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Author Topic: Lots of noob questions  (Read 1576 times)
Beany
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June 20, 2011, 01:23:29 AM
 #1

With all the news lately about bitcoins and the MTGox hack (SQL injection? SERIOUSLY? a 12yo kid could do that!) it's got me interested in bitcoins.
So for all the people worrying that the bad press will put people off, well, i doubt it will. It might just get more people aware of bitcoins like myself.

So lots of possibly stupid questions:

1. How can i actually make money with bitcoins? I know theres some places where you can buy stuff with bitcoins, but there dont seem to be that many... is there any way i can sell bitcoins for standard currency ($ or £)? and if i can, where would i do this?

2. Do any of the miners work with Windows or are they all Linux? If theres any Windows miners, are they free and where can i get them?

3. Does CrossFire work? I have two 6970's, will they both be used by miners?

4. What exactly do i need to start mining?

5. Is there anywhere i can buy consumer goods with bitcoins? Do any of the large online stores accept them? Because all the places i've seen so far are not exactly great.
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BitcoinPorn
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June 20, 2011, 01:39:09 AM
 #2

1. Mt Gox, it's safe Smiley
or TradeHill (I'll insert my referral link in this space once I get one I suppose)
2. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=windows+bitcoin+miner
3. I have no idea what you just said.
4. Computer.  Ask a more exact question for more exact answers.
5. There are options out there that do buying of things on NewEgg and Amazon.  With Amazon, that is so much goods available right there.

Anduril
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June 20, 2011, 01:41:53 AM
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1. How can i actually make money with bitcoins? I know theres some places where you can buy stuff with bitcoins, but there dont seem to be that many... is there any way i can sell bitcoins for standard currency ($ or £)? and if i can, where would i do this?

Forget buying stuff for the time being. The main way to make money is to mine bitcoins, but if you start mining by yourself with a normal computer it may take you just under 2 years to produce a new bloc (50 coins). So you have to pool resources. To me mining is not the way to go, so at the moment people are making money by playing the exchange rate at the exchanges. The problem? The main exchange, MT.Gox, is the one that got hacked. The second biggest one is closed, so right now your options to seel bitcoins for standard currency are limited.

In other words, you just chose a bad moment to join.

Quote
2. Do any of the miners work with Windows or are they all Linux? If theres any Windows miners, are they free and where can i get them?

There are several Windows ones, list here: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=16125.0 .

Quote
3. Does CrossFire work? I have two 6970's, will they both be used by miners?

Yes.

Quote
4. What exactly do i need to start mining?

A miner  Grin

Quote
5. Is there anywhere i can buy consumer goods with bitcoins? Do any of the large online stores accept them? Because all the places i've seen so far are not exactly great.

There are very limited places to purchase things with Bitcoin, and not a single reputable online store accepts them. Here is a list: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade

electricdonkey
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June 20, 2011, 03:12:04 AM
 #4

With all the news lately about bitcoins and the MTGox hack (SQL injection? SERIOUSLY? a 12yo kid could do that!) it's got me interested in bitcoins.
So for all the people worrying that the bad press will put people off, well, i doubt it will. It might just get more people aware of bitcoins like myself.

So lots of possibly stupid questions:

1. How can i actually make money with bitcoins? I know theres some places where you can buy stuff with bitcoins, but there dont seem to be that many... is there any way i can sell bitcoins for standard currency ($ or £)? and if i can, where would i do this?

2. Do any of the miners work with Windows or are they all Linux? If theres any Windows miners, are they free and where can i get them?

3. Does CrossFire work? I have two 6970's, will they both be used by miners?

4. What exactly do i need to start mining?

5. Is there anywhere i can buy consumer goods with bitcoins? Do any of the large online stores accept them? Because all the places i've seen so far are not exactly great.

2. If you visit the subforum for Mining software, you can find most all miners listed, which are for both Windows and Linux.

3. From what I know, Crossfire is generally discouraged, with miners preferring to use individual cards.

4. If you have a computer you can begin mining. A CPU is the least that is required, but CPU mining is not viable anymore. If you want to really start mining you'll need relatively high end graphics card. (preferably AMD)

5. There are workarounds, but generally no, there are no MAJOR stores that accept Bitcoin as a currency.
Beany
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June 20, 2011, 03:25:56 AM
 #5

Thanks everyone Smiley

Sorry but a few more questions.... @Anduril: You say "it may take you just under 2 years to produce a new bloc (50 coins)" ... whats a "new bloc"?


So to start mining i was reading this guide and it says i need to install bitcoin from bitcoin.org.

And being as i have AMD graphics cards, i need the AMD Stream SDK.

Then i need to get GUI miner? (dont want command line rubbish).

So i've done all that.... and now i'm waiting for Bitcoin to download the block chain. Then i can start mining with GUI miner. Is all this correct?
Anduril
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June 20, 2011, 03:39:16 AM
 #6

Thanks everyone Smiley

Sorry but a few more questions.... @Anduril: You say "it may take you just under 2 years to produce a new bloc (50 coins)" ... whats a "new bloc"?

Sorry, a block. BTCs come in blocks when mined, each block consists of 50 BTCs. The more blocks are mined, the more difficult it is to mine new ones. At current levels, and for you going on your own with a normal setup, you will need just under 2 years to mine a new block on your own. So you will have to pool.

So i've done all that.... and now i'm waiting for Bitcoin to download the block chain. Then i can start mining with GUI miner. Is all this correct?

If you're doing this on your own, yes, that's it. In 400 days or so you will have 50 BTCs  Wink
bitcoin.monger
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June 20, 2011, 05:07:29 AM
 #7

Beany, the forum is not a substitute for reading the documentation...
Alex Beckenham
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June 20, 2011, 05:14:24 AM
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Beany, the forum is not a substitute for reading the documentation...

