Mining Zcash with GPU is quite simple – no need to download the full blockchain or run the miner in command line mode. The received coins can be sent directly to the stock exchange or to wallets, such as Trezor or Ledger Nano S. Don’t forget that you have to watch out and store tokens only in safe places.
Installation and application of Nvidia EWBF Miner is explained in this article. AMD fans would be better of mining Ethereum.
Mining Zcash using EWBF Miner is a best way to make money using your hardware. The program is optimised for the cuda-core Nvidia and allows you to achieve maximum performance.
The whole process of downloading, installing and configuring the miner takes less than 20 minutes.
- 1 Arguments in favor of Zcash mining
- 2 What is the difference between Zcash and Bitcoin blockchains?
- 3 Hashing speed, difficulty and price
- 4 Zcash mining profitability
- 5 How can calculate mining profitability?
- 6 Choosing GPU model
- 7 ZEC profitability calculators
- 8 Zcash mining using Windows OS
- 9 Alternative Zcash miners and GPU hashrate for Equihash algorithm
Arguments in favor of Zcash mining
- Zcash can easily be exchanged into Bitcoins, so by mining ZCash you can gradually accumulate more Bitcoins – the most famous and expensive cryptocurrency;
- Bitcoins can be exchanged into fiat. Thus, ZEC mining will fill your bank account. In addition, some large exchanges allow you to exchange ZEC directly into dollars or euros;
- Mining can become a cheap way to enter the crypto currency market with its high volatility. Experienced and / or successful players can multiply their deposits here;
- Since its creation, Zcash has remained one of the most popular currencies on the market, trying to win second place in price from Ethereum.
ZEC accumulation via mining allows you to take full advantage of its potential rise in price without risking money (not like in cas on direct purchase).
Mining and storing crypto-currency is follows an old saying that it should be bought at a cheap price and sold at a high one. However, most miners have no idea about technical analysis, so they buy and sell at the most inopportune time. They invest money at the peak of growth and sell during correction – a typical phenomenon for long-term trends.
If you buy mining equipment, you invest in a demanded asset. Its value in the secondary market is at a high level and sometimes exceeds the purchase price. In 2018 graphics cards purchased for mining rigs in 2015-2017 are often sold at a price higher than their original cost due to market frenzy.
Selling used mining equipment will allow you to return its initial cost and make a profit as well. And the received coins will be a pleasant bonus.
What is the difference between Zcash and Bitcoin blockchains?
Zcash hashing algorithm is different from the bitcoin algorithm, which makes it incompatible with special mining equipment (ASIC).
The basic Zcash algorithm is called Equihash. Its main feature is high memory requirements. Equihash is designed to complicate the creation of specialized ASICs. It is ideal for mining using graphics cards.
In addition, Zcash has a built-in privacy protocol for zk-SNARKS. Due to this fact, ZEC is striving to become a leading crypto currency in the market, focusing on personal data protection(Zcash competes with other similar currencies, such as Dash and Monero).
Each block Zcash takes 2.5 minutes to calculate. In bitcoin blockchain this takes about 10 minutes.10 Zcash is paid for the correct calculation.
Hashing speed, difficulty and price
Since its launch in the 4Q of 2016, the total hashing speed of Zcash network has been growing rapidly.
However, block calculation time has not been reduced. Block Zcash automatically adjusts block difficulty to retain the average time spent on one block. The difficulty is closely related to the hashing speed. This year it increased exponentially.
Why does the hashing difficulty and speed grow rapidly? The answer is obvious – because of the price! Here is a graph of Zcash price from WorldCoinIndex:
The thing is is that network computation capacity closely follows the incredible price growth that began in May 2017. In just a few months ZEC price leaped from $50 to $700.
Zcash mining profitability
Now that we have a clearer idea about blockchain and Zcash, it’s time to do some economic calculations.
On whattomine.com you can find the latest prices, block calculation time and hashing speed (in millions of operations per second, or MH/s).
How can calculate mining profitability?
Select your GPU model and you will see all the information about hashing and profitability (for Zcash click “Equihash”).
Over time, the numbers will change. Let’s assume that in our case the GPU, depending on the model and configuration, brings $1-2 daily.
Choosing GPU model
Try different graphics cards in our calculator ds, select the model with the best price/performance/energy consumption correlation (in MH/s per currency unit). AMD cards tend to outperform the Nvidia model when mining Ethereum using EthashAlgo. AMD cards lose slightly in the case of Equihash mining using EWBF Miner.
The graphics processor should have at least 1GB RAM, otherwise it will not be able to mine Zcash (EWBF supports cards with 1GB memory, in contrast to Ethereum client which requires 3GB). However, the energy efficiency of many old GPUs may not be sufficient for profitable mining.
