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-   -   Crypto currency mining (http://forum.a8parts.co.uk/showthread.php?t=13153)

ainarssems 26th June 2017 03:39 PM

Crypto currency mining
 
This to to follow up from my online trading thread.

It seems like a no brainer if setup costs less than 2k for PC, 80 a month to run and returns over 500 every month. You build one, 4-5 months later it's paid of so you buy another one, after 2 months another, then after 6 weeks another... as far as your power supply will allow you to go (or internet connection)

So Mark if you could give a bit more details with the example PC build details. Which currencies are better to mine and if you can or if it's recommended to run several at the time to spread the risk. How fast internet do you need or anything else you think I should know.

MikkiJayne 26th June 2017 04:17 PM

I'd be interested to know if you need a high-end CPU to go with the GPUs or whether the GPUs do all the work. I've got some old HP Proliant servers kicking about which can take half a dozen PCIe cards so it'd be nice to make use of them.

Electricity at the workshop is half the price of home too :)

Hmm the Proliants would only take two of those double-height x16 graphics cards. Is that worth it?

ainarssems 26th June 2017 04:48 PM

While we wait for Mark to share his experience I will share some of my thoughts, it's just a gut feeling so nothing certain. I think you do not need high end CPU but at least half decent to feed the data t and from GPU's. When you look at old servers besides CPU's you need to consider amount and bandwidth of RAM and speed of PCIe bus, ist it gen 1, 2 or 3? And older tech also tend to be less power efficient so it might be wiser to invest in newer kit. I for example updated old Dell PowerEdge server with a new HP Mini server and power consumption went from over 300W to less than 50W in iddle while offering slightly more computing power. And it never does over 100W while the old one would go over 600W when pushed. I understand that on mining rig power consumption will be a lot more but still if it s 750W vs 1000W it makes sense to buy new kit.

Quote:

Electricity at the workshop is half the price of home too
Is that because of business rate or just down to location?

moltuae 26th June 2017 05:25 PM

I've been involved in cryptocurrencies for a few years now and had various discussions about it on some of the IT/tech industry forums I participate in. So to save me a lot of retyping, I'll start by copy-pasting some of the posts I made there.

(these are predominantly US-centric forums, hence the USD/GBP cost comparisons)


Some of this info may be a little out of date now but, to start with, here's a post I made comparing mining rigs and an Antminer S9 ASIC unit ...





Quote:

Originally Posted by Me
So the Antminer S9 arrived at the end of February, a few weeks earlier than expected. Shipping for this batch wasn't due to start until March. Since I had placed the order less than a month earlier (4th Feb), I assumed I'd be at the back of the queue and expected to have to wait until at least the end of March.


Here's the unboxing photos ....



http://i.imgur.com/q8xuzFg.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/JsF5gAC.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/gmg0x5K.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/ZNqRToM.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/xRVsmZk.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/bW4RS4a.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/KcHYf8l.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/Iw8Hm35.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/QO9nwkd.jpg



So this thing is presently heating my workshop while I experiment with different mining pools for the best profitability. I usually use electric heaters in my workshop but the S9 pumps out more than enough heat alone to heat it.

In colder climates (like the UK), used as a space heater it costs about the same to run as a small electric fan heater (around 1300W, I believe). Bottom-line profitability of course depends on electricity costs and the present Bitcoin value (or whatever cryptocurrency you're mining) but even with the relatively high UK electricity prices it seems to be able to manage to generate about twice as much as it costs to run.

It's too early to get a good mining average yet, but it seems to be able to achieve at least 11mBTC per day (presently around 11 or $14), which equates to over 300 ($370) per month or about 4000 ($5000) per year. So if, like my customer, you have a free source of electricity, or you use the thing as a heater, ROI is about 6 months, otherwise it's more like 12 months.

One point I should mention is that these things are quite loud when running! Not unbearably so. They're louder than a typical rack-mount server but a little quieter than the average vacuum cleaner. You can hold a conversation in the same room as an S9 fairly easily.



