  • Open the geth folder and run geth-console.bat to open Ethereum in console mode.
  • The software will download the blockchain data, so it will take some time.
  • enter the following data into the console: personal.newAccount (“password”) – instead of the word password, you need to enter your own password and remember it.
  • Next enter: eth.accounts – this command displays the address of your Ethereum wallet.
  • Use web3.fromWei (eth.getBalance (eth.coinbase), “ether”) to check your balance
  • Чтобы быть доступным в интернете: geth —rpc —rpcaddr «x.x.x.x» —rpcport 8545 — для того чтобы быть доступным в интернете, не забудьте заменить IP-адрес rpcaddr на адрес компьютера, на котором запущена система (x.x.x.x – это просто пример, который не будет работать). Также не забудьте выставить порт 8545 (или любой другой, который вам захочется).

Launching geth for solo mining

  • To catch only local connections: geth -rpc -rpcaddr “localhost” -rpcport 8545.
  • To grant access to the local network: geth -rpc -rpcaddr “192.168.0.123” -rpcport 8545 – in order to be available in the local network, do not forget to replace IP address rpcaddr with computer IP on which the system is running (192.168.0.123 – an example).
  • To be available on the Internet: geth -rpc -rpcaddr “xxxx” -rpcport 8545 – in order to be available on the Internet, do not forget to replace the IP address rpcaddr with computer IP on which the system is running (xxxx – just an example). Also do not forget to set port 8545 (or any other of your choice).

Launching ethminer for solo mining

  • Use: ethminer -G in order to mine on the same local system where geth works,
  • In order to mine on the same local system where geth is installed and running, use: ethminer -G -F http://192.168.0.123:8545 – make sure that the IP address of the local system is set correctly (192.168.0.123 is just an example ). Do not forget to disable the firewall that can block these connections.
  • In order to use Mining rig for Internet mining on a PC with geth on the local network, use: ethminer -G -F http: // xxxx: 8545 – to grant access via the Internet, instead of xxxx as in the example, specify your external IP- address, set port 8545 or one that will correctly interact with your external IP and the system on which geth is running.

Etherium mining software

There are several software options for ETH mining, we will discuss the two most popular ones. There is no fundamental difference between them.

Claymore’s Dual for joint Eth and Decred mining

Claymore’s Dual Ethereum + Decred GPU Miner gives the opportunity to mine Ethereum (ETH), Decred (DCR), or both at the same time. It positions itself as the best, in terms of mining speed, miner of these cryptocurrencies.

In the dual mining mode, you will have full performance for Ethereum Mining and a slower Decred mining if compared to the single mining mode of Ethereum or Decred.

Claymore claims that the Ethreum mining efficiency should be 3-5% higher due to a completely different miner code, it gives a higher load on the GPU and uses optimized OpenCL code. The miner is designed pool use and does not support solo mining. Claymore’s Dual Ethereum + Decred The AMD GPU Miner has versions for both Windows (currently available only for 64-bit) and Linux.

The Miner is free, however, when mining in Ethereum-only mode, you will have to pay 1% of the received Ethereum and 2% received Ethreum in Ethereum + Decred mining mode. There is no commission for mining only Decred.

Versions for AMD and Nvidia graphics card with 3GB of video memory or more are available.

Download Claymore’s Dual Ethereum Miner through the official developer link https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1433925 (yes, do not be surprised, the official link is on the Bitcointalk forum).

Claymore’s Dual setting

A 64-bit Operating system is needed to launch the miner, I use Windows 10, but there are fans of Linux mining.

You also need to install the correct driver. If you have a farm running on AMD GPUs, then use 16.9 version, a later version does not see the tuned GPUs. You can use the lates driver for Nvidia.

You need to register the Bat file with the following settings in order to set the miner for a specific pool:

setx GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR 0

setx GPU_MAX_HEAP_SIZE 100

setx GPU_USE_SYNC_OBJECTS 1

setx GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT 100

setx GPU_SINGLE_ALLOC_PERCENT 100

EthDcrMiner64.exe -epool eth-us2.dwarfpool.com:8008 -ewal 0x0364fea61f52e3323dad984ed20a007bc0e735b4/ferma1 -epsw x -etht -allpools 1 -ftime 10

Where -epool eth-us2.dwarfpool.com:8008 is pool’s address and port via USA serverwhere ping is lowers, if you are from USA the complete list is on Dwarfpool.com/eth.

Next -ewal 0x0364fea61f52e3323dad984ed20a007bc0e735b4/ferma1 – wallet and farm fork for stats.

I mine in Dual mode, meaning that I mine 2 cryptocurrencies at the same time, so now my bat file looks like:

setx GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR 0

setx GPU_MAX_HEAP_SIZE 100

setx GPU_USE_SYNC_OBJECTS 1

setx GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT 100

setx GPU_SINGLE_ALLOC_PERCENT 100 EthDcrMiner64.exe -epool eth-ru.dwarfpool.com:8008 -ewal 0x0364fea61f52e3323dad984ed20a007bc0e735b4/ferma1 -epsw x -etht 1000 -dpool dcr.suprnova.cc:3252 -dwal LOGIN.WORKER -dpsw x -allpools 1 -ftime 10

The second coin is Decred in supernova pool. You register a wallet on Poloniex, but when registering in supernova, this wallet is tied to the account, and you need to enter the login in the batch file. We will explain this in another article. In dual mining, the GPU power consumption is higher, temperature also jumps by 10-15 degrees.

Now add the batch file tag to startup so that the mining starts immediately after the operating system is loaded, and set the AC Back parameter in the bios, so that the computer is turned on after the electricity supply starts.

