Litecoin Mining Using Enthusiast PC Hardware

By on February 10, 2014, 1:54 AM

As its name suggests, Litecoin is based on Bitcoin's technology but differs in that it targets a faster block rate and uses scrypt as the proof-of-work scheme when mining. Unlike the Bitcoin network, which can only ever have 21 million coins, the Litecoin network will allow for 84 million coins to exist once they're all mined. To use a common analogy, people say Litecoin is the silver to Bitcoin's gold.

With the network still in relative infancy, Litecoin mining is still financially viable and is still best done using traditional desktop graphics cards because ASIC Litecoin miners don't exist (yet).

If you're looking to treat virtual coin mining as a hobby, Litecoins are probably the best bet right now and we'll show you how to get started with choosing and configuring the hardware and software you'll need. Also note we are aiming this article to PC enthusiasts who likely have spare hardware around, separating our project from milk crate builds, this seems like the most logical approach for us to get started.

Read the complete article.




User Comments: 34

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Guest said:

Wait, are you saying your mining rig got your home past 72 F when the temperature outside was 12 F? Are these mining rigs heating appliances in disguise?

jackal2687 said:

I launched the .bat file and it cycles through some prompts before instantly closing due to some error. literally cannot read it, it flies by too fast. Any ideas?

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

Wait, are you saying your mining rig got your home past 72 F when the temperature outside was 12 F? Are these mining rigs heating appliances in disguise?

I am sure he was talking about the room in which the rig was located. Unless he lives in a one room house...

jackal2687 said:

I launched the .bat file and it cycles through some prompts before instantly closing due to some error. literally cannot read it, it flies by too fast. Any ideas?

It says that "cgminer.exe" is not a recognized as an internal or external commander, operable program or batch file. (Very fast screenshotting skills, only took me 5 tries)

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I launched the .bat file and it cycles through some prompts before instantly closing due to some error. literally cannot read it, it flies by too fast. Any ideas?

It says that "cgminer.exe" is not a recognized as an internal or external commander, operable program or batch file. (Very fast screenshotting skills, only took me 5 tries)

Or you could have just run it from the command line...

Eric Lee Keene Eric Lee Keene said:

I started bitcoin mining back in June of 2013 and quickly gave up on it since the Asic have flooded the market and make it unprofitable even if you are going professional. I just got back into mining once I started reading up on Litecoin and other scrypt based currency.

So I don't have the money to invest into a $3000 rig, but I do have some pair motherboards with PCI-X slots. I took all the different Video cards from the "https://litecoin.info/Mining_hardware_comparison" website and then went to newegg to get a rough pricing. I then took the expected KH/S and divided it by the cost of the card. It turns out that for a quick return on investment, (remember, I only needed the video card). The best card in January 2014 was the R9-270. It has the highest ratio of KH/$. I have been mining for just about 3 weeks and have cleared over $100 mining Doge coins (scrypt based like litecoins).

I have been using the site multipool.us, they have 19 different Scrypt currency. I have also used coinex.pw, they have even more. You can either mining one coin only or have the system switch between the different currency as the profitability of each change (min by min). I found out that 93% of the time, Doge coins where the most profitable so I mine just one.

If you don't want to buy things in Doge coins or Litecoin, you can use the following site to exchange them for Bitcoins. ( [link] ). I used my referral address since I get a little bonus if I refer people to there site.

If you don't want to even buy with bitcoins, you can also use another site to actually cash out the bitcoins into cash and have the money deposited directly into your checking account. (https://coinbase.com/) again, I use the referral address so I get credit for recommending them. You can also buy bitcoins directly from them so if you can get into bitcoins with out having to mine.

I hope this helps you make good decisions about mining. It can be a good source of extra money. My goals with mining is to pay off the card that I bought and keep paying on the credit cards until I am out of debt (or at least pay off that one card).

Jamolas Jamolas said:

I launched the .bat file and it cycles through some prompts before instantly closing due to some error. literally cannot read it, it flies by too fast. Any ideas?