We began looking into GPU mining rigs too. This is where things get interesting. Somewhat surprisingly, with the right graphics cards, these can be just as profitable (if not more so). I'll post more on this later, but here's a photo of the test rig for now, complete with 2 x PSUs, 6 x GPUs (with risers) and 1 motherboard ...

http://i.imgur.com/1cX49FB.jpg



Quote:

Originally Posted by AnotherForumMemeber
If you're in a place with electric heat or free power (e.g. solar, wind or hydro that's not feasible to sell back into the grid) then these could make all the sense in the world. Would be interesting to see one of these set up tied to a thermostat - need more heat? Crank up another core!

Depending on the setup you might also be able to mount it to allow vertical airflow and get a bit of simple convection cooling, but that may crank out too much heat to do without the fans anyway. You can also do a limited chimney at the output, the rising hot air can actually pull air through faster for better cooling.

Precisely our thinking. As you say, if you generate ample electricity that you can't sell back to the grid (which is often the case) or you can make use of the heat, it becomes a no-brainer. My customer falls into both categories. They also have an ORC generator on-site and numerous solar panels. They're very excited by the results so far and they're already doing the math(s) and considering investing in many more rigs (and possibly more solar panels!). Installing these rigs for bushiness customers could prove to be very lucrative!

Now, what surprised me was how well the multi-GPU rig compared with the S9. In many situations, the GPU rig makes more sense ...

Antminer S9 Pros:
  • Ready-made unit. Purpose-built and comes with a 12 month warranty.
  • Compact size.
  • The most energy efficient ASIC miner available (~1300W).
  • Very easy to configure.
Antminer S9 Cons:
  • Loud fans.
  • Likely to have a low residual value in future.
The GPU rig probably pumps out a similar amount of heat to the S9. We haven't had chance to measure the electricity consumption yet, but we expect it to be comparable too. Noise-wise it's much quieter however (depending on choice of fans) -- not really any louder than a high-end PC. But, perhaps more importantly, since it uses off-the-shelf parts, its residual value is much higher. The used prices of these high-end graphics cards are very high. The S9 does its job very well, but it has no other purpose or value if it becomes no longer viable to mine with.

GPU rig Pros:
  • Readily available parts.
  • Much quieter operation.
  • Easily repairable/serviceable.
  • Good residual value (of parts).
GPU rig Cons:
  • Requires custom build/config.
  • Large & bulky (Takes up about 4 times as much space as an S9).

For a home/office mining rig/heater, the GPU rig probably makes the most sense, whereas the S9 is probably best suited to larger operations or warehouse mining farms.

Some more photos of the GPU rig:


http://i.imgur.com/33yVj3l.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/Bq1JJON.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/TuOfEwQ.jpg


http://i.imgur.com/ubVfr2x.jpg



We're running NiceHash on the GPU rig, and this is how much it's earning:

http://i.imgur.com/KVqeqNP.png


moltuae 26th June 2017 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ainarssems (Post 129614)
This to to follow up from my online trading thread.

It seems like a no brainer if setup costs less than 2k for PC, 80 a month to run and returns over 500 every month. You build one, 4-5 months later it's paid of so you buy another one, after 2 months another, then after 6 weeks another... as far as your power supply will allow you to go (or internet connection)

So Mark if you could give a bit more details with the example PC build details. Which currencies are better to mine and if you can or if it's recommended to run several at the time to spread the risk. How fast internet do you need or anything else you think I should know.

As far the internet connection and PC goes, you don't need anything special. It uses very little bandwidth and a cheapo Celeron CPU will do. 4GB of RAM is enough for 1 or 2 cards. 8GB or more is recommended for larger rigs.

If you're considering getting into mining, start with a single graphics card. I'd recommend using NiceHash to mine. It's a multi-algorithm program that automatically switches to the most profitable coin/algorithm.

