– GPU Using CGMiner –
Mine Bitcoins With a GPU Using CGMiner: The following article is a comprehensive guide on GPU mining from planning through execution. It will cover not just the technical setup but the decision making and process regarding profitability and long term gains.
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What is Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a digital currency created in January 2009 following the housing market crash. It follows the ideas set out in a whitepaper by the mysterious and pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto.
The identity of the person or persons who created the technology is still a mystery. Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and is operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies.
There are no physical bitcoins, only balances kept on a public ledger that everyone has transparent access to, that along with all Bitcoin transactions is verified by a massive amount of computing power.
Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any banks or governments, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity.
How are Bitcoins Mined
Mining is a process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger, called the Blockchain. It exists so that every transaction can be confirmed, and every single user of the network can access this ledger.
It is also used to distinguish legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts at re-spending money that has already been spent somewhere else.
Essentially, miners are serving the Bitcoin community by confirming every transaction and making sure that every single one of them is legitimate. Every time a new block is ‘sealed off’, a miner gets a reward. As of October 2017, the bounty stands at 12.5 Bitcoins per block.
The rate at which new coins appear resembles the rate at which commodities like gold are mined from the ground. Hence why the process is called ‘mining’.
Hardware Used for Mining
Early Bitcoin client versions allowed users to use their CPUs to mine. The advent of GPU mining made CPU mining financially unwise as the hashrate of the network grew to such a degree that the number of bitcoins produced by CPU mining became lower than the cost of power to operate a CPU.
The option was therefore removed from the core Bitcoin client’s user interface.
GPU Mining is drastically faster and more efficient than CPU mining. See the main article: Why a GPU mines faster than a CPU. A variety of popular mining rigs have been documented.
FPGA mining is a very efficient and fast way to mine, comparable to GPU mining and drastically outperforming CPU mining. FPGAs typically consume very small amounts of power with relatively high hash ratings, making them more viable and efficient than GPU mining.
See Mining Hardware Comparison for FPGA hardware specifications and statistics.
Whats is a GPU
Graphics processing technology has evolved to deliver unique benefits in the world of computing. The latest graphics processing units (GPUs) unlock new possibilities in gaming, content creation, machine learning, and more.
Designed for parallel processing, the GPU is used in a wide range of applications, including graphics and video rendering.
Although they’re best known for their capabilities in gaming, GPUs are becoming more popular for use in creative production and artificial intelligence (AI).
Why Mine Using a GPU
GPU mining is the second step in the mining evolution (first there was CPU mining); it’s very useful in the process of understanding mining.
We strongly believe that every miner should try mining with a GPU to experience how changing different options affects the speed and efficiency of GPU mining. Most likely, you already have a GPU in your desktop machine.
In the process of setting up the software, you will learn all the little tricks that are applicable to your hardware. You will also learn how the GPU compares to more advanced hardware, such as FPGAs and ASICs.
How Mine Using a GPU
What to Buy
To build a GPU mining rig, you will need to purchase several hardware components. Start by deciding how many GPUs you would like your mining rig to have.
If only two, any regular desktop PC case will do. If more, then you’ll need a special mining case, such as this aluminum stackable open mining case for up to 8 GPUs.
The best GPUs for mining in terms of value are the AMD RX 480 and the Nvidia GTX 1070 Founders Edition.
Again, use the online mining calculator recommended above to calculate which of the two GPUs is more profitable for your cryptocurrency of choice.
You’ll also need a motherboard with enough PCI Express connectors for all your GPUs. There are now special mining motherboards, such as the ASRock H110 Pro BTC+ (up to 13 GPUs) or the ASUS B250
Mining Expert (up to 19 GPUs), but you can also use a regular desktop motherboard, such as the ASUS PRIME Z270-A.
The PSU of choice for most miners is the EVGA 1000 GQ, which is an 80 PLUS Gold certified power supply with heavy-duty protections and a large and quiet fan with fluid dynamic bearings.
Other hardware components, such as the CPU and RAM, are not too important, and you shouldn’t feel bad if you decide to save money on them.
Any modern Intel Pentium CPU, such as the G4560, should work fine. Just make sure that it’s compatible with your motherboard.
How to Start
With your GPU mining rig ready to go, we recommend you buy and set up the ethOS 64-bit Linux mining distribution, which supports Ethereum, Zcash, Monero, and other GPU-minable coins.
Of course, you can get by without a specialized mining operating system, but we guarantee that ethOS will pay for itself multiple times in the long run.
ethOS supports up to 16 AMD RX or Nvidia GPUs, it can automatically assign an IP address and hostname, has built-in GPU overheat protection, and features automatic reporting, and remote configuration.
