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How to build an Ethereum + Zcash mining equipment ? Finish guide (1/Two : Theory)
This mining tutorial is made for absolute beginners spil well spil for experienced miners looking for fresh mining opportunities.
It concentrates on Zcash mining spil well spil Ethereum mining, and can be very helpful for other cryptocurrencies based on memory-hard Proof-of-Work.
Designing a mining equipment
Choosing : OS, mining pool, mining software
Assembling the equipment
Installing OS + GPU miner
What’s next ? A few possible improvements
Introduction : a few words about Zcash
Wij’re all on an equal footing with Zcash : nobody knows if it’s just another ephemeral trend or a fresh Ethereum. But two points caught my attention :
Zcash seems to have bot designed by a very skilled team made of various profiles with much experience…and they did well. Zcash has bot introduced with care : announcements were made, a public betatest phase wasgoed launched, and the thickest exchanges like Poloniex and Losbreken supported the “ZEC” spil soon spil the very first coins were emited.
Note : yet, there has bot some bugs, one of them preventing “private transactions”, which is a feature they’ve bot communicating a lotsbestemming on. However it sounds like it hasn’t killed the Zcash effect ! (immobile with v1.0.1)
Keep te mind the context… From Bitcoin has emerged a good community of tech-savvy do-it-yourselfers and a fresh caste of digital speculators, then ASICS and super mining farms came, endangering the idea of wholly decentralized and reliable network : the Proof-of-Work algorithms had to become “harder” for ASICs to mine, ie ASIC-resistant, and this wasgoed one of the numerous reasons why Ethereum had bot praised. Now, difficulty is approaching limit for mining rentability, raising concerns for the mining community. Spil if wij needed a fresh eldorado, effortless to mine for, that would be capable of embodying a fresh crypto-era, with a fairly certain future… mmh, ‘ looks familiar. Yet, be quick… because there are always some ASICs coming (reminisce Dash), and ZEC’s price has already fallen so that ETH is still worth mining.
I / Designing a mining equipment
Your mining equipment will receive “works” from the cryptocurrency’s peer-to-peer network. Thesis works are fresh transactions to be verified and added to the blockchain : they are divided ter “blocks”. Your equipment will calculate hash functions for a block. You are said to have successfuly mined a block if you have found a solution to the cryptographic problem associated with. It’s very hard to solve, so enumerating and verifying is the only way to achieve mining. The variable called difficulty level (self-explanatory) is an ever-increasing constraint at the scale of the network. Then the block is waterput at the end of the blockchain and you earn a prize (coins), made of static and transaction fees. For this zuigeling of process, you need to run a tremendous number of plain operations te parallel. To be more accurate, this is not exactly the process your mining equipment will run : this is a brief description of the solo mining process, while you might go pool-mining (cf Section III).
Note : one may say “sounds weird to mij, why hashing etc ?” Well, this is the Proof-of-Work paradigm, which solves the punt of “consensus”. For example, Zcash’s algorithm wasgoed introduced ter a paper called Asymmetric Proof-of-Work Based on the Generalized Bday Problem.
Then, what zuigeling of hardware is needed ?
All computers are not created equal when dealing with massively parallel processing : either you’ve got a supercomputer with a superb number of CPUs, or you create a very customized device…like an ASIC. Third solution : use your GPU, or even better : build a rekentuig with several GPUs !
AMD R9 290x (2013) is a reference for miners. There are more interesting GPUs now.
Graphic cards are particularly adapted for thesis plain, repeated and parallel operations : they have many ALUs (Arithmetic Logic Unit) or shaders for movie processing. Whereas your CPU is a very good executive, a GPU is an unmatched laborer ! For the same cost, you’ll end up with a far better mining rate with a GPU. And should you choose CPU-mining, you’ll need a high-end CPU, meaning usually high-end mobo plus RAM. Moreover, having several CPUs is expensive and fairly unusual for desktop computers, while multi-GPU doesn’t scare anyone.
Note : all this rethoric is ok for “memory-hard” algorithms, like Equihash (Zcash) and Ethash (formerly Dagger-Hashimoto, Ethereum). It means that mining efficiency is limited by the memory, and the latter being a costly thing, it’s said to undermine profitability te mining. It’s also (especially ?) targeting ASICs : the more it’s memory-hard, the less they’re likely to predominate. Read the Equihash whitepaper for more information. Some cryptocurrencies are better CPU-mined, thanks to their hashing algorithms : see here.
Vormgeving of a mining-rig spil a desktop rekentuig with several GPUs
Whatever the hardware, whatever the GPU : it will fever anyway, a loterijlot. The processing units will be at almost 100% of charge 24/7, so a good cooling is needed. For example, a managed and well dissipated GPU will – at least – end up with 170 F (75 C°). A desktop rekentuig case ? No way. It’s all about airflow. You can add opbergruimte ventilatoren if you want.
The multi-GPU problem : how to connect more than Two cards to the motherboard ?
You’ll find it out ter Section II, be patient
Some widespread designs
With cases from the DIY version to the >, $100 case :
For equipments with Two or Trio GPUs, the cheapest trick : one of thesis beloved Walmart’s milk crates (USA)
If you think on a big scale : metal shelves, where you can suspend your collection of GPUs
For equipments >, Trio GPUs, the cleanest way : a custom-made open-air-case. DIY or… kits available on ebay (fairly expensive). Here from spotswoodcomputercases.com
II / Choosing hardware
GPU : why AMD and not Nvidia ?
