Update for Claymore’s XMR miner

    Short post for Claymore’s new XMR miner, which has been updated to v10.2.  Although it features an improvement over his previous version (including nicehash support), it is still better on some GPU’s to use SGminer or XMR-Stak-AMD.  We will be waiting for his V11 update, which should bring more speed improvements and more bug fixes.  It is, however, the easiest software to use for new users.  Check it out here.

VEGA RX 56 Review

    Welcome to the future.  Well, a little late, but VEGA RX 56 is here.  Turns out for the most part the future isn’t so great 🙁  But fear not, there is hope.  Best profitability is with Monero, so here is our review of AMD VEGA RX 56 on XMR.

    First off all, you need the AMD blockchain beta drivers (always use DDU).  Once you have done that, you can stick with wattman for now.  Make sure crossfire is disabled, and enable HBCC (your system needs 16g of ram…usually).  You can play with the settings to see what gives you the best hashrate and the least watts, but here is what we found to be quite acceptable.

  • Frequency all the way down, -30%
  • Memory to 945 (see what is stable)
  • Power limit -21% (see what is stable)
  • Fans, fans, fans.  Must be around 3500rpm at all times, but check your VRM temps to see.  Core temp is useless.  Hashrate will fall if the memory gets too hot.

    Now you can run XMR-STAK-AMD, (well after editing the config file) and see your results.  Your config file is pretty straightforward.  You need to set gpu threads to the number of gpu’s * threads per gpu.  In our case, that is 2 threads per GPU.  It looks like this for one GPU:

  • { “index” : 0, “intensity” : 2016, “worksize” : 8, “affine_to_cpu” : false },
    { “index” : 0, “intensity” : 1600, “worksize” : 8, “affine_to_cpu” : false },

    We get 3800hs for 2 VEGAs, 400watts from the wall.  It is possible to get better results power wise using a registry mod.  You can check it out on youtube here (at your own risk).  A big thanks to Hellae and rednoW on bitcointalk VEGA thread.

6 GPU RX570 rig with Z170A build

    Welcome to the build from hell.  There has been a lot of despair and confusion with the parts contained in this build and I will show you how to make it work.  Lets talk expectations :  This is a low-cost solution that is semi-portable, fits into a 15A dedicated socket and will be dual-mining Pascal and Ethereum.  Let’s get to work !

    The rig itself is a cheap rack from Walmart, all metal and easy to setup.  It costs 26$ (all prices will be in CAD).  I have inserted a piece of wood/shelving that somehow (the crypto gods have smiled upon thee) fit just perfect.  Whatever you do, do not put any exposed components (motherboard…) directly on metal.  I have also purchased a 3000+joules 6 foot cord surge protector from Newegg, for about 20$.  The rest of the parts are straightforward.  8gb RAM DDR4 2133mhz, Pentium G4440 CPU socket 1151, 120GB Hynix SSD, 5 RX570 MSI Armor 4g and 1x RX570 ASUS STRIX 4g, EVGA 1000GQ PSU and of course the infamous MSI Z170A SLI motherboard.  All these parts were chosen because they were on sale and at a good price, and two, because they work well for rigs (except the motherboard mind you).  The reason I have chosen this cursed motherboard is because of non-availability of 6 GPU motherboards.  This particular model was also on sale, plus a Mail in rebate and was too cheap to ignore.  I can suggest doing a 5 GPU rig, it may be much easier to do.

    Now we assemble.  First is the CPU, which is easily placed into the socket (do not assemble on the anti-static bag, because it is only anti-static INSIDE), then the stock CPU cooler, which is also very easily installed.  Next install the RAM by pushing firmly down on it.  I have sourced case screws and used them to prop up the motherboard so it leaves a gap under it to permit airflow, although that is optional.  At this point set up your PSU and install all cables.  Connect the motherboard main cable, and the CPU 8 pin cable.  Then insert your first GPU in the x16 slot.  Connect your SSD to the SATA port.  You are now ready to plug in your screen, mouse and keyboard.