It says that "cgminer.exe" is not a recognized as an internal or external commander, operable program or batch file. (Very fast screenshotting skills, only took me 5 tries)

Or you could have just run it from the command line...

Getting the same problem.

Guest said:

If you add a "pause" command (w/out quotes) to the end of your batch file, it will prompt you to hit a key to end the program.

Guest said:

Getting the same problem.

You have to run the cgminer program in the same folder as you unzipped the file. Either create the batch file in the folder or if you're running the batch in the root of C or whatever your OS drive letter is, you'll need to use variables to set a source path and change to it and then run cgminer. I would say for simplicity's sake just run it in the same folder.

:Variables

SET SourcePath=\\path\

pushd "%SourcePath%"

Guest said:

I do mining, and I wouldn't recommend using a case (especially with three graphics cards) as shown in the picture above. That's asking for trouble.

Guest said:

I do mining, and I wouldn't recommend using a case (especially with three graphics cards) as shown in the picture above. That's asking for trouble.

Learn. To. Read.

He said he didn't recommend using the case used in the picture, not "don't use a case".

However, if you only had the choice of that case or nothing, then nothing would be a better bet as ironically it would have better air circulation...

Guest said:

So which case would you prefer that would offer better air circulation? Just curious. My Corsair Graphite Series 600T looks similar - no problems there. Airflow intake front airflow outtake back and top.

Guest said:

That rig is gonna burn those cards out. CGMiner runs those cards as hot as it can and there needs to be more space between them. Most serious miners do use milk crates or the like with the cards way off the board using PCIe powered risers to give them extra space between and with extra fans blowing between them so they're not contributing to each others heat.

AnilD AnilD said:

So which case would you prefer that would offer better air circulation? Just curious. My Corsair Graphite Series 600T looks similar - no problems there. Airflow intake front airflow outtake back and top.

If you want to mine, don't. Look into building on a frame, or open plan. If you put those cards in a case (no matter how good it is) they will burn out and fail.

Even though the article does point out that the use of a case is not the best idea, it should have been made more clear throughout. I understand the use of the Cosmos 2 comes in the article's spirit that as enthusiasts we have hardware laying around as spare (Cosmos 2 unused? I wish!)

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Or you could have just run it from the command line...
Or typing "CMD /k" in front of the command will keep the window open. That starts CMD window and then runs the file. When finished it waits for user input to close the window.

Edit:

I hope you guys are not downloading the file and then typing the batch file name in the run dialog box, hoping the default location will be the correct location.

EduardsN said:

I launched the .bat file and it cycles through some prompts before instantly closing due to some error. literally cannot read it, it flies by too fast. Any ideas?

It says that "cgminer.exe" is not a recognized as an internal or external commander, operable program or batch file. (Very fast screenshotting skills, only took me 5 tries)

Or you could have just run it from the command line...

Getting the same problem.

There is no cgminer.exe in that download, maybe its corrupt I dont know.

You can try the 3.5.0 version it seems to be working for me.

JC713 JC713 said:

I started bitcoin mining back in June of 2013 and quickly gave up on it since the Asic have flooded the market and make it unprofitable even if you are going professional. I just got back into mining once I started reading up on Litecoin and other scrypt based currency.

Yeah it has potential.

fdart17 said:

There is no EXE in any of these versions. Fail.

fdart17 said:

Please mention that users with NVIDIA cards cannot use hypernova.

Gars Gars said:

[Attachment: click here to see]

My friend build this to mine LTC.

Still hiding the specs

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

[Attachment: click here to see]

My friend build this to mine LTC.

Still hiding the specs

[link]

HD 7950 are the cards hes using in that rig above, I recognized that Sapphire cooler because of the Chrome on it :p

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

[Attachment: click here to see]

My friend build this to mine LTC.

Still hiding the specs

My God! Is that the home entertainment? Looks as if it is in the middle of the living room.

