Mining on a computer: an overview of mining on a home PC, programs, calculators, payback, features and recommendations for mining cryptocurrency


Any home computer can be used to mine cryptocurrency – the only question is what to mine and whether it will be profitable. You can mine coins using a processor, video card or hard drive, as well as combining all three devices. It will not be possible to extract bitcoins in this way, but in 2020 there are promising altcoins, the creators of which pay much attention to protecting against the influence of ASIC miners, giving priority to the owners of ordinary PCs. The editorial staff of decided to figure out what is needed to start mining on a personal computer and which altcoins will be profitable to mine.

Features of mining on a home PC

There are three main components in a personal computer that are suitable for mining cryptocurrency:

✅ CPU.

✅ Video card.

✅ HDD.

Let’s consider the nuances for each of them.

Processor mining

It has relatively low computing power, but is suitable for mining specially optimized coins, for example, Monero. It is considered optimal to use processors of average cost, since the expensive one will take too long to pay off, despite the high hash rate. Examples of processor models that could make a profit as of 2020:

✅ Intel Core i7-9700K

✅ Intel Core i5-7600K

✅ AMD Ryzen 5 1600X

✅ AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X

✅ AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X

Details about mining on the processor.

GPU mining

Due to the high speed of processing operations, it is very often video cards that are used for mining, and several devices at once. But in the case of home mining on a computer, most often it means using only one video card, which will also be used for games or working with graphics. Graphics card models that meet these requirements today:

✅ NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070.

✅ NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080.

✅ AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT.

✅ NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

✅ AMD Radeon RX Vega 64.

Details about mining on video cards.

Hard disk mining

Hard drive mining is fundamentally different from other options, since it uses a special Proof-of-Capacity (PoC) consensus algorithm. Its essence lies in the generation of volumes of data, this process is called plotting. The efficiency of mining in this case depends on the number of recorded “plots”, that is, in fact, on the amount of space on the hard disk. Also, the efficiency is influenced by the data transfer rate of the internal memory buffer. You can mine both on HDD and SSD. Examples of railway models suitable for mining:

✅ Toshiba HDWD130EZSTA

✅ Seagate ST 10000 VN0004

✅ Seagate ST 8000 AS0002

✅ Western Digital WD Red

To achieve maximum efficiency, you can use three types of devices at once when mining on a home computer. The CPU + GPU option is often used and supported by miner programs such as MinerGate. It can be used to mine Monero (XMR) very efficiently.

Programs for GPU / CPU mining on a regular PC

The easiest way to start mining on your computer is to download programs from MinerGate or NiceHash. Their advantage is that they combine in one place everything you need for mining at once, that is, you do not need to separately search for the pool and configure the software, and also these applications have a convenient graphical interface (unlike those that can only be operated through the console ). Let’s consider both options in turn using the example of the Monero cryptocurrency.


First you need to create an account if you don’t already have one. This is a standard procedure and should not be difficult. It is enough to confirm your email address.

Next, you need to download the miner program. There are both graphical and console options for all popular operating systems.

Install the downloaded miner and login with the credentials created on the site. The most profitable coin at the moment is automatically determined on the main page of the miner. On the next tab, you can find a list of all available cryptocurrencies. Those that are currently unprofitable are hidden by default, unless you press a special button to display them.

Now it remains to click the “Start mining” button in the CPU and GPU columns, or in one of them. The process will start immediately.

If you prefer to work with a console interface, then the MinerGate pool supports popular miners such as xmrig and xmr-stak. The settings for them are given on the website:


The peculiarity of NiceHash is that it is a kind of capacity market. Sellers lease their computing power and buyers pay to use it. Thus, from the side of sellers it looks like mining with income, and from the side of buyers it looks like cloud mining. The whole process is carried out automatically and with minimal user intervention.

NiceHash Miner is a mining software that includes a number of third party miners not owned by NiceHash.

To get started, register on the site and click “Download miner” in your personal account.

Select the first option and click “Download”.

Download the installer from GitHub.

It is better to disable anti-virus protection during this time. Almost all antiviruses recognize the miner as a virus.

