What can my Crap-hardware do?

Hi guys,

I'm new to the topic of crypto-currencies and I've been reading quite a bit over the last few days and several questions came up of which the most important is the aforementioned one: What is possible with an Asrock G31m-gs, a Intel E5200 Dual Core, running at 2.3 Ghz, and a Geforce 9400gt.

- Is the geforce 9400gt capable of mining (ANYTHING)?
- --> mainly for learning, I'm planning to update after Christmas( I thought one or two geforce 750ti would be a good idea) (they cost ~130€ in germany)
- As The MoBo does not do any work, I'd first upgrade the Graphics Card (and add another one) and change the MoBo later on, correct?
- I won't have to pay for Electricity

I'm a student and not one of those whose parents are super rich, so I'm on a budget.

I'm not hoping to become rich via mining (why would I be so naive?), certainly not, with what is affordable for me, but I like the conept of decentralization and anonymity. (banks are not generally bad, but I've learned that people who want my money are not of the good kind! :-D)


My Machine is:

Linux Mageia 5 (should be nearly up-to-date, haven't worked on it for a few days ...)
--> I'm open for alternatives, as long as it's not Windows --> sadly enoguh, I have Windows on my Laptop for games etc.
Intel E5200
Geforce 9400gt
4gb Ram
AsRock G31m-GS

Thanks in Advance,
I hope these questions are not too naive/dumb and I'll receive answers :-D

best wishes,
karanda

Comments

  • ethereumnickethereumnick Member Posts: 49
    Me too. I want to set up a FreedomBox with Etherium running and I want to add to the security of the network. I'm not even that bothered if I don’t mine anything as long as I know that my mining power is helping to secure the system against fraud. Will running it on crappy hardware (more like an old Pentium with no Graphics card) help support the system at all?
  • o0ragman0oo0ragman0o Member, Moderator Posts: 1,291 mod
    @karanda, GPU's for mining needs a minimum of 2GB, whereas yours only has 512Mb. This precludes mining during the Proof of Work (POW) phase which is effectively ~16 months long. Following that, Ethereum transitions to a Proof of Stake (POS) model where you stake some balance of Ether for a proportionate chance of mining a block (I think).

    The other hardware doesn't really matter. You can still run a node and interact with the blockchain. It might make more sense for you to buy Ether from the exchanges and build up a balance before 1. POS sets in, and 2. Ethereum Homestead/Mist browser is launched which will make Ethereum far more user friendly and popular which I speculate will push up the market value greatly.

    The 750Ti's are the most efficient hashing card but their low hashing rates mean they only win out over higher hashing cards after about 400 days of mining. By that time, the higher hashing cards power costs tend to catch up.

    Have a look at or save a copy my GPU efficiencies spreadsheet to get an impression of what can be expected for costs/consumption/hashrates of different GPU's.

    Anyway, keep up the study. Blockchain development will be the next big profession, particularly Ethereum.
  • roz303roz303 Member Posts: 66
    Crap? don't be so harsh! It's a fine and modest machine, ready to be turned into something amazing.

    First... NVIDIA can jump off a cliff 'round these parts. It's all AMD and their GPUs that have 2GB or more memory out in the frontier. You could start with an R9-280X or two. Mining doesn't require much past this GPU to get started - I think what you have is a fine host. Hope you like linux, though ;)

    But... If you like the topic of decentralization and anonymity, I wouldn't bother with mining.

    While purchasing GPUs and setting them all up can be quite fun, it seems too many people have powered up their old multi-GPU rigs for it to be profitable or even interesting for the rest of us. Besides, you're on a budget. How about you spend it wisely, and build a dedicated node instead?

    It doesn't require much more than what you already have - it's fine as it is, honestly. Though I *would* suggest a little more RAM and a larger disk drive. And ubutnu, to stay on top of the latest software releases.

    That being said, it might be in your best interest to instead invest a little bit on getting your node running, but focus more on getting ether. Were you around when bitcoin was worth fractions of a penny, then watched it explode into triple digits and beyond? I'm not saying that's how ether's gonna go (especially considering it's more of a fuel than a currency, so to speak), but we're at the forefront of new technology once more: When there's a little community full of enthusiasts, and SO much potential.

    My advice? Plan for the future. Buy ether, and learn to write smart contracts. You said you're a student? Find a class that teaches coding if you don't know how already. Don't sell it off immediately just because you see the prices go up in a short amount of time. Wait for huge events. Wait for homestead. Wait for the switch to proof of stake. Just focus on having your own node, getting involved in the community, writing smart contracts and dAPPs, and buy all the ether your wallet can hold. That's my plan, anyway.

