Alternative folding support idea - mining for coins to fund F@H

Handruin

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#1
I've been thinking about this for some time now and I'm debating on using some of my GPU compute power to move into mining alt coins, specifically Litecoin. Let me state that I know this is a risky move and almost seems like a waste of power, CPU, and potential folding at home work time, but my reason is to potentially cash in on some of the money to fund future folding @ home equipment and power. At the moment the most commonly known digital coin service known as Bitcoin seems like a bust for GPU folding because of many reasons so I'm not considering BTC. However, Litecoin seems to have some potential to get real currency even in its highly chaotic market while using GPU hardware for mining.

My point of this thread is just to gather some of your thoughts to see if it even makes some kind of sense. My thought was to buy/build a setup that would eventually be used for folding @ home. Then I would use it to mine Litecoins for some period of time to get some real money back from it (post power costs). That money would (in theory) help fund the cost of building the setup and I would then convert it over to F@H after some or all of the expenses of the equipment (i.e. GPU) has been funded. Thoughts?
 
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#2
If you are switching from folding to some form of digital currency to make money then what is the incentive for you to move back assuming it worked?

There are already teams that pay for you to fold for them. An example is EVGA with their EVGA bucks. There is even a team that is trying to create their own digital currency (CureCoin) using Folding as the basis to generate coin.
 

Handruin

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#3
If you are switching from folding to some form of digital currency to make money then what is the incentive for you to move back assuming it worked?

There are already teams that pay for you to fold for them. An example is EVGA with their EVGA bucks. There is even a team that is trying to create their own digital currency (CureCoin) using Folding as the basis to generate coin.
My understanding is that these alt coin mining algorithms become more difficult over time so they will not result in adequate return after some period of time. My goal isn't to become profitable, I would like to offset the cost of decent folding @ home hardware. My incentive to move back would be that I feel the team at Stanford has the ability to be part of something that matters unlike mining coins. I don't care about these coins other than for a way to fund something I do care about.
 

Clocker

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#4
Funny you're suggesting this Handy.. I was just looking in [H] video card forums yesterday and was going to suggest you guys use your massive compute power to raise money for an actual charity by mining Litecoins! My understanding is the Litecoins are relatively new and as a result not to terribly difficult to mine and that their value could potentially go up a lot. Sounds kinda fun although I have no hardware that could do it.
 

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#5
As I understand it the truly dedicated Bitcoin miners are using ridiculous rigs, like 8 GPU SLI configurations, to quickly create value. I'm not sure I understand the value of using $60 worth of electricity to run one machine that's going to generate perhaps $70 worth of pretend computer money, but then, but I guess maybe $10 is $10 (or whatever it is).
 

Chewy509

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#6
As I understand it the truly dedicated Bitcoin miners are using ridiculous rigs, like 8 GPU SLI configurations, to quickly create value..
Most have gone from GPU based rigs to using dedicated FPGA based or purposed built ASIC accelerator cards... (GPU = 200-400MHash for top end GPU, ASIC = 10000-7500000 MHash depending on cost $300 - $15K for the card).

PS. Yes a $300 ASIC based card will do more 5-6x more mining that your $500 GPU...

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison
 

Handruin

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#7
As I understand it the truly dedicated Bitcoin miners are using ridiculous rigs, like 8 GPU SLI configurations, to quickly create value. I'm not sure I understand the value of using $60 worth of electricity to run one machine that's going to generate perhaps $70 worth of pretend computer money, but then, but I guess maybe $10 is $10 (or whatever it is).
That's why I said Bitcoin is a bust and I'm referring to Litecoin where it doesn't cost $60 to run a machine in order to get $70. I agree that right now people have insane rigs for mining Bitcoin and people are much better off with a dedicated ASIC CPU vs x86 or GPU. Some estimates I've seen are around $9/day profit after power costs (not counting hardware purchase) for Litecoin mining.
 
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#8
My understanding is that these alt coin mining algorithms become more difficult over time so they will not result in adequate return after some period of time. My goal isn't to become profitable, I would like to offset the cost of decent folding @ home hardware. My incentive to move back would be that I feel the team at Stanford has the ability to be part of something that matters unlike mining coins. I don't care about these coins other than for a way to fund something I do care about.
With Bitcoin you are correct that the number of coins you get over time decreases because of the nature of the function they are calculating. However, other digital coinage using a different function that would not necessarily be the case. Case in point, Curecoin is planning to give out their digital coin based on folding PPD and by historical observation folding PPD inflates over time.
 

CougTek

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#9
I wish I would have something to add on this topic, but I have no knowledge whatsoever about Litecoin.