Install the program and log in with the same credentials as on the site. Wait for the miner executable files to download.

It remains only to click on the “Start mining” button and wait for the benchmark (assessment of the computer’s capabilities) to pass. When mining starts, the most profitable coin at the moment will be automatically selected, however, all profits will be converted into BTC and automatically transferred to the bitcoin wallet on the site. However, you can specify any external wallet address in the settings.

Other software

Mining software on a home PC allows you to control the process – start or stop mining, configure it for a specific pool, select the equipment used and much more.

One of the most popular programs is CGMiner. Its drawback is only in the absence of a graphical interface, but on the other hand, everything is extremely simple there, you just need to enter the necessary keyboard commands from the list of available ones. Download here

Another option is to install the EasyMiner program, which is essentially a graphical interface of CGMiner and shows itself perfectly when mining simultaneously on the CPU and GPU.

Almost all such programs conflict with antivirus, so you need to add them to the exceptions.

Home computer HDD mining

While mining on a processor and a video card is taking place, you can also start mining on a hard drive at the same time, since they use different resources. But it is important to set priorities correctly (this can be done through the task manager). The main priority should be with the video card.

Cryptocurrencies Burst, Sia are suitable for mining on a hard disk (so-called plotting). Most often stop at Burst. This method of mining cryptocurrency is very economical and efficient, since hard drives consume little energy.

How to solo BURST cryptocurrency:

  • Download software from the official website Also make sure the latest version of JAVA is installed on the computer.
  • Create a wallet account, save a secret phrase in a safe place.
  • At the bottom of the screen, click Write Plots and then Plot this Drive.
  • Choose the amount of disk space and the number of cores that you consider optimal to use for mining on a personal computer.
  • Enter your ID and click Start Plotting.
  • When the process is complete, you can close all command prompt windows.
  • A Start Mining button will appear next to the Write Plots button. By clicking on it, select the pool for mining.
  • In the window that appears, click Change to connect your account to the pool.
  • Click OK to copy the pool address. Paste it into the second line of Recipient. In the first, enter your secret phrase. If an error message appears, then click Change again and repeat the following steps.
  • When you see the hash signature, click the Start Mining (CPU / AVX) button and Burstcoin mining will begin.

Note that this type of mining can only be used as an additional option. There is no point in building a full-fledged farm from hard drives for mining Burstcoin, since at a coin price of $ 0.003, such a farm will take more than 80 years to pay off.

Home mining pools

If using MinerGate and NiceHash is not suitable for you, then we will consider what pools are and how to choose the optimal one for mining on a home computer.

The process of mining cryptocurrency is arranged in such a way that with an increase in the amount of computing power in the network, the complexity of calculations also increases. And taking into account the cost of electricity and impressive equipment costs, this is not always a profitable enterprise.

Therefore, cryptocurrency mining began to dominate in pools. A pool is a group of miners who combine their resources into a single network and jointly mine cryptocurrency. A pool has a higher chance of receiving a block reward than a solo miner, although then it is divided according to agreed conditions among all participants in the pool.

The main criteria for choosing a pool for mining at home on a personal computer:

✅ The compatibility of the devices you plan to use with the pool requirements. In addition, the pool must be compatible with the software. Some pools separately set requirements for Internet speed.

✅ Task distribution mechanism. The pool can include both huge groups of capacities and small ones. It is important that the algorithm efficiently and evenly distributes computational data tasks among these subgroups. For example, he assigned more difficult tasks to a strong group.

✅ Operation transparency. Access to a dashboard that is updated in real time and provides an overview of all payments and rates should be provided.

✅ Reliability and stability. The pool must provide a secure connection, be protected from DDoS attacks and hacking.

✅ Frequency and limits of payments. If you mine on a home PC, then this indicator is especially important – with low capacities, it will take longer to reach the minimum payout threshold, and this may lead to the fact that payments will be more rare.

✅ Commission structure. Each pool collects a certain fee from the participants, although in some it is voluntary and is more like donations. There is also such an option that the pool does not charge a commission under certain conditions – for example, the installation of its software.