    Hope this helps!
  • roz303roz303 Member Posts: 66

    Me too. I want to set up a FreedomBox with Etherium running and I want to add to the security of the network. I'm not even that bothered if I don’t mine anything as long as I know that my mining power is helping to secure the system against fraud. Will running it on crappy hardware (more like an old Pentium with no Graphics card) help support the system at all?

    Not quite sure to what extent, but every last hash helps in some form or another. But why not turn it into a full node and add to the network, as suggested in my previous comment? It might be much more worthwhile to you, the wallet, and the network itself.
  • o0ragman0oo0ragman0o Member, Moderator Posts: 1,291 mod
    roz303 said:

    Were you around when bitcoin was worth fractions of a penny, then watched it explode into triple digits and beyond? I'm not saying that's how ether's gonna go (especially considering it's more of a fuel than a currency, so to speak),

    Yeah, Bitcoin can keep the Gold 2.0 aspirations. We're going full Crude 2.0! ;)

    @karanda, In understanding monetary concepts, the question necessarily arises, 'What gives money value?' And while that question might be at the core of 1000's of economics PHD's, The essential answer for me is that, "It's value is according to the problems it solves"

    The problem solved by fiat currencies issued by governments reduces to "What is the easiest way to collect tax?". The answer is to accept tax payment only in it's legislated currency, thereby requiring all tax payers to posses their currency and agree to it's value.

    As typical Bitcoin-like crypto-currencies have no such cause for possession, their value becomes little more than speculative consensus on the open market, which judging by the 'hundreds' of failed cryptos out there, is junk.

    Bitcoin solves the problem of banks stealing your money when you want to give it to your friends overseas. That is one thing that gives Bitcoin value above the open market speculation. This in itself is one of the bankers biggest fears of bitcoin. In 2015, they inexplicably still can't seem to manage to send money without, 1. It taking days or weeks ("sorry we don't work nights or on weekends") and 2. Stealing significant quantities of it on the way far beyond what it cost them to transact.

    So how is Ethereum any different? And why are we so optimistic of it's success? As @roz303 notes that Ether is a 'fuel' more than a currency. The problem that Ethereum solves that Bitcoins couldn't is one fundamental to computation, the 'Halting Problem'.

    Simply, the Halting Problem is that you cannot tell if a program is ever going to stop. Bitcoin has computational power. You can program a Bitcoin transaction to do what ever you like -except- to 'do it again!'. You can't loop in Bitcoin scripts otherwise there is the potential for infinite loops. If there is an infinite loop, all the Bitcoin nodes get stuck....for ever....and the blockchain stops. This reduces Bitcoin to effectively a 'smart adding machine'.

    Ethereum on the other hand is a fully fledged virtual computer but which ensures all programs will stop by using the analogy of 'Fuel'. Each machine instruction 'consumes' some amount of 'Gas' in the form of Ether. Once the fuel tank of the program (contract) is empty, all nodes simply stop running it.

    In this way, like tax, the value of Ethereum exists because it is the only thing the network will accept in order to run contracts. Only the tax get's paid to the miners or stake holders instead of some central government.

    In this way Ether has a functional value similar to oil. We can then expect that this functional value will follow historical growth patterns similar to the price of crude throughout the expansion of the car industry. In this case though the cars are contracts.... not many now, but once the 'app store' is functional, we can look to an explosive growth in the utilisation of Ethereum and like oil, a great global demand to own Ether.
  • roz303roz303 Member Posts: 66

    Yeah, Bitcoin can keep the Gold 2.0 aspirations. We're going full Crude 2.0! ;)

    Wow... just... wow. You blew me away in your comparison to the economics of oil. Very well said!

    So @karanda hopefully now you can see the potential and the importance of Ether, and why it's so important to get in early on. The next oil economy... just waiting to be tapped!

    Whether you choose to build a mining rig, buying up what you can, developing contracts, anything, I'd be more than happy to help you out. PM me if you have any questions or anything you want to talk about if you'd like! :)
  • ethereumnickethereumnick Member Posts: 49
    OK. so the OP and many more have crappy hardware and want to contribute to Etherium. The OP (and I) are not interested in making "profit" out of the system. We want it to be, and to help make it, robust and secure but this thread has switched focus to Res'rushing ether.

