Newbie seeks advice

Joined
Jun 7, 2021
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Hi, all. I'm considering building a dedicated mining rig, but don't want to purchase multiple GPUs at todays scalper prices. After doing some research, I'm guessing I could put together a rig with a 3080 for around $3,000, maybe a bit less.

Is this even worth it? What kind of return might I expect mining bitcoin with a system that had just 1 3080? Are there other currencies that might offer a greater return using such a modest rig?

Thanks for any clarification you can provide... >Charlie
 

Orddie

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I would not mine BTC directly.

I do not think mining is a good idea for starting out.
Take the $ you would spend on a rig and buy the coin. Hold it.
What is the goal of mining for you?
 

auntjemima

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I would not mine BTC directly.

I do not think mining is a good idea for starting out.
Take the $ you would spend on a rig and buy the coin. Hold it.
What is the goal of mining for you?
Agreed. One 3080 will bring you a few $ a day. Just spend the 3k on eth or BTC.
 
Joined
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I would not mine BTC directly.

I do not think mining is a good idea for starting out.
Take the $ you would spend on a rig and buy the coin. Hold it.
What is the goal of mining for you?


Thanks for the solid, frank advice. My goal for mining is twofold. First, I enjoy technical pursuits, and cryptomining has held my interest for a while now. I want to dabble, without taking out a second mortgage for equipment. Second, I'd like to put my money into a toy that promises some return on investment. But I don't want to drop $20,000 on a full blown mining rig.

A guaranteed return on investment - such as a guaranteed investment certificate from a bank - would deliver about 1% annually, or about $30 a year on that $3000. My hope is that one 3080 card would deliver about $3 a day, based on a bitcoin price of $35,000. If that happened, I'd have a return of around $1,100 a year, at $35,000 bitcoin value. Much better than $30.

I'm not looking at this as a short term investment. I fear that bitcoin will continue to decline in value, and may fall to the $12K - $15K range over the next year, before recovering over the next several years. If my only goal was to own Bitcoin, I would not buy it now. I guess my goal is to gain the experience of mining bitcoin, with the bonus of a potential return considerably greater than bank interest.

Since writing my previous post, it appears that I've bought the beginnings of a system. Specifically, I've purchased an Asus Tuf Z-390 plus gaming motherboard, 2X4 GB of DDR4 ram, a 500 GB M2 SSD, a Celeron G4930 processor and a 750 watt PSU. The MB will support up to 6 cards, which was its major attraction. Everything else was purchased with value in mind. If I can find a 3080 for $2,000, then the system will have set me back around $2600.

Sometimes, I myself have no idea what I'm doing. I was watching my hands fly across the keyboard, comparing prices and specs and placing orders, and all the while I was thinking... "Wait. What the hell am I doing!?"

So, I guess I'm in.

My only source for 3080 cards right now is Ebay. Any thoughts on where else I might look?

Thanks, Charlie
 
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Archaea

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A 3080 brings in $5 a day right now. Profits are down right now because Crypto is down right now. It’d take a long time at $5 a day to pay off a $3k machine. That’s assuming Crypto stays at current value. If you just hold of course you get what it’s worth at the time you cash out - which could be many times more than it is now, or yes much less.

I’d also argue you don’t need to spend $3K on a 3080 prebuilt. You should be closer to $2K for an Alienware R12 with a 3080 for instance. (Though you might have to wait a month for shipping). Also ASUS ROG machines are closer to $2K at BestBuy than $3K with a 3080.

Profitability calc:
https://www.nicehash.com/profitability-calculator/nvidia-rtx-3080
 
Joined
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A 3080 brings in $5 a day right now. Profits are down right now because Crypto is down right now. It’d take a long time at $5 a day to pay off a $3k machine. That’s assuming Crypto stays at current value. If you just hold of course you get what it’s worth at the time you cash out - which could be many times more than it is now, or yes much less.

