Any veteran can tell you that there is more to mining than just creating a batch file and hitting GO. Personally, it took me days to configure my case cooling, work out stability issues, learn the CGMiner commands, test them, and pouring through forums for additional advice or an edge, calculations, etc… It really is a lot to take in if you are new to the scene, and the clock is ticking because every few days the difficulty goes up! Hopefully I can save you a bit of time and quickly cover the basics. My aim here is to explain all of the CGMiner commands I tested, along with some of my recommendations based on my experience over the past several days obsessing with these numbers and commands!
Right Now I’m currently hitting 740 kh/s with my ASUS r9 280x. Completely stable, running at 74c, and consuming ~345w of power. Here are my Stats:
Expand to see more stats…
- Windows 7 – 64 bit
- OCZ Agility SSD
- Asus Sabertooth 990fx
- 16gb ram
- Asus r9 280x – DC2T-3GD5
- Corsair 750w – gold rated PSU
- CGMiner 3.7.2 / SDK 2.9
- Avg. rejection rate = .47 %
- Hardware Errors = 0
- Pool = HyperNova
And My CGMiner config…
setx GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT 60
setx GPU_USE_SYNC_OBJECTS 0
cgminer.exe --scrypt -o stratum+tcp://mining.usa.hypernova.pw:3333 -u Rionoskae.worker -p xxxx -I 13
-g 2 --thread-concurrency 8192 --gpu-engine 1070 --gpu-memclock 1500 --temp-target 76 --auto-fan
--gpu-fan 40-80 --temp-cutoff 90 --temp-overheat 85
But wait there is more! – Before you just copy and paste the above into your batch file and take off. I implore you, don’t just take my word as law when it comes to configuring your own batch file. It is a good place to start – no doubt. But if you really want to get the most out of your GPU and actually understand the commands you are throwing at your expensive hardware and what they are doing! – Expand the below sections for an expansive list of popular commands, alternative values and some of my personal recommendations.
Auto Fan will automatically control the fan speed on your GPU. You will often see this command recommended in various guides / forum posts when creating a config or .bat file for CGMiner. And while I personally use it as well, It would seem to me that the GPU does this automatically….
This command accepts any value or range of values as a percent of 100. To clarify: If you wish to keep your fan running at 40%-80% you would use the above example.
This one is pretty self explanatory – It instructs your GPU to maintain a temperature as close to 75c as possible. Running your GPU at steady temperatures vs. fluctuating over a broad span of temperatures(and fan speeds) should insure a longer life for your GPU.
Again pretty simple, Indicates when your GPU should be considered “overheating”. Your GPU should then start throttling itself down until it gets to a safer temperature.
If your GPU reaches this temp, this command will tell it to shutdown mining operations.
(Still need to verify this behavior!)
Manually sets your Memclock value for your GPU. This is one of few values that I recommend keeping at the value shown. Every time I changed this value, it resulted in either my PC crashing or zero change in kh/s values.
–auto-gpu –gpu-engine 1000-1100
Typical values range between 1000-1100 (for a 280x card)
Auto GPU is slightly more complex than most of these options on the list, but to put it simply – Auto GPU will attempt to adjust your gpu clock speed for maximum performance without reaching your “overheat” thresh-hold. (85c by default if not specified) For all the caveats of auto-gpu you can check out the CGMiner Readme.
Typical values range between 1000-1100 (for a 280x card)
Recommended: <Your GPUs default clock>
This value represents your core clock value. If you do a quick search in google you should be able to quickly find your cards Core Clock value in mhz. For example: My Asus 280x is factory overclocked to 1070, and while increasing this value to 1100 would give my up to 760 kh/s, it would typically (for whatever reason) end up averaging out at my usual 740 kh/s value anyways. Higher values often slightly increase your kh/s value, while consuming more electricity than it is worth for a meager 10-20 kh/s gain. If you have the cash, I highly recommend getting a UPS, not only to protect your expensive mining equipment – but it will also make it easier to monitor your watts used.
Typical values range from 5-20.