    Start it up !  Press del to enter the bios.  You must enable WIN8/10 mode in the options, and set the PCI to GEN 1 (or gen 2).  Set 4G decoding to disabled.  Save and reboot, and install WIN 10.  Once that is done enter the bios again and disable the WIN8/10 mode.  We won’t be needing that anymore.  Set Power ON after reboot/power outage.  Install your remote monitoring software, Claymore dual miner, GPU-Z, MSI Afterburner, SRBPolaris V2.6, ATIWinFlash, DDU, ATIPixelPatcher, and download AMD drivers.  In this particular case, you need to download an older version – such as 16.9.1 or 16.11.x, and a newer version, such as 17.4.4.  Use DDU to reboot into safe mode.  Select shutdown option.

    Install all your GPU’s and connect them with the USB risers.  No more than 2 on a single cable.  Don’t use the Molex adapter if you can.  Start it up again.  Open device manager, you should see all 6 GPU’s, with little yellow triangles.  All is well so far.  Now, thanks to atanas012 on bitcointalk (if i’m getting the source wrong someone please correct me), this is THE ONLY WAY I HAVE FOUND TO MAKE IT WORK on this mobo.  Read it here.  Open the older driver install file, and extract it.  Once its extracted, close the installation window.  DO NOT INSTALL IT.  Then, do the same for the newer driver.  DO NOT INSTALL IT.  As atanas012 puts it:  “Copy and replace all content from “C:\AMD\Non-WHQL-Win10-64Bit-Radeon-Software-Crimson-16.9.2-Sep21\Packages\Drivers\Display\WT6A_INF\B307117”  to “C:\AMD\WHQL-Win7-64Bit-Radeon-Software-Crimson-ReLive-17.4.3-Apr17\Packages\Drivers\Display\W76A_INF\B313057” (Basically you copy the old driver over the new)“.  Go in your device manager again and right-click on the first GPU with a yellow triangle.  Select update drivers, and manually select the newer driver folder (in this case, the 17.4.4).  It will install and tell you that all is well.  Don’t forget to accept when it tells you its a weird driver.

    Reboot and enter BIOS.  You must now enable 4G decoding.  Save and reboot.

    Now all should work.  Run MSI afterburner and GPU-Z to check your ASIC quality for an indication of how low you can put your voltages.  The thing with this Frankenstein driver approach is that you may not be able to modify your voltages anymore (EDIT:  You can still modify your GPU BIOS to have the voltage you want, 0.88v is a good place to start).  But you can use Afterburner to reduce your clock speed, and that will change the phase and lower the voltage according to the voltage table.  Put memory clock to 1900 or above to start.  Set up a custom fan profile, and select overclock on startup.  Save profiles.  You should get voltage at full load around 0.87 to 0.97mv.  Your claymore .bat file should look like this:

“set GPU_FORCE_64BIT_PTR 0 //optional for 570/580
EthDcrMiner64.exe -epool pool:port -ewal user.rig -epsw x -esm optional -allpools optional -dcoin second coin -dbg 0 (for logs) -mode 0 or1 (dual mining) -mport -3333 -dpool pool.port -dwal user.rig -dpsw x -dcri depends on GPU -di 012345″

    Run the file and check your voltages, and power usage.  Once that is done, close it.  Run ATIPixelPatcher now.  Open ATIWinFlash.  Select your GPUs, and save a copy of the BIOS for each different GPU.  Now in the ATIWinFlash, you can only see 3 GPU’s at a time.  I suggest you use the command line, its better.  Its Atiflash -p GPUnum filename.rom to flash.  Check your GPU’s with atiflash -i.  But first, open up SRBPolaris, and open your saved .rom files.  Go into memory timings, and copy 1500 to above.  If you feel like it, you can try other options, 1625 to above, or even input your own memory timings and test things out.  I will keep it simple.  Save to A DIFFERENT FILE NAME.  Next, use atiflash to flash the bios to all your cards.  Reboot.

    Run Claymore again.  You can now play with the memory clock, 2000mhz is a good starting point for most cards depending on memory type and memory timings.  Everything should work fine.  If your rig crashes, open the log file and see which GPU froze.  Increase the core clock and reduce the memory clock of that GPU, and try again.  Check your power usage with a Watt-meter.  I can get anywhere from 930 watts dual mining Pascal, 170mhs and 1500mhs depending on voltages.  Good luck and happy mining !  I hope this guide helped you, and please consider donating to the people who made this possible on bitcointalk and elsewhere, to the people who made the tools you use to make it all work, and if you feel inclined, to me 🙂

Introducing XMR-Stak CPU miner

 A little update to introduce XMR-Stak CPU miner.  This was released a short time ago, and it is free !  Although we do recommend to set a small donation % to reward software development.   You can check it out on this reddit thread and here for download links.