It was for me. The trouble is, it seems beany hasn't even read much of the forum.

bitcoin.monger
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June 20, 2011, 05:22:34 AM
 #9

Well, for most people it usually works like this:

1. read the docs. understand them. repeat a couple of times
2. formulate questions and ask them on the forum.
3. armed with the new knowledge, goto 1.

 Smiley
Alex Beckenham
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June 20, 2011, 06:04:35 AM
 #10

Maybe that's how it should work Smiley

I'd say for most people it usually goes like this:

1. Ask questions on the forum.
2. Skip over all the hundreds of RTFM posts and gradually get tidbits of information from the non-RTFM posts.

Repeat.

ahitman
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June 20, 2011, 07:38:25 AM
 #11

I've been mining for a couple of weeks now and one question I haven't been able to answer is does having cards hooked up with the crossfire connectors connected help with hash rates?
bitcoin.monger
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June 20, 2011, 12:23:59 PM
 #12

ahitman: no, it does not help. it may work against you in some situations, but certainly it will not help.

alex: that works too, but it may be more time consuming  Smiley
Beany
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June 21, 2011, 02:23:12 AM
 #13

Yeah sorry i didn't read the documentation. Although i wasn't even aware there was any documentation at the time Tongue

I've got everything up and running now. And i'm doing over 720 MH/s using both of my GPU's. By my very quick and rough estimate it should take me around 60 days before i hit my first block if i do it solo? Or am i totally wrong? Because Anduril said it would take just under 2 years.... unless he's not aware how powerful a pair of AMD 6970's cards are (each does around 365MH/s).

ahitman: I have Crossfire, and i've just assigned a separate miner to each GPU using GUI Miner.
Aristotle
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June 21, 2011, 03:02:16 AM
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Yeah sorry i didn't read the documentation. Although i wasn't even aware there was any documentation at the time Tongue

I've got everything up and running now. And i'm doing over 720 MH/s using both of my GPU's. By my very quick and rough estimate it should take me around 60 days before i hit my first block if i do it solo? Or am i totally wrong? Because Anduril said it would take just under 2 years.... unless he's not aware how powerful a pair of AMD 6970's cards are (each does around 365MH/s).

ahitman: I have Crossfire, and i've just assigned a separate miner to each GPU using GUI Miner.

I'm new here too, but your 60 day calculation doesn't seem right.  Difficulty of mining jumps up every 10(?) days, depending on how much mining power is on the network.  So, you can't really predict when you'll get a new block that far ahead.  I think difficulty has been growing exponentially for a while though.  The best thing to do is join a mining pool which will award you Bitcoins as the pool finds them.  I'm using Slush's pool, which takes 2%, but seems to work well.  It was the first pool I found that wasn't down when I first joined, so I decided to stay with them.  Here's a list of other pools: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Comparison_of_mining_pools

Brother, can you spare a Bitcoin? 18Xe5KqJhmgw5cTjosek2YwnqzG6tDWKNU
Beany
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June 21, 2011, 03:41:43 AM
 #15

I got my estimate from this chart which is updated daily. It says one block is currently worth $646 today, and according to that chart it takes a high-end AMD Radeon 6990 card 82 days to make $718.60 (the cost of that graphics card). And a 6990 can do 670MH/s, but i can do more than that (over 720MH/s). Sooo very very roughly i was thinking it would take me around 60 days to hit my first block. Although it will likely be a little more if i take into account the rising difficulty of mining.

... But i've been using a pool anyway!
Anduril
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June 22, 2011, 12:14:40 AM
 #16

I've got everything up and running now. And i'm doing over 720 MH/s using both of my GPU's.

Are you really doing 720, or is that what the table tells you that you are doing?
Beany
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June 22, 2011, 02:51:31 AM
 #17

Are you really doing 720, or is that what the table tells you that you are doing?

Definitely doing atleast 720.

With GUI Miner it's saying 365 MH/s for each of my two AMD 6970 graphics cards (both are slightly overclocked. It's around 340 at default speed, which is still a bit higher than what the chart lists for a 6970).
And on the pool site that i'm using it's saying my average is 731 total. Oh and i've made 1 bitcoin in just over 24 hours, so to reach a block my 60 day estimate seems about right Cheesy
bitcoin.monger
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June 23, 2011, 05:14:31 PM
 #18

Congrats on your first bitcoin!
BitcoinPorn
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June 23, 2011, 05:25:17 PM
 #19

Yeah man, congrats.  I see so many people going about things in such a b.s. way.  You came in, got your coin, fuck the bullshit.

matt_b
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June 23, 2011, 06:07:55 PM
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I'm getting between 750 to 800 Mhash/s on my 2 6970's. They are clocked to 940. You'll need to bump up the voltage to +5% and use the -v -w 128 flags (poclbm) or else you'll only get 600 Mhas/s (~300 per card). I'm doing the mining in windows using the poclbm miner.

At the current difficulty level, they are producing roughly 1 BC per day (slightly less). At current BC prices that means I can get about $400 per month.

My computer uses 650 Watts when mining. That's about $70/month in added electricity without factoring in added cooling (i.e., AC) costs.

IMO it's also prudent to assume there will be downtime on your computer and the mining pool. I'm using an adjustment factor of 0.9.

So my current back of the envelope, conservative estimate is to clear $250 / month. The big question is how fast will the difficulty increase and what will the market prices do? It's very likely that the monthly return will decrease.

If you bought your computer and/or cards for another reason (i.e. gaming) then you can definitely make some money mining for BC's. If you bought your setup for personal use (i.e. gaming) and mining, then you can definitely recoup some of your initial investment. If you're looking to break even or turn a profit....that seems less certain.

Hope this helps. I'm interested in any feedback to my comments.

Matt
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