How to use WhatToMine to determine which GPU coins are most profitable

So you’ve built your mining rig and you’ve familiarized yourself with mining Ethereum or some other currency. But what if you just want to always mine whatever the most profitable coin is and just let your rig do its thing? This is where whattomine comes in for those new to crypto.

WhatToMine

The easiest and most important resource for accomplishing this is whattomine.com. This site combines lots of data — some of which will be provided by you — to determine which coins for your specific rig will generate you the most return at current rates.

The easiest way to use this site is to input the number of units you have for the most commonly used graphics cards. To the right of the calculate button, you can enter how many of each card you have. For the numbers to propagate, make sure you click the name of the card (in this case 1070) to turn green (Nvidia) or red (AMD). You should see the hash rates for all the cards fill themselves in.

After this, just enter how much your electricity costs. You can also fill in specific energy usage numbers for the different algorithms if you know them. If you don’t, WhatToMine is just going to use average guesses.

For me, I put in the number 4 for the “480” box since I have a GPU rig with 4 AMD RX 480s, and it appears that Ethereum is currently the most profitable coin. My hardware, according to the site’s current data, should generate about $20 in revenue and $18.76 in profit every 24 hours for Ethereum.

Other coins that are pretty profitable for my rig at the moment include Ubiq, Ethereum Classic, Musicoin, and Nicehash’s Ethash. We’ll talk more about Nicehash in another article — stay tuned.

List of mining pools for Ethereum: f2pool, ethermine, ethfans, nanopool, and more

If you’re looking for a full list of Ethereum mining pools, you’ve come to the right place. We can’t personally vouch for each and every one of these pools, but they’re all fairly popular in the community and likely to be trustworthy. That said, we take no responsibility if one of them takes your money and runs.

Read moreList of mining pools for Ethereum: f2pool, ethermine, ethfans, nanopool, and more

How to remotely control, reboot/shut down your cryptocurrency mining rig

If you’re relatively new to cryptocurrency mining, you might realize after getting your rig up and running that it would be pretty nice to be able to control it remotely. If you need to reboot your rig, enter a command in your mining software to change settings, or just shut down the rig remotely in case of emergency, there are several techniques you might want to take advantage of: remote control software, smart plugs, AC power recovery, and wake on LAN. Let’s walk through them…

Remote control software

The first and most essential piece of software — after you get your graphics card drivers and mining software running, of course — is some kind of remote control software. This will allow you to control things like Claymore’s, your rig fans, other settings on your PC, and pretty much anything else from another computer — or even your smartphone or tablet.

One of the best options for free remote control software is a tool called TeamViewer. You can download it for free from the TeamViewer website, and setting it up is pretty self-explanatory. If you want to be able to access all of your rigs from a phone or another computer without having access to constantly-changing access codes, you’ll need to get a TeamViewer account and link your machines.

That’s free, though, and it’s a pretty simple process to set up. Once you have everything configured for remote access, all you have to do is login to your TeamViewer account on another device, make sure your rig is on (and online), and connect. From there, you’ll have virtual access to the desktop, as well as things like rebooting, shutting down, your Claymore’s instance, and everything else.

Smart plugs

A smart plug can come in handy because it can provide a way to easily shut down your rig remotely if you ever have some kind of irrecoverable problem. Many who keep their rigs in their home might be concerned about fires for instance, and if your rig is frozen because of a hardware malfunction, you might not have the ability — or time — to use TeamViewer to shut things down.

With a smart plug, all you need is a constant internet connection and your smart plug set up in its respective mobile app. This way, if you absolutely need to hard shut down your rig, you can just open up the app for your smart plug and tap the power button.

There are several great options for smart plugs, but we recommend high-quality models from known manufacturers to prevent adding yet another failure point (or a chance of fire. The following solutions should work just fine on a rig with 4-6 graphics cards assuming you aren’t doing anything crazy. Both of them are rated at 15 amps and 1800 watts, so they should be well within safe ranges.

AC Power Recovery

One of the above smart plugs in combination with the “AC power recovery” option in the BIOS for you motherboard can be a powerful combination. Many motherboards allow you to boot the PC automatically if the PSU detects that AC power has been restored after an outage. This, in combination with a smart plug, means that you can remotely turn off and on your PC at the wall level from a smartphone app.

Of course, using an app like Team Viewer allows you to shut down the PC. But what happens if your PC shuts down for one reason or another (which is bound to happen with mining, trust me!) and you aren’t able to boot again because you don’t have physical access to the PC? With AC Power Recovery, you can power cycle the smart plug and the desktop PC will see that as recovered AC power and boot up.

