[Update 2017-08-04] Mining is no longer profitable for me
I measured the power draw of my PC at about 160 Watts with the GPU throttled to 50 % power. This is worse than I thought. In the updated link below you can see that the profits are VERY marginal at best. This is also due to increasing mining difficulty, which is regulated by the network and rises steadily.
To that end, I will stop mining once I reach 0.1 ETH at my pool so I get the last pay. That should be tomorrow or the day after.
Until now I have mined about 0.2 ETH in about 46 days, which are worth about 37 € today. I cannot calculate how much power was used since I didn’t log my times.
Many blockchains are designed to verify transactions by Proof of Work. The work here is the creation of countless checksums (hashes). If you find a matching hash, you are rewarded. Private mining works with one or more gamer graphic cards (GPUs). Basically, you convert electricity into coins. The network determines the difficulty of generating the hashes. Therefore, it is no longer profitable to mine for example bitcoins, since the electricity costs exceed the generated BTC. With Ethereum, it’s a different story as you can see here:
My GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB OC, which I had anyway for gaming, manages about 18.6 MH/s (Megahashes per second). For the calculation I estimated the energy consumption of 140 W per hour. Exact measurements will follow. My KW/h costs 29 Eurocent (33 Dollarcent). If I run my PC permanently just to mine, it earns me about 17 EUR profit per month as of July 2017. This of course varies very much with the current price of ETH – which hopefully increases again soon. When 1 Ethereum was at it’s highest point at 350 €, the profit would be 84 € per month.
But in practice the mining program blocks Youtube and Windows feels very sluggish. This is why I barely run it when I’m using my PC. Some also have problems with Windows and have to switch to Linux. Others argue that certain driver versions are better, which was no problem for me. I just installed the latest drivers from Nvidia.
My card is overclocked by the manufacturer and an additional overclocking didn’t make mining faster but has made my system very unstable. The beauty of the GTX 1060 is that it remains whisper-quiet even at full load. Current AMD graphics cards offer even better value for money, if you can get your hands on one.
To pool or not to pool
For the Mining I use ethminer-0.9.41-genoil-1.1.9. You can get instructions on how to use it for example at ethereumpool.co. Working with others in a mining pool has the advantage that you are paid regularly even with a low hash rate: at this pool at 0.1 ETH and not only at about 5 ETH, after you find a whole block. Furthermore, you get statistics. However, the pool charges a fee of 1 %.
When I started on June, 20th 2017, I reached 0.1 ETH at 22.62 € after about 18 days. As I have described above, I started ethminer usually only when I was at work or during the night.
How does the mining go? Let me know in the comments!