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infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/18/21 1:09 p.m.

It's a new hobby - specifically doing it on old stuff that I got for free or nearly free.

I have access to a supply of old junker computers, so in the last month or so I've scavenged and pieced together some working ones and set them to mining, and it's helped me learn a good bit.  I also have been slowly upgrading my main computer (I'd call it a gaming computer, but I play video games about once per month) and right now it's earning about $57/month in Ethereum, and that's after paying for electricity, which comes out to a few bucks per month.  I've also been mining XMR on the CPU, although that's slow going unless you have a modern multi-core CPU.

 

calteg
calteg Dork
6/18/21 1:11 p.m.

Mining? No. There's enough volatility among any coin that it's easier to buy low and sell high. 

If anyone is thinking about it, know that it's 100% speculative. A "celebrity" tweet can swing prices 15% or more, and there's no way to predict it.

Vajingo
Vajingo HalfDork
6/18/21 2:21 p.m.

Can somebody explain to me how this works? I read an entire article on data mining, and I still don't really understand how you make money off of it

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/18/21 2:23 p.m.

In reply to calteg :

Without going down a wormhole, it's not much different than when Warren Buffet mentions a stock, fund or market segment. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/18/21 3:05 p.m.

So this is my little mining rig at work, built with mostly junk and unused parts.

This is an old Dell Optiplex 3010 motherboard and an old PSU I found in the basement at work (unused, and would have been destined for the recycle pile).  The monitor was my boss' - he accidentially broke the stand for it, so he gave it to me since he knows I love old computer junk.  I tossed in some spare RAM and fortunately was able to get a graphics card for free - IT bought the owner one several years ago so he could run 4 monitors, then he changed his mind and just wanted two, so he no longer needed it.  So it's sat here for years, and the boss said I could use it for this.  I did splurge and dropped $39 on an old Intel Xeon E3-1270, which is an old server CPU that's very similar to an i7.  They're one of those "hidden gem" upgrades for the 1155 socket.  It worked pretty well for a pile of almost entirely free parts!  My boss then told me he wanted me to learn Linux, so I just installed Ubuntu on this rig the other day and spent some time configuring and learning it.  Also grabbed a heat sink from an old server and put it on the back of the GPU to keep temperatures low (I average around 52 C).  I saw a small bump in CPU mining performance when compared to running Windows 10.  Whatever profits I make from this I'm going to spend on taking the rest of the IT guys out to lunch.  It's currently earning about $16/month in Vertcoin on the GPU, and I think around $5/month from the CPU, so in a few months everyone will get happy meals.  Since I'm new to the IT world, this has been a fun learning experience.

Also that blue USB LED light was $0.59 on eBay.  I bought it because my old challenge Civic originally had a USB port on the stereo, and before I removed the stereo I was going to put LEDs underneath and go full fast and furious for the challenge.  So a part of the Civic lives on in junk parts mining unheard of cryptocurrency.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/18/21 3:14 p.m.
Vajingo said:

Can somebody explain to me how this works? I read an entire article on data mining, and I still don't really understand how you make money off of it

A very simple explanation would be that we're using our computers to perform extremely complex algorithms, and solving those algorithms results in getting paid.  While you can technically mine on older stuff, for it to be profitable generally requires modern multi-core processors and graphics cards.  

You'll hear some people say things along the lines of "enjoy your electric bill going sky high!" but that's simply not true unless you're running an extremely powerful mining setup, or a bunch of ancient computers.  As an example, my primary computer is earning me roughly $57/month in Ethereum right now, and my electric bill went up by only $2-3.  So it's not only a fun little hobby, but I'm earning a few bucks as well.  I could earn a lot more, but that would require me spending money to make money (of course) and the primary aspect of this being a hobby for me is that I'm spending little to nothing to set up my mining rigs.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/18/21 3:49 p.m.

One of the brilliant aspects of mining, is that it can provide an inroads for people to acquire cryptos that start at a lower value and price point and more and more people can feed into it without actually purchasing them growing the number of people that have them and in turn driving the value up. When you see an arc start to flatten on the value of a crypto that maybe started below worth $0.20 per unit once it gets up over $0.50 per unit, That is when it's time to sell that crypto purchase another platform of cryptocurrency and to start mining a new form. This is also not much different from when financial advisors recommend investors of a certain age invest in market segments of different "risk factors" what they're really doing is ensuring that the investments for the population of a certain age segment all get bought into so that way they float the market within that segment and then when they all sell at the same time he who cashes out first wins. 

 

Of course you can always take the revenue from each month and set it aside either for housing down payment and closing costs, Porsche fund or college fund for your son. (speaking of which I don't know if Ohio is one of the states that has a tax-free investment fund that you can start putting money into now for him).  

