Nov 15, 2017

What I Have Learned From Mining:

Crypto currency is the Wild Wild West. Protect yourself. Hackers love to hack coins more than anything else.

Windows 10 can be downloaded for free. You get a nagging background screen, but it's perfect for mining - go with Pro Edition with RDP.

Windows 10 takes forever to patch on a normal HD.

Start small then expand with time.

Try different types of cards.

Each card is a special snowflake with it's own thermal and underclocking/overclocking abilities.

Memory types matter (Hynix, Samsung, etc).

You will never find a card with Samsung memory.

80 gig Intel SSDs are $32 on Ebay.

Mining requires extremely little bandwidth.

Unlike mining, some wallets like Monero can require a TON of bandwidth to get, download as much of that blockchain as you can before having to "p2p" the rest.

Molex risers are easiest to work with.

Add2PSU is about $2 on Aliexpress.

Risers are less than $5 on Aliexpress.

Good 2 x SATA to 1 x molex connectors are cheap on Aliexpress.

Aliexpress takes 2-4 weeks to deliver.

Risers will fail. Check your connections occasionally.

Death. Taxes. Riser failure.

Buy more risers than you need.

Have a spare power supply, they can be found for as low as $15 after rebate (450w).

A graphics card that is crashing should be inspected for power issues first.

Power supplies are cheap. Mail-in rebates exist.

Getting video cards that require a single PCI-e power connector are much easier to work with.

Smart plugs are the best. $18 for the ones I use.

In the BIOS you can set your rig to turn back on once power is restored - like I said, smart plugs are the best.

AMD drivers are incredibly finicky - each install it its own experience with its own bugs.

Afterburner can be weird - each install is its own experience with its own bugs.

BIOS-modding Radeon 470/480/570/580 is REQUIRED for those cards. May as well set: GPU mhz, GPU voltage and straps while you are there. Tweak with afterburner later.

BIOS-modding is impossible with Nvidia.

There are many tools to modify AMD BIOS. Try many of them out.

The solution to a heat problem is to undervolt as much as possible.

Unstable AMD cards tend to fluctuate in core mhz. Do not touch power limits except for Vega cards.

Nvidia drivers are amazing and the power usage is incredibly low for the 10-series.

Nvidia cards are expensive.

CPU doesn't really matter for mining. Even a Core2duo works, but it's so painful to update Windows.

Memory can typically be only 4 GB and everything is fine.

A fast but unstable mining program is worse than a slow but stable mining program.

If isn't broke don’t change it.

After enough rigs it's good to have a test rig - Core2duo works.

$10 monitors are all over pawn shops and second hand stores. Make sure to get one with a connection suitable for your rig.

If things start acting funny (and power is good) reinstall Windows and drivers. This is especially true for AMD cards.

You can mix and match team red (AMD) and team green (Nvidia) without much of an issue.

PCI-e expanders (turn 1 PCI-e slot into 3 or 4) don't work for me.

There's way more than just ETH out there. Monero can be mined extremely well with older AMD cards like a 270x. Nearly the same efficiency as a Vega.

Many computer builders (Dell, Lenovo, HP) make small PC's with 4 PCI-e slots which you can pick up for under $100. Another power supply and you have a 4 card rig.

Heat is the enemy but cards can operate at 90 °F in a garage with the fans on turned up.

Oh heat...

After 2-3 years each card should be dissembled and cleaned/new thermal paste.

Hot power cables are very bad - touch every cable near the connector after a little mining to test for heat.

Each outlet in a house with 20 amp breakers can do up to 2000w. Staying under that is safer.

My spare room has multiple breakers in it.

"Grow tents" are a thing.

Cats love to lay on top of grow tents with 18+ GPU's in them.

Small mining pools are for suckers. Stick to the big guys and experience less issues.

Windows UAC is annoying - turn that off.

Windows has too many services which make no sense in the description.

Linux is awesome but limited tools to tweak cards.

It's hard to kill a video card - buying used ones seems okay.

Hash rate to watt ratio is more important than pure hash rate. Dual mining is ridiculous after too many cards because of heat and power usage. Not worth it.

Pool fee 1%, dev fee 2%, transaction fees all add up. Avoid them as much as possible.

Windows Defender AntiVirus is annoying. So annoying.

Some mining algorithms are core-intensive and some are memory-intensive. With ETH it's all about memory latency and speed. You can underclock the GPU core quite a bit before it becomes a problem. With Zcash it's the opposite.

Reading forums where people post power usage is POINTLESS unless from the wall. What does the power show when you are not mining? What does it show when you are mining? That is the power usage. Not some stupid number on an application. That application is buggy and each card is a little different. You are not mining your rx480 at 60w. I know it says it's doing that in your program but you are not.