I’d also argue you don’t need to spend $3K on a 3080 prebuilt. You should be closer to $2K for an Alienware R12 with a 3080 for instance. (Though you might have to wait a month for shipping). Also ASUS ROG machines are closer to $2K at BestBuy than $3K with a 3080.

Profitability calc:
https://www.nicehash.com/profitability-calculator/nvidia-rtx-3080
Hi, Archaea - thanks for the great information. Sadly, I can't reach nicehash right now - the TV was saying there's some kind of big internet outage, maybe that's the problem - I'll try it later. I should have mentioned my $3,000 price tag was in Canadian dollars - I think your price quotes in US dollars are quite accurate. Canada really pays a huge premium for a lot of computer technology. Some of it is exchange rate, some of it is... well, not very nice deals made at high levels. Anyway, I've got about $588 invested, and all I need is a frame and a card. If I can earn $5 USD a day, I'll be quite satisfied. Thanks! >Charlie
 

Archaea

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Hi, Archaea - thanks for the great information. Sadly, I can't reach nicehash right now - the TV was saying there's some kind of big internet outage, maybe that's the problem - I'll try it later. I should have mentioned my $3,000 price tag was in Canadian dollars - I think your price quotes in US dollars are quite accurate. Canada really pays a huge premium for a lot of computer technology. Some of it is exchange rate, some of it is... well, not very nice deals made at high levels. Anyway, I've got about $588 invested, and all I need is a frame and a card. If I can earn $5 USD a day, I'll be quite satisfied. Thanks! >Charlie
Here’s another site to check to monitor mining profits. It’s set to electricity rate of 11 cents per KWH (you can adjust as needed). It has a 3080 programmed in now.


https://whattomine.com/coins?aq_380...changes][]=stex&dataset=Main&commit=Calculate
 

dthree

Weaksauce
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With GPU mining, 99.9% of people will mine ETH. I can't remember ever seeing anyone mining BTC with gpus (it's dominated by ASICS now).
So ETH is the direction you'd want to look into.
Also $3k for a 3080 is a lot. You can buy cheapo old used hardware (mobo, ram, cpu) for about $75-$100 and throw in a 3080 that you buy elsewhere ($1800-$2000) and overall it would only be about $2100.
If you are in it for the long haul (like 1+ years, then it is a decent investment).
 
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Thanks for the info! I currently have a bid in on a 3080 at $1750 USD - the auction resolves tomorrow. But with exchange, shipping and taxes, the price turns into $2250 CAD. I can buy the same card locally for that amount, so if I lose the auction I won't cry too many tears. I bought everything else - mobo, CPU, memory, SSD, PSU, case - for about $600 CAD (roughly $450 USD).

I've heard that Etherium is moving to a different model that will make the currency far less attractive to mine. Don't know when that will happen, but it concerns me.
 

Gigantopithecus

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You're too late. GPU prices are too high, crypto prices are too low, and ETH mining will become less profitable too soon (EIP 1559).

If you believe in cryptocurrency as a long-term investment, then buy it - don't bother mining it.

That's my free advice, which might be worth more or less than what you paid for it!
 

auntjemima

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You're too late. GPU prices are too high, crypto prices are too low, and ETH mining will become less profitable too soon (EIP 1559).

If you believe in cryptocurrency as a long-term investment, then buy it - don't bother mining it.

That's my free advice, which might be worth more or less than what you paid for it!
Yup.

At this point I would buy eth directly, based on card prices. For a couple 3080's you could buy nearly 2 eth.
 

serial__thrilla

Limp Gawd
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Ehh, did everyone miss the "Sadly, I can't reach nicehash right now - the TV was saying there's some kind of big internet outage, maybe that's the problem" part?
The TV said?
You trolling, bro?
Or do you have some kind of an elaborate network setup where you can only see your network from a TV?
 