I have three (dead, but still under warranty) not too bad graphic cards doing nothing here. Two GTX 570 and one Radeon HD 6870. I don't know if I could make money with those, once the RMA done, other than by selling them on auction sites. I already use a significant amount of electricity and would rather not add to it. How much Litecoins could I make with those, daily?
 

Clocker

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#10
I wish I would have something to add on this topic, but I have no knowledge whatsoever about Litecoin.

I have three (dead, but still under warranty) not too bad graphic cards doing nothing here. Two GTX 570 and one Radeon HD 6870. I don't know if I could make money with those, once the RMA done, other than by selling them on auction sites. I already use a significant amount of electricity and would rather not add to it. How much Litecoins could I make with those, daily?
The extent of my knowledge on the topic is here: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1794019

There are no ASICs for mining Litecoin, so dust off those Radeons!


I don't think you've seen recent Litecoin prices. 1.4 MH/s (two 7970s) brings in $1100 a month at current rates.
Of course, sounds too good to be tru, so it probably is.
 

Handruin

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#11
The extent of my knowledge on the topic is here: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1794019





Of course, sounds too good to be tru, so it probably is.
I'm skeptical of those kinds of returns but I do believe some people can be making $50/$60 week doing this on their older hardware. I've read similar threads in various forums and people are all over the place just like in that thread.

I feel like the risk is still somewhat minimal. Even if the coins become worthless, I would still have the hardware (which I could sell) and I spent a little money on electricity.
 
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#12
At $1,100./month for a $500 investment I'd quit folding too and every month I'd reinvest the returns and it wouldn't take very many cycles to become a gazillionaire.

I actually did 12 months of calculations starting with $500 produces $1,100 profit every month and after a year of reinvesting profits back into the program I'd have collected $3.98 million dollars.

At $50 profit every week on a $500 investment your annual interest rate is 14,204%. Even if you had a 10% return ($50 over costs) on $500 every month it would still be an unbelievably good investment (313% annual interest rate) considering Warren Buffet became a multi-billionaire by maintaining around an average 20% annual rate of return for many years.
 
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timwhit

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#13
It probably makes a lot of sense right now with the price of ltc. If the price drops under a dollar it won't make much sense. LiteCoin is much newer than btc so the difficulty of mining is much lower.
 

Handruin

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#14
At $1,100./month for a $500 investment I'd quit folding too and every month I'd reinvest the returns and it wouldn't take very many cycles to become a gazillionaire.

I actually did 12 months of calculations starting with $500 produces $1,100 profit every month and after a year of reinvesting profits back into the program I'd have collected $3.98 million dollars.

At $50 profit every week on a $500 investment your annual interest rate is 14,204%. Even if you had a 10% return ($50 over costs) on $500 every month it would still be an unbelievably good investment (313% annual interest rate) considering Warren Buffet became a multi-billionaire by maintaining around an average 20% annual rate of return for many years.
That's why I'm skeptical of those kinds of returns on the $1000+/month numbers. It may be possible but at some point those coins are going to get more difficult to mine making the return less over time.

I don't know if the $50/week is sustainable for a long duration but even for 5-6 months it might actually pay for the hardware that I want to use for F@H. I'm looking at this as maybe a 6-12 month venture. Since these Litecoins appear to work better with AMD, if I could swing a R290X and have it pay for itself in a short period of time, it may even still be worth something in 5-6 months to then sell it.

I'm mainly just putting the idea out there hoping to brainstorm and theorize with everyone here. I'm just as weary as the rest of you about quick get-rich schemes. If it's too good to be true, then it likely is. I don't think this is a get-rich scheme but I do feel like there is some possibility of getting some income to fund something else I care more about which is F@H. That's really my intent of asking for everyone's thoughts.
 

CougTek

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#15
I have one Radeon HD 7950 and another Radeon HD 7870 used for running the FAH client. To compensate my "underserved" recent gain, I could dedicate those two to Litecoin mining for a week and see if it's profitable or not. That way you'd know.

I don't know if I'm better off with Linux or Windows for mining LTC. I'll search on the topic later this evening. Any help would be appreciated. I'd rather use Linux since I'm starting to be short of Windows anything licenses.
 

Handruin

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#16
I have one Radeon HD 7950 and another Radeon HD 7870 used for running the FAH client. To compensate my "underserved" recent gain, I could dedicate those two to Litecoin mining for a week and see if it's profitable or not. That way you'd know.

I don't know if I'm better off with Linux or Windows for mining LTC. I'll search on the topic later this evening. Any help would be appreciated. I'd rather use Linux since I'm starting to be short of Windows anything licenses.
I need to do some research also on the configuration and platform best suited for this. I did read that the 7950 was desirable from a cost/efficiency for this type of work. I'm certainly not asking for you or anyone to sway away from F@H. I could also do the same with my current setup to get an idea of the results produced rather than take other people's time/resources. I'll play around with it a bit tonight also and I'll share what I find.
 