Check out the following GPUs: Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB / 1070/1080, AMD RX 470/480, RX 570/580, R9 or HD 7990/7950. If you decide to buy used graphics cards, choose the ones from gamers, not from miners, and, preferably, still under a guarantee. Carefully compare the performance, power consumption, availability and cost of various GPUs.
Best GPU for mining Zcash:
We recommend Nvidia 1060 with 6GB memory as a budget version. It will perform better than AMD 480 for Zcash mining.
ZEC profitability calculators
Try using these three calculators in order to understand ZEC mining profitability:
The average number from these three services will demonstrate the most probable profit.
Zcash mining using Windows OS
Supposing you have purchased the GPU needed, and the PC is operating on Windows.
Install the latest drivers
Go to amd.com, select “Drivers and support” section, enter your GPU and download.
You can also download previous drivers (“Download Previous Drivers & Software” button), ideal for mining: R9 and earlier: version 15.12 RX 400: 16.9.2 or 16.10.3 RX 500: these are brand new cards, so we insist on using the latest driver version.
Drivers for GeForce are available on the official website. Enter information about your model and click “Start Search”.
Select the current version, download it, install and restart the computer. If device manager shows no warnings next to video card, then the driver has been installed successfully.
Some miners install several GPU and only after that configure the drivers. Others prefer to deal with one GPU first, install drivers and add the rest of the video cards (of course, the PC has to be shut off)
If one of the methods failed, uninstall the drivers and try again. DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) will completely delete the drivers, you can download it from Guru3d.com.
Generating Zcash wallet address
You will need a Zcash wallet to store the received coins. You can download the client from the official website.
In addition, you can use hardware wallets, such as Trezor, Ledger Nano S, or Jaxx – a popular web service. You can even send the coins directly to exchanges that offer this option.
Download EWBF Zcash Miner
The next step is loading the miner. Download only from links given in official branches on BitcoinTalk forum. There are several links on the bottom of the page. We use the one on mega.nz.
Select the most recent version and download the zip file. Unzip it on your computer. Please note Windows sometimes displays warnings when downloading miner software. Just ignore it if you used official EWBF links.
Change Windows settings
You will have to chage some Windows settings before you get down to mining. Firstly, disable sleep mode as it will interrupt the program. Go to the “Power pan settings” and choose “Sleep mode” to “Never”.
Then change the size of the swap file to 16384Mb (16GB). Right-click on the “My Computer” icon and select “Properties”. Click “Advanced System Settings”. On the “Advanced” tab select “Options” in the “Performance” section.
Click “Change” in the “Virtual memory” section. Uncheck “Automatically select swap file size”. Select “Specify size” and enter “16384” in the “Original size” and “Maximum size” fields. Confirm your choice.
Disable the Windows update system to minimize miner failure and system intervention. If it is active, the system will automatically download updates, install them and reboot, and that will interfere with the miner.
Finally, add an exception in your anti-virus by marking the folder with EWBF miner.
Join the mining pool and configure the startup file
The next step for you is to configure the Mining Pool settings. Solo mining is unlikely to make enough coins (unless, of course, you have a whole warehouse stacked with video cards).
First of all, choose Zcash Mining Pool. There are many options, however Flypool is one of the best. On its home page or in the “Help” section you will find information on the popular EWBF miner.
Zcash.flypool.org has a “Windows – Nvidia” tab. It provides information on EWBF Miner configuration. Copy the script line as shown below:
In the EWBF Miner folder you will find flypool bat file. This file configures miner startup.
Right-click on flypool.bat and select “Edit”. The file will open in Notepad. Insert the copied script line into it. Select the server according to its location (us1 or eu1). You can also delete the -cuda_devices option at the end of the line. It is used for selecting specific mining devices (for example, if you decide to have one video card for games, and use other cards for mining). If you you all GPUs, you can delete the parameter.
Copy the address of Zcash wallet. Insert it into the bat file (in the example above, replace the line after the -user parameter, which starts with “t” and ends with “DX”). After you are done, you can change the client’s name (in our case it’s .rig1).
Save your file with .bat extension:
Select “File> Save As” and add “.bat” after the name. Make sure that “All files” option is selected in the drop-down list and click “Save”.
Now you have a bat-file and you are all set to launch the miner. Create a shortcut for the new file and place it on your desktop (you can delete the .txt file).
Runing the miner
Double click on the bat-file to start the miner. The program will boot, initialize the graphics processors and start to do the calculations.
