Monero mining (also known as XMR mining), similar to Ethereum mining and Zcash mining, is pretty simple once you get over the learning curve. If you are just not ready to mine and want an overview of Monero, check out our guide. Below we will go into details as to why you should mine Monero, what hardware to use, software, mining rigs, and so much more. This guide is meant for beginners wanting to learn from start to finish.
Why you should mine Monero
- Monero is very easily traded for BTC (Bitcoins). It is a very cheap way to slowly build up a holding position in BTC (Bitcoin).
- Ever since Monero (also known as XMR) gained traction in the darknet market in 2016, it has been one of the highest priced altcoins in the market.
- Mining can be a very cheap entry ticket to the Monero market, as it is cherished by traders for its high volatility. If you are a very good or maybe lucky trader, you can maximize the profit you get from Monero mining; especially when there are massive price pumps in XMR.
- Mining is a great way to subsidize the purchase of a high-end, new GPU (or maybe two or three GPUs).
- Since BTC (Bitcoins) can be easily sold for cash, mining Monero is a very good way to earn cash or fill up your bank account indirectly. Monero can also be directly sold on some major exchanges.
- Mining Monero, which is based on the CryptoNote Algorithm, uses less electricity than mining both the Equihash coins (Hush, Zancash, and Zcash) and the Ethash Dagger Hashimoto coins (UBQ, Ethereum Classic, and Ethereum). This can lead to a lower temperature when heat output is a concern, and it can also contribute to longer GPU card life cycles.
Building a large Monero position through mining may give you the opportunity to take advantage of price appreciation in the future. The risk factor is much less than just buying Monero. Since this might be a confusing concept, we explain below.
Mining Monero can increase profit opposed to buying and holding
Holding crypto is similar to the old style of buying low and selling high; the only thing is that most buyers don’t understand the technical analysis and do this at the wrong times. This means that most buyers are buying high (during price increases) and selling low. However, mining crypto and buying gear with it gives you the chance to have an income-producing asset in the gear itself, with the aftermarket resale values appreciating and holding very well. Most GPUs purchased for mining during 2015 and 2016 are often sold at a high profit in 2017 because of its high demand in the market. It is a good idea to allow your gear to earn money and sell the gear immediately once your target is reached; doing that allows you to make your money back on the gear and pocket the generated crypto as profit.
How Monero’s Blockchain is different from the Bitcoin’s Blockchain
XMR uses a different hashing algorithm than Bitcoin. This makes it incompatible with the ASICs (a special hardware developed for Bitcoin mining). The Monero’s algorithm is also known as CryptoNight, it is a memory-hard algorithm, which means it is designed to resist the development of Monero-mining (ASICs). Monero (XMR) is best suited to GPU and CPU mining. Monero also differs from Bitcoin because it has a privacy protocol (called the RING SIGNATURES) built-in. This privacy protocol is designed to make Monero a leading privacy-based crypto in the market (competing with other privacy coins like Zcash and Dash). Blocks on the Monero blockchain are mined in like two-minute intervals unlike the blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain which are mined in like ten-minute intervals.
Price, Difficulty, and Hash Rate
Monero’s total network hash rate has been going up rapidly since its launch in 4Q16. Over the years, the amount of hardware dedicated to Monero mining, but the average two-minute block time of the Monero has decreased. The big question is “why is that happening? The answer to that question is simply DIFFICULTY. By adjusting the computational difficulty of solving a block automatically, the Monero blockchain is able to maintain approximate two-minutes block intervals. Now we ask why has the hash rate and difficulty been rising? The simple answer is PRICE. The reality here is that the hash rate had followed the price explosion; which took off in the summer of 2017 when the altcoin mega boom occurred. The hash rate also spiked over 350% in September of 2017.
Calculating Monero’s mining profitability
Now that we have talked about Monero blockchain, hash rate and difficulty, it is time to perform some economic calculations. To calculate the economic calculations, you have to head over to whattomine.com. Whattomine.com provides up-to-date figures for the block time, current price, and network hash rate. All you just have to do is plug-in your cards up at the top and click on the model number, after that, you will see the profitability and hashing info of Monero mining.
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Choosing your Monero Mining Hardware
When you experiment with various GPU selections in the calculator (whattomine.com), it will reveal a card with the best price-to-performance-to-power consumption combination (which is expressed as MH/s per currency unit). You should have it in mind that the AMD cards always outperform Nvidia cards for Ethereum mining purposes on the Ethash algo, but when we are using the EWBF miner, the AMD cards don’t outperform Nvidia when it comes to the Equihash algo. AMD cards do outperform Nvidia when it comes to mining the CryptoNight algo and Monero. The good thing about CryptoNight is that you can also mine it with CPUs just like the Monero. A good i7 or i5 CPU can still make you a small profit and get you started on the crypto mining game!
Tip: When choosing a GPU, try to evaluate them based on their price, hash rates, power requirements, and availability. Check out the following GPUs
- Dual-slot Width, 1x HDMI, 3x Display Port,
- 256Bit, 4GB GDDR5 , PCIe 3.0 x16, GPU Clock: 1266 MHz, Memory 1950 MHz
- Bandwith 249.6GB/s, DirectX 12.0
- Video card only in OEM Packaging - no box, Video driver/software not included
- 113-ext10989-001, 90 days Warranty
- 1380 MHz GPU Boost Clock (OC mode) for outstanding gaming experience
- AMD Radeon VR Ready Premium with dual HDMI 2.0 ports to simultaneously connect headset & monitor
- Dual-fan cooling provides doubled airflow for 3x quieter gameplay.Power Connector: 8-Pin
- GPU Tweak II makes monitoring performance and streaming easier than ever, featuring Game Booster and XSplit Gamecaster, all via an intuitive interface and 1-click overclocking
- Auto-Extreme manufacturing technology delivers premium quality and reliability with aerospace-grade Super Alloy Power II components
- Excellent Overclocker
- EK Full-cover Water Block Installed
- Ships in Original Box with Original Air Cooler, too
- For the money, you will not find even a remotely better Graphic Card than this one!