Andrew_Carr

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Look into power efficiency of the GPUs. I like rtx 3080's because they hash a lot and the less cards you have to deal with for the same hashrate, the better. But RTX 3070s, 3060s, 3060TIs, and even Radeon 6800s and 6700xt's can be more efficient for mining (depending on the algorithm). I wouldn't buy a 3080 right now because they're going for about 1500 USD on ebay. I don't agree with buying ETH instead of mining. That's definitely a viable alternative, but it's more like investing in very risky stocks and it seems clear you want to mine. To cut down the cost of your builds I would recommend:

-sandisk cruzer 16GB tiny USB drives (not the full-size ones) instead of an SSD since they're only $7/ea. Or look in the For Sale forum and some guy is selling tons of 250GB SSDs for $20/ea
-2x4GB of RAM is good, especially if you're getting low latency stuff for mining monero with a ryzen CPU. But generally you want to minimize memory costs, so go for the least you can get away with.
-A 750W PSU for now should be fine, but usually what I would recommend is to buy a 1100W Dell server PSU or a 1200W HP PSU and use a breakoutboard with PCIE cables to power your additional cards. Just make sure the risers and the GPU are powered by the same PSU if you're running multiple PSUs.
-Large wire racks from home depot (about 6ft tall). The shelves are wide enough apart on these that you can easily fit in the huge GPUs nowadays and still have room for the motherboard, PSU, etc. on the bottom of the shelf.

For now I would focus on learning whatever OS you're going to use, get familiar with setting up a rig, and figure out which pool and payout system you want. Hopefully by the time you've figured all this out with one rig, GPU prices will have dropped and you could buy more at lower prices.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
Messages
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Ehh, did everyone miss the "Sadly, I can't reach nicehash right now - the TV was saying there's some kind of big internet outage, maybe that's the problem" part?
The TV said?
You trolling, bro?
Or do you have some kind of an elaborate network setup where you can only see your network from a TV?
Yeah - my network is kinda different.

I'm taking the video out from my 'regular' computer and feeding it into a 65" Samsung 4K TV that I'm using as a monitor. Using the Samsung remote control, I can switch between different inputs - computer, X box, cable box - as well as watch streaming video (YouTube) through the computer. I have all this set up in my living room, and it makes for a pretty flexible entertainment center. I surf the web from my recliner.

My problem with Nicehash wasn't that part of the net was down (although it actually was). The problem was that if you try to access Nicehash through a VPN, it shuts you down. The only way to connect with Nicehash is through a connection that reveals your actual location and identity.

My 3090 is now set up and mining on a separate rig, also in my living room. It's generating about $8.00 CAD in a 24 hour period, so about $243 CAD a month. Sometimes more, if the price of BTC is up. Usually, it isn't.

I sorta agree with the opinions voiced here, which - in summary - were, "don't do it." Don't build a mining rig right now. Bitcoin is currently sitting at around $31,000 USD, and some pundits are suggesting a price around $15,000 over the next year. If that happens, the 3090 I bought will earn just $4 Canadian a day. And, there's the ripple effect from China shutting down mining in China a few weeks ago. And there's Etherium moving to a POS model in 6 months, and cutting payouts next month, which will really mess up the mining industry. And there's the fact that GPUs are still sitting at all time high card prices, despite the fact that earnings are down 50% from a few months ago, and may drop another 50%.

All told, the industry is in a terrible state; lots of volatility, great difficulty in separating the tea leaves and making accurate financial predictions, extremely high equipment prices, and low (and possibly falling) returns. The only guarantee is that if you spend the money for a productive rig right now, it will cost you dearly - if you can even find the cards. But profitability? Not so much. Your ROI could wind up at 3 - 6 years.