CougTek

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#17
I also want to know if LTC mining ramps well when you add more than one GPU in a system. If it does, I would put my two Radeon 7xxx in the same box in order to save on my electric bill. I know there's a hit when you do that with the AH client.
 

CougTek

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#18
Well, it will wait another day (or more). I woke up just before 4am this morning and my body tells me to call it a day. I'll check more about Litecoin another evening, or perhaps even this week-end. Good luck in your reasearch.
 

Handruin

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#20
Here is some info I've researched so far.

General info:
Litecoin client and wallet (supports windows, Linux, and Mac)
https://litecoin.org/
(it has to download the full 3GB+ block chain before it's ready which may take several hours)

How to backup and secure the litecoin wallet:
http://www.coinqa.org/backup-secure-litecoin-wallet/

Calculations and Estimations:
Hardware estimated kH/s performance.
https://litecoin.info/Mining_hardware_comparison

Your 7950 rates somewhere around 620 kH/s and the 7870 around 300 kH/s
My GTX 780 rates somewhere around 320 kH/s and my GTX 560 Ti 448 core rates around 228 kH/s.
For reference an AMD R290X is rated around 990 kH/s.

Calculator for estimating Litecoin profit return after paying for power.
https://www.litecoinpool.org/calc

If I plug in the total for your estimated 920 kH/s with a conservative 600W power draw and $0.15 kWh energy cost, the calculator estimates $424 USD/month ($14/day).
If I plug in the totals for my estimated 548 kH/s with the same 600W and $0.15 kWh energy cost, the calculator estimates $225/month ($7.51/day).
If I plug in the totals for an R290X 990 kH/s with the same 600W and $0.15 kWh energy cost, the calculator estimates $460/month ($15.35/day).

Another calculator rumored to be more accurate:
http://bitcoinwisdom.com/litecoin/calculator

Current price website:
http://coins2coins.com/

Mining:

Nvidia
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=167229.0

AMD:
CGminer
Howto: http://youtu.be/w4FFf_rO3Ho

List of pools:
https://www.litecoinpool.org/pools
I read that people recommend picking a pool with less than 1000MH/s. One of which was recommended was HashFaster with a 0% fee (donation-based):
http://ltc.hashfaster.com/

Cashing out Litecoins (need to look into this more):
http://youtu.be/elqlS59do1k

General info:
Lots to learn and read. I'm still parsing...
http://www.reddit.com/r/litecoinmining
 

CougTek

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#22
mine-litecoin.com seems to be down now. I knew it would be a pain to set this up. The things we do for money...

I think I've installed and setup my wallet correctly, but I have yet to start mining.
 

Handruin

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#23
If it's taking up too much time then don't waste time on it. I also have the wallet setup but have yet to start mining either.
 

CougTek

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#24
The appeal of making money with my rig is quite high, actually. I might pause or at the very least greatly decrease my FAH contribution in the upcoming months if I succeed to generate a substantial amount of money from this.

It could speed up my financial recovery quite a bit. I earn a decent amount of money, but I have a serious amount of debts too.

Given the contribution I've had over the years towards the FAH project, no one will convince me that I have to feel bad for this. Plus, once I'll have made some determined cash volume while mining Litecoin, I'll resume and probably be able to increase my contribution to the FAH project. For now, my wallet tells me to slack a bit.
 

Handruin

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#25
The appeal of making money with my rig is quite high, actually. I might pause or at the very least greatly decrease my FAH contribution in the upcoming months if I succeed to generate a substantial amount of money from this.

It could speed up my financial recovery quite a bit. I earn a decent amount of money, but I have a serious amount of debts too.

Given the contribution I've had over the years towards the FAH project, no one will convince me that I have to feel bad for this. Plus, once I'll have made some determined cash volume while mining Litecoin, I'll resume and probably be able to increase my contribution to the FAH project. For now, my wallet tells me to slack a bit.

I've started a test run to see what comes of it. I'm running the cudaminer client via CLI. I've joined the hashfaster pool to try while it's a no fee entry. My kH/s is somewhere around 300 right now. Yours should be much higher than mine if you decide to try it.
 

Striker

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#26
The appeal of making money with my rig is quite high, actually. I might pause or at the very least greatly decrease my FAH contribution in the upcoming months if I succeed to generate a substantial amount of money from this.

It could speed up my financial recovery quite a bit. I earn a decent amount of money, but I have a serious amount of debts too.

