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Just looked at Monero, going to mine on an i7 machine, running OSX. I got the command line tools from the official monero website, I started up the daemon and it's nearly synced, I've got the wallet setup too. So questions are:

1) I will actually manage to mine some coins on a system like that or do I have to use a pool?

2) Do people actually use the official command line miner or do I have to use some optimised variant?

3) Is there a guide on joining a pool?

Thanks WS

  • too broad? These are specific questions. Not as helpful over here as I am on StackOverflow clearly. – Woodstock Oct 31 '16 at 18:23
  • You can break this down into multiple questions. You mention that you have an i7 machine but did not mention specifically if you want to GPU or CPU mine or how long you are willing to wait to find a block solo mining. The optimized miner question and mining pool guide questions should be separate. – Smart Kid Oct 31 '16 at 18:29
  • There are already several questions on solo and pool mining, so being more specific would be very helpful monero.stackexchange.com/search?q=solo+mining monero.stackexchange.com/search?q=pool+mining – Smart Kid Oct 31 '16 at 18:36
  • The answer to your first question is yes but you may be mining for an extremely long time before finding a block solo mining depending on your hash rate. We would need to know more about your equipment to estimate your hashrate. This answer addresses part of your question: monero.stackexchange.com/a/1807/11 – Smart Kid Oct 31 '16 at 18:45
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Disclaimer: I can only compare with my own mining experience.

  1. Assuming this subquestion is about solo-mining. Short answer: Yes. Long answer: When you issue monerod status, you'll see both the network hash rate, as your own hash rate. E.g. if you're mining at 250 H/s and the network hash rate is 25.00 MH/s, you'll (on average) find 1 block out of every 100.000 blocks. Since there's a block about every 2 minutes, that'll occur (on average) every ± 139 days. Currently, coinbase reward is ± 9.74 XMR. Nobody knows what the network hash rate (and difficulty) will be in 139 days, so it's a bit of gamble to do solo-mining (if the network hash rate would ramp up dramatically).

  2. Since the official miner is a solo-miner, I suspect it isn't used that widely. There are a number of pool-mining alternatives, both proprietary and open-source. Most mining pools provide an overview of compatible software on their "Getting Started" page, e.g. minexmr.com. It's almost impossible to tell which miner would give you the best bang for the buck, as performance is heavily depending on your specific hardware setup. However, your connectivity to the mining pool and its stability play also significant role. It's best to experiment with the available options. Unfortunately, mining software isn't very macOS-friendly (especially when you want to do GPU-mining).

  3. With regard to mining pools, I would recommend to visit this monerohash.com page. You'll see an overview of Monero mining pools, along with a nice chart that depicts their respective share in the network. Thinking about decentralization, it is generally recommended to join one of the smaller pools. Pay-outs should still be relatively frequent and predictable.

P.S.: I agree with some comments that I would be easier if questions were split up.

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