From there, TeamViewer can be set up to start on boot so that if your PC has internet access, you’ll be able to reach the login page from your smartphone.

Wake on LAN

Finally, many PC motherboards and operating systems offer a “wake on LAN” option, which allows the computer to be booted when it receives a network message. This feature is also available through the aforementioned TeamViewer application, although it’s somewhat complicated to set up if you’re trying to turn on the PC from a fully shut down state remotely. If you want to try Wake on LAN, you can follow TeamViewer’s guide or a more comprehensive guide on HowtoGeek.

Top 5 best AMD-based CPUs for a Monero mining rig

In the case of most cryptocurrencies, many people don’t think twice about what CPUs to get for their rig. Why even bother? Who would even plan to mine on a CPU? For most cryptocurrencies, the cost outweighs the meager benefits. People usually just buy a dirt cheap processor that’ll support multiple GPUs and that’s it. However, this just isn’t the case with Monero.

Monero is incredibly well optimized to run better on CPUs than many GPUs for a cheaper price. Many would agree that, in the context of mining Monero, the CPU you choose is ultimately more important than the GPU. But what CPU should you choose? Well, finding the best one for your budget is traditionally not an easy task. The benchmarks for this sort of information tend to be confusingly technical and located on obscure corners of the internet. Thankfully, we at howtomine.co have done our due-diligence and compiled a list of the best CPUs on the market for mining Monero.

Best CPUs for mining Monero

As you scan this list, you’ll notice a common theme: they’re all AMD chips within the Ryzen product line. As I created this list, I considered many high-end Intel chips (such as the Xeon series). However, either these chips were too impractical to get at impractical prices and/or they were so expensive that, although some were better than, for example, the Ryzen 1600X, you’d be better off just buying the Ryzen 1700 instead.

So this time around, this list will act more as an analysis of how these chips perform when mining, so you can figure out which one’s the best for your budget.

Ryzen 5 1600

Hash rate: 500 H/s | Frequency: 3.2 GHz | Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Socket: AM4 | Cache: 3MB/16MB (L2/L3)

Being the most budget-oriented chip on this list, the Ryzen 5 1600 is an impressive chip with an impressive price. You should see a hashrate of around 500 H/s, which is very impressive for a processor at this price point. On top of that, all Ryzen chips are unlocked, making this one quite easy to overclock. With a good overclock, you can boost this processor up to almost the hash rate of a Ryzen 7 1700. On top of that, it even includes a cooler, saving you money and time needed to buy a third party one. The Ryzen 5 1600 has the absolute best value out of any processor on this list.

Where to buy: Amazon

Ryzen 7 1700

Hash rate: 570 H/s | Frequency: 3.0 GHz | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Socket: AM4 | Cache: 4MB/16MB (L2/L3)

A worthy step-up from the 1600X, the Ryzen 7 1700 runs at a smooth 570 H/s. That’s 70 H/s faster than the 1600X, with 2 more cores, 4 more threads, and 1MB L2 cache improvement. On top of that, the 1700 is among the most overclockable CPUs on the market. With a steady overclock, you’re looking at over 600 H/s. If you’re a hobbyist who still wants their system to pack a punch, this processor is certainly worth looking at. Unfortunately, you will be stuck buying a third party cooler, as no cooler is included with the price of the processor.

Where to buy: Amazon

Ryzen 7 1800X

Hash rate: 600 H/s | Frequency: 3.6 GHz | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Socket: AM4 | Cache: 4MB/16 MB (L2/L3)

A small step up from the R7 1700, the Ryzen R7 1800X runs at about 600 H/s, and is generally capable of overclocking to 620 H/s. With a price tag like this, the 1800X may not be a very attractive choice. You’re probably better off saving a chunk of change and buy the 1700, then overclock it to perform as welll or even better than the 1800X.

Where to buy: Amazon

Ryzen Threadripper 1920X

Hash rate: 1091 H/s | Frequency: 3.5 GHz | Cores: 12 | Threads: 24 | Socket: TR4 | Cache: 38MB

The Threadripper model CPUs are such a significant jump from the rest of the Ryzen processors that they require their own chipset and socket (TR4), and are physically humongous in comparison. Threadrippers are professional-grade, and the 1920X is certainly no exception. With a hash rate of around 1091 H/s, it’s almost twice as fast as a Ryzen 1800X, with 4 more cores and 8 more threads. The 1920X performance warrants a hefty price tag, making it not-so attractive to hobbyist. If you’re a professional/hardcore mining enthusiast, this CPU is the one you’ll want to take a look at.

