Bitcoin / Litecoin mining, anyone doing it?

TimTim Southwest PA
I have heard of Bitcoins from time to time, but about 2 weeks ago I found a story about them on CNN Money and started researching them. Seems like an interesting concept, if you already have the hardware (Radeon GPUs) to mine with. The FPGA's and ASIC's are great at mining, but with increased cost and low to no availability, especially the ASIC's.

So I think it's kind of late in the game to get into Bitcoin mining, although it can be done. Litecoin seems to be the new up and comer, with more potential for someone just getting started in turning spare CPU / GPU cycles into dollars.
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Comments

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf-
    edited May 2013
    The difficulty of Bitcoin 'mining' is that you can't just install a mining software, and let it eventually produce a coin. Because of the way the process is set up, you have to join a mining collective, and work together to find coins, which you may or may not receive when the algorithm is done. So, instead of just trading the electricity spent on clock cycles for coins, coins go to groups who are most able to organize and recruit.

    When compared to real-world mining, it's less like prospecting, and more like corporate moguling.

    Also, it's tough right now because bitcoins were recently just written up in Business Week (which led to being written up everywhere else (like CNN Money)), and so there are currently a whole bunch of new people looking into it, which always muddies up the works of any system.

    I've never even heard of Litecoin.
    JBoogalooShadowdareErrorNullTurnip
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK
    ...and his reasoning for this thread has become clear.
    JBoogalooCanti
  • TimTim Southwest PA
    edited May 2013
    Oh darn, Mertesn figured me out! :) Yes, I delayed writing this topic for about a week to see if I could grab any Radeon GPUs cheap here. Didn't want to tell the whole story too soon!

    As it turned out, I got lucky over the weekend (on finding what I wanted in PC parts, that is, not the OTHER kind of lucky). Some guy who runs a half-assed pc repair shop about 50 miles away had some GPUs he bought in a package deal, but he's a real Nvidia guy and didn't want "that Radeon stuff" and didn't know what he had. I picked up a 6870, another 6870 that needs fixed and may or may not work, 3 6850's, and a 6770. If I told you what I paid, you would cry.

    For the past week, my 4870 has been cranking a weak 78 Mh/sec, and an 8800GT has been getting 16 Mh/sec. Even the 6770 can more than double those 2 put together.

    CB - I joined a pool (BitMinter), and I get payouts every 8-12 hours, I'm up to an incredible 0.03 Bitcoins so far with the little bit of mining hardware I already have.

    I'm going to research more, but I think Litecoins may be the way to go. From the stories I read, even Bitcoins weren't taken seriously until late 2011 and they came out in early 2009.

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    .03 BTC = $6.50 US. Less than the amount of money it cost to run the 8800GT and 4870 for a week at full blast.
    midga
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK
    I figured that's probably what you were going for when you posted the other thread, especially as adamant as you've been that your 4870 was good enough for what you're doing.

    Good luck with mining. I hear it's a little tough to break even on the hardware and power investment no matter what you're mining. I have a coworker who continually buys more hardware to increase his mining rates to make up his hardware and power costs. It's a losing effort unless you already have the parts (or get a killer deal).

    Also be aware that your power bill will go up significantly. You're running multiple GPUs at 100% load on a 24/7 basis. For the cards you just purchased that's around 800W extra power.
    JBoogaloo
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
    edited May 2013
    I've read a fair amount on this and the power requirements normally don't outweigh your profit from mining. If you could set up a mining rig at a place where you don't pay for the power, like the workplace, you might see profit, but I feel like that's sort of morally wrong because someone still has to foot the power bill. Plus you have to look at the ROI of everything. If you buy a video card for $100, how long will it take you to mine that $100 back. I haven't sat down and seen what it takes to create a usable mining rig that generates profit. Maybe I'll take some time and write something up on it.
    JBoogaloo
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas
    WizardTim!
    JBoogaloo
  • CantiCanti =/= smalltime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9K18CGEeiI&feature=related
    As it turned out, I got lucky over the weekend (not the OTHER kind of lucky).
    ...cursed?

    midga
  • TimTim Southwest PA
    edited May 2013
    I thought of trying to get some mining going at work, but nothing here has a Radeon GPU, it's either Nvidia or on board graphics. Plus the main IT departments' port blocking and restrictions won't let BitMinter download and run. Yes, I tried.:D I can't even play World of Warcraft on my laptop, the gaming ports are blocked, and I can only play Starcraft 2 against the computer if I take my laptop home, get SC2 all set up on it, and then I can log into it at work to play against the A.I. .

