A beginner's guide to GPU mining - a blog / how to for Ubuntu 16.04 - Part 1 - Hardware

in #cryptocurrency4 years ago (edited)

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Happy Thursday everyone!

I took a bit of a break from steemit, technology, and city living, but I'm back home and I'm excited to get back to work. I decided I'd jump back into things with a bit of a bang, and mining is something I've been wanting to get into for quite a while. I'm going to be making a series of posts not only describing my journey but hopefully teaching you a little something along the way! I decided I'd like to go the GPU mining route as it is for me currently the most practical.

So welcome to part one of what I hope will be very many, and do feel free to let me know if you have questions below in the comments. I'm not an expert, but I do have access to seasoned veterans in the crypto mining game.

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For those of you who have been stuck in a coffin for the last few months - mining crypto is simply verifying transactions on any one of many blockchain networks in order to generate free crypto! Bitcoin for example - say what you want about it - is definitely the most well known crypto currency that operates on a system of mining. Keep in mind there are other types of blockchain networks and not all of them employ this concept. ASIC mining is what the bitcoin network is built upon, while ethereum uses GPU mining, or mining that is done using one or more video cards. Still others such as solar coin use POST networks that do not use mining at all!

Confusing, I know.

The important thing to make note of if you want to follow along with this is that anyone can mine crypto if they have the patience to learn how, and it's not hard. It's actually a great way to get involved with the blockchain technology everyone is so excited about. You don't need to start off with top of the line gear. That can come with time if you decide you like how your initial investment is going later on.

I'm also here to be honest with you, and tell you that you will absolutely not become rich off of this over night. If you stick with it, customize your hardware, and fine tune the software side of things (advanced linux users will really shine here) you could definitely make a decent amount of money after all is said and done. This will, however, take an investment on your part of both time and money.

You'll first need some hardware. The important thing to consider is that the more power you are using the less money you will be making in the long run. Try to customize something that isn't going to kill your electric bill, or if it does, it at least pays you back! People generally opt to go with a low power consumption CPU and high quality power supplies coupled with as many GPU's as they can fit on their board.

You could use stuff you already have laying around, purchase used equipment off of craigslist, or try to scour the earth for deals on all new gear. The important thing is to LEARN! Really customizing your operation is something that will come with time. As you try things, learn, and develop your own way of doing things, you'll discover what works for you and what doesn't.

Matched RAM, and matched video cards are a MUST. RAM is pretty racist stuff, actually. Often times it will refuse to work unless you put it with another stick of RAM that is exactly like it! And as video cards are the focal point of this whole operation, and also rely heavily on RAM to do their jobs, their included as well. Keep in mind you can definitely get away with not doing this. Ideally, however, you would want to if you can.

That being said, you'll need some variation of the below if GPU mining sounds like something you want to try out...

Motherboard
This is definitely most important consideration, as it is the heart of your build. Which motherboard you choose determines how many video cards you can have total, as well as what the speed of your FSB and CPU will be, ultimately. Choose wisely and keep in mind that as always when it comes to things like this you really want to research and get the most current information possible. Something that's the best thing out there today could be yesterday's news by tomorrow.

http://ethbuddha.com/best-motherboard-mining-2018/

Video Card(s)
Use the website below to calculate what you can expect for a return depending on which card(s) you go with. The video card(s) you buy will determine how profitable your entire operation is:

https://whattomine.com/

CPU
Low power and low cost is the name of the game here. Your GPU's will determine your hash rate, and that's what we're concerned with. Our GPU's will be doing all of the hard work, while the CPU will only be moving small pieces of information into and out of the GPU when needed.

Power Supply
Calculate how much power your rig will be using based on the video cards you went with, and be sure the power supply you purchase can handle it. Generally the rule of thumb is to go with about 20% more than needed there. I found this tool below I was messing with for a bit, but opted to go with tried and true pencil and paper after all was said and done.

Be mindful of the fact that this is all based on power. The video cards you spent so much money on like nice, constant power.

https://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator

HD
A hard drive is also a necessary element, but doesn't need to be anything special. People often use thumb drives, as it's a snap to duplicate an operating system onto external storage, and won't break the bank.

Perhaps this would be a good time to consider buying a copy ETH OS if you have any interest in it. It's an operating system specifically designed for GPU mining and can be purchased on a thumb drive for short money:

http://www.ethosdistro.com/

Chassis/Cables/Misc
And once you know what you have, you'll need to tie it all together, something that suites your purposes, plain an simple. As with most things, you can buy professionally made units, or make them yourself out of whatever materials you desire. I've included some examples below:

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Make sure you consult a licensed electrician if needed. As you start out this really shouldn't be too much of a concern. If and when you decide to kick it into high gear, the amount of power required to run stacks of machines isn't something to be played with.

And that's all you should need in terms of the basic hardware. I'm going to assume I'll be making multiple trips to the hardware store, but I'm okay with that. I'm thinking of using an old metal file cabinet I've had forever as my chassis, and I'll have to figure everything else out once my hardware is known.

I have feelers out on craigslist for used gear and based on the market right now I don't think I can rush anyway. Everything is very expensive, but by the same token there is always opportunity for someone with cash in hand.

This concludes part 1 of the blog/guide/how-to. Thank you for reading my post, please let me know if you enjoyed it in the comments.

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Sources:

http://www.ethosdistro.com/

https://www.ethermine.org/

https://www.reddit.com/r/EtherMining/

Conversations with various friends and acquaintances who have been trying to convince me to get involved with mining for quite a while


© 2018 http://www.titantp.com

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Thank you so much for sharing :) hope you have a lovely Thursday too! very informative post x

Same to you, blessings. Thanks for reading!

PSUs are typically rated into 4 categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Bronze being the least efficient and Platinum being the most efficient. Why is this important? Because the more power you waste/use the less profitable your mining rig will be.

An excellent point.

Hi... Vote back please.

I would absolutely love to get into GPU mining. However, we really need AMD/NVIDIA to start churning out more cards. We currently have this contentious battle going on between the crypto GPU miners and the hardcore gaming community. There just simply aren't enough high end new GPUs on the retail market to meet the demand. As the laws of economics go, supply goes down, demand goes up, along with the pricing. Gamers want the cards to obviously game and consider "saving it from the mines" when they get their hands on these new cards. The crypto miners don't care about gaming and just want the high hash rates with lower power consumption. Cards are going for well above their retail price from third party sellers to meet the demand. Amazon, NewEgg, etc. You won't find many, if any, retail sellers. All are private third party sellers who are selling well above MSRP.

I want to get into GPU mining badly however I think I am going to have to resort to waiting until the cards become more profitable. One card going for $1,000 won't make too much of a dent in mining. So the initial investment of a few thousand dollars is pushing me away.

As soon as they get cheaper. I am buying in.

I agree 100% with everything you said. For me right now I'm in it to learn. This all goes in cycles, as we have been taught time and time again. :D

I have some things I want to try with lubuntu / turning off pieces of hardware/ custom os I doubt most people go through the trouble of doing. I really want to fine tune the system and the mining software. I haven't had the time recently but made some changes so I should have time to get to work now.

I'm very interested in learning more about this...

well stick around part 2 will be coming soon. depending on how long it takes me to find a good deal on some gpu's

Looking forward to it. Thanks

i built a 4 - rx 580 GPU rig and I freaking love it. I love mining. I have such an itch to build more and more rigs - ASICs, cpu, I want it all. But taking it slow for now...

@chivesz miss u brother.i have no idea about GPU mining
thanks for share.Please keep it up 😊

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