I wanted to build a mining rig, mostly for the experience of doing it. Well, that itch has been scratched. I still think that mining offers financial potential given the right circumstances - but not right now. The market is too unstable, and the equipment price is too high.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Look into power efficiency of the GPUs. I like rtx 3080's because they hash a lot and the less cards you have to deal with for the same hashrate, the better. But RTX 3070s, 3060s, 3060TIs, and even Radeon 6800s and 6700xt's can be more efficient for mining (depending on the algorithm). I wouldn't buy a 3080 right now because they're going for about 1500 USD on ebay. I don't agree with buying ETH instead of mining. That's definitely a viable alternative, but it's more like investing in very risky stocks and it seems clear you want to mine. To cut down the cost of your builds I would recommend:

-sandisk cruzer 16GB tiny USB drives (not the full-size ones) instead of an SSD since they're only $7/ea. Or look in the For Sale forum and some guy is selling tons of 250GB SSDs for $20/ea
-2x4GB of RAM is good, especially if you're getting low latency stuff for mining monero with a ryzen CPU. But generally you want to minimize memory costs, so go for the least you can get away with.
-A 750W PSU for now should be fine, but usually what I would recommend is to buy a 1100W Dell server PSU or a 1200W HP PSU and use a breakoutboard with PCIE cables to power your additional cards. Just make sure the risers and the GPU are powered by the same PSU if you're running multiple PSUs.
-Large wire racks from home depot (about 6ft tall). The shelves are wide enough apart on these that you can easily fit in the huge GPUs nowadays and still have room for the motherboard, PSU, etc. on the bottom of the shelf.

For now I would focus on learning whatever OS you're going to use, get familiar with setting up a rig, and figure out which pool and payout system you want. Hopefully by the time you've figured all this out with one rig, GPU prices will have dropped and you could buy more at lower prices.
Andrew, there's an awful lot of excellent advice in your post, and I thank you for it. I'm sorta doing what you suggested, which is learning the ropes of the game I'm in, and waiting for the market to stabilize. I built my rig using Win 10, mostly due to the convenience of using a platform I understood. Don't really know anything about pools and payout systems.

I set up the nicehash application, and currently it's placing my earnings in a wallet that it created for me. I'm given to understand that to turn my BTC into Canadian dollars, I need to move it from nicehash to a service that converts currencies. Don't know how to do that. Also, I just started the nicehash app, and it started mining. Something. Presumably Etherium, but I cannot find any place on the app where I specify the currency to be mined. Seems odd. I have no clue what I'm really mining. I do know that the algorithm is called 'excavator'. It tells me that I've got a megahash rate of 109.5. I've got the afterburner app set at +275 for memory and GPU, and the power levels set to 80%. I'm running the fans at 100%, and am sitting at a temperature of 38 C. And, that's pretty much everything I know. Any comments on all of this would be greatly welcomed. Thanks - Charlie
 

Andrew_Carr

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I like the theory behind nicehash in some ways, but the people running it are scammers IMO, so later on when you get more familiar with things it's probably worth looking at other options. If you don't have the private keys to the wallet then it's not really your crypto, so keep that in mind. In the past, exchanges, nicehash, etc. have gotten "hacked" and lost their customer's money and it'll probably continue to happen because it's a big payoff if you can pull it off. What nicehash does is they basically sell your hashrate or computing power to the highest bidder and they should also constantly switch your machines between the most profitable algorithms. Nicehash will control the wallets of all the coins you're mining and give you a proportional payout in bitcoin, which you can then withdraw through an exchange or whatnot. The difference between nicehash and other pools is that they're an exchange between the miners and the people buying hashpower (a form of speculation). On most other pools, you'll mine and receive a payout directly to your wallet once you reach a minimum threshold. Many pools allow you to receive a payout in the coin of your choice (so you could ie. mine Ethereum but get paid in Litecoin) and with some you can do auto-switching of algorithms to follow boom/bust cycles of the various coins. Excavator is the program nicehash is using to mine whatever algorithm it's set for. There's various different mining programs that can mine various different variety of algorithms on various different hardware.