    As for power use, that is a downside, but in my apartment I'll be cranking up my A/C and letting it run as much as is needed. It draws 500 watts, but I don't care. And no other buildings are close enough that I can run a power cord to them.

    Current prices: Bitcoin - $128.10, Litecoin - $2.98.
  • CantiCanti =/= smalltime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9K18CGEeiI&feature=related
    Can't play games at work. How absolutely horrible that must be.
    midga
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK
    edited May 2013
    According to this page (and accounting for what I'm told are slightly inflated numbers), your GPUs should net around the following rates:
    GeForce 8800GT: 16KH/s (your numbers)
    Radeon HD4870: 78KH/s (your numbers)
    Radeon HD6770: 200KH/s
    Radeon HD6850: 216KH/s x 3 = 648KH/s
    Radeon HD6870: 290KH/s x 2 = 580KH/s

    That adds up to around 1500KH/s. Those same GPUs will consume a total of 1050 watts assuming 100% usage and not counting the rest of the systems driving them.

    Using this calculator and assuming the rest of the system uses exactly zero watts, you'll see around $125 profit per month depending on your power bill. This also assumes zero cost to recover from your hardware purchases.

    Mining is not exactly a get rich quick plan. Especially when you consider that as the mining difficulty goes up (which it does constantly) your profitability drops.

    Edit: KH/s, not GH/s
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA
    As it turned out, I got lucky over the weekend (not the OTHER kind of lucky).
    ...cursed?

    benefit for humanity, maybe? :)
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK
    Mining is not exactly a get rich quick plan. Especially when you consider that as the mining difficulty goes up (which it does constantly) your profitability drops.
    I'd say you have four months before you're spending more money on power than you take in mining.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas
    If you want to look into cost v. profit use this tool.
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
    With that tool, 1500GH/s using 2000 watts of power at $2.69 kW/h (cost in VA for first 800kW) over a months yields $238466.47 over a month. That doesn't seem right.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas
    Because Mert is wrong. The GPUs hashrates would be MH/s for bit(SHA) and KH/s for lite(scrypt)
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK
    Yep. Typo. Fixed.
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic US
    I see, that calculates VERY different. ;D
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK
    Bleh. It's not my day. That should have been KH/s.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas
    Just some kind of random numbers if we use 1,500 and consuming 1,000 watts at .17kwh(which is way over the .12$ national average from 2011) that would net over 100$ a month from either bitcoin or litecoin. This big thing being this excludes blips and perfect 24/7 mining, oh yeah and the extra cost of cooling.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas
    There are two things going on with crypto mining right now, coins that are mined with SHA-256 or with scrypt. Thus the crypto coins that are currently alive and being mined with brute force hash methods are lumped into two categories based on how the math is run. Bitcoin which most everyone knows exist is a SHA-256 mined coin while Litecoin, trying to get more traction but is going up, is a scrypt coin. Because of the difference methods to mine the coins the hash rates are different, normally M for SHA-256 and k for scrypt since one is less efficient than the other. Right now there are several services you can pay with bitcoin but litecoin is very much limited currently; dude you can buy domains at namecheap with bitcoins….that is super cool. But none the less they both work kind of the same way: bring up an electronic wallet and have it sync to the network, start mining with a pool, receive your payout after N turns, back-up your wallet/wallets, do whatever you want with them.

    The really big questions are which coin is actually the better long term play because even mining is an investment. People figure litecoin is going to go up because it slowly has over the past 6 months and because it is a counter coin to bitcoin, several technical reasons why it is different. They figure bitcoin will stabilize more as altcoins, other cryptocoins come into exchanges and gain backings, but who knows where it will stabilize at. For bitcoins as the ASICs come on the profit margins people are operating on will vanish and the thought process is they will shift to litecoin or another coin, one that is early and they can mine hard and hold as an investment while they go back to something more profitable. Now ASICs and a lot of the specialized hardware cannot be switched to Litecoin or other scrypt coins because those things are designed for SHA-256. Difficulties are adjusted every 2 weeks, I think??, so it is something to watch but it really just depends on the market value and what you plan on doing with it. Don’t trust paypal for bitcoin services dude….thats why you got the downgoats.