Where to buy: Amazon

Ryzen Threadripper 1950X

Hash rate: 1367 H/s | Frequency: 3.4 GHz | Cores: 16 | Threads: 32 | Socket: TR4 | Cache: 40MB

With a whopping hash rate of around 1367 H/s, the Threadripper 1950X is by far the most capable processor on this list and probably on anybody elses. With 4 more cores and 8 more threads, is about 260 H/s faster than the Threadripper 1920X. This CPU is as expensive as it is powerful, and thus will obliterate a tight budget. Therefor this CPU is perfect for a professional miner who wants to get the absolute most out of their rig.

Where to buy: Amazon

Have feedback or thoughts on how we can improve this guide? Leave a comment.

How to mine Monero solo with its GUI wallet or pooled using XMR-Stak

If you’ve been in the crypto scene long enough, chances are you’ve heard of a very unique and popular coin called Monero (previously known as Bitmonero).

Monero (XMR) is a decentralized, scalable cryptocurrency with the well-deserved reputation of providing complete anonymity. Monero achieves its bulletproof privacy through the use of stealth addresses, ring signatures, and RingCT. Monero is based on the CryptoNote protocol, and was launched in 2014. It is also based on a completely original codebase. As a matter of fact, the term “altcoin” doesn’t quite apply to it for that reason; it’s source code hasn’t been forked from Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. Monero is more or less its own unique project.

Why Mine Monero?

As amazing as Monero is, there are many other coins one could mine as well. However, Monero is an excellent choice for a couple of reasons.

First of all, it runs exceptionally well on AMD hardware. Not that Nvidia cards have a hard time earning profitability either, but AMD cards tend to see better hash rates on Monero than with other cryptocurrencies.

Secondly, Monero’s CryptoNight algorithm is CPU-optimized. Most other coins, on the other hand, are unprofitable to CPU mine.

Lastly, Monero is an incredibly popular coin. No other cryptocurrency has come near to offering the level of privacy that millions of people worldwide have come to enjoy from Monero.

How to solo-mine Monero with its GUI wallet

Although not the most profitable, solo-mining Monero is preferred by many enthusiasts for a couple of reasons.

Benefits to solo mining

First of all, solo-mining does a lot to strengthen the Monero network. By mining on the Monero network without joining a pool, you are effectively contributing to the network’s decentralized nature by pitting your hash rate against that of the rest of the network’s. Whereas if you join a mining pool, you are contributing to that pool’s overall hashrate, which could allow that mining pool to gain more influence over the network, therefore making the network more centralized.

For example, Vertcoin has been having huge issues with a mining pool called “Coinotron” controlling over 51% of the network. This gives Coinotron the malicious ability to basically create a new chain, while double-spending in the process. Another coin, ZCash, has faced a similar dilemma. Many solo-miners feel a strong sense of pride in knowing they are playing a role in keeping Monero’s network strong and healthy.

Set it up

Setting up solo-mining is also incredibly easy, as the functionality to do so is built directly into Monero’s official GUI and CLI wallets.

If you are successful in finding and mining a block before the rest of the network, you will receive that block’s entire reward, instead of getting a small bit of the reward as a payout, like you would receive from a mining pool.

As one might expect, however, solo-mining is far less profitable. The chances of a solo miner actually finding and mining a block before the rest of the network is tremendously slim, so one is more likely to end up simply wasting electricity rather than striking gold. However, as I’ve said, solo-mining Monero can be both fun and fulfilling.

Solo-mining Monero is quite easy. All you need to do is download the official Monero GUI wallet. Fortunately, the official Monero wallet works for all major operating systems. After generating a seed and address, you’ll want to click on the Advanced tab, then on Mining.

Official Monero GUI Wallet.

From here, you have the ability to change the number of CPU threads (cores) to mine with, as well as the option to enable background mining. The more cores you enable, the more hashrate you will be contributing. Be sure to have sufficient cooling if you plan to enable mining on all of your processor’s cores.

Also be sure to not enable more cores than the amount your processor actually has, or the wallet may begin to act unexpectedly. Background mining allows your computer to automatically begin mining when it detects that your computer is standing idle. But, as the GUI suggests, Background mining mode is in an experimental state. Remember that if you select the Start mining button before the daemon syncs, the wallet will throw an error.