Performance is nearly identical to the closed source paid miners. Here are some numbers:
  • I7-2600K – 266 H/s
  • I7-6700 – 276 H/s (with a separate GPU miner)
  • Dual X5650 – 466 H/s (depends on NUMA)
  • Dual E5640 – 365 H/s (same as above)

All you need to know about USB Risers

    USB Risers can confuse people sometimes.  So here is a quick review of what you can buy and how they will help you with your GPU mining.  You shouldn’t buy anything below v.5, although that doesn’t mean they won’t work – It just means you aren’t getting the latest products.  For Molex connections, you should buy Ver.5c.  Then we have Ver.6c, which enables you to connect a 6 pin connector.  And finally, the Ver7.s enables you to connect a SATA wire directly into the riser, without the use of the sketchy molex/SATA adapter.   Remember never to overload your cables – You won’t have this problem with the 6 pin usually, but for SATA its better to have just one or two max on a single cable, and same for Molex.  In case of doubt, use less, and always check cables for heat while running.  If they are hot to the touch, then your setup needs to change.  Below are some sponsored links to each version that you can buy on Amazon.

Claymore CryptoNote miner and EWBF’S ZCash CUDA update

    For the Nvidia users out there, remember you can use EWBF’s CUDA ZCash miner.  Very decent speeds.

EWBF’s Zcash cuda miner.
Expected speeds 380 – 400 sols/s gtx1070. 260 – 270 gtx1060. Stock settings.
Writen for pascal gpus but works on cards with at least 1Gb memory, and Compute Capability 2 and higher.
Miner contain dev fee 2%.

    For the XMR update, Claymore has updated the CryptoNote miner, with a fee reduction to 2% if using SSL.  The speeds are the same, but he has added all the usual features that were lacking in the XMR miner.  Next update may have a speed increase.

Current version: 9.7:

– reduced devfee, it’s 2% now if you use secure SSL/TLS connection, currently miningpoolhub pool supports encrypted connections, see Readme for samples.
– added “allpools” option, use it if your pool requires Username.Worker instead of wallet address, or if you mine some fork of Monero.
– now all options can be stored in “config.txt” file.
– changed format of “pools.txt”, now you can specify own settings for every failover pool. Since format was changed, failover pools file was renamed to “epools.txt”.
– now “r” key reloads failover pools file, “s” shows current statistics, with digit keys you can disable/enable GPUs.
– improved support for EthMan, now all commands are supported.
– now remote management is working in read-only mode by default.
– added SSL/TLS encryption support for better security, see “-o” option description in Readme file for details.
– improved “-tt” and “-r” options.
– added “-fanmin”, “-fanmax”, “-tstop”, “-powlim”, “-cvddc”, “-mvddc” options.
– added HTTP support for remote port.
– added “-retrydelay” option.
– added “-ftime” option.
– a lot of minor improvements.

Monero Mining Guide

    If you have AMD GPU’s, you will usually be mining Ethereum or Zcash.  But you can also mine Monero !  Indeed XMR is a great choice for mining, as it uses 10 to 15% less power than ETH.  Here is how to get started.

    First off, you will need a miner.  Of course as per usual Claymore offers a good product, but it comes with a 2.5% fee.  It is the Claymore Cryptonote GPU miner.  There is also Wolf’s XMR GPU miner, and Sgminer-GM.  Wolf’s may be fastest for Polaris models.  Try with 2 threads, 4 workload and 504 rawintensity

    Once installed, setup is with a .bat file as usual.  Note :  for XMR, you can mine directly to an exchange, but you must put your “payment ID” after your wallet address, and not all pools allow it.  Plus some pools have really high minimum withdrawals, so you may be better off mining to a web Monero light wallet and then transfer funds from there.

    For pools, there are many, one of the biggest is Dwarfpool, which you can find here.  Instructions to connect are simple and straightforward (2% fee).  There is also MoneroHash.com and MoneroPool.com just to name a few.

    XMR is most profitable with the Rx470, as it can hash out almost 800 hashes, almost as much as an Rx480.  Don’t forget you can also CPU mine XMR, see the claymore page for a link to the miner.  You can also CPU mine with this awesome new miner, XMR-Stak.