✅ The size. Larger pools have a higher probability of finding blocks, but payouts per block will be lower. And vice versa. It all depends on your priorities – what is more important, receive money regularly, but little by little, or less often, but in larger amounts.

Popular mining pools for mining altcoins are 2Miners, AltPool, Multipool, SoloPool, etc.

To join the pool, you need to go to its website and register. There you can make initial settings, give a name to the workers (a worker is your working device, computer, farm, etc.). Also register the address of the wallet for payments. In your personal account, you can track the effectiveness of your work.

Mining calculators for calculating the profitability of mining on a PC

Of course, mining on an ordinary computer does not require financial costs, so you can start doing it at any time and see in practice how profitable it is. However, it is recommended to make preliminary calculations – perhaps your equipment is too weak and will not bring any income, in which case one or more components can be upgraded.

To calculate the profitability of mining, calculators are used: WhatToMine, NiceHash, CryptoCompare, Coinwarz, etc. To calculate the profitability when using a home PC, a calculator is suitable where you can specify several different devices at once or just a general hash rate.

Let’s use the CryptoCalc calculator as an example. Initially, you need to select the cryptocurrency you plan to mine. In this case, it is XMR (Monero).

Next, you need to calculate the hashrate of your CPU and GPU (hard disk performance is calculated separately, in a completely different way). Substitute the resulting value in the “Hash-power” field. Then add the power consumption of the two devices in the same way and indicate the electricity tariff that is valid in your area. The pool commission is also indicated so that the result is as clean as possible. The estimated profit is displayed on the right. It changes in real time as you adjust the parameters on the right.

As for the hard disk, if you will mine Burst on it, then it is recommended to use this calculator for calculations: If you specify the amount of hard disk in it, for example, 1 TB, then the profit per day, week and month will be displayed. As you can see, in 2020 the profit will be 3 Burst per week. At $ 0.003 per Burst, of course, this profit is practically zero.

When using 10 TB, the situation is slightly better, but still the question of the feasibility of such mining remains open.

Example of calculating payback

Let’s try to calculate the payback of mining on a home computer, if we imagine that you bought the main components specifically for it. We will take not the most expensive options.

Initial costs 72,000 rubles:

  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card – 35,000 rubles
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X processor – 20,000 rubles
  • Toshiba HDWR11AUZSVA HDD 10 TB – 17,000 rubles

On the RandomX algorithm used by Monero, the processor shows approximately 1.4 kH / s, the video card – 1.5 kH / s. In total – 2.9 kH / s. Total power consumption – 225 + 180 = 405 W.

So, we see that at the moment this option will be unprofitable. You need to either increase the hash rate, or reduce power consumption, or choose the moment when the value of the coin on the market will be higher. Now the crypto market is going through a difficult period, but this is most likely a temporary phenomenon. When currency rates go up again, mining will become relevant again, even on a home PC.

What coins are mined using ordinary computers ?

The developers of some projects are purposefully opposing the fact that their cryptocurrency is mined using ASICs. Therefore, they develop mining algorithms that are difficult to reproduce in ASICs, but which are ideal for mining at home. Examples of such currencies:

  • Monero (XMR). One of the best anonymous cryptocurrencies that can be quickly and easily mined at home. Initially, it worked on the CryptoNight algorithm, which later changed to RandomX, which is even more resistant to ASICs. Thus, large mining organizations will not be able to take over the ecosystem for a long time, as happened with Bitcoin.
  • Vertcoin (VTC). A coin that is also resistant to the development of specialized ASICs. There is a convenient official software for it that supports mining both on a video card and on a processor. It should be noted that only graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD can be used for Vertcoin mining.
  • Dogecoin (DOGE). Altcoin, created almost as a joke, has managed to stand out with an active community and already has one of the largest transaction volumes in the cryptoasset market. Powered by the Scrypt algorithm, which requires less electricity when mining. And the block creation time is only 1 minute.

In any case, it is recommended to join the pool, this will bring much more profit than solo mining.

