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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:20 am 
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Snark warning:

So, this seems like a REALLY bad idea for most users. IIRC, unless your computer is built for it, or you live in a place with abnormally low electricity costs, then mining etherium costs more money (in terms of heightened electricity costs) than you get from it. (After all, a computer running GPU accelerated math problems at full speed consumes more electricity than a computer running idle.) And if you're living in a place where you don't pay for your own electricity, it's even worse: you're basically just stealing money from your landlord and giving it to Erfworld, probably at a lower conversion rate than if you picked their pockets directly.

I mean, seriously, if he needs money like this, I could just donate him ten dollars or whatever. It's probably more effective than donating ten dollars worth of electricity worth of etherium.

But if I'm willing to donate ten dollars, and those ten dollars can be multiplied out to fifteen dollars by wearing down my GPU a little, then sure, whatever.

Can somebody send me some numbers so I can see if it's worth it to mine instead of just giving money? (Based on my system specs, place of living, etc) This is something I'd need to be talked into; it's not just free money coming from nowhere.

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     Post Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:10 am 
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    I am also interested in the results of that comparison. I appreciate that ROb is trying to save us from ads (I hate ads, and I do in fact use adblock so I never was annoyed by Erfworld's ones), but I would be willing to pay more than I already do as a Tool if that could avoid what seems to me like an environmental disaster.

    I discovered the whole concept (of cryptocurrency mining) recently, so if I'm missing part of the picture I am willing to be enlightened.

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     Post Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:30 pm 
    Has collected at least one unit Here for the 10th Anniversary Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter This user is a Tool! Mined 4 Erf Won Mine4erf for the Gobwins Won Mine4erf for the Marbits Was an active Tool on Free Cards Day
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    As long as you keep the GPU in the low 70s (really the low 80's or so), the stress on the actual electronics of the GPU should be almost nothing. The fans on an air cooled cards, on the otherhand, are a bit more prone to failure, but that is like a $20-$50 part, not by far the most expensive part of the card, and it would break down in the timescale of years, being a fraction to replace for what you are donating to Rob and team.

    Any mid to high end graphics card made in the past 5 years should mine much, much, much more etherium then the cost of electricity, given normal (under 30 cents/kw-hour) costs. I'd direct you to whattomine.com if you would like to do the calculations yourself. The appropriate algorithem is ethash, and the coin is etherium.

    I wish that the mining program they released had a way to track temperature and control intensity, btw. It would make it play more friendly with using your computer to do other things, or being able to control strain on fans, noise, etc.

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     Post Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:33 pm 
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    Seems like for me, it's totally not worth it.

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     Post Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:26 am 
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    Talonos wrote:
    Seems like for me, it's totally not worth it.


    You couldn't mine with that card for erfworld anyway.

    Any card you could is going to be significantly less power intensive whilst processing much faster than that.

    Off the top of my head the earliest card with enough memory from Nivida would by a GTX970 like mine.

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     Post Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:41 am 
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    Rob's responded to this better than I could as a side topic in the latest news post: http://www.erfworld.com/blog/view/58209/its-working

    Some additional technical elaboration as best as I understand it, for the people worried about this stuff:

    One of the big sources of wear is startup/shutdown stress. In GPUs and CPUs, in particular, when stuff heats up it expands, and when it cools it shrinks, and the expand-shrinking process can put stress on components. In typical use, a GPU might power up for a video then spin down when it goes away then spin up to render a new page then power down again, lots of times per day, and eventually these heat cycles might break something after many years of use.

    But in mining, a GPU powers up once, stays at a more or less consistent temperature, and only powers down when done. One heat cycle.

    Does this mean mining actually improves card lifespan by reducing the amount of heat cycles going on? I wouldn't go *that* far, heat also speeds up chemical reactions and stuff and degradation of that type. And if it's getting very hot then the degradation stuff is a bigger factor probably. I wouldn't overclock a GPU, especially not in a laptop, for mining (some people do, and from what I read it should be safe and warrantied in the quite cool-running nVidia 10xx generation of cards like I have; I'm still a bit conservative about these things myself though). But I wouldn't expect it to be a major detriment.

    (That said, it's not ridiculous in principle either. I remember a server-hosting company acquaintance who got a batch of WD Green HDDs installed in their servers, which spin down to save power whenever idle. Nice thought, maybe good for laptops, but under server load, they kept spinning up and down constantly, and tended to destroy themselves in under a year and have to be thrown away, which turned out to be not so green. Just keeping going at a stable pace was much better for lifespan, and didn't trash environmentally costly to create hardware so much.)