The startup folder in Windows 10 can be opened with shell: Startup from the command line or from the “Run” utility, which can be called up by a Win + R shortcut.

Copy your wallet number to the text field in the Ethereum section of the Dwarfpool website to see the stats. After a while you will see the solutions next to your worker.

Ethminer and its settings

Ethminer is used for Ethereum mining. There are several mining programs, we have tested many of them, but Ethminer has demonstrated the best performance, we recommend it to novices. Advanced users can try other miners.

To run ethminer it you need to create a bat file in which actually we will play with the parameters and run the miner.

In the beginning we enter:

Setx GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR 0

Setx GPU_MAX_HEAP_SIZE 100

Setx GPU_USE_SYNC_OBJECTS 1

SETx GPU_SINGLE_ALLOC_PERCENT 100

This is for video card memory deallocation (very important for 2GB ones)

Next we run the ethminer with parameters:

ethminer.exe -G -F http://92.63.101.111:6000/101162 —farm-recheck 200

  1. -G running miner on GPU with OpenCL (available for Radeon and NVidia), if we change -G with -С CPU mining will be launched but the speed will be very low, -U launches mining with CUDA (computation on Nvidia GPUs). I use AMD Radeo, so I couldn’t check out this parameter, please comment if you have Nvidia and we will try to figure this out together.
  2. -F http://92.63.101.111:6000/101162 we tell the miner where to connect, IP:PORT/LOGIN_FOR_MINING. Please check that the login is not your system number, you can receive your login in Earn -> Mining. You will enter only your login instead of 101162
  3. —farm-recheck 200 — same for all

These are the main ethminer settings, try running the miner like this first, it may take some time though while the DAG file will be uploaded.

After that we will use more specific setiings for ethminer, we use 2 parameters cl-local-work and cl-global-work, first of all try —cl-local-work 128 —cl-global-work 8192 , just add the parameters in the end of the miner execution line.

ethminer.exe -G -F http://92.63.101.111:6000/101162 —farm-recheck 200 —cl-local-work 128 —cl-global-work 8192

In order to learn the best cl-local-work for your GPU, use command ethminer -G —list-devices for OpenGL and ethminer -U —list-devices for CUDA in report CL_DEVICE_MAX_WORK_GROUP_SIZE and this will be your optimal cl-local-work, but please noote that if you are using the PC that is also used for mining, for higher speed use —cl-local-work 128 —cl-global-work 8192. You can create 2 bat files for mining and down-time.

You need to create a bat file in the same folder with miner to get a report, GPU memory will be shown in the report.

ethminer.exe -G —list-devices

pause

—cl-global-work try leveling up gradually 8192, 16384, 20384 (20384 tested for R9 380-390,+ several Mhs)

If you have several GPUs on one PC, but you only want to use one for mining Ethreum, add \\\»—opencl-device X\\\», instead of X enter the GPU index, you can learn index with command:

ethminer.exe —list-devices

Windows setting for Ethereum mining

Before mining you need to configure Windows virtual memory.

In order to enter the settings of the Windows 10 paging file, you can simply start typing the word “performance” in the search field, and then select the “Customize view and system performance”.

Select the “Advanced” tab, and in the “Virtual memory” section click the “Edit” to configure the virtual memory.

By default, the parameters will be set to “Automatically select the amount of paging file”, we change this parameter to 16000 and wait for confirmation.

Ethereum cloud mining

There is an alternative for those who want to mine Ethereum without buying and setting up equipment. This is possible with cloud services.

Cloud mining implies the joint use of computing resources of remote data centers, which specialize in storing and processing data. This has many advantages:

  1. You do not have constantly working equipment in your apartment, so no additional noise and heat.
  2. Electricity bills are no longer a threat.
  3. no need to constantly monitor the operation of the unit, fear malfunction or breakage.
  4. no need to build the system yourself and configure the program. Despite the seeming simplicity, users this is a serious obstacle for most inexperienced.

This kind of mining involves a number of risks, so choose the platform wisely. Usually we recommend to deal with proven resources that have been operating for more than a year.

The best cloud-mining service as of 2018 is HashFlare, it has favorable tariffs and an excellent reputation for reliability (it has never delayed payments for the last two years).

2018 Profitability and prospects

As of 2018, a decent farm is still able to bring very good money. And the cost of electricity is just a penny compared to how much Ethereum is mined per month. Check out the calculators to see how much profit can you get with mining with different types of GPUs (links below).

Ethereum mining yield calculator

I would like to highlight the necessity of using mining calculator for preliminary analysis profitability. This program is available to everyone, you just need to enter a series of data, and you will have an approximate picture of your probable income (or loss).

The two most accurate and informative calculators to date:

  1. http://whattomine.com
  2. https://nicehash.com

Ethereum network (ETH) difficulty

Mining Ethreum just like other cryptocurrencies is getting harder every day. Block difficulty is an important parameter based on the mechanism of POW consensus (proof of work). The complexity of mining on POW algorithm is of top importance to miners whose income directly depends on the change in this indicator. Let’s take a look at the graph.

In early 2016, the price of Ethereum rapidly grew in peaks to 9000% from the minimum value, which attracted miners to the infrastructure already developed at the time (miners, pools, instructions). The spring of 2016 witnessed the peak of mining profitability in its entire history, which of course affected the chart – now it has a steady upward direction.

Since then, the calculations complexity with varying success has increased and in early January 2017 reached 80 TH, leaping to 500 TH after Ethereum price grew by 25%.

At this point, the Etherium hashrate is 1500 TH, sharply exceeding the values ​​before the fall in late October. This information is updated time to time.

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