    The problem with the idea that ether is like Oil is that we are used to thinking of Oil as a limited resource; there is (believed to be) a finite supply of oil and a fluctuating supply chain / demand market. Once the Oil has been turned into Plastic Du-dads or burned up in some combustion process, the supply of oil is diminished until eventually it's all gone. Ether on the other hand will not diminish (excluding the loss of Keys through the death of the users or the death of insufficiently backed up hardware.) And processing power will (it is believed) continue to increase. In that way it's more like solar power so perhaps we should call Ether "fuel" rather than "gas"

    I hope the economics of this dynamic are less conducive to financial speculation than the oil analogy predicts. But that is because I want Ethereum to empower those who are currently disenfranchised and dispossessed, (I'm on the internet already so I don't get to be counted amongst them, I [and I assert everyone else on this forum] am firmly in the "1%" category when it comes to technological advantages) But though I may not be representative of the dispossessed I am a good deal less wealthy than those who can afford a New PC or a GPU rig or a ticket to some l337 h4ckw4w £750 a ticket (WTF!) devCON.

    The Point is how does it make sense for people who are not already independently wealthy to participate in Ethereum and if ordinary people with ordinary machines can help how can we do it with the machines we have? We are not N00bs but if semi-technical people don't get to play then Ethereum is not the droid we are looking for.
  • ethereumnickethereumnick Member Posts: 49
    Should this thread be moved to the mining section?
  • roz303roz303 Member Posts: 66

    The Point is how does it make sense for people who are not already independently wealthy to participate in Ethereum and if ordinary people with ordinary machines can help how can we do it with the machines we have? We are not N00bs but if semi-technical people don't get to play then Ethereum is not the droid we are looking for.

    How does it make sense for the common man you ask? You can support the network with "crap hardware" - everything counts! Find something with a 50GB hard drive, a network connection, and 2GB or more RAM, and keep it connected to the network. Nodes don't have to be big 'n shiny to participate. Anyone can get started with commodity hardware, or even a virtual private linux server if they wanted! Anyone can start an ethereum node on hardware ranging from Rasperry Pi's to enterprise servers. Like I said, everything counts.

    Okay, not everyone has a ton of radeon GPU's. So what! Not all bitcoin users run mining farms. There are many other ways to obtain Ether. See if some people would like to take cash for ether. Develop and/or sell contracts. Offer to supply ether to others for their contract at some sort of interest rate. Sell custom built PC's built for Ethereum if you really wanted. As we're comparing it to oil, just think of how many got started selling it or working with people to find new ways to use it. My point is, there's MUCH more to Ethereum than mining. Just wait 'til we switch to POS - there'll be a much lower barrier to mining then.

    Start with a simple PC, or a rasperry pi. There are plenty of guides out there to get you guys started. The network needs nodes, no matter the hardware. The network needs DAPPS! Want to get confirmation time down? Response times faster? Get some nodes running then! Everything counts!
  • o0ragman0oo0ragman0o Member, Moderator Posts: 1,291 mod

    OK. so the OP and many more have crappy hardware and want to contribute to Etherium. The OP (and I) are not interested in making "profit" out of the system. We want it to be, and to help make it, robust and secure but this thread has switched focus to Res'rushing ether.

    A node doesn't need to mine and it's existence adds to the security and stability. Node hardware doesn't need to be anything special at all...(One of my rigs is running on a 25W single core Phenom).


    The problem with the idea that ether is like Oil is that we are used to thinking of Oil as a limited resource; there is (believed to be) a finite supply of oil and a fluctuating supply chain / demand market.

    Finite yes, but oil pricing and supply still seems to be governed far more by geopolitical dynamics saying how much they turn the production tap on or off. Ethereum, although an inflationary economy, will still accrue a scarcity based value according to DAPP demand.


    I hope the economics of this dynamic are less conducive to financial speculation than the oil analogy predicts. But that is because I want Ethereum to empower those who are currently disenfranchised and dispossessed,

    You might want to keep in mind that the 'trickle-down-effect' of 'Globalistion' (a 'spherical' pyramid scheme?) also has the intent of empowering the disenfranchised. Apparently they say it's working...but they would.

    I'm rarely convinced that the disenfranchised actually benefit from high technology when it is often that technology which disenfranchised them in the first place by stealing their markets and resources.