- G1 Gaming
- WINDFORCE 3X Cooling system with Triangle Cool technology
- Ultra Durable VGA Series
- 2xDVI/HDMI/DPRequires one 8 pin external power connector
Solid GPU Budget Card Pick
- Personal Computers
Mining Monero on Your PC
Now we are going to discuss on how to mine Monero on your PC (it can be on Windows 7, 8 or Windows 10, as well as Mac and Linux).
- First Things First; Get your Video Card Drivers Installed – The first important thing you have to do is to download your GPU drivers. Head over to amd.com and choose Support and Drivers. Enter your GPU information and click on display results. After that, click on the download button from the current driver, or you can choose Download Previous Drivers and Software that is on the right hand side. Choosing Download Previous Drivers and Software will allow you to choose to download older versions that are known as super drivers for mining based on the type of card you have:
For R9 and older: Use 15.12
For RX 4XX Series: Use 16.9.2 or 16.10.3
RX 5XX Series: as these cards are newer, it is best to go with the current driver.
Nvidia GPUs. To get the Nvidia GeForce Drivers, go to www.geforce.com/drivers, enter your card information, click on the start search and download the current version from the results. After you have done that, install your GPU drivers as you would normally and reboot. You will know your GPUs are recognized correctly if you go into the Device manager and you don’t notice or see any warning marks on your GPUs.
Troubleshooting Tip. Some miners have successfully installed all GPUs at once and then install the drivers. While some other miners prefer to install only one card, install the drivers, and then reboot your system and then install the rest of the GPUs, and let them all be recognized by Windows (you will experience the system lagging or some brief black screen while each card has been detected by Windows).
- Register a Free Account at Minergate
To easily mine with your GPUs and CPU, including laptops, you will need to register an account at Minergate. Click on the Sign-Up button at the top of the website page, and then set up your account with your email address and secure password.
- Download the Minergate Software
After you have registered a free account at Minergate, the next step to take is to download the Minergate software. Click on the Download at the top of the page, and it would detect the right version for you (i.e., Windows, Linux, or Mac). Run the downloaded file on PC to install Minergate, and just click as you would normally through any other installation process. After you have completed the installation, run the program, and enter the email, you registered with and click on Start Mining.
- Maximizing Your Monero Mining Rig
Nvidia Mining Rigs:
If your mining rig has Nvidia cards, you are going to want to mine with the EWBF miner, but if you have a CPU (i5 or i7), you can mine with your CPU using Minergate. The Minergate platform doesn’t conflict with the Claymore miners or EWBF, so in essence, you can dual mine using Minergate to run your CPU and another miner to mine Zcash or Ethereum.
AMD Mining Rigs:
If your mining rigs have AMD cards, you can take your Monero mining to another level by using a Claymore miner that is built for the CryptoNight algorithm that runs on AMD cards. Go back to the Minergate Download page and click on Alternative Miners. If the Alternative Miners doesn’t take you to the Claymore CryptoNote GPU Miner Page, click on the option on the left. After that, download the XMR.bat file using the download icon all the way to the right on the XMR (Monero) Line.Go to the Miner page and click on the MegaDownload link, download the miner and extract it to your desktop. After that, you should move the .bat file you downloaded into the Claymore CryptoNote Miner folder on your desktop. The .bat file must be in the exact folder as the miner application for it to run properly.
- Tweak Windows Settings
- If you are running antivirus programs like the Windows Defender, you should add an extension to it so it doesn’t flag the entire Claymore miner folder. If you don’t Windows might try to identify the Claymore miner folder as a virus and delete it.
- Some settings have to be modified in Windows so as to get you ready for mining. First and foremost, you really don’t want your computer to go to sleep because it will interrupt your mining. In order to make sure that your computer doesn’t sleep, go to your power setting and set it to “NEVER SLEEP”.
- To reduce the disruptions to your settings and mining, you should also disable Windows Update. However, if you want to leave them on, you can do so: but you have to understand that there are updates that sometimes reboot your system without your consent, and this will stop your mining.
- You should also modify your system page file and set it to 16GB.
- Run the miner
Once you have completed all your Windows tweaks, run the miner by double-clicking on the .bat file you already created. When a window pops up a firewall approval message, provide the necessary approval, and you will be off and running with the Claymore CryptoNote miner hashing hard for Monero! The good thing about Claymore miner is that you can run the Claymore GPU and the Minergate GUI to mine on your CPU simultaneously.
- Track your Progress
Immediately you log in to Minergate, go to your Dashboard and monitor you overall mining progress to see how it is going. If you want to send the Monero, you have mined to another Monero exchange or wallet.
We have come a long way since the beginning of this guide. We covered all the necessary basics to get setup and start mining Monero. We didn’t go too much in-depth on how to build the mining rig, but we will be creating some guides in the near future. Hope you enjoyed the beginner’s guide to mining Monero!
Last update on 2019-10-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API