GPU Mining

JoeysteelJoeysteel Member Posts: 2
You mention in your FAQ that CPU mining will be encouraged, while ASIC and FGPAs will be discouraged. What does this mean for GPUs? How will an existing Scrypt mining rig handle Dagger?


  • StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
    That's correct, GPU will be discouraged due to the fact that the algorithm requires a lot of memory per thread. I'm pretty sure people will find ways around, but the goal is for dagger to continue adapting.
  • StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
    I'll also update the FAQ
  • JoeysteelJoeysteel Member Posts: 2
    I can understand you not wanting a ton of scrypt coin mining rigs turned to Ethereum right away, but also consider that a big reason Scrypt took off was it gave former Bitcoin miners a new platform for their hardware after ASIC made GPU mining basically impossible. The same thing could be happening to scrypt soon, with a number of ASIC miners having been announced now.
  • jarhedjarhed 101 usb drMember Posts: 1
    From what I gather GPU is possible with sufficient memory per thread.
  • madtomicmadtomic Member Posts: 3
    I said, CPU mining only as the algorithm requires a lot of memory per thread. We don't really need people turn their GPU mines to this because ASIC scrypt miner made their GPU mining rigs useless.
  • allr1allr1 Member Posts: 8
    You have said that dagger requires a lot of memory per thread. How much per thread? And will ethereum, by default, use all threads of an i7? I have specifically upgraded my memory for ethereum. I have 20 Mb right now. Could go up to 32 Mb.
  • mjsrsmjsrs Member Posts: 1
    @Ursium I really like your opinion and hope everyone that joins Ethereum thinks the same. Must of the alt-coins are a pump and dump ecosystem and this just tells me people do not care about cryptocurrency. they just live the dream of getting rich easily.
    Ethereum, on the other side, from what I understood, is creating an ecosystem in order to make cryptocurrency useful daily and my opinion is that's the secret to a successful project. Money is a masses "product" and current cryptocurrencies are not getting it.
  • hope2907hope2907 Member Posts: 5
    what should we do with botnet if graphic card is not courage
    all network may be in hand of botnet controller
    do you have any solutions for this problem
  • allr1allr1 Member Posts: 8
    My mining has not produced any results after that first day. Should I be concerned?
  • MilanMilan San Diego, CAMember Posts: 46
    edited February 2014
    Yes @allr1, sounds like something isn't working. Does your alephzero show any peer coneections (at the bottom right of your window). Any strange messages in your terminal when you click "connect" and/or "mine"? Is the "mine" button slightly darkened? Here's what my client looks like when things are apparently working:

    Note that what you see is a VirtualBox running Alephzero, with my terminal window peeking out from underneath...
  • CodebloodedCodeblooded Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2014
    I totally agree with hope2907 - that is the same thing that happened to Protoshares - it became taken over by botnets and the general public couldn't mine anymore. GPU mining seems to be the most decentralized, that is why Scrypt mining is so popular. But whatever you guys decide, I'll be there to support.
  • BeeFer310BeeFer310 Member Posts: 6
    @Ursium do you have a response to the botnet issue?
  • mids106mids106 Member Posts: 188 ✭✭✭
    edited February 2014
    About the botnet issue, quoting from :
    This point can also be addressed in two ways: empirically and theoretically. Empirically, botnets so far have not been substantially involved in mounting 51% attacks in existing altcoins, generally, they are content simply to extract revenue as "legitimate" miners. Theoretically, the current public prominence of botnets as a threat is backed largely by their performance in network flooding / denial of service attacks - situations where each computer in a botnet is only used for the number of connections that it can make. In the context of mining, however, botnet-infected computers tend to be running older operating systems and have weaker specifications, meaning that they will have a much lower performance and impact on the network than their size might initially suggest.
  • spagnola8spagnola8 Member Posts: 1
    @ursium not to be hostile but I think it's pretty insulting to dismiss GPU miners, who are kind of the every-man of cryptocurrency at this point, as profit-hungry elite who are destined to "lose their lunch" with ASICS- despite prominent asic-resistant movements, of which you seem to be equally dismissive.

    so this "long lasting ecosystem through the development of a inclusive community of entrepreneurs, developers and investors" ... excludes me because I'm not an "investor" with cash upfront? or because the time I spend developing goes to... I don't know, paying my rent?