You can track results at zcash.flypool.org. To do this, copy and paste the address of your wallet into the field at the very top of the page and click “Check Status”:
Alternative Zcash miners and GPU hashrate for Equihash algorithm
Claymore’s Zcash AMD GPU miner – at the time of writing, is the most efficient Windows miner for AMD GPUs. It is constantly updated, new versions are released every 2-3 days and raise the performance of video cards by 15-30%. It is worth noting that you will be charged a developer fee of 2.5% for mining. The Claymore Miner has a closed source code, works with OpenCL library and is distributed only as executable file for Windows.
GPU hashrate: AMD Radeon Fury = 210 H/s, AMD Radeon R9 390X = 180 H/s, AMD Radeon RX 480 = 160 H/s, Radeon RX 470 = 140 H/s, AMD Radeon R9 280X = 115 H/s.
CUDA EquiHash miner is currently the fastest miner for Nvidia video cards. It can work both under Windows and Linux. Same as Claymore’s miner, the developer charges a fee of 2.5% and source code is also closed. The miner uses CUDA library.
GPU hashrates: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 = 108 H/s, Nvidia Geforce GTX 850M = 24 H/s, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050Ti = 37 H/s.
Nicehash EQM is faster than CUDA EquiHash for NVidia, but compared to CUDA EquiHash miner it can only be used for Nicehash pool. The EQM miner supports the latest Nvidia GPUs – Maxwell and Pascal generations and supports CPU mining (but this requires support of AVX2 / AVX instructions, mining is possible with more than 64 cores). The source code is closed, but unlike the miners above, there are no additional commissions. At the moment, EQM miner can only run under Windows OS, is distributed as an executable file and uses CUDA with its work.
GPU Hashrates: GeForce GTX 1050 = 48 H/s, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 = 48 H/s, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 = 53 H/s, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 = 48 H/s, Nvidia Geforce/s, Nvidia Geforce GTX 980 = 100 H/s, Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 = 125 H/s, Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 = 125 H/s, Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 = H/s, Nvidia Geforce GTX 750 = 34 H/s.
Optiminer Zcash miner is the main Claymore competitor for AMD GPUs. Unlike Claymore, Optiminer can be used on Linux 64 bit, a few days ago the developer tried to make a Windows version but failed, the developer promised to make it possible next week due to a lack of time and removed the alpha version for Windows which no one was able to launch. Miner charges developer commission, but unlike other miners the commission is not deducted from the mined hash. You receive the entire hash, but the miner also mines for the developer in the background mode, this proves that this miner can actually make a bigger profit if it was not blocked by the developer. After the release of Claymore’s faster version, the Optiminer developer will completely unlock his miner, thereby reducing commission. Optiminer currently supports only AMD GCN video cards and Nvidia GPUs and does not support CPU mining. The miner has a closed source code and works on OpenCL.
GPU hashrates: AMD Radeon Nano = 185 H/s, AMD Radeon R9 290 = 140 H/s, AMD Radeon RX 470 = 130 H/s, AMD Radeon RX 480 = 140 H/s, AMD Radeon R9 290X = 160 H/s, AMD Radeon R9 380X = 90 H/s, AMD Radeon R9 390X = 166 H/s.
Silent Army is one of the fastest universal open source miners in Python and working on OpenCL. In one of its first version Claymore partly used SilentArmy source code. Both AMD and NVidia GPUs and various CPUs can be used for mining on EquiHash algorythm (AVX2 or AVX support is recommended for CPU mining). Initially SilentArmy was developed for Linux, but today you can run it on Windows with Cygwin. Unlike most other miners, SilentArmy does not charge any fees.
GPU hashrates: AMD Radeon Fury = 115 H/s, AMD Radeon RX 480 = 75 H/s, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070 = 70 H/s.
Genoil ZEC miner is the first fast Zcash miner for GPU (It also supports CPU mining). At the moment even the latest version 0.6.2 (which was released 8 days ago) is hopelessly behind its competitors both in terms of performance, stability and load on GPU and CPU. The first versions of Genoil ZEC miner constantly failed and some users even thought of running a special script that monitored the mining process and rebooted the minor if it failed. At that time Genoil was the fastest miner for GPU. Genel supports only AMD GCN video cards and runs on Windows OS. Genoil Zec Miner does not charge any additional fees and uses OpenCL.
GPU hashrates: AMD Radeon R9 280X = 30 H/s, AMD FX 8350 8 cores = 11 H/s.
nheqminer is the very first NiceHash Zcash miner which was released together with currency launch. It was used for GPU and CPU mining, however GPU hashrates leave much to be desired. It supports CPU with AVX / AVX2, and AMD and NVidia GPUs (low hash). It has an open source code and works only under 64-bit Windows. Miner can only be used for Nicehash pool, but after the developers opened the source code, several forks which can operate in other polls appeared.
GPU hashrates: AMD FX 8350 8 cores = 10 H/s, Intel Core i7 6700K = 40 H/s, Intel Core i5 4690K = 19 H/s.