Guest said:

LOL man, most of the litecoin miners put the hardware inside plastic baskets or use racks to reduce costs and stuff and you used a Cosmos II ?

Guest said:

This article makes my left eye twitch. There is a reason people are using milk crates and building open frames to house their hardware, so it doesn't fry. Which is where your gear is headed. Even if you happen to have a case laying around, it isn't worth frying your cards. The HW errors on your first GPU make my right eye twitch, and the fact you didn't even mention it makes my whole head ache.

Please.Stop.Writing.Articles.

Guest said:

I launched the .bat file and it cycles through some prompts before instantly closing due to some error. literally cannot read it, it flies by too fast. Any ideas?

It says that "cgminer.exe" is not a recognized as an internal or external commander, operable program or batch file. (Very fast screenshotting skills, only took me 5 tries)

Or, you know, you could have just open the command window first, then run the program from there. Then scroll up to see the error message.

Your message indicates windows does not see cgminer.exe in the directory you are attempting to run it from. Post your batch file. Are you running the batch file from within the same directory as cgminer is located?

Gars Gars said:

First of all, ill recommend to beginners to read this and use guiminer

guiminer is easy and friendly to use

when you become more experienced (after a lot of googling/reading forums and so on) you will be ready to make your own .bat file

fdart17 said:

The releases on the site no longer contain the required cgminer executable.

Guest said:

Since I'm newbie here, and just curious, so I would like to a several question:

Let's say I'm using 2 gpu for mining, is there any difference if I'm using mobo that support x16 x16 vs x16 x8 ??

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Since I'm newbie here, and just curious, so I would like to a several question:

Let's say I'm using 2 gpu for mining, is there any difference if I'm using mobo that support x16 x16 vs x16 x8 ??

Since there are miners with multiple (as in more than 4) GPU's, I'm inclined to say no it will not matter. Chances are these machines are limiting PCIe slots at x4 or even less bandwidth.

[link]

Both boards have six PCIe slots for up to six video cards although the less expensive model is limited to one PCIe 3.0 x16 port and five PCIe 2.0 x1 ports while the H81 features one PCIe 2.0 x16 and five PCIe 2.0 x1 (go figure).

Guest said:

Many thanks for your quick reply, Clifford.. :)

Guest said:

Hi there!

After reading this article I couldn't sleep last night so I made an analysis instead. I really wanted to know which hardware is the most efficient for mining (litecoin more exactly; not talking about bulldozers, piledrivers, excavators etc... LOL pun intended).

OK, what really matters is the GPU but which one makes sense? As usual most people only care about performance and price but in this case the cost of electricity can easily be several times bigger.

So I gathered data on the litecoin website and wikipedia about the performance of the graphics cards and my conclusion is that GCN based GPUs are the best choice. Finally I put together a list with these and compared their performance vs power consumption as follows.

