What to mine with 4GB GPUs?

minerstat
minerstat
Jul 30, 2020 · 4 min read

Recently the epoch on the ETH blockchain reached values that make some 4GB GPUs unable to mine this coin. The errors you might see in your mining clients are

  • GPU0, OpenCL error -38 - cannot write buffer for DAG
  • Creating DAG buffer failed: clCreateBuffer: CL_INVALID_BUFFER_SIZE (-61)
  • CUDA error: out of memory (2)
  • GPU0 initMiner error: out of memory

and similar - all related to “DAG” and “memory”. You might also notice reduced hashrate or instability.

If you are using our mining OS you might still be able to mine ETH even with your 4GB cards. Select the latest TeamRedMiner for AMD, Phoenix miner for Nvidia, or lolMiner for Nvidia or AMD, and you will be fine for at least some short period. Make sure that zombie mode is activated.

Switching to Ethash multi-pools won’t help as they usually also include the most popular Ethash coin in the switching process. This means that as soon as the pool will switch to ETH in the background, your cards won’t be able to generate DAG and you will run into errors.

Because of this, you might want to look after alternatives: mining a different low DAG coin on Ethash and similar algorithms (for example Ethereum Classic, Expanse, Ubiq, or Metaverse) or look into other algorithms and coins (for example Ravencoin).

You can quickly see when the coin will reach the epoch and DAG size and stop working for your GPUs by visiting our DAG size calculator.

GPU mining

With minerstat, you can make a whole analysis for your GPUs. Since one rig is free to use and a free account offers all essential features for Linux and Windows mining, you can easily do a benchmark and use the results in the mining calculator. This will give you some overview of your own hardware, but you can also take a look at what hashrates our users achieved on their GPUs.

Benchmark

The first step is to set up mining software. The system will guide you through adding a worker and installing the software. The initial configuration will start mining ETH, but you can stop the mining and prepare everything for the benchmark.

You can conduct a full benchmark or benchmark just a few algorithms. The benchmark will work normally on the Ethash algorithm as you are benchmarking to a sandbox pool, which doesn’t generate any coins. We suggest including at least the following algorithms in the benchmark:

You can also divide your benchmark into smaller benchmarks where each benchmark includes only one algorithm. This way you can also adjust overclocking settings before you benchmark and reach higher hashrates.

Mining calculator

Once the benchmark is finished, you can export the results to the mining calculator and check which coins can be mined. When choosing a coin, keep in mind the limitations your 4GB cards face, and don’t forget the following:

  • ETH will soon be or already is out of the picture for you.
  • Multi-pools aren’t a good choice in your case as the pool can switch to ETH at any time, which your 4GB card isn’t able to process. With our mining calculator, you can filter them out by unchecking the “Multi pools” filter.
  • Some algorithms require more memory for mining (for example the Cuckoo family of algorithms), so 4GB GPUs won’t be suitable for mining them either.
  • If the mining calculator shows high profits, click on the coin’s profile and check its 24h volume, network hashrate, and on which exchanges the coin is trading. If the 24h volume is low, you can have a hard time selling it on the exchange. If the network hashrate is low, this means only a few miners are mining this coin and the reward estimations are unreliable. If the coin isn’t trading on exchanges that you have access to and you are familiar with, you again might have trouble selling it.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice, but an idea on how you might approach the problems you are facing with your 4GB GPUs. You must always do your own detailed research.

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