Wait for the daemon to finish synchronization before mining, or you will receive the above error.

For more advanced users, you might want to know that solo mining can also be done through the official Monero CLI wallet. You can do so by running the command:

start_mining [number of threads]

Be sure to launch monerod.exe and allow your wallet to sync before attempting to mine, or an exception will be thrown.

It is important to note that you can only solo-mine with your CPU through the official Monero wallets.

How to pool-mine Monero with XMR-Stak

As stated earlier, although you will not necessarily be playing a strong role in security the network, pool mining is much more profitable than solo mining. You can mine Monero as part of a pool with CPUs, AMD GPUs, and Nvidia GPUs.

The first thing you’ll want to do is download XMR-Stak. This particular miner supports Windows and supports mining on both CPUs and GPUs, regardless of manufacturer (Intel, AMD, Nvidia). Most other mining software solutions specialize in terms the hardware they support. If you prefer Linux, I highly recommend at least using a Windows 10 virtual machine, as mining Monero with both your CPU and GPU is not a pleasant experience on Linux, unfortunately.

If you haven’t already, get Windows 10

You can easily download a Windows 10 image for free from Microsoft. Although you will be given the option to pay, sticking with the free version is absolutely fine. The most significant feature you’ll be missing by running a free version of Windows 10 on a mining rig is the ability to change the desktop/lock screen background. Please note that, by default, XMR-Stak will attempt to mine with all hardware available.

Run XMR-Stak

Next, double-click xmr-stak file in the downloaded folder.

xmr-stak.exe

From there you will see a command line prompt asking you to select a currency (either Monero or Aeon). Type “monero” and hit the ENTER key.

Next, it will ask you to enter a pool address. You can check out this list of Monero pool addresses to choose the most optimal one for yourself. Be sure to select a pool address that is closest to your region. Once you find the pool closest to you, select the go to pool button in that pool’s respective column. Next, navigate to the Getting Started page of your pool’s website.

Here, you will see a list of ports associated with that pool. The port you choose is solely dependent on the quality of hardware you intend to be mining with.

For example, on MoneroHash:

MoneroHash pool’s “Getting Started” page.

If I were going to mine on this pool with both a high end CPU and GPU, I would choose port 5555.

When you choose the pool and port on which you want to mine, copy the information into the XMR-Stak command prompt. To check your earned rewards while mining, navigate to your pool’s website and enter your wallet address where prompted.

Example of where to enter your wallet address to check your current mining rewards via the MoneroHash.com pool.

Next, XMR-Stak will request that you enter a username (Monero wallet address). If you don’t have a Monero wallet set up yet, I suggest you download the official Monero GUI wallet. However, if you prefer web wallets, MyMonero is a very solid product. Beware, however, that web wallets are inherently less secure due to the fact that your private keys are stored on a central server, and could be stolen by a determined hacker. Using a web wallet is sort of like using a crypto-bank.

After that, XMR-Stak will ask you for a password. Leave this field blank and press ENTER.

XMR-Stak will then ask if the pool port supports TLS/SSL. Depending on the port you use, TLS/SSL support may or may not be present. In the previous MoneroHash example, you can see that port 9999 does support SSL/TLS, as is defined in the “Description” field. If your pool doesn’t explicitly state that your port supports TLS/SSL, assume that it doesn’t and enter n.

The next prompt will ask you if you want to use nicehash. Type n and press ENTER.

After that, XMR-Stak will ask if you want to use multiple pools. Type n and press ENTER.

The XMR-Stak command prompt should look something like this.

Congratulations! Your miner should have started and you should be well on your way to earning Monero riches! If you find that your miner has crashed, use your file explorer to navigate to the nvidia.txt (amd.txt if you have an AMD card) file and open it. Then, reduce the number of threads to a suitable amount for your graphics card.

Reduce the number of threads from 72 to a number more suitable to your graphics card.

If you don’t want to mine with your graphics card at all, set the thread amount to zero. By default, XMR-Stak will attempt to mine with all available hardware. You can also lower the thread count to a more comfortable level if you find that your GPU is running too hot for your taste. If you have multiple GPUs, you should see configuration information for each individual card.

Conclusion, and other options

There are, of course, many different options to choose from when it comes to mining software for Monero. As a matter of fact, you can find a list of recommended miners for Monero here. However, none of which are as easy and seamless to set up as XMR-Stak, as it will run on any hardware without presenting a major challenge to set up and configure.