Radeon Watt GFlops GFlops/W kHash/s kHash/Ws kWh/day kWh/mo

HD 7990 375 8200 21.87 1300 3.47 9.00 270.00

R9 290X 290 5630 19.41 900 3.10 6.96 208.80

R9 290 275 4850 17.64 800 2.91 6.60 198.00

R9 280X 250 4095 16.38 700 2.80 6.00 180.00

HD 7970 GE 250 4095 16.38 700 2.80 6.00 180.00

R9 280 225 3045 13.53 600 2.67 5.40 162.00

HD 7950 B 225 3045 13.53 600 2.67 5.40 162.00

R9 270X 180 2560 14.22 450 2.50 4.32 129.60

HD 7870 GE 175 2560 14.63 450 2.57 4.20 126.00

R9 270 150 2305 15.37 400 2.67 3.60 108.00

HD 7850 130 1760 13.54 350 2.69 3.12 93.60

R7 260X 115 1970 17.13 275 2.39 2.76 82.80

HD 7790 85 1790 21.06 250 2.94 2.04 61.20

R7 250X 80 1280 16.00 180 2.25 1.92 57.60

HD 7770 GE 80 1280 16.00 180 2.25 1.92 57.60

HD 7750 75 920 12.27 150 2.00 1.80 54.00

GFlops perfomance (single precision) and the TDP in Watt are the official from wikipedia. The mining performance kHash/s are an APPROXIMATION of the AVERAGE results with the hardware at default clocks and NOT a standard benchmark. This was the most difficult thing to do, to understand those different results with different OC and finding the average results for each hardware and possibly for CGMiner. Some issues I had to correct like TDP of R9 280 is equal to 7950 B, for R7 260X kHash/s scaling +10% because not sufficient data and for R7 250X no data at all but its the same as 7770 and included for completeness. I included the GFlops for the reference and you can see that both scale similarly.

Now, the conclusion. After dividing these values with the TDP we find the performance/Watt and in this case we are particularly interested in the kHash/Ws. These results show us how efficient is every GPU and surprisingly no1 is the mighty HD 7990, almost in its own league. The second is R9 290X and the 290 and the 7790 are close too at around 3 kHash/Ws. The rest of the mid- to high-range are not bad either at above 2.5 kHash/Ws while the three entry level are the last. The R7 260X is a bad evolution from the 7790 with much higher TDP than performance and falling 0.55 points; too bad because I personally wanted the cheap 7790 in 3x-5x crossfire but its not available anymore.

Finally there are the kilowatt hours consumed 24/7 per day and per month for each GPU so you can calculate the cost of electricity, just remember that these are only for a single graphics card and without the rest of the system. In the end all it matters how efficient is the entire system starting with the GPUs, CPUs, PSU and all the other suckers because that means more performance/Watt.

andrej1234 andrej1234 said:

Hi!

Can someone help me? I have 3x R9 280x - gigabyte. one card gives me HW errors, other two none, with same settings on all three cards; also temperature is for 7 degrees higher on this one. here's my cgminer config:

--thread-concurrency 8921 --lookup-gap 2 --gpu-engine 1030,1030,1030 --gpu-memclock 1500 --gpu-powertune -20,-20,-20 --gpu-fan 40-80 -w 256 -I 13 -g 2

Eddo22 said:

Just a tip to help other newbies to get going. I downloaded 3.7.3 and couldn't get it to work right. (Lots of hardware errors). 3.7.2 is the correct one.

"If you are mining Scrypt crypto currencies such as Litecoin or maybe DOGE, then you are most likely using cgminer as a mining software or something that relies on cgminer as a backend. The author of cgminer (Con Kolivas) however seems to have decided to continue support of cgminer only for ASIC mining for SHA-256 cryptos such as Bitcoin and version 3.7.2 is the last one for cgminer to support GPU mining for scrypt cryptos. Furthermore the windows version of the last cgminer to support GPU mining has been removed from the official download location, you can however [link] [link] "

Avast detects it as a PUP (Potentially unwanted programs), but just disable it for 10 minutes.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

People who don't even know how to use .bat, .exe trying to do this, put your credit card back in your wallet and stop now. If you like coins, just purchase some BTC (coinbase works) and use an exchange to get the alt-coins of your choice.

Guest said:

This article sucks. It gives the wrong impression on

a) how hard it is to setup a miner (for goodness sakes, use BAMT!!!)

b) inappropriate startup costs and hardware (basically showing that you need to dump $3k or close to for a startup rig)

c) shows the author using a normal atx case!! Sure, he says not to, so why doesn't he update the article? People do that from time to time, make updates or revisions to articles, its not unheard of.....

d) you're building a litecoin miner like you would a gaming computer. they are no where near the same in design since they have (2) different purposes, so get a clue.

Dont listen to what is written in this article, do the research yourself and make your own conclusions. You can get into an entry level mining rig for ALOT cheaper if you are simply creative. I think my first rig cost me all of a couple hundred bucks (less than 6 months ago) and it puts out 600 kh/s @ 300w.

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