    But for mining rigs there are some basic things. Cheap computers with a bunch of PCI-e ports and it doesn’t matter about spacing because of extenders, which you already ordered?, caution though because sometimes those things burn out. But it comes down to cheap CPU and mobo with a bunch of slots and then normally a custom mining case that has a floating bar for your GPUs and everything is open air. The cases are easy enough to make from Lowes or Home Depot if you find some blueprints or are good enough with your hands. Some really nice wood mining cases are out there. Take that machine and throw it in a spare room that you can sort of seal off and block the AC to it then stick in a window unit to keep it cool, or a basement. You want to lower the impact to your home cooling system and having the window unit pump directly into the machine you could long term save money. But let it run and junk, figure it out.

    Advice: do this as a hobby for a month and look at it to break even or make a few dollars for something every 6 months. I just switched from f@h to this because I got bored and wanted a change. If you have a way to measure consumption at the outlet you can figure out exactly how much your draw is on load v. when the computer is idle if you are adding to already 24/7 machines. Be scientific about it the first weeks and get enjoyment on solving this puzzle. Don’t use money that is already budgeted for real expenses.
  • TimTim Southwest PA
    edited May 2013
    Mertesn: The 78 Mh/sec for my 4870 and 16 Mh/sec for my 8800GT are while mining Bitcoins with BitMiner. Haven't switched to Litecoins yet.

    The half-assed computer repair guy called me today and sent photos. Turns out the 3 6850's I'm getting from him are actually XFX 6950's. Hey, if he doesn't understand the significance of that 8 becoming a 9, I'm not going to tell him! Winning! This further improves my cost recovery probability if I decide to stop mining and eBay all the parts! :D

    I just called my power company for my rates. For my residential account, I am paying 5.39 cents per Kilowatt Hour. It does not fluctuate with daytime or nighttime, and it doesn't matter if I use 200 KW/hr per month or 3000. 5.39 cents per. They may change it at various times of the year, but this is what it is for now.

    Additional parts I have coming from eBay right now are a Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H motherboard (3 double spaced GPU slots), and a Celeron dual core G530 cpu to run it. I already have hard drives and RAM sticks to fit it. And a Thermaltake TR2 RX 850 power supply. I may add in another 400 or so watt single +12 volt rail power supply to run one of the 6950s.

    One thing I didn't like about the Bitcoin Wallet I downloaded is that it insisted on putting the wallet on my C drive, even though I wanted it off the boot drive, in case I get the FBI virus or something else that I have to wipe the boot drive out for.

    But as a work-around, I hit Start, and in the search box I type %APPDATA% and then I can Copy and Paste the 9.2 GB Bitcoin folder to a secondary hard drive for backup.


    Canti - yes it is horrible. I have a desktop support job, and in a typical day, I have about 5-6 hours of free time at my desk. I'm just glad YouTube still works in this place! I could be leveling my 81 warrior, 85 hunter, and 88 paladin to 90, if not for the port blocking.


  • Creeperbane2Creeperbane2 Victorian Scoundrel Indianapolis, IN
    Bitcoins? What is?
    CyrixInsteadTheironhand
  • CyrixInsteadCyrixInstead Stoke-on-Trent, England
    An interesting thread.
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin
    Too late to get into the game, imo.
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin

    I just called my power company for my rates. For my residential account, I am paying 5.39 cents per Kilowatt Hour. It does not fluctuate with daytime or nighttime, and it doesn't matter if I use 200 KW/hr per month or 3000. 5.39 cents per. They may change it at various times of the year, but this is what it is for now.

    You're in California still? I highly doubt that this is correct
  • Tim moved out of California. Don't you watch online video?
    primesuspectMyrmidon
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin
    Tim moved out of California. Don't you watch online video?
    shoot, i missed that ep. thought i had sickbeard set to download tim's show.
  • TimTim Southwest PA
    edited May 2013
    http://www.loudmouthtim.com/OV169.wmv

    You.......... MISSED AN EPISODE of my show ?!?!?! :o

    I'm in the Pittsburgh area, with a planned return to California around Halloween of this year, concluding 2-1/2 years in my own personal hell (Pittsburgh).

    California power rates are stepped, over a certain KW usage the rate changes. And the bill comes every 2 months instead of every month.
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