Part 4: Optimization

optimizeNow that you are up and running and actually mining coins, you are probably wondering why your results are significantly lower than everyone else. The answer is simply, you need to optimize your rig. Graphics cards can be overclocked and undervolted to achieve optimal results. This section will show you how to tweak your hardware to get the absolute most out of your rig.

Warning: Overclocking/undervolting your hardware beyond factory settings may harm your hardware and/or void your warranty. Cryptoforce.org assumes no responsibility should you damage your hardware following this guide.

Video Card Optimization

video cardOverclocking your graphics card can lead to a significant increase in performance. If you are using ATI software, you can download Trixxx or MSI Afterburner to tweak your settings. The three main settings you will want to play with are your Core speeds, your Memory clock speeds and your Voltage. Generally speaking, for best results you will keep your memory clocked about a third higher than your core speed and you will set your voltage slightly lower than the default.

The easiest way to test these new settings is to launch cgminer and analyze the results. If your computer crashes or hangs, you probably set the clock speeds too high. Also, if you start seeing hardware errors, you may want to lower the speeds as well. The key is to play around with the settings until you find the sweet spot for your card.

CGMINER Optimization

optimizeYou can also launch cgminer with the optimized settings in the command line. The switches for cgminer are:

--gpu-engine [CORE CLOCK SPEED] --gpu-memclock [MEMORY CLOCK SPEED] --gpu-vddc [VOLTAGE]

Another thing you will want to set in your cgminer is a target temperature and to set your fan. Generally, for most cards, we suggest setting the fan to automatic and your target temperature to 80. The switches for these settings are:

--temp-target 80 --auto-fan

To get you started, you can find a list of most hardware as well as the optimized settings submitted by other users on the following pages:

SHA-256 Coins: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison
Scrypt Coins: http://litecoin.info/Mining_Hardware_Comparison

These should serve as a nice starting point. Start with those settings and then tweak as necessary.

The final thing you will want to look at with cgminer is setting up a backup pool in case your main pool goes down. No amount of tweaking or configuration will be able to solve an unreachable pool. Find a second pool for the same type of coin (SHA-256 or Scrypt) and sign up for it. You can then set up your pool as a failover pool in case your main one goes down. The command to add to cgminer for this is:

--failover-only -o backup-pool-address.com:portnumber -u user -p password

Simply fill in the pool address and port and the username and password you created.

When all is said and done, your entire command should look something as follows:

cgminer --scrypt -I 18 -g 1 -w 128 --thread-concurrency 21712 --gpu-engine 1050 --gpu-memclock 1400 --gpu-vddc 1.087 --temp-target 80 --auto-fan -o mail-pool-address.com:portnumber -u user -p password --failover-only -o backup-pool-address.com:portnumber -u user -p password

Now, in your batch file to launch cgminer, simply add the following lines at the very beginning:

timeout /t 30

Your final batch file should look something like this:

timeout /t 30
C:\CGMiner\cgminer.exe --scrypt -I 18 -g 1 -w 128 --thread-concurrency 21712 --gpu-engine 1050 --gpu-memclock 1400 --gpu-vddc 1.087 --temp-target 80 --auto-fan -o mail-pool-address.com:portnumber -u user -p password --failover-only -o backup-pool-address.com:portnumber -u user -p password

That should do it for your cgminer configuration. Lets take a look now at your computer and see if we can’t optimize things even more.

Computer Optimization

optimizeThe final step to fully optimizing your mining is to optimize your computer and operating system. Things such as disabling unused services, changing your power settings, setting your computer to automatically power on and start mining after a power outage etc…

The first thing you will want to look at are your BIOS settings. When you start your computer, enter the BIOS setup and take a look at the power options. Most computers will have an option in here to automatically turn the computer back on after a power outage. The reason for this is simple, if your computer is off, you’re not mining, and if you’re not at home when the power turns back on, your computer will stay off until you manually turn it back on. Setting this option will ensure that as long as there is power, your computer will be on.

You can also take a bit of time to disable any components you will not be using on this machine to save even more power. Things such as onboard audio and front USB ports or Firewire and Serial ports. The more the better.

The next thing you will want to do is change your power plan settings. Here you will want to disable any sleep or hibernation options. You want your computer to always stay on and always be active no matter what. The most important options are the sleep options and the option to turn off the Display. Both options should be set to Never.

Next, we will configure the computer to automatically log in. If you do lose power and your computer restarts, you do not want to be stuck on the log in screen if you aren’t home to log in. Click Start > Run and type “netplwiz”. Then, uncheck the box “Users mus enter a user name and password to use this computer”.

Having your computer start up and log in automatically after a power outage is pretty neat, but it’s all for nothing if your miner doesn’t start. Here we will set the batch file for cgminer you create earlier to start up as soon as Windows logs in. To do this, simply create a shortcut for the batch file you created and copy it to the following location: “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\” This will make sure Windows launches the program each and every time it logs in.

Following these steps will not only ensure that you are mining at the highest possible rate and that you are always mining if your main pool goes down, but it will also make sure that the only downtime you will experience, is the time when there is absolutely no physical current going to your rig. As soon as power is restored to the house, the computer will turn on and start mining again automatically!

Maximize your bit coin mining! Get stats, monitoring and more at MiningMonitor.com

And there you have it! You’re all done! Your rig is finished and optimized! Now you can sit back and watch your earnings come in! Congratulations! Have a look at our Trading and Coins section if you’re looking for something to do with all your newly acquired cryptocurrency!

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