A mining pool is just a group of miners that pool their resources (hashrate/computing power) in order to improve the odds of finding a block and winning the reward. Basically, if you're a small-time miner and solo-mine by yourself on a popular algorithm you'll probably have a near zero chance of winning anything and you'll make zero income. The pool organizer sets everything up and takes a cut and then distributes the rewards for blocks to the miners in the pool. To help visualize this try this probability calculator for Monero. A 6KH/s 3600x CPU would have basically no chance of winning a round for an entire month and would probably take over a year to win anything (but continuing increases in network difficult might make it impossible to ever win). But pooled together with other miners you would as a group have a chance to win every now and then and earn about $10/month for your proportional contribution.
 

Archaea

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Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Messages
11,428
I like the theory behind nicehash in some ways, but the people running it are scammers IMO, so later on when you get more familiar with things it's probably worth looking at other options. If you don't have the private keys to the wallet then it's not really your crypto, so keep that in mind. In the past, exchanges, nicehash, etc. have gotten "hacked" and lost their customer's money and it'll probably continue to happen because it's a big payoff if you can pull it off. What nicehash does is they basically sell your hashrate or computing power to the highest bidder and they should also constantly switch your machines between the most profitable algorithms. Nicehash will control the wallets of all the coins you're mining and give you a proportional payout in bitcoin, which you can then withdraw through an exchange or whatnot. The difference between nicehash and other pools is that they're an exchange between the miners and the people buying hashpower (a form of speculation). On most other pools, you'll mine and receive a payout directly to your wallet once you reach a minimum threshold. Many pools allow you to receive a payout in the coin of your choice (so you could ie. mine Ethereum but get paid in Litecoin) and with some you can do auto-switching of algorithms to follow boom/bust cycles of the various coins. Excavator is the program nicehash is using to mine whatever algorithm it's set for. There's various different mining programs that can mine various different variety of algorithms on various different hardware.

A mining pool is just a group of miners that pool their resources (hashrate/computing power) in order to improve the odds of finding a block and winning the reward. Basically, if you're a small-time miner and solo-mine by yourself on a popular algorithm you'll probably have a near zero chance of winning anything and you'll make zero income. The pool organizer sets everything up and takes a cut and then distributes the rewards for blocks to the miners in the pool. To help visualize this try this probability calculator for Monero. A 6KH/s 3600x CPU would have basically no chance of winning a round for an entire month and would probably take over a year to win anything (but continuing increases in network difficult might make it impossible to ever win). But pooled together with other miners you would as a group have a chance to win every now and then and earn about $10/month for your proportional contribution.
I’ll disagree in full that NiceHash is a bunch of scammers. They are the only crypto company I’m aware of that was hacked, and vowed to pay everyone back, and did. Tons of people said it would never happen, and you could just count that crypto as lost. I figured it was lost as well, but they paid it all back, every last bit over the course of just under a couple years. You can say they didn’t pay back USD value at time of hack to USD value but that’s a nonsense argument. They paid back the Bitcoin 1:1 (which is what was stolen — not USD) over many small deposits, as they earned the money to be able to pay it back, with great communication all along they way. They would have done the same if the BTC value skyrocketed, or fell. In the years that follow they’ve been rock solid. Even when their website goes down on occasion, you are still earning your crypto in the background almost without fail. The last time I had a problem with nicehash was right after the hack years ago

That’s integrity, the polar opposite of scamming.

Name another company in crypto who has been hacked and didn’t just disappear?
I’ve mined since 2017, primarily on GPUs through individual pools, four different ASICS, multiple other switching clients. (Cudominer, AwesomeMiner, MPH, Minergate, various direct pool mining). Nicehash is the best switching client IMO - at least of those I've tried, and it’s easy button pushes so easy I don’t mess with anything else anymore.
 
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Schro

Supreme [H]ardness
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7,792
Also, I just started the nicehash app, and it started mining. Something. Presumably Etherium, but I cannot find any place on the app where I specify the currency to be mined. Seems odd. I have no clue what I'm really mining.
With NiceHash, what you're mining is irrelevant to you. The buyers on the service are effectively renting the use of your card to mine whatever they want mined and pay you in Bitcoin for that service. That's a bit different than mining into a pool that either autoswitches algos or you pick a specific coin to mine.
 
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