    One thing that helps with power and temperature is that Ethereum is a memory-focused mining algorithm- the reason there's dedicated Bitcoin/Litecoin mining hardware but ETH still works on graphics cards is that ETH uses a lot of VRAM, and lots of VRAM is something that dedicated mining hardware is bad with. It is mostly limited by memory bandwidth rather than computational power. This means less computation work even when mining ETH as fast as possible, which means less heat and electricity usage.

    There are such things as "dual-miners"; miners which mine both ETH (which is memory focused) and another crypto that's computation focused, in order to fully utilise the GPU and squeeze out a bit more crypto. I used to use one before I switched to mining for Erf- it had more impact on my system's responsiveness (and a significant increase in power use and temperature). Was still worth it for me, but only marginally, and the Erf miner doesn't do this in order to be gentle with people's hardware.

    In general if you have the VRAM to mine, it's *probably* effective for you and generates much more value than the power is worth. Might be some exceptions and if you only get 1-2 shares an hour then if it's being annoying you might want to skip on mining. It might get important to write some more detailed advice than this if we bring out a miner that works with less VRAM, though, and that could be used with more older/lower end cards.

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     Post Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:12 pm 
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    Talonos wrote:
    Can somebody send me some numbers so I can see if it's worth it to mine instead of just giving money? (Based on my system specs, place of living, etc) This is something I'd need to be talked into; it's not just free money coming from nowhere.


    The full numbers will be a bit difficult and time consuming to quantify. Rob did post a measure of the direct energy costs of his computer in the "It's working" post. Then there is increased/decreased climate control costs, increased depreciation of the computer, opportunity cost of the computer being unavailable or at reduced computing power for other activities (which will be different for everyone). Those are the main costs that come to mind.

    The thing is, everyone values their time and money differently, especially if it is already invested in assets. The tool system, otherwise called the donation system, is always capped, so any increase will be incremental at best. One of the main reason this increases slowly is because people are donating specific amounts of money that they will mentally deduct from their income. This method will dip into another pocket that the customer might value differently, either because it is assets already spent, such as a resident of an apartment where the electricity is included in the rent, or someone making use of a neglected computer, or maybe just the fact that the customer isn't paying a definite amount at a definite time might make it easier to spend money in erfworld's favor.

    Right now subscription games that charge $20 a month are in decline in favor of "FTP" games that initially charge nothing, but encourages users to spend thousands of dollars a month in $1 increments. So I see a little of that here. Many people feel more comfortable spending .001 per minute knowing they can stop at any time than they would making a commitment to pay an amount that they have to account for in their monthly budget, even if that amount is ultimately less than they would pay if they allowed the microtransactions to accumulate.

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     Post Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:38 pm 
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    Yeah, I've looked into it. I got my GTX 760 as a mid-range graphics card about five years ago, and it's served me wonderfully. But when I looked into cryptomining about four years ago, it seemed like a real scam (or a way of stealing money from my landlord in an "all utilities included" housing deal.)

    Turns out it's not a scam, it's just that a GTX 760 is just a really crappy card to mine with.

    Just because it's slightly net-negative for me doesn't mean it won't work perfectly well for other people. I just kind of assumed (naively in retrospect) that the power draw of a card would be proportional to its hashing efficiency.

    So I'm just going to excuse myself from this whole deal and let the people with appropriate hardware do their thing.

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     Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:07 am 
    Pin-up Calendar and New Art Team Supporter Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit This user is a Tool! Mined 4 Erf Won Mine4erf for the Gobwins This user got funny with a rodent Was an active Tool on Free Cards Day
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    Talonos wrote:
    Yeah, I've looked into it. I got my GTX 760 as a mid-range graphics card about five years ago, and it's served me wonderfully. But when I looked into cryptomining about four years ago, it seemed like a real scam (or a way of stealing money from my landlord in an "all utilities included" housing deal.)

    Turns out it's not a scam, it's just that a GTX 760 is just a really crappy card to mine with.

    Just because it's slightly net-negative for me doesn't mean it won't work perfectly well for other people. I just kind of assumed (naively in retrospect) that the power draw of a card would be proportional to its hashing efficiency.

    So I'm just going to excuse myself from this whole deal and let the people with appropriate hardware do their thing.


    Don;t worry about assuming. Assumptions may be the mother of all cockups, but they're also somthing we all do every day.

    As an example i got curious as to what graphics upgrade my system could handle recently, (not because of erfworld, other stuff), and even switching up to the very best current NVIDIA card, a 1080ti would only double my graphics card power consumption. But i can assure you without even looking for hard numbers that it would cryptomine faaaaar faster that twice as well.

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