 

There's nothing wrong with grabbing 40 to 50 bucks a month in effectively free money if you know how to put together a rig. Just don't do it in Texas, as you'll break the grid. If it's in a logarithm more complex then what a TI-83 can handle, then they don't want any part of it. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/18/21 4:23 p.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

I have considered taking one of my small mining rigs, installing Linux on it, using it to teach my son Linux when he's older, and then when he turns 20 or so just giving him 20 years' worth of crypto.  Of course it would probably be a better idea to just keep on my current trend of $20/week in a stock account that's for him.  But hey, why not both?

I'm going to check into the tax-free investment fund that you mentioned.  Thanks for that!

effectively free money describes my approach to this pretty well.  If I were to drop ten grand I could make something that would earn close to $1,000/month, but I'm avoiding that.  I'd rather invest my money in something a bit more certain, and keep this as a fun hobby that helps me learn more about computers and makes a few bucks!

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/18/21 4:50 p.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

information on Ohio's 529 plan

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
6/19/21 6:00 a.m.

In reply to infinitenexus :

Damn son, I actually have a 3010 floating around from a poorly ran company that I might just do this to. What video card did you use? I might be able to pop a 6GB 1060 if I do similar.

PMRacing
PMRacing UltraDork
6/19/21 7:31 a.m.

So if I read above correctly, mining is getting paid to solve complex algorithms. What is the purpose of solving the algorithms and for who?

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/19/21 8:21 a.m.

It's not technically correct to say "you get paid to solve algorithms".  You solve complex algorithms (to make it intentionally difficult) to create some sort of artificial "coin".  To make money off that "coin" someone else has to see it as valuable and buy it off you.  
 

That of course is where the trick is.  Coins that people regularly buy now (and in some cases can be used to purchase actual products)  are VERY VERY VERY hard to mine now (for obvious reasons).  Other coins are easier to make but can be much less likely to sell to anyone.

In a way, it's like people have said that certain shaped rocks can be used as currency, but only very specific shapes that can be very hard to find.  You can put the effort into looking for those rocks,  it in many cases, to actually sell on it's entirely based on someone being convinced it is, or will be worth something. There are a good number of people out there like that now, but most of them seem to be "playing" the market either hoping the coins will be worth something (as noted a few actually are), or making money of people who thing they will be worth something.

GRM analogy.  It would be like setting up your computer to create cars.  You can create 911's, but it will be VERY hard and will likely cost you more in electrify than you can sell them for, or you can more easily create dodge omni's, but.....

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/19/21 10:31 a.m.

In reply to aircooled :

I'm here for the spec omni series

barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) PowerDork
6/19/21 11:34 a.m.

Dammit. Now I wish I'd have kept the Plymouth horizon. Partly because Omni=raddest of the rad, and partly because I have a thing for dead brands. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/19/21 12:31 p.m.

I am pretty sure that wasn't the intention of my post..... cheeky

...but this is GRM, it's pretty hard to find a car that no one here will find of interest.

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/19/21 1:03 p.m.

Do you have any idea what the electrical costs are vs. the return?  Would be interesting to throw a Kill A Watt inline to see what the power consumption was.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/19/21 10:16 p.m.

From what I hear, Bitcoins (the ones that are worth the most, and can actually be used to purchase some things) are very hard to mine without loosing money.  You need to have very cheap electricity.  There are some very, very powerful setups mining these (think a warehouse in China full of computers mining and probably getting cheap nuke power).

I think there is some very limited acceptance of other bit coins, but the main way you would make money off those is to sell them to "prospectors".  There are exchanges for that, but I don't know of any in particular.

The other option is to mine and hold on to the coins in hope they are worth something someday.  The really worked out for some early Bitcoin miners, but there is no way to know of that will ever happen again, or where.  It's very much like buying penny stocks in hopes one will turn out to be Amazon.

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/20/21 9:17 a.m.
jwagner (Forum Supporter) said:

Do you have any idea what the electrical costs are vs. the return?  Would be interesting to throw a Kill A Watt inline to see what the power consumption was.

It depends on what you're mining. As Aircooled has shown, Bitcoin is really only mineable with ASICs, and people are using walls of them to mine millions of dollars worth. You can't realistically mine Bitcoin with a computer anymore. Personally, I mine Ethereum with a 9 year old Dell that I pieced together and upgraded for free, then threw an RTX 2060 in. On that setup, I'm making roughly $57/month. Electricity is cheap where I live, so I'm only spending a handful of dollars per month to mine. Many people do run these on kill-a-watts to strictly monitor their electric usage. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/20/21 9:23 a.m.

In reply to aircooled :

As this picture you posted shows, Bitcoin is pretty much unmineable for the average guy. Hard to compete with a warehouse full of ASICs.  The most profitable coin right now is Ethereum, followed by I think Ravencoin. I believe most people are mining and holding them. I'm yet undecided - Visa is using the Ethereum blockchain, and the price is excepted to continue increasing considerably. I'll probably leave half in Ethereum and cash the rest out for USD. For the smaller coins I mine, like Monero and Vertcoin, I'll probably leave them in coins and ignore them for a couple years, then cash them out on a good day. Maybe finance a 2000 challenge car with it!

