BitCoin Mining 101

How hard is it to actually start mining some bitcoins at home.  I thought i’d try to find out last night and truth be told it’s not hard at all.

I have a reasonable gaming rig at home , so I trusted my GPU’s could start paying for themselves. I have a Geforece GTX 650 ti , which isn’t the most powerful card but it provides a good amount of CUDA cores which shuold come in handy while mining.

To start things off I simply searched for a Windows bitcoin miner. I didn’t do much research and simply downloaded the first option which was GUIMiner. The software is very simple and quick to install.

Upon launching GUIMiner you need to determine a server where you will mine against. In order to do this you need to setup an account for that server. Initially the first few servers I tried were no longer handing out accounts so I went to

http://www.btcmp.com/

The site provided a super simple signup. As soon as you log in you’ll see that there is a worker account created for you. This will be the account you setup in GUIMiner.

mine was something like <myusername>.worker

Ok , almost ready to go. Upon my first try I had some problems accessing the server so I added a firewall exception to the windows firewall for GUIMiner. This seemed to clear up the problem and now I’m mining gaore.

This is what my GPU looks like when it mining

Capture6

After a bit of mining  I can see that the performance I’m seeing isn’t that great. The unit for benchmarking mining is MH/s which is Millions of Hashes per second. A bit of research showed that ASIC processors (which are processors specifically designed for the application of mining) start at around 5 GH/z. (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_Hardware_Comparison), My hardware is giving me Something in the range of 54 MH/s. I haven’t bench marked with the OpenCUDA miner which might be better fit for GeForce cards, I’ll leave that to when I get mining on my second core.

Though I thought I’d at least get 1 bitcoin out of all this operation so I’ve decided to keep it going.

so far 3 hours of bitcoin mining has got me:

paid out balance 0.00000000
reward 0.00007526
total donation 0.00000000
blocks found 0
estimated rewards / day 0.00050792
estimated donation / day

Doing the math this amounts to a wooping 5 cents a day, so not quitting my day job just yet. At this rate I need to mine for a year till I get my first bitoin.

Hold on.

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