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Author Topic: When is it time to solo?  (Read 1263 times)
michaelmclees
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September 26, 2011, 03:46:35 PM
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I've been mining with Slush for about 4 months now and have not found even a single block.  I understand that luck is part of the game, and there is no guarantee of finding a block ever, but at some point, one has to be on the upper end of the probability scale for finding a block, and it becomes worth it to solo mine until that block is found, and then get back on a pool.

I have 1.3GH now, and on average, for the past 4 months I've been getting between 1 and .5 BTC per day.

How can I know if it's time to solo mine?
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September 26, 2011, 03:52:19 PM
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Basically it's never time to mine solo.  There is no guarantee you will ever find a valid block.  I have contemplated this idea over and over again.  At least in the pools you are getting something for your work.  If you get a block that has 8,000,000 shares think how long before you get a reward at all in solo.  I always thought of the possibility of finding my own block and the nice 50BTC reward.  It comes back to all the zero's you get.

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September 26, 2011, 04:18:46 PM
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Easy -- when you get up to 15 GH/s on your farm (maybe), and/or when difficulty drops to about 10% of what it is right now...

Mining solo is extremely inadvisable for most miners with the current difficulty.
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September 26, 2011, 04:43:28 PM
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I have 19G,  I can only last about 8 hours solo before I freak out and go back to the pool.... 

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September 26, 2011, 04:48:00 PM
 #5

I have 1.3GH now, and on average, for the past 4 months I've been getting between 1 and .5 BTC per day.

How can I know if it's time to solo mine?

It was time to solo mine around January 2011.  Now it's too late.
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September 26, 2011, 06:47:09 PM
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I've been in a pool with 3.2GH, and have mined about 125 BTC since I started, however... I've also found 8 correct hashes according to the pool. Maybe I should have just went solo. Only 2 of my 5 machines have not discovered the correct hash yet.

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September 26, 2011, 09:04:38 PM
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I've been mining with Slush for about 4 months now and have not found even a single block.  I understand that luck is part of the game, and there is no guarantee of finding a block ever, but at some point, one has to be on the upper end of the probability scale for finding a block, and it becomes worth it to solo mine until that block is found, and then get back on a pool.

There is no increasing chance.

Each chance is completely independent of all the last chances.  Think of it as a lottery.  Each hash is a new lottery ticket.   You don't build any "equity" toward finding a block.  You either win or you don't.  The losing hash/ticket has absolutely no value an doesn't help you increase you chance of winning on the next hash/ticket.

Your chance of finding a block is based on difficulty.  The only metric for deciding to go solo would be hashing power and how long you are willing to go between finding blocks.  

With 10GH/s you have a decent chance of finding at least one block per month but occasionally you may go 2,3,4 or more months before finding a block.  Personally I wouldn't solo mine even w/ 10GH/s at current difficulty.  The 1%-3% you pay a pool is worth it for more consistent revenue.

With 25GH/s you have a 90% chance of finding at least one blocker month (of course that means you have roughly 1% chance of not finding ANY blocks in 3+ months even w/ 25GH/s).  Since my electric bill comes once a month that is the minimum amount of hashing power I would consider for solo mining.  If my electricity was free I might consider solo mining with less hashing power.
michaelmclees
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September 26, 2011, 09:14:20 PM
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Pool mining it is then.  Thanks.
enygma
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September 27, 2011, 06:08:25 AM
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I've been mining with Slush for about 4 months now and have not found even a single block.  I understand that luck is part of the game, and there is no guarantee of finding a block ever, but at some point, one has to be on the upper end of the probability scale for finding a block, and it becomes worth it to solo mine until that block is found, and then get back on a pool.

There is no increasing chance.

Each chance is completely independent of all the last chances.  Think of it as a lottery.  Each hash is a new lottery ticket.   You don't build any "equity" toward finding a block.  You either win or you don't.  The losing hash/ticket has absolutely no value an doesn't help you increase you chance of winning on the next hash/ticket.

Your chance of finding a block is based on difficulty.  The only metric for deciding to go solo would be hashing power and how long you are willing to go between finding blocks.  

With 10GH/s you have a decent chance of finding at least one block per month but occasionally you may go 2,3,4 or more months before finding a block.  Personally I wouldn't solo mine even w/ 10GH/s at current difficulty.  The 1%-3% you pay a pool is worth it for more consistent revenue.

With 25GH/s you have a 90% chance of finding at least one blocker month (of course that means you have roughly 1% chance of not finding ANY blocks in 3+ months even w/ 25GH/s).  Since my electric bill comes once a month that is the minimum amount of hashing power I would consider for solo mining.  If my electricity was free I might consider solo mining with less hashing power.

While I completely agree and already knew this, my statement was based more upon the gamblers fallacy than what it actually is. When left long enough, I eventually do find blocks. I just happen to have found enough blocks to give me a 4x payout from what I already have if I were to solo. I understand that I could have just as easily found no blocks, and still have 2 computers that haven't found anything yet. I had a system with 1 GPU in it find 2 blocks before my 4 GPU rig found 1.

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September 27, 2011, 06:31:52 AM
 #10

total copy and paste job from my other post:

Mathematically and statistically, if you mine for a pool, you lose money 3 ways compared to solo.

First is the fee they charge and there are some no-fee pools.  If the fee is 2% then for every 50 coin block you would have found solo, you'd get 49 BTC from a pool.  BTCGuild has no fee options though so it's avoidable.

Second, you also lose the stale share amount caused by the delay from a pool server handing out processing assignments to people.  Whenever one person solves a block, whatever everyone else is concurrently working on is invalid and they don't get paid for it.  This effect is extremely variable based on your speed but in the neighborhood of 0.5% for most people if I remember correctly. So your 50 to 49 BTC block from earlier is now about 48.75.

Thirdly, almost no pools give transaction fees to their members (which better change within a year!!!!) so you'd also get like 50 and change for finding a block solo.  It's not much really but you never know.  I don't think there's been a 51 BTC block ever.  The most recent block with a high volume of transactions was 50 + 0.064 total transaction fees for 151 transactions.  So solo you'd have gotten 50.064 for solving that block.  So maybe your 48.75 pool mining block is now a 48.74 block on average.  If you have a 21GH/s system, you're potentially losing 1.26 BTC every 4 days if you're mining in a pool.  If you have 1 GH/s solo mining, you're missing out on 1.26 BTC every 3 months so it's not a huge deal.  That's loosely based on a 12,000 GH/s total, which I'm not sure is real accurate.

BUT, solo mining and failing to find a block then having the probability decrease due to an increase in the entire rest of the system's total GH/s has diiiiiiire consequences.  It's more detrimental of a result than the math appears to be on the surface but I won't bore you with the mini-research paper on why Tongue  It's sort of a like a inverse of the old gambling "but I can stop when I win so that screws up the probability calculation" thing.  I'm sure there's some term for it.
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