 

I understand your penny stocks to Amazon analogy but I would say with some research it's not really that bad - although I think many people do secretly wish for a penny stock to Amazon situation. Mining any of the top 5-10 coins I think is a pretty safe bet.  There will be volatility, sure,  but they should continue to increase over time. Now some of the smaller less-known coins?  Yeah who knows 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/20/21 9:33 a.m.
GIRTHQUAKE said:

In reply to infinitenexus :

Damn son, I actually have a 3010 floating around from a poorly ran company that I might just do this to. What video card did you use? I might be able to pop a 6GB 1060 if I do similar.

I'm using an RTX 2060 6GB and mining Ethereum. A 6GB 1060 will get around 24-25mH/s on Ethereum, so possibly around $40/month.
 

The Optiplexes can be neat, since they're upgradable but throwaway cheap. Mine originally came with a G2020 processor, so horrible. I upgraded to an i3-3220 for free, then finally spent $39 on eBay for an i5-3470. For the same price you can run a Xeon E3-1270 or 1270 v2, which is like a server version of the i7 - so no integrated graphics (must use a graphics card) but a larger cache, and that means better for mining. I also mine Monero with the CPU, though not very fast. I have the Xeon processor in my open air setup I posted above. I lucked out and got a decent PSU at work for free from an old computer, and 2 8GB sticks of RAM from an old server we got rid of. 

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
6/20/21 11:49 a.m.

I just want to make sure that someone lets me know in the "Report Thread" when the canoes start floating into here loaded down with 'wild rice'... okay?

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
6/20/21 11:53 a.m.

Ok a question. I have a computer that I built a bit ago. It has a 3950x 128 gb ram and a titan xp card in it a 1200 watt platinum psu and a really good x570 mb.  It is always on. So would it be worth letting it mine away. 

dyintorace
dyintorace PowerDork
6/20/21 12:14 p.m.
infinitenexus said:

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) 

effectively free money describes my approach to this pretty well.  If I were to drop ten grand I could make something that would earn close to $1,000/month, but I'm avoiding that.  I'd rather invest my money in something a bit more certain, and keep this as a fun hobby that helps me learn more about computers and makes a few bucks!

So I could invest $10k in a rig and gross $10k a year in coin??

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/20/21 4:37 p.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

I believe there's a site called whattomine.com or something similar where you can enter your equipment and it'll tell you how much you can earn from different cryptos

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Dork
6/20/21 5:02 p.m.

In reply to dyintorace :

If you know what you're doing, get all the graphics cards at MSRP or below (which is very difficult these days), find an appropriate motherboard that can run a dozen GPUs and a good power supply, probably an AMD CPU so you can mine Monero on that as well, set everything up to run on Linux (possibly) and can accept probably a 25% fluctuation in those numbers, then yes. To throw some hard numbers in that bold statement, I can get 34mH/s from my one RTX 2060 graphics card safely. I paid $460 for it at micro center. If you could get a dozen of them for that price each that's $5520 before taxes. Add in another $2-300 for the CPU and another $200 for a good motherboard and RAM and a cheap SSD. Another $100 if you find a good deal on a power supply.  Most people use old server power supplies with a breakout board. Those graphics cards, if you run them all at that speed that's 408mH/s. That equates to $719/month in Ethereum. Add in another $34/month from your CPU mining monero. Also tack on another $100 for liquid cooling for your CPU. With the money left over you can build another smaller rig to get an extra few bucks, perhaps from a different coin (you can mine Vertcoin with cheaper cards). With the money leftover from that, you can figure out a way to deal with all the heat a dozen graphics cards will be generating - when they're running hard it's comparable to a blow dryer in terms of heat being belched out. Also this rig, earning $700-somethibg/month, would use about $90.72/month in electricity. Also this is using the RTX 2060, if you were able to find a newer more powerful GPU for MSRP the numbers might be better. 
 

So yes, it's definitely possible. Not easy, but possible.  About the only place you can find a GPU for MSRP anymore is Micro Center, and you can only buy one per month there. You'd need to travel and buy them from different stores, or keep a sharp eye out on Facebook marketplace and similar places and look for people selling their gaming computers. I have a friend that has done that and grabbed four cards total, for pretty good prices. 
 

Reading that again makes it very tempting. The main barrier is the price of graphics cards these days. That $34/month from the CPU?  You can get that from a $180 AMD CPU. Ryzen 5. The motherboard, PSU, etc, those aren't hard. My graphics card, that I paid $460 for, runs for about $1200 on eBay. So Microcenter or just lucking out on a sale is a requirement for the GPUs. 
 

I also have a pile of spare RAM, SSDs, and some old spare computers so after reading this to my wife she's eyeing them all pretty curiously haha. 

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