In the last few weeks Monero reached great rise in price, and it did not remain unnoticed by miners. Many people became interested in mining, and asked questions about how to start it. Of course, Monero is still possible to mine with the simple computer processor (CPU), however, due to the algorithm which becomes much more complicated (increase in difficulty) in relation to the great interest of miners, it will not yield realistic benefit. Let’s look at the possibilities of mining XMR using PC graphics cards (GPUs), comparing different kinds.
Mining of Monero using video cards
We already wrote in the article Monero Mining how to mine Monero currency without using any special equipment. The whole beginning in this case is identical to the previously described – you need to register on the Monero Mining Pool (we highly recommend the pool that we joined and practically tried – Minergate). What is different – that it is better to install not that standard software offered by the platform (additional information: we have been informed by some users that in some cases the standard software works very well so we will also take a look at it after we describe the video cards).
As Monero can be mined even with the computer processors (CPUs), almost all up-to-date video cards will probably be perfectly suitable. However, there are some nuances that need to be taken into account, especially if you are going to buy a video card – at what speed you can mine, and how much you will use electricity.
Not having the graphics card, it would be a difficult task to envisage previously mentioned parameters, but we are ready to give you some tips: Comparison of mining speeds of the Monero’s graphics cards. We extracted information from very different online sources therefore some information may be considered as provisional. Nevertheless, you can download and use this information, especially if you plan to buy the graphics card. In the column of graphics processing unit (GPU) you will find information about the graphics card (manufacturer, model, etc.), and numeric values allowing to assess how much VRAM (Video Random Access Memory) you need (note that the same brand name of the graphics card does not ensure the same speed so you should always check the VRAM!). The following parameters are the most important – hash rate (H/s) determining the mining speed, and the termal design power (TDP) – electricity consumed. Application (APP) and opperating system (OS) fields provide the software.
We have tried Monero mining, and have been using so far ASUS RAEDON RX460 2GB. We acquired the device for the price of about €110 ($125). The speed reached was 310-311 H/s. It is more difficulte to calculate the energy consumption as we do not have the device needed for measuring. It might be assumed that consumption should be about 60-80 W, and consumption per month – 43-57 kW/h (price of 1 kW/h is about $0.1).
Practical experience. We also tried using one more graphics card – MSI Geforce GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X, 4GB (speed about 340 H/s). Our regular reader also has tried using a very similar but a bit cheaper graphics card – MSI Geforce GTX 1050 Ti, 4GB (speed about 305 H/s). Actually, we have tried all 3 possible variants, and the best turned out to be “easiest”. Although the program itself shows the speed as very spiking but the mining results are the best.
Software to use the “easiest method”
The particular method, unfortunately, may not work with your graphics card. Do not give up, and use all available methods in order to find that one that really works for you.
In its essence, this method is very similar to mining with a computer processor. After registering on the Minergate platform, just go to the “Download” section and download the program suitable for your operating system. Once you have installed it on your computer, connect to the system with the email and password used during the registration process. Unlike in the case of mining with the processor (CPU), you need to start up mining on the GPU (graphics card). We add a picture to make it easier to understand if you launched the program. If you do not see the GPU mining column – go to the “View” menu at the top and tick the box symbol next to the option “Show GPU mining”.
Software for AMD graphics cards
We use and recommend to you Claymore CryptoNote GPU Miner v9.7 Beta – POOL with Windows 10 (64 bit) operating system. The main advantage is the command-line interface, which makes operating “unbreakable”, maximizes the use of many graphics cards and is the most popular. You can download it by clicking this link.
This tool is also very easy to prepare for usage. Extract the files in the convenient place on your computer. Go into the extracted location, and open the “start.bat” file with the Notepad app (by right-click the mouse on the file, Open With -> Notepad or you can use the Start Menu app – Notepad, open it and then File -> Open). Make sure that opened file is exactly because such is the sequence of actions required to start mining:
#Choose and set 100% graphics cards setx GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT 100 #Run mining NsGpuCNMiner.exe
The next step is to make settings in order to receive a reward for mining – go to the “config.txt” file and enter the following settings:
#Setting of usage for minergate pool -o stratum+tcp://xmr.pool.minergate.com:45560 #Setting of your login for the pool -u XXX@ecoin.lt #You can set the password but it is not necessary #and better to leave 'x' -p x
Congratulations, you have fully configured the mining software. Now it’s time to run the start.bat file, and you are already mining!
Note that lines starting with grids (#) mark comments, and do not setting inscriptions. They are of explanatory character.
If you need instructions for other operating systems (Mac OS X, Ubuntu, etc.) write in the comments below, and we will give some instruction.
The software (for nVidia graphics cards)
For the nVidia GPU we tried XMR-stak-nvidia termianl programme, however, we were not satisfied with results of the testing with any MSI RX 1050Ti GPU so returned to the previous option of Minergate software. Nevertheless, it is important that you test practically operation with your graphics card – you can get different result. Be sure you do this, and try the option we recommend, and just then decide what is your choice.
Download XMR-stak-nvidia and unzip it, extracting contents at the onvenient location on your computer. Then go to that location, and open the “config.txt” file. You have to write in the pool address (“pool_address”) as well as your email (“wallet_address”) that you used to register on the Minergate platform. You do not need to enter a password here – leave “x”!
"pool_address": "xmr.pool.minergate.com:45560", "wallet_address": "firstname.lastname@example.org", "pool_password": "x"
Just double-click on the “start.bat” file to run it. If you see the command line window and it closes immediately – the miner is not working! Everything should look like in the picture attached. If you get an “error” note – turn off the program and run it once again – we also had that problem.
The costs of mining of the virtual coins are related only to the hardware and electricity. If you extract the value higher than the cost of electricity – it is only a matter of time when the equipment will pay off unless the exchange rate of virtual currencies – in this case Monero – changes considerably. There is such a possibility in relation to cryptocurrencies, and it is difficult to envisage.
Whether you should start thinking about mining you can find out by going to the calculator prepared by the CryptoCompare. It is enough to enter three parameters: the speed (H/s), the electricity cosumed (W) (if you are just planning to buy a graphics card, check out these two parameters in the PDF table that we prepared), and price of electricity. The price that we had paid for equipment was paid off within 4.5 months, which seems satisfactory!
- Unconfirmed balance is the money that you have already mined but have not received yet. It will be credited into your account when it reaches 0,005 XMR
- You can also run mining devices on multiple computers at one time. The mining speed will be cumulative!
- You can install more than one graphics card on your computer!
You should remember that rates of cryptocurrencies are very volatile so predicting is very difficult. Tomorrow Monero might be worth $1’000, and €10 so there is a risk. You should be aware that you assume risk of both earning and losing 🙂 We wish you successful mining!