Given the contribution I've had over the years towards the FAH project, no one will convince me that I have to feel bad for this. Plus, once I'll have made some determined cash volume while mining Litecoin, I'll resume and probably be able to increase my contribution to the FAH project. For now, my wallet tells me to slack a bit.
I don't see any way you need to feel bad about your contributions to folding at home.
Anything that benefits you, will likely benefit their cause in the long run anyway.
 

Handruin

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#27
Here is a nice google doc spreadsheet with a breakdown of kH/S and price/performance ratio with estimated returns.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...eWVZcjJLWmhjaVBMTHVCR3l4eHc&usp=sharing#gid=0

I can't find a decent AMD graphics card to buy from any major retailer (newegg, amazon, tiger, frys, microcenter, B&H, bestbuy). Maybe because of the holidays or because of the mining push but I can't find a 7950, R280X, R290, or R290X!
 

CougTek

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#29
Here is another resource of FAQs to look through if interested. This is where I found that spreadsheet.

http://www.reddit.com/r/litecoinmin..._thread_common_solutions_to_common_questions/
From that link :
6) CGMiner 3.8+ isn't working. Whats wrong?Something that isn't discussed here very much is that any version of CGMiner that is 3.8+ is only made to work with ASICs. If you are mining with GPUs, you need version CGMiner 3.7 or less

Well, that explains some of the troubles I've had. Thanks for that link.
 

Handruin

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#30
Looks like during my experiment I made some Litecoins (more specifically a fraction of one).

ltc_output.jpg
 

Handruin

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#32
How long did it take to make a $?
That was about 22 hours. Keep in mind that the average time to find a block of coins in this pool is 4.5 hours. That run of mine went on for some 14 hours without finding a block. Over longer periods of time a better return would be seen. Today they've found 3 blocks already so you can see the timing is all over the place as is the price per LTC.

The payout is proportional to the work done per person. Since my GPU isn't optimal for this work it's at a disadvantage.
 

timwhit

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#33
The appeal of making money with my rig is quite high, actually. I might pause or at the very least greatly decrease my FAH contribution in the upcoming months if I succeed to generate a substantial amount of money from this.

It could speed up my financial recovery quite a bit. I earn a decent amount of money, but I have a serious amount of debts too.

Given the contribution I've had over the years towards the FAH project, no one will convince me that I have to feel bad for this. Plus, once I'll have made some determined cash volume while mining Litecoin, I'll resume and probably be able to increase my contribution to the FAH project. For now, my wallet tells me to slack a bit.
Let us know how it goes.
 

Handruin

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#34
I put together some numbers from my experiment. I dug up my cost of power per kW/h and plugged in those values along with an estimated consumption from my PC running cudaminer with some forcasts.
Google spreadsheet with numbers.

12-07-2013, 01:55 PM to 12-9-2013, 10:15PM
Result: 2 days, 8 hours, 20 minutes and 0 seconds
(3380 minutes | 56.33 hours)

Mined 0.18849116 LTCs
Confirmed - worth as of this writing $6.201359164
(1 Litecoin = $33.19)
 

Handruin

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#36

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 860 (2.8 GHz Lynnfield)
  • HSF: Thermalright MUX-120
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte P55M-UD4
  • Memory: 4x 2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 (8-8-8-24 1.65v)
  • Video: EVGA GTX 780 FTW
  • Case: Fractal Design Define R4
  • Power: PC Power & Cooling 750W
  • Storage: Samsung EVO 500 GB SSD
  • Storage: 2x Samsung 1TB 7200 RPM (Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ)
  • Storage: 1x Seagate 3TB 7200 RPM
  • DVD: Sony Optiarc AD-7240S
  • 1st Display: Dell U2410 24″ LCD (H-IPS panel)
  • Cooling: Noctua 140mm Fan NF-A14 FLX
  • OS: Windows 8.1
 
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#37
It was my understanding that AMD GPU's are way superior to Nvidia for this application. That being said, you use what you have and it seems to be profitable as it is.
 

Handruin

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#38
It was my understanding that AMD GPU's are way superior to Nvidia for this application. That being said, you use what you have and it seems to be profitable as it is.
Your understanding is correct based on everything I've read/research (and documented in this thread). I'm not able to find anyone who currently has AMD GPUs (7950, R9 280X, R9 290, or R9 290X) in-stock that are worth using for this venture, so I'm stuck with what I can use. I was only using my GTX 780 as a test to see how the process end-to-end would go and then document what I found. I don't have plans to continue using my current hardware because it's marginally worth it for my goals.
 

Handruin

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#39
Here is the end proof from my test/exercise that some of the money transferred into my digital wallet after mining in the hashfaster pool. Note there is a transaction fee for sending the money from hashfaster to my wallet of 0.020 LTCs.

ltc_wallet.png
 
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