Radeon RX 5xx cards are available; RX 470 still king for ETH mining

Just a quick note that the new Radeon RX 570 and RX 580 cards have become available for purchase over the last few days. Several people have sent me messages asking if they should be considering these for their mining rigs over RX 470/480 cards. The short answer is probably not, unless you find that the 5xx cards are actually significantly cheaper than their 4xx ancestors.

The new 5xx GPUs are essentially 4xx cards with higher core clock speeds. Memory clock speeds are unchanged—and memory speed is the most important factor when it comes to Ethereum mining. The increased core clock speed comes with a corresponding increase in power consumption, which probably makes the new cards less efficient for mining when compared to the older 4xx GPUs—at least at stock settings.

Unrelated, but I’m (finally) nearly finished with part 4 of my Ethereum mining guide. I should have it posted sometime tonight or tomorrow.

Build your own Ethereum Mining Rig, part 3: Windows Setup

Ethereum & WindowsNo doubt some of you saw the Ethereum mining guide for Linux that I published last week and balked at all of that “command-line nonsense”. Linux isn’t everyone’s thing, and that’s ok—if Windows is your OS of choice, then this guide is for you!

While Linux offers some significant advantages when it comes to GPU mining, Windows does have one potentially important edge: undervolting your GPUs currently requires quite a bit less effort under Windows. If you want your mining rig to run at its maximum efficiency, you’ll want to keep power consumption to a minimum, and with Linux that generally requires flashing a custom BIOS to each GPU—whereas in Windows you can usually accomplish this at the driver level with a simple software setting.

The bad news is that if you want maximum performance out of your rig, you’ll probably eventually want to flash your GPU BIOS under either operating system, but we’ll get into that in part 4 of this guide. But if you already know that overwriting your GPU BIOS with a custom replacement is outside of your comfort zone, then sticking with Windows will at least allow you to undervolt.

So with all of that in mind, if Windows sounds like the best option for you, read on for our setup guide!

Coinbase CEO confirms Litecoin support coming

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, has confirmed via Twitter that Litecoin support is finally on the way. A recent press release hinted that Coinbase might be eyeing LTC, but this is the first time Armstrong has publicly acknowledged implementation plans. No time frame was mentioned, but this is good news for Litecoin regardless!

Build your own Ethereum Mining Rig, part 2: Linux Setup

In this second installment of our DIY Ethereum mining guide, we’ll look at how to install and configure Linux to setup your rig as an automated, remotely-manageable appliance. Don’t be dissuaded if you’ve never used Linux before—our step-by-step guide makes it simple!

Why Linux over Windows? First, it’s free—and saving ~$100 on the operating system is a big plus when you’re trying to maximize profitability. Other reasons include lesser hardware requirements (Linux is perfectly happy running from a USB stick plugged into ancient hardware!), simpler remote administration capabilities, and oftentimes better stability. The downside of running Linux is that video driver support isn’t on the same level as Windows, and things like GPU undervolting are trickier (but still possible via BIOS mods).

If you missed the hardware portion of our guide, make sure to check it out first. Otherwise, read on.

Build your own Ethereum Mining Rig, part 1: Hardware

Ethereum GPU mining rig testbed.

Building an open-frame GPU miner.

It’s finally time for an update to my popular 2013 Litecoin mining guide! It’s four years later, and Ethereum mining is where it’s at for GPU miners, so that’s what I’ve focused on. I’ve kept the same format and detail level as my old guide, so if you were around back then, you’ll know what to expect.

If you’re new to the world of crytocurrency mining, this guide should give even an absolute beginner all of the knowledge needed to put together an efficient Ethereum (or other GPU-minable altcoin) mining rig using readily-available consumer hardware.

This guide will be broken into several parts, each focusing on a different aspect of building your first mining rig. First, let’s take a look at what you’ll need in terms of hardware to put a respectable Ethereum miner together.

Charlie Lee jokingly predicts $14 LTC price, market reacts

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin, tweeted on Monday that he expected Litecoin to hit $14/coin when SegWit* activates. The prediction was tongue-in-cheek, based on obviously funny math, but that didn’t stop cryptocurrency traders from reacting. Litecoin’s price rose 10% shortly after Lee’s tweet, and it’s been steadily climbing since then—to about $12/coin at the time of this post.

*SegWit is a soft fork of Litecoin’s code base that will potentially bring about many benefits if/when it passes. For the fork to happen, 75% of miners need to signal support for SegWit over a two-week period. As of right now, it appears that roughly 70% of miners are on-board.

Expect my Ethereum mining guide next week!

My ridiculous 8-GPU mining frame with a couple lonely Radeon RX 470 cards, mining ethereum.

Look what I’ve been up to today—the UPS guy dropped off some new hardware to play with! Unfortunately it’s not everything I that was hoping for (the popular 6+ GPU mining motherboards I mentioned in a recent post are sold out everywhere), but it’s enough to get started with.

I’m already up and mining ETH on a couple RX 470 GPUs under the latest LTS release of Xubuntu. Still lots of optimization to do, but the process was a lot less painful than my first experience with litecoin mining back in 2013.

I’m celebrating a friend’s wedding out of town this weekend, but I’ll be back next week. Look for the first sections of my detailed Ethereum mining guide then!

Coinbase to finally offer support for Litecoin?

A press release from New York’s Department of Financial Services dated yesterday reveals that Coinbase has been granted approval to offer Litecoin services to its users.

Coinbase is widely regarded as the premier Bitcoin exchange. Last July, they added support for Ethereum, prompting many to wonder when (or if) support for Litecoin was coming. The press release seems to be confirmation that Coinbase is at least laying the groundwork for LTC support.

GPU Mining: back in style?

Ethereum 3 month price history

Ethereum: 3 month price history

Yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. =) The GPU mining craze all but died three years ago with the rise of ASIC hardware for scrypt (litecoin) miners. But if the last few weeks are any indication, it looks like we may be in for a major resurgence in popularity.

Bitcoin is currently trading at over $1200—a roughly 400% increase in the past year. Equally interesting is the performance of a couple alternative cryptocurrencies. Ethereum is at ~$32 (up 300% in the last year), with a market cap of $3 billion—about 15% of Bitcoin! Dash is at $100 (+250% over the last year, with much of that gain in the past week).

Dash is based on the X11 algorithm, which means ASIC hardware dominates its mining scene—and getting your hands on an X11-capable ASIC miner is currently fairly difficult, as they’re mostly sold out everywhere. But Ethereum is exclusively minable with modern consumer-grade video cards, and it’s currently quite profitable to do so.

Read on for some “back of the napkin” numbers regarding Ethereum GPU mining profitability, and some current hardware suggestions.

Get $250 back on $500 worth of purchases at Amazon!

Hi readers, I’ve been busy on a couple projects and consequently MIA the past few months. For those of you still visiting the site, I just thought I’d pass along a deal that seems ridiculously good, just in time for the holiday season: apply for a Chase Freedom Visa card and get $200 + $25 + 25 back ($250 total) after spending $500 at Amazon within 3 months. That amounts to a whopping 50% cash back on your first $500 of purchases, which should give you some extra cash to invest into your cryptocurrency addiction. =)

You can see how the deal breaks down by visiting the application page, but you’ll get $200 just for spending $500 in the first three months. You can make the purchases anywhere, but the card happens to earn you 5% cash back at Amazon this quarter, so that’s an additional $25. And you get an additional $25 when you add an authorized user to the card and they make their first purchase in 3 months.

You need to apply for the card by December 18th, but you have until mid-March to make the $500 in purchases. You can cancel the card without penalty after earning the rewards, of course.