    Sorry supporting the idea of cryptocurrency through mining is so offensive to the elite members of the community behind ethereum.
  • StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
    edited February 2014
    @spagnola - I wasn't being dismissive at all - I own a few GPUs myself. Maybe my tone was a bit assertive because I tire of seeing individuals with no interest in our technology just 'wanting to mine' and then becoming hostile when they quickly realize we're not yet-another-doge to point pools at.

    Where I think there is confusion however, is that there is a belief that somehow 'faster hashing == better'. I don't think that's the case at all assuming the PoW algo is sequential memory hard. In fact that would allow for better overall network security as it would distribute hashing power more evenly across a range of varied devices including phones and tablets. (particularly so in the context of a PoS/PoW hybrid situation, which would partially solve the issue of botnets/aws/digital ocean centralization).

    Finally, and this is important, if you look at our linear (but steadily decreasing year on year) inflation mechanism you'll find that we are miner friendly, as miners eventually own the majority of coins, diluting everyone else. Demonstration:


    There's a fine balance to be achieved between centralization, security, 'fair' distribution, rewarding investors, early adopters, miners, etc. Nothing is yet set in stone and we have several economists building models ahead of our fundraiser announcement.

    PS: edit: Just heard from Charles we're coding the models and will push them on Github for people to run and play with.
  • hope2907hope2907 Member Posts: 5
    as long as we have PoW, botnet can't be solved i do believe that, during last few month I do see half of a day, botnet take 25%-32% of total LTC hash rate, which is above 32GHs LTC speed
  • j2the3rdj2the3rd Member Posts: 1
    @Ursium I am a "hobbyist" miner. I have enjoyed cobbling together mining rigs with spare parts and am more than happy if i just break even. Right now, you are right, the "altcoin" markets are just pump and dump avenues. I do GPU mining, but have friends that do CPU mining (there still are CPU only coins being mined out there).

    The current CPU mining world is far less democratic of a process than the GPU world, in my opinion. For example, I have access to many spare computers but I don't even bother CPU mining because friends I know spin up dozens and dozens of AWS instances. The current CPU world is dominated by fewer individuals than any real (or hype) GPU based coin. One coin had thousands mining and was literally dominated by 2-3 people getting 98% of all coins.

    I don't see how you are avoiding that same scenario or by how the anti-GPU stance Ethereum makes things more democratic.

    I am particularly drawn to participating in Ethereum and would love to set my computers to be involved. I'm not smart enough to be a programmer, but I love the project because it's more than just mining for fabricated wealth.

    I seem to remember earlier posts on Ethereum stating something to the effect that both CPU & GPU mining were going to be possible, with GPU maybe being slightly more efficient. To me that was awesome, that at least on some level i would be able to participate.

    Why wouldn't Eth be platform agnostic? Don't you want all to participate? Or will this end up being something for the most tech savvy and/or have the deep pockets to do AWS or botnets?

  • dyamanakadyamanaka New MexicoMember Posts: 11
    This is a hard problem indeed.

    Honestly, I like the idea of basic CPU mining.
    But it quickly became disadvantaged by GPU's and then impossible against ASIC's. This inevitably led to collective mining pools. People believe if they put up the resources and hardware, they should get rewarded accordingly.

    I think the approach is wrong. It is based on competition instead of cooperation. The ones with the most hash power, most coins, or most memory gains more. Whatever the new requirement is, miners will adapt and change to gain an advantage.

    Miners should be working together to speed up transactions and share in their efforts. Vitalik mentioned scalability being a problem down the road. He also mentioned "that every single full node must process every single transaction."

    An ideal DAC platform would harness the collective processing power of full nodes to process transactions, secure the network, and payout equally based on per block generation, similar to a mining pool. I know it sounds socialist, but it's not because work is required. Every miner is contributing to the total processing power of the network as long as they are connected.

    Psychologically, I would be more excited to see my account balance change by tiny amounts over time rather than waiting several days even weeks. Seeing instant change tells me that progress is being made. No need to hop pools or buy the latest hardware upgrade. I would just have my mining node run in the background.

