A Cryptocurrency Mining Update

A posted previously, I recently ventured into the mysterious world of cryptocurrency mining. I have a couple of PCs set up to mine for two types of coins, and I figured it was time for a quick update.

Hardware wise, everything is doing well and both systems are stable and running as hoped. I have one PC in in the garage and one in the basement; I initially set things up in the garage as it's cold in there and I was not sure what kind of heat was going to be involved by the mining process.

Actually both PCs are fine in that regard. The one in the basement (an old Dell PC I had to hand) has a lower-end card (Radeon 550) and runs okay in that setting. The 550 is not overclocked in any way.

The garage PC has two cards installed; a Radeon 560 and a 580, both slightly overclocked for memory (I believe only 75Hz each). I had to use a PCI riser extension on this as the motherboard only had one PCI-e (16) slot; PCI riser extensions are something that I did not know even existed till I got into this.

Hindsight being what it is, I now realize I should have spent $10 or $20 more and got a physically bigger board with 2 PCI-e (16) slots. What I have now is a desktop PC with one video card perched on top of the case. Oh well.

The actual specs of the two computers are not that important, as far as mining is concerned. The garage PC was the one I built for this, and if/when all this mining stuff blows up, I can re-use it as a regular PC. I can upgrade the processor readily enough too, it currently only has a (relatively low power) Pentium G4400.

Two things I have come away with, about 5 weeks in:

1 - I am too impatient for this sort of "slow burn" project. The rewards are there, but things seem to happen painfully slowly. I really need to "set it and forget it".

2 - I can understand how people get "hooked" on this hobby and spend a bunch of money on hardware. It's very tempting to think of buying another couple of video cards, and bump up your "hashrate" (the rate at which you are processing the block data and generating value).

The latter is compounded by the sense that all of this is too good to be true and that it will come crashing down quickly and unexpectedly, so one feels one has to "strike while the iron is hot".

Oh, how much am I making? Hard to be completely accurate, since things change rapidly and as I have not received any money from the second coin yet (it looks to be paying out every 6-8 weeks or so). 

Right now, less the cost of electricity and figuring in returns from both sets of coins, it's around $130 a month, possibly a little more. Now, that is not profit (yet) as I am still paying off the cost of the hardware - and will be for 3 or 4 months.

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