Ethereum mining on the personal computer

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The 2017 Crypt-Star unambiguously was Ethereum and its cryptocurrency Ether. Its greatly increased value attracts lots of miners because mining of this currency is one of the “easiest” (if we compare what resources are needed). Here we will discuss the experience of the typical user who has a personal computer (perhaps a notebook might also be suitable for it), and wants to try mining of the crypt-currencies.

Ethereum mining

Requirements are provided not for mining of all currencies. For example, Monero can be mined even with a computer processor or a weak graphics card (of course, mining will be slower), however, Ethereum has certain requirements. You will certainly not be able to dig a computer with only an integrated or weak graphics card.

Requirements for the computer

As you might have understood, Ethereum can only be mined using computers with graphics cards (GPUs). However, not all graphic cards will be suitable. A prerequisite is at least 4GB of graphics card memory. On the Internet, you can find advice how to bypass the requirement but most of them failed, for example, it was impossible to start digging with 2GB ASUS Raedon RX 460 GPU. The reason for this is very simple – GPU memory must have enough space for Etherneum DAG (directed acyclic graph), which already has more than 2GB and is growing rapidly (so if you decide to buy a graphics card – we recommend at least 4GB).

The major requirement is related to the graphics card. All the other requirements are less complicated – a few GB of free hard disk space, newer (not Windows XP 🙂 ) operating system, maybe also 1GB of free RAM – but currently computers usually meet these requirements.

Of course, even appropriate computer resources do not guarantee 100% success as sometimes there are problems due to old (or new) drivers, non-standard boards, etc. Hopefully, these are more exceptions than rules.

Software

If your available (or planned) computer resources meet the needed, we can move on – after all, time is money. There are 2 ways to start mining – the simplest, and efficient. At the time of our test, the difference was about 50%. See more about the test at the end of this article.

The simplest way

Ethereum mining
Ethereum mining in a simple way

For Ethereum mining we also recommend the platform that we have been using for long time, namely Minergate. On this platform, you can easily register (it’s mandatory) and download the software by clicking on the “Download” button in the top menu. Once downloaded and recorded the program, log in and run Ethereum mining at the maximum level 4 (GPU mining column). Do not be surprised, it will initially take time for DAG preparation as it must be downloaded and transferred to your GPU’s memory. After that, mining will begin, and, of course, all the fun.

This way is very easy, but at the same time – very inefficient. If you want a really good result, you should read further.

Efficient way

The efficient way is to use not interface but the command-line mining software. The result of our test described at the end was that this method was 50% more efficient!

Ethminer
Ethminer – more efficient way to mine Ethereum

Regardless of the mode you choose, you need to sign up for the Minergate platform – it will store money you make mining. After that, it will be necessary to submit the registration e-mail to the program.

Download the most popular command line mining equipment – Ethminer (download using this site) and extract it to your convenient location. In this location find the “ethminer.exe” file (it should be in the “bin” directory) – you will need the location of this file. Open the “terminal” (the easiest way – in Windows start search write in “PowerShell”). Write command cd “[location to ethminer.exe]” (for example: cd “C:\Users\aurimas\Desktop\ethminer-0.12.0rc1-Windows\bin”). Then enter:

.\ethminer.exe -G -F http://eth.pool.minergate.com:55751/YOUR_EMAIL

Wait a few minutes until you see that the DAG file has been synchronized and displayed “0 Mh/s” disappears. If, after a few minutes, you still see “0 Mh/s” or the speed is very low, it is likely that the program has selected a bad algorithm. Stop the process (CTRL + C), and rename the “-G” command to “-U”. The command should look like this:

.\ethminer.exe -U -F http://eth.pool.minergate.com:55751/YOUR_EMAIL

When you identify a better algorithm, save the command – you will need to run it every time you restart the computer.

You should know that no matter which method you choose:

  • At the beginning of Ethereum mining, your balance does not increase instantaneously. The balance rises only after the miners of the platform “find a block” (precisely then it is divided in proportion to the digging rate for all operators). It can take up to several hours!
  • Unconfirmed balance – we often get this question: Why is my balance not confirmed? On the Minergate platform, the balance is confirmed having a sufficient amount of currency. In case of Ethereum, your balance will be confirmed when you reach 0.000001 ETH.
  • You can even run mining equipment on multiple computers at one time. The counting speed will be summed up!
  • You can connect multiple graphic cards to one computer!

Electricity = Extra costs

Like any other activity, mining requires additional costs. If you have not invested in additional equipment, your only costs will be related to electricity. Amount of electricity consumed depends on a large number of factors so we just want to remind you that it also costs.

Profit

It is the funniest part – to calculate how much you earn. However, the profit gained by mining of the crypt-currencies is difficult to calculate because we can only calculate everything under current conditions but we do not know what will be tomorrow.

It is important to understand that such factors as the “mining complexity” (the more miners – the more difficult is digging), and the value of acquired currency are very fluctuating.

Let’s say today, one Ethereum is worth around 400 EUR, and tomorrow it may be worth 200 EUR or 600 EUR. And the mining complexity – today you are able to acquire 0.1ETH per day but tomorrow due to increased complexity maybe only 0.01ETH.

But counting is still interesting. For this, you need to see the mining speed (indicated as Mh/s) and enter into the calculator of CryptoCompare, and also you electricity consumption value (W), and its price. You will know the expected profit (if nothing changes).

By the way, as we have noticed recently, things change regarding mining, and you maybe acquire less due to the complexity of mining, however, the currency’s price rises, and everything goes even better than planned. 🙂

Our test

GPU
MSI Geforce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X

Of course we do not recommend anything we have not tried ourselves. We used MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X graphics card with 4 GB VRAM for this test. Operating system: Windows 10, 4GB RAM, Intel i3 processor – really nothing special.

The Minergate program with the interface was very disappointing as we only reached around 8Mh/s. We tested the command line method, and the speed grew tremendously ranging from 10.5Mh s to 14.75Mh/s (we calculate average – 12.5 Mh/s).

Unfortunately, at the moment we have no possibility to check the amount of electricity consumed but imagine that it should be about 100W.

The profit (the gain after deduction of consumed electricity) should be around 4 EUR per week. We would say it is a rather good result knowing that the ETH value has not been falling for some time, and is likely to rise in the future.

Good luck in mining!

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