    I'm sure there are technical reason why this may not be possible. So forgive my wishful thinking.
  • richtrixrichtrix Member Posts: 7
    Ode to GPU Mining:

    I have grown to really love GPU mining. There is something about it. It is a royal pain in the ass really. They generate tons of heat, use a very measurable and large amount of electricity and take a fair amount of tweaking to get right. While your average Joe might not be able to setup GPU mining it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out and get going either. They are not plug and play like ASICs but they also have market value beyond their mining application. To me, a guitarists, GPU miners are the Tube Amps of the mining world. True, the ASICs are more efficient and cheaper but they don't have that GPU mining feel. You have to really love GPU mining because, as I said, it can be a royal pain. True, there is a barrier to entry with GPUs. They can be expensive. But they are typically readily available and an individual can get into meaningful GPU mining today for under $200 on their home PC. Having the parts available in retail environments is in stark contrast to the black boxes which are the ASIC distributors. CPU mining is very egalitarian as anyone can do it at the drop of the hat with their PC. This seems fine but the option of kicking up a notch to GPU typed power, especially for the enthusiast, is nice IMHO. If someone wants to invest more into contributing increased transaction processing power it is not as easily salable [with CPUs] as GPUs as CPUs require multiple independent systems to scale while many GPUs can be added to a single system allowing for easier management of fewer overall systems. As a Crypto Evangelist, a true believer if you will, I want the opportunity to provide more to the network than a new user that casually points their PC to a mining pool as a curiosity. While large investors see the profit and ease in ASICs far fewer build large scale GPU operations and those that do are typically not just casual investors looking to capitalize on a trend but enthusiasts willing to do a lot of work along with investing their capital.

    GPUs also provide stable growth of hashing power. Even in the great depletion of GPUs we saw in all retail locations after litecoin jumped up to $50 there was only a doubling in the litecoin difficulty and that doubling occurred fairly slowly over about a month and a half period. When the Scrypt ASICs came online this month it was obvious virtually overnight. This stable growth and predictable access to hardware (compared to ASICs) encourages average folks to look into GPU mining as they can have a certain amount of predictability in the outcome if they are going to invest in a new GPU for that purpose or add wear and tear to their beloved gaming hardware.

    The next coin to embrace GPU mining is going to do quite well I think. Since Ethereum is ready to launch in the next months the stars have aligned in that it is launching at a time coincident with the rolling out of the first wave of Scrypt ASICs. If it becomes GPU minable it will have an instant support network of well oiled GPU transaction processors eager to switch to a more profitable network. Since Ethereum is also a revolution to the 1.0 cryptos this instant acceptance by large amounts of processors should only serve to assist it in its adoption and notoriety in a bitcoin-centric environment. It was this phenomenon that gave legs to the non-revolutionary Litecoin.

    In summation, again, GPU mining isn't really that easy. Especially on larger scales. You really have to love it, and I do, but it isn't too hard for your average gamer to get into. I'd say it is almost an artform that could be lost (see attached image for my work of GPU art). GPU mining has shown that it can create a robust transaction processing network with stable growth in a still very federated manner. I may be biased, but I think GPU mining with some ASIC resistant measures would be a fantastic platform for fast adoption of Ethereum and network stability.

    Thanks for your considerations and either way thanks for the fantastic step forward in crypos that Ethereum represents.

    Most Sincerely,
    Rich Clarke
  • larry_tcularry_tcu TexasMember Posts: 1
    Hear, hear . very well said and I second that
  • HadrienHadrien MaltaMember Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Payment processing / transaction processing is a profession on it's own. Just like being a developer or a financial analyst. All things (an beings) being equal, the transaction processors shouldn't be undermined (without playing with words) just because some made profit with bitcoin/ASIC.
    I plan, with my little organisation, to focus on mining (I prefer transaction processing). And indeed I have expenses to cover. Planning ahead at least one full size cabinet just for Ethereum should be taken seriously, at least in respect to the money invested in.
    So we can dismiss the Grcooling cabinet with single precission GPU based super computer, and focus on the fully redundant blade cluster?
    please revert accordingly.

