Setting up a scrypt GPU cryptocoin mine for the first time is not an simple task. Depending on your equipment, it can be very tedious making sure the computer components mesh together properly so that the mine can actually function. Once the hardware, drivers, and mining software are jiving, it’s time to start mining.
Solo and pool mining are really your only two options. If you have a large amount of mining power and a cryptocoin is fairly new, solo mining entire blocks can be a very productive choice. Since this is not usually the case, it’s much more common to connect your mine at a pool. The advantage to this strategy is that many small miners (and large ones too) can join forces to create enough mining power to solve blocks. The rewards are distributed amongst the members of the pool relative to each user’s contribution or hash rate.
Mining pools have an address to connect to that must be input into your mining software via a command or file that your software references. I typically use a .conf file because I can also give the software (cgminer or sgminer) specific configuration parameters.
An address might look something like “stratum+tcp://us-west.multipool.us:3352″. It resembles a url ending in a four digit port number. Most mining sites require a worker name for the “user” which is usually your username followed by a period and a number such as “user.1″. It is common to set up your workers within your mining pool in the form “user.#”. Finally, a password must be used which can be anything you choose, but some pools commonly require the password “x”.
I strongly encourage experimentation here. Tweaking the settings of your miner and connecting to different mining pools was frustrating at first, but resulted in valuable learning experiences that have lead to more efficient and strategic cryptocoin acquisition.
There are many mining pools to choose from. Middlecoin will take care of selecting the most profitable altcoins to mine and then sell them rewarding you with Bitcoin in return for your share of pool hash. This is an excellent way to put your miner on autopilot. Coinwarz displays real time statistics for mining profitability of many popular altcoins which are useful clues regarding which coins to mine. Giant pools like Multipool will auto switch between several of the most profitable coins taking into account changes in market price, hash rate, and mining difficulty. Or, you have the option to connect to smaller pools that mine a specific cryptocoin of interest to you.
So that about wraps it up. There are many options when it comes to mining and this article only begins to touch on the seemingly infinite complexities in the newly emerging realm of cryptocurrency.