From what I understand – Powertune is a Radeon/AMD card feature that allows your GPU to raise/lower voltage 5-20% to maintain a performance standard without throttling the card down. If you are under/over-volting manually, please be careful when using this option!
Typical values: 1.100 – 1.200
My understanding is that, If your card is not “voltage locked” you can run this command to instruct CGMiner to run the GPU at the specified voltage setting. Unfortunately this didn’t work at all for me personally – However, using the ASUS GPU Tweak utility to adjust this setting seems to have done the trick.
**GPU Tweak is only for ASUS branded cards. Check with your manufacturer to see if they have any similar tools available. Alternatively, if are feeling adventerous you can check out the great guide @ Cryptobadger.com for adjusting your gpu voltage by use of a custom video bios.[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Scrypt Specific Options”]
Typical values: 40-100
You really should only need this if you plan on setting your thread-concurrency setting above 8192(in theory). Miner GitHub page mentions that you may not even notice a improvement in hashing rates after a value of 40.
Typical values: 0, 1
It didn’t seem to matter which value I specified in my .Bat file, as long as I specified one. I averaged 740 kh/s with it set at 0 & 1. Contrary to what I’ve read in some other guides, omitting this value had a huge impact on my kh/s – Resulting in an average of 480 kh/s VS. 740 kh/s!
Typical Values: 8192,10240, etc..
Thread concurrency tunes the amount of work that your scrypt can do. Ideally it should be a multiple of your specific cards “shader count”. For example my 280x has a shader count of 2048. CGMiners ReadMe page recommends a TC value of x4 your shader count if you are using a 7xxx model card. And since the 280x, is essentially a re-branded Radeon 7970 – Our recommended TC value is 8192 😀
Suggested Value: 2
This is kind of an interesting one… I see this option posted in tons of peoples configs… but when not specified it defaults to 2 anyways! The CGMiner Readme pages say that performance peaks at a value of 2. So feel free to set this manually if you would like, but I now leave it out and haven’t noticed any change in stability or kh/s.
-w 256 / -worksize 256
Typical values: 256, 128, 64, 32
Recommended: 64 -or- 128
If your mining pool doesn’t allow you to specify a worksize, you should be able to manually specify a value in your CGMiner scrypt. Typically 32,64,128 are within GPU range – While you might try something lower for CPU mining, like 8 or 16.
As it relates to your Kh/s:
250KH and below: 16
Recommended: -I 13
Intensity values ranges from 12-20. While this can be tweaked to any of the aforementioned values to adjust performance – setting it beyond an intensity level of 13 will almost always result in all kinds of stuttering or pixelating issues if you are using your mining rig as a functional desktop as well. I would suggest keeping this @ 12 or 13 if you are mining on say a gaming rig / while dedicated mining rigs can probably get away with pushing this number closer to -I 19 / -I 20.
Recommended: -g 2
Most users find their best results with a value of 1 or 2 depending on their card, memory and core clock settings. CGMiner has noted that most cards crash at values over 4, and each increase in value only increases kh/s results slightly.[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Additional CGMiner Resources”]
Below are some of the best resources available for CGMiner commands.
(Aside from this one of course…)
Additional GPU Tweaks
So now you got a handle on CGMiner, But it is going to take a bit more than just throwing together a batch file to maximize your ROI. For most users, if you really want to maximize your performance and reduce energy costs – You will want to under-volt your GPU. Below is a list of tools for each Hardware Manufacturer of the 280x that I could find.
Asus – GPU Tweak
AMD – OverDrive
Club3d – RoyalFlush
Diamond – Video OC Utility
GigaByte – OC Guru
MSI – AfterBurner
PowerColor – PowerTuner
Saphire – Trixx
VistionTek – OverDrive or AfterBurner
XFX – ??
If your card manufacturer doesn’t have their own OC utility, Or if you aren’t satisfied with its capabilities – I highly recommend checking out CryptoBadgers Guide on manually under-volting your GPU.
If you are currently running a mining rig using a 280x card, feel free to show-off your settings and results in the comments!