    The point is that technology is amoral and impartial as to its usage. And while Ethereum's paradoxical system of trustless integrity and transparent anonymity is truly a fascinating phenomeon, it by no means guarantees a perfect world. It's a Programmable Economy as Gartner has called it. And once the likes of the recording industry cotton on that DRM is only a private key signature away, then the marketing turf wars will really kick in.....and everyone upgrades to Money 2.0 (not the Microsoft one OK ;) )


    The Point is how does it make sense for people who are not already independently wealthy to participate in Ethereum and if ordinary people with ordinary machines can help how can we do it with the machines we have? We are not N00bs but if semi-technical people don't get to play then Ethereum is not the droid we are looking for.

    You learn to write DAPP's! Solidarity is a pretty simple language. DAPP's will be the fundamental utility and value of ethereum, not speculative Ether. Make a killer DAPP. Could be a social platform, market template, game, secrets leak platform, bank, anything. Look at you're phones App Store if you want ideas. They haven't called it Web 3 for nothing.

    As far as GPU mining goes, I think they've only done it so early adopters who missed the pre-sale can get some eth to play with too... Now the exchanges are operating and 'eth' has shown not to be pretty stable, there's not a whole lot of incentive to build GPU mining rigs now. Mine are currently switch off.
  • ethereumnickethereumnick Member Posts: 49

    You might want to keep in mind that the 'trickle-down-effect' of 'Globalisation' (a 'spherical' pyramid scheme?) also has the intent of empowering the disenfranchised. Apparently they say it's working...but they would.

    Rather than a "'spherical' pyramid scheme" I think it is useful to think of economies, (whether gift, market, command or whatever,) as fractal in nature. That is to say that the characteristics at any given scale are an iteration or a transform of the system at another scale. In this way the "1%" dynamic of capitalism can be seen at all scales, with successful free riding strategies (algorithms) being deployed at each level. This explains the "Long Tail" demographics that tend to be characteristic of market economies like capitalism. But I fear that strictly economic or technological conceptions of "empowering the disenfranchised." has a tenancy to make these aspects of life a proxy for "quality of life" or "social value"

    I'm rarely convinced that the disenfranchised actually benefit from high technology when it is often that technology which disenfranchised them in the first place by stealing their markets and resources.

    I absolutely agree but with the caveat that technology is applied in the service of a social system (in this case capitalism) and that technology itself, weather 'high' or 'low' is instrumental rather than fundamental. Ethereum is a 'high' technology but has the potential to be deployed (and I think that this is the motivation for many of us (like Vinay Gupta) in favour of a social structure wildly different from capitalism.

    The weakness of crypto-currencies in general is elegantly summed up here . But what we're driving at in this crappy hardware and that o0ragman0o nicely point out above is that it is not the infrastructure (though is is that too if the system is to be "enforced") it is the social meaning expressed in the DAPS. If all we do (to subvert an old anarchist slogan) is 'Rebuild the Old society in the shell of the New' then nothing will have changed. BitCoin is just that.
    What I'm hoping for is that Ethereum can do better than that will (I believe) mean that we have to altruistically release the surplus back into the system in a way that prevents it from being fractaly captured by a 1% attack.

  • hangabershangabers Member Posts: 63
    I agree with what had been said above. By your standards my machine is crap, but I can still stuff amd GPUs for mining fine on it. But even without that you have everything you need to run a node, interact and code smart contracts for Ethereum.

    As far as resources are concerned, you don't need much. Unless you plan to mine, which in that case you still only need graphics hardware and memory. Processor can be 'garbage' and pipelines can be small and bottlenecked at every junction, and you are still fine. Again your only barrier is based on if you want to mine, and that needs ample cheap memory, cold air, quality power, and AMD graphics horse power.

    Otherwise.. you are already an Ethernaut... welcome my friend :)
  • hangabershangabers Member Posts: 63
    edited October 2015
    Just realized I shouldn't have skimmed this thread.. I see some crypto socio-economic talk.. :smiley:

    I know what I will be doing on break... **Punk Rawk plays in the background** ... I will come back and share my thoughts soon.

    Also, just as a quick aside (sorry if this has been said, or is off topic).. but isn't it interesting how Bitcoin crowd draws those with more of a Libratarian background, and Ethereum brings out the people with maybe slight Anarchist and or futurist slant?

    I'll check back laster with a proper post.
  • mrninkozmrninkoz Member Posts: 5
    NVIDIA can jump off a cliff 'round these parts. It's all AMD and their GPUs that have 2GB or more memory out in the frontier. You could start with an R9-280X or two. Mining doesn't require much past this GPU to get started - I think what you have is a fine host. Hope you like linux, though
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