Nvidia has fine cards for gamers, but the mining community runs on AMD. For several reasons. “Historically”, Bitcoin mining chose te inbetween Nvidia and AMD : the latter seemed to have a far better rechtschapen computation vertoning, which is typically what cryptography is about – integers – so it does make a difference for cryptocurrencies. Note that AMD also gives a good floating-point voorstelling. While Nvidia predominates the high-end market with the fastest voorstelling te absolute terms, AMD is said to reach the best mining show vanaf watt.
Last but not least, if you compare AMD RX vs Nvidia GTX, you’ll find more GDDR5 memory along with a higher bandwidth (nice for memory-hard cryptos like ours), and much more shading units ! Some laborers ! Good point for AMD, whereas Nvidia gets better when it comes to frequencies. Usually both clock speed and turbo clock speed are higher, so it can meet gamers’ expectations for framerate te ingewikkeld scenes.
Note : there is an algorithm known spil LYRA2RE, used by LBRY and Vertcoin, that is said to permit a good mining spectacle on Nvidia.
How to choose a GPU to mine Zcash / Ethereum with ?
Well, gpuboss.com helps a loterijlot. Take into account the Bitcoin mining spectacle shown by Gpuboss for each GPU : it’s not an absolute response to our question (since Bitcoin neither use Equihash strafgevangenis Dagger-Hashimoto but SHA-256) yet it’s guiding you ter the right direction. Attempt not to concentrate on hashrates found on forums : those numbers depend on too many factors (mining software and its parameters, precies GPU version, driver version, overclocking, downclocking, etc). Pay attention to the power consumption te charge. You can get it from tests available on the Internet. If not, use constructors’ indicator called TDP (Thermal Vormgeving Power), which may permit you to compare the GPUs you’ve selected. Then, find the lowest price.
Note : If you project to sell your GPUs after their (profitable ?) use, then you should undoubtedly include the popularity of the GPU te your criteria. For example, 8Go-GPUs are said to attract gamers ter the second-hand market.
What about the remaining components of the rekentuig ?
Since wij are not CPU-mining, spectacle isn’t determined by the CPU, the RAM or the hard drive : it just has to be working well together, with an internet connexion and reasonable spectacles. Low-end products will be fine. However, wij should pay attention to the TDP of thesis components, CPU very first, because extra fever / electrical consumption could decrease profitability. It’s a question of average consumption. Individual peak : I’ve figured out that a Two.Five′, HDD – 5400rpm – from an old netbook could draw less power than a low-end SSD !
Other recommandations : 8 Go RAM (better when compiling Zcash’s source on Ubuntu, for example). Of course, enough space on the HDD to run an OS, the drivers, the miner, etc. If you’re not mining with a pool (see section III), you’ll have to download and sync the entire blockchain of the cryptocurrency, which might get very big : Ethereum’s blockchain reached 30 Go in…one year. Beware.
Motherboard and CPU
Because of the GPUs, wij’ll need several PCIe Two.0 x16 slots on the motherboard, and then cables known spil “risers” to connect the GPUs to the slots. With thesis cables, wij can also keep away the hot GPUs from the surplus of the system. However, casual motherboards don’t have such a number of PCI-E slots, so a particular type of motherboard is required to run the equipment. It uses PCIe Two.0 x1 slots instead of PCIe Two.0 x16 slots. Some motherboards have several PCIe Two.0 x1 slots, each for a riser and thus for a GPU. They’re said “BTC-ready“. The brand ASRock has well-played its spel, making toppers such spil the ASRock H81 Voor BTC, which can be associated with a cheap Intel Celeron G1840 (<, 50W TDP).
Note : when you’re mining on Two GPUs (only ?), even plugged on the Two PCI-E 16x slots of your mobo, you won’t benefit from Nvidia SLI or, more likely, AMD CrossFire. This is rather a gaming feature.
At the beginning of GPU-mining, ribbon cables were used spil risers for PCIe Two.0 x16 . They had little plasticity and were very limited te length. Now, you should certainly use USB Three.0 risers for PCIe Two.0 x1 slots, much more nimble and up to 1 peettante without any loss.
Ribbon riser vs USB-riser
And the Power Supply Unit (PSU) ?
The choice of the PSU depends on the overall TDP of your GPUs plus the CPU/RAM/HDD. Moreover, keep te mind that the PSU efficiency, whatever its rating (80Plus Bronze, Gold, Silver or Platinum), is a function of the explosion. There are two strategies : either investing ter a good branded PSU with a several-year warranty, or combining less powerful PSUs with a Dual PSU Adapter . You can make the choice of investing for durability or saving for the sake of your ROI (Come back On Investment).
Moreover, each GPU is powered through the PCIe Two.0 x16 slot and (for our powerful GPUs) an extra cable (6 or 8 pins) plugged into the PSU. Problem : when the GPU is connected with a PCIe Two.0 x1 slot instead of a PCIe Two.0 x16 slot… how is the GPU powered ? Well, the reaction is on the USB-riser : you’ll power it thanks to a Molex cable. Ultimately, will you be able to buttplug all your cables on the PSU ? Will you have enough cables ? This should be an significant criteria.
Note : high-end PSUs are more likely to be modular, ie only the cables you need are plugged ter, saving loterijlot of space.
A classic dual-PSU adapter
Let’s finish the previous scheme of our mining equipment with the main criteria for each component :
Putting into practice : a configuration for a $1,000 mining equipment