Nice has have a profitability calculator for numerous different cards here:
https://new.nicehash.com/profitability-calculator

There are numerous builds and optimisations you can do but the basics are:
1) Install a suitable graphics card
2) Get a Bitcoin wallet
3) Run NiceHash and point it to your Bitcoin wallet



Quote:

Originally Posted by MikkiJayne (Post 129622)
I'd be interested to know if you need a high-end CPU to go with the GPUs or whether the GPUs do all the work. I've got some old HP Proliant servers kicking about which can take half a dozen PCIe cards so it'd be nice to make use of them.

Electricity at the workshop is half the price of home too :)

Hmm the Proliants would only take two of those double-height x16 graphics cards. Is that worth it?

The servers will work, if you can physically fit the graphic cards in them, but they're a bit overkill and will probably use more electricity than needed. You really only need a basic CPU and motherboard (preferably one with a few PCIe slots for multi-card rigs though of course).

ainarssems 26th June 2017 05:46 PM

I have built a lot of PC's over time so GPU rig is definitely more for me, can you share some configurations that you have built either for yourself or customers. And the software, algorithms to get it running ( hopefully on Windows but other OS are possibility if not too complicated).

Do you mine several currencies or use different algorithms on the same rig or is it one thing on each?

I understand any config would be fairly loud and while I would like to use heating effect in winter I think the rigs will need to be in garage.

I have old PC that I barely use with Q6600 @3.6GHz, 8GB RAM and GTX760, would it be suitable for testing purposes until I put something more suitable together or would it consume more in electricity than generate?

ainarssems 26th June 2017 05:48 PM

Sorry, missed your last post before reply, it seems more bitcoin orientated, what about mining other currencies?

moltuae 26th June 2017 06:02 PM

I'll add more info as I have time but just few more points to note:

Use a wallet for which YOU hold the private keys and NEVER leave any more of any cryptocurrency on an exchange than you can afford to lose. Exchanges are centralised organisations that can and do get hacked. Crytpocurrencies are distributed/decentralised and are very secure as long as you own and protect your private keys.

Examples of Bitcoin wallets are:

Armory: This is a 'full-node' wallet that downloads and validates the entire blockchain. As such it can take hours (even days) to synchronise the first time you run it. You can make 'paper backups' of Armory wallets.

Electrum: This is a 'seed' based wallet. A long passphrase is used as a seed to generate your private key, which in turn is used to generate lots of public addresses that you can use for receiving and storing funds. You only need your original seed and chosen password to recover this type of wallet on another computer/device.

Mycelium: While Electrum is also available as mobile app it's a bit clunky. Mycelium is one of the better mobile wallets.

Another good one for multiple cryptocurrencies is Jaxx.

On the point of other cryptocurrencies or 'altcoins' as they're often called, there are hundreds. You can get the info on most of them here:
https://coinmarketcap.com/

Many, like Ethereum, have amazing potential and lots of features. In fact, technically Ethereum isn't a currency at all. The currency called 'Ether' is the 'gas' that runs the Ethereum network, a network that is in fact a distributed platform (comprising of thousands/millions of computers) that can actually run applications, execute 'smart contracts' and so much more.


Be aware though that there are a lot of junk coins (aka 'sh1tcoins'). Some are just not worth investing in while some are downright scams.

moltuae 26th June 2017 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ainarssems (Post 129628)
Sorry, missed your last post before reply, it seems more bitcoin orientated, what about mining other currencies?

Just use NiceHash. It'll mine whatever is profitable and pay you in Bitcoin.

It'll all become clear when you download and run NiceHash. Like I said, just start with a single card until you get the hang of it. If you have a suitable graphics card already, even better, otherwise use NiceHash's profitability calculator to choose a card. We're mainly using RX 480 cards at present but (due to the recent increase in mining popularity) they're sold out everywhere. So we've just started switching to the Nvidia 1080Ti cards instead.

MikkiJayne 26th June 2017 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ainarssems (Post 129623)
Is that because of business rate or just down to location?

Business rate +++

I just discovered my house mate has a GTX960 sitting in a PC gathering dust - that could be earning 30 a month! :D Plus I have a couple of i7 laptops with GTX480s. Tinkering time tonight I think...


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