  • mjordanmjordan Member Posts: 1
    Coming from the Scrypt/GPU arena... What type of array do you estimate a contending miner would need in order to stay competitive (CPU type & number, Memory, additional hardware)? # Rack Units if applicaple? I realize this is complex, but on a rough order of magnitude?
  • slabhatnikslabhatnik Member Posts: 1
    Rich Clarke- please add Rich Clarke to your dev team. If you are reading my post and wondering why I am recommending Rich Clarke be added to your dev team, please read his post above "Ode to GPU Mining"- he's right on. And Rich, if you read this: thanks from a fellow lover of his GPU mining machines, for your thoughtful epistle. Perhaps X11 would be a good algo to start with and tweak? It sure mines nicely with GPUs and is certainly ASIC resistant...
  • niluxnilux Member Posts: 3
    CPU mining can be done possibly the most profitably with dedicated CPU farms. However every(?) personal device has to have a screen, and thus, a GPU. So GPU mining would be inherently more decentralized, because a mining device would also have value as a general-purpose device. Not every turing-complete device is good as a general-purpose device.
    But no matter what the algorithm, the mining profitability will even out to about (even below) the price of electricity eventually, and mining will be done where heat can be made use of, mostly in cold places. So, for profitability, never mind, it won't be. For decentralisation, GPU is better. What do you think?
  • richtrixrichtrix Member Posts: 7
    One can say many things about ASIC miners and GPU miners but if you look at what the bitcoin network has grown into it quite impressive. It is the most powerful computational network on the planet. This adds a lot of value to bitcoin. More so, probably, than having a more federal mining population. From a miner's perspective (a GPU miner like myself) ASICs are terrible. Every time I think about investing in some ASIC hardware I find myself mathematically concluding it is a bad investment. Especially compared with GPUs, which at least have some market value past their useful lives as miners. The exponential growth in difficulty on the bitcoin networks makes investment into mining hardware extremely tricky. Combine that with erratic bitcoin prices and you've got a real crap shoot.

    All of that being said bitcoin mining carries on at an ever more staggering rate. Before the ASICs came around bitcoin already had a substantial mining network built on GPU infrastructure. This initial network effect made the ASICs possible.

    The network effect is absolutely key to the success of any crypto currency. Without a network to backup the currency it is, in essence, useless. The argument is that we should CPU mine to create a broader network effect of decentralized users. Average folks running nodes etc. That is fine. It has been shown that you can build a network on top of this model. The question is timing. How long will it take to build such a network with enough nodes all over the planet to handle the traffic?

    The correct answer is 'who knows!?'

    Scrypt ASICs are hitting the GPU miners hard. It will only get worse. Scrypt N currencies like Vertcoin offer little innovation but are already benefiting from the credibility that comes with having a processing network backing a currency.

    I am telling you right now that with the broad innovation that Ethereum brings to the table combined with an instant network of transaction processors eager to climb onboard would give Ethereum a fantastic start. Far better than building a new processing network. If you read my above post "Ode to GPU mining" you'll see that GPU mining is and has shown to be very well distributed and provides excellent and accessible avenues for true enthusiasts to really contribute above and beyond average users who will probably care more about the functionality of Ethereum more than mining it.

    If Ethereum makes efforts to attract GPU miners they will get an instant network effect and it will, overnight, have the backing of Gigawatts of power being expended on its behalf.

    As for those obsessed with how the GPU miners just go where the profit is, coins be damned etc. please don't forget that the reason we have bitcoin, litecoin and all the others is because it is profitable to mine them. I am just as much a crypto zealot as the next guy but day to day I check on my rigs and make sure they are running 100% because if they are not it hurts my bottom line. I'll leave my house to fix a problem at midnight because, especially the way things are now, I don't want to lose a whole nights worth of productivity. If I was just doing it to be nice, because I believe in the cause, to be frank a down rig would wait til morning.

    There may not be enough data to verify this and I am aware that correlation does not mean causation so I have no problem if you take issue with this point but if you look back at Bitcoin and Litecoin they both started out as CPU mined coins. When they both finally exploded was when GPU mining became possible. I am sure there are many other factors but if you look at coins which are only CPU based, like primecoin etc, they have failed to capture any large market cap despite being longer lived and innovative. Primecoin is now GPU minable. I'm curious to see where that road leads.
  • JasperJasper Eindhoven, the NetherlandsMember Posts: 514 ✭✭✭
    How long will it take to build such a network with enough nodes all over the planet to handle the traffic?
    More nodes does not increase the ability to handle traffick on any of the existing coins. Mining doesnt 'add value' in any other way than helping secure the network, and solving the problem of issuance. (As PoS issuance is effectively not issuance, it is evenly distributed over existing users)

    But if the coin was secure with just PoS, and there was a way to do give coin to do useful work(that isnt mining) like serve people data, i -at least- would go for it in an instant.

    I do appreciate that maybe the activity comes with social activity, and that is great. But maybe another activity could do that too. Keep a eye out, i guess.
  • cashkingcashking Member Posts: 1
    Can someone help me , how do i know whether i am mining from cpu or my gpu? , i need help if someone has a skype please PM me ,i will be gratefull
  • HeisenTradeHeisenTrade Member Posts: 51
    if your pc is slow as hell your using CPU.
    Press control, shift + escape and see your cpu usage
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