Above all, is extremely lightweight and works with all CPUs made in the last 5 generations on only 2 GB of RAM.
What is CGMiner
CGMiner is an ASIC, GPU, and FPGA miner that is maintained as an open-source product and works on platforms including Windows, Linux, and macOS.
CGMiner is extremely flexible platform-wise and can work with a variety of hardware miners, and GPUs, including the CUDA and NVIDIA platforms.
How to Mine with CGMiner
Create an Online Bitcoin Wallet
- Blockchain allows you to create a free, and secure wallet that provides many useful features.
- Blockchain.info is a great place to create a free online Bitcoin wallet.
- Blockchain will generate a password recovery mnemonic, be sure to store this somewhere safe in case you ever need to recover access to your wallet.
- It’s important to use a very secure password for the wallet. If anyone were to gain access to your wallet they could quickly steal all of the coins inside.
Find Your Bitcoin Wallet Address
- After creating the account log into the wallet using the identifier and password. The address of the wallet can be found on the main wallet home tab.
- The address consists of 27-34 alphanumeric characters. This address is what you will provide to people so they can send you payments using Bitcoins.
- Once you have a wallet you can give out your address so people can send you Bitcoins!
- Join a Bitcoin Mining Pool
- Solo mining requires an incredible amount of processing power which most people don’t have access to.
- Pooled mining allows miners to group up to solve blocks and earn Bitcoins together. Each miner that joins the pool earns shares for the work they contribute.
- Each time the pool finds a block (currently worth 12.5 BTC) the Bitcoins earned are divided among the users in the pool based on how many shares they earned in the particular round.
- There are many different mining pools you can join, each pool has it’s own pros and cons. As you learn more about Bitcoins you will be able to make a more educated decision of which pool is best for you.
I recommend joining AntPool because it has some great features and is very easy to use.
Creating an Account at AntPool
- The process for joining most Bitcoin mining pools is very similar but in this guide, I’ll show you how to start mining with AntPool.
- The first step in joining the pool is to register for a new account.
Create a Subaccount
- After registering with AntPool you will need to create a sub-account and associate a Bitcoin wallet. Payments will be sent from the pool to this wallet address once the payment threshold has been reached.
- After logging in click on the settings like to create a new sub-account. Once you’ve created a sub-account click the edit link to add your Bitcoin wallet address.
- The changes to your account will need to be confirmed by responding to the email sent from AntPool.
Creating a Worker
- Next, you need to set up a worker, click on the dashboard tab then workers. You will need one worker account for each copy of CGMiner you intend to run.
Creating an AntPool worker.
Download and Configure CGMiner
At this point, you should have a Bitcoin wallet that is now associated with the AntPool worker. This means you are finally ready to start actually mining for Bitcoins!
- Cgminer version 3.7.2 is the latest version with GPU support. Versions later than 3.7.2 do not support GPUs (only ASICs).
- Extract the Contents of the Zipfile
- After downloading the compressed zip file open the archive. You can use 7zip to extract the contents of the file. Inside the archive you’ll find a folder called cgminer-3.7.2-windows.
- Move this folder to C:\ and rename it to cgminer.
- You should end up a with a folder called c:\cgminer , the contents should like like the image below.
- Edit the CGMiner.conf File
- Next you need to enter the pool settings into the cgminer.conf file contained inside the c:\cgminer directory where you extracted the files.
- Edit the existing cgminer.conf file and modify the pools section as shown below. Replace subaccount.worker with the name of your own sub account and worker you created in the AntPool dashboard.
- Remove the extra pool sections unless you intend to add configure multiple pools.
- Once the config file has been modified you are ready to start mining for Bitcoins using CGMiner. Double click on cgminer.exe to start the miner.
- If your configuration is correct CGMiner launch, connect to the mining pool, and start mining for Bitcoins.
- Each of the GPUs detected by CGMiner will be listed in the second section below the summary. The current hash rate for each card will be displayed in Mh/s (Mega hashes per second).
- CGMiner in operation mining for Bitcoins.
- CGMiner in operation mining for Bitcoins.
- Troubleshooting CGMiner
- If you’re unable to get CGMiner working here are some common things you should check first.
- Install the latest version of the video card drivers
- Try launching cgminer directly from the command prompt instead o to check for error messages.
- Double-check the worker’s name entered in the commoner.conf file.
We hope this article was useful and educative, do well to share these messages with friends and loved ones. If you have a question, kindly drop your comments below.