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I have a water-cooled 1080ti, and the most H/s I had with the basic Monero GUI is 250 or so.

If I understand right, this is barely enough to break even with electricity cost, over months.

Basically my options are to try a different mining software and/or to join a mining pool, right?

Side question, how do I even tell that I am making progress in mining? I can't really find any information telling me anything about the blockchain or the hashing power of my computer over a night of mining, on Monero GUI.

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The Monero software, cli or gui, both only do CPU mining. Solo CPU mining is generally thought to be non-viable these days, yes. In general, solo mining is non-viable in this environment.

However, if you want to solo GPU mine, you can. See this thread for discussion and options for how to solo GPU mine.

Generally, you're best off pool mining.

To address the side question, you're touching on a general feeling of new miners, or even small pool owners. Everyone gets a little on edge when they've been mining for a while and haven't won a block. That's normal. The truth is you just need to know what to check, like ensuring your node is keeping up with the network, and otherwise you just need to wait and hope to win a block. If you pool mine, there's much less waiting to receive positive feedback.

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