Where to exchange mined cryptocurrency

After mining on a personal computer has borne fruit, you can sell the cryptocurrency and receive real money for it. The main ways to do this:

  1. Online exchangers. They support many exchange directions, including directly to a card or to any convenient electronic wallet – Yandex, Qiwi, etc. The exchange is very fast and easy.
  2. Payment systems. Some services allow you to create separate accounts for different currencies and cryptocurrencies, and quickly transfer funds from one to another. For example, Advcash, Payeer and others.
  3. Cryptocurrency exchanges. You can choose a classic type exchange with support for fiat currencies, for example, Exmo. Or stop at a p2p exchange, where the choice of payment directions is much greater and often no account verification is required.


A few tips before starting mining on a computer:

  • When choosing a coin for mining, you need to carefully study the pros and cons of its ecosystem, assess the prospects. It hardly makes sense to mine a currency that has no chance of increasing its value.
  • You also need to make calculations on a mining calculator to make sure that the venture is profitable and see options for improving the process.
  • It is important to provide good cooling for your computer. In the process, it will become very hot. It makes sense to purchase additional fans – also consider them when calculating the ROI.
  • In regions with expensive electricity, the profit from mining is significantly reduced. In this sense, only a good market rate of the cryptocurrency can save the situation, otherwise the results will be unprofitable.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Pros: ✅

✅ No need to buy expensive equipment.

✅ The fastest possible start of mining in a few clicks.

✅ No special technical knowledge required.

✅ Relatively low energy consumption.

Cons: ❌

❌ Increased wear and tear of equipment (especially for hard drives, the resource of which is limited to several tens of thousands of hours).

❌ Low profit.

Basic concepts

  • Mining is the process of verifying cryptocurrency transactions and adding them to the blockchain. It is carried out using mathematical calculations on a particular equipment (video card, processor, hard disk, ASIC integrated circuit).
  • A mining algorithm is a set of instructions and mechanisms by which the hash of a cryptocurrency is encrypted.
  • Mining software is an application with a graphical or console interface through which cryptocurrency mining is configured and managed.
  • Pool – an association of miners to jointly search for a block and distribute the reward for it fairly.
  • Cryptocurrency exchanger is a platform where you can exchange earned cryptocurrency for fiat money.
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges are platforms where you can exchange one cryptocurrency for another or for fiat money.

Questions and answers

What is the fastest way to start mining on a computer?

Use the MinerGate or NiceHash platforms. They combine everything you need to start mining from any device, as well as detailed instructions for downloading and configuring software.

Is it profitable to mine from a home computer?

This option cannot be expected to bring cosmic profits. A noticeable income is possible in the case of a high rate of cryptocurrency on the market and the availability of suitable equipment.

How to calculate profit, profitability, payback when mining on a computer?

Use mining calculators for this purpose. There are a lot of them on the net. For example, CryptoCalc, WhatToMine, NicaHash and others.

Do I have to join the mining pool?

For some currencies, solo mining is also possible, but in practice it is easy to see that being in a pool is much more profitable.

What coins can be mined at home from a regular computer?

Those whose algorithms are resistant to ASIC development. For example, Monero, Dogecoin, VertCoin.

Will the equipment wear out more?

Yes, of course, mining keeps the devices running at maximum capacity and heating up continuously. One way to slightly reduce wear is to provide good cooling.

Can I mine on my home PC?

Yes, but there will be a profit only if the technical characteristics of the PC correspond to a certain level – you can calculate whether its capacity is enough to generate income using calculators.

How do I mine bitcoins on my computer?

The days of mining bitcoin on a home PC are long gone and most likely will not return. Now, mining the most important cryptocurrency requires huge capacities that only an ASIC miner can provide.

How to start mining on PC?

You need to download the miner program and join the mining pool. Beginners can use the services of the MinerGate or NiceHash platform and start the process in a few clicks. If the antivirus is blocking the download or operation of the application, then add the program to the exceptions.

Can I mine on a weak computer?

At the moment, when the position of the crypto market is not at its best, even on a powerful computer, mining is not always profitable, not to mention a weak one. You run the risk of going into the red, giving more for electricity.

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