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CGMiner configuration and parameters for mining with Nvidia and AMD graphics cards

This is a console client for mining. It is designed for an experienced user, supports the graphics card overclocking and many settings for pools and the rest, and also it allows you to get a higher MH/S value using CryptoNight algoritm, than other programs.

CGMiner is a computer program which is proved to be one of the most effective miners for GPU. It uses a special NeoScrypt algorithm, which helps to significantly increase the amount of the cryptocurrency mined.

The most serious disadvantage of CGMiner is that it doesn’t have a graphical shell. Yes, this is a console miner which is not going to be easy for the beginners to configure. All the information about connection to the pool, as well as the load balance and other mining parameters you will have to write manually in the configuration file.

CGMiner key features

CGMiner is focused on working with AMD graphics card. Since it is not able to mine cryptocurrency with the CUDA technology. If you own a PC or a farm with NVIDIA graphics cards, it will be better to use Claymore’s Dual Miner.

Interesting features of this software include the tools for GPU overclocking and even for the fan speed control. It is recommended to use them with caution.

CGMiner can also provide debugging information, disable “problem” workers automatically, work through proxy, as well as use the Load Balance and Round Robin strategies. User can specify the vector width, periods of time while awaiting reconnection, create artificial delays for routers and configure a separate message output.

  • No graphical shell (console application);
  • NeoScrypt algorithm usage, which helps to get the maximum MH/s values;
  • Availability of tools for overclocking the graphics adapter;
  • Changing the working parameters through the configuration file;
  • Displaying a detailed log;
  • It is possible to use CGWatcher graphics shell to simplify working with this software.

CGMiner configuration and parameters

You can download CGMiner (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=28402.0) from the official developer website on Bitcointalk forum. The latest miner version is always available there, as well as you can ask any question there and participate in the discussion of the program.

CGMiner is managed through the command line. For you not to configure all parameters every time the program is started or when you change the cryptocurrency, it is easier to create the .bat file and write all the settings there. This file is created as a text document (Notepad) in the folder where the miner is, with the .bat extension. The basic setting for the miner to work is:

cgminer –scrypt –o

stratum+tcp://east1.us.stratum.dedicatedpool.com:3351

-u user.1 -p x

  • cgminer — specifies the launch file
  • —scrypt — specifies the algorithm of the cryptocurrency mined to the miner
  • -o — after this one the pool address is specified tratum+tcp://east1.us.stratum.dedicatedpool.com: and port 3351. This information is specified in all pools in the “Getting Started” section.
  • -u user.1 — specify the login in the pool, and the name of a worker which was created there
  • -p x — specify the password for the worker created

Advanced settings for improving the miner performance:

–auto-fan Automatically adjusts the GPU fan speed to maintain the temperature (value: none);

–auto-gpu Automatically adjusts the GPU clock frequency to maintain the temperature (value: none);

–device (-d) Allows you to choose the device you want; they all work by default (example:

–device 0); –disable-gpu (-G) Disable GPU (value: none);

–gpu-threads (-g) Number of threads on GPU (values: 1 – 10, 2 is set by default, example: –gpu-threads 2);

–gpu-dyninterval Set the refresh interval in ms for GPUs using dynamic intensity (default: 7);

–gpu-engine Sets the graphics core frequency, it is possible to set the range (example: –gpu-engine 900 or 800-900);

–gpu-fan Sets the fan rotation speed in percentage, fixed or range (example: –gpu-fan 25 или 25-65);

–gpu-map Map OpenCL to ADL device order manually, paired CSV (e.g. 1:0,2:1 maps OpenCL 1 to ADL 0, 2 to 1);

–gpu-memclock Set the memory frequency (It is better to lower the frequency for BTC, and to raise the frequency for LTC, example: –gpu-memclock 1800);

–gpu-memdiff Set the fixed difference between the core and memory in MHz (example: –gpu-memdiff ???);

–gpu-powertune Set GPU powertune in percentage;

–gpu-reorder To sort out the graphics cards;

–gpu-vddc Change the core voltage, in volts (пример: –gpu-vddc 1.125);

–intensity (-I) Agression (intensity) (values: 10 – 14, d – dynamic, example –intensity 13 или d);

–kernel (-k) Specifies the core for the device to work (cores: diablo, poclbm, phatk, diakgcn, example: –kernel diakgcn) (need help in selecting cores to the cards families);

–ndevs (-n) Print a list of all devices with their numbers and exit;

–temp-hysteresis How much can the temperature in degrees be different from the target one (by default: 3, example: –temp-hysteresis 15);

–temp-overheat Core frequency reset temperature in degrees and fan speed increase (by default: 85, example: –temp-overheat 90)

–temp-target Setting the target temperature in degrees (by default: 75, example: –temp-target 80);

–vectors (-v) Set vectors width, to auto by default (values: 1, 2 и 4, example: –vectors 2);

–worksize (-w) Set the memory size, it almost does not affect the performance (by default: auto, the value should be multiple of – 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 256 is recommended, example: –worksize 256).

A more complete version is shown as a table:


Intensity is the main indicator that affects the miner operation speed, and its values are set from 0 to 20. One should take into account that when the intensity is too high, it can negatively affect the mining speed, since it MAY deplete all available memory, and it will basically reduce the mining speed at best. At worst, a lot of incorrect calculations and HW errors will appear. Pay attention that if you don’t set the intensity, then CGMiner will adjust it dynamically itself given the possibility of comfortable work at your PC.

Thread-concurrency controls the optimal amount of calculations that a scrypt-algorithm is able to perform. It is initially configured at maximizing the use of multiple threads of a graphics cards shader blocks. This value should be a multiple of a graphics card shader block number. Consequently, if “thread-concurrency” is specified, than the “shaders” can be deleted. It is recommended to spend some time to find the best value for your graphics card in order to get the optimal performance.

Example of how to configure the bat file under Windows OS

The so-called Bat-file is required to customize several necessary parameters for the CGMiner program.

The basic option for configuring the executable file is as follows:

setx GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT 100

setx GPU_USE_SYNC_OBJECTS 1

cgminer.exe –scrypt –worksize 256 –intensity

20 –auto-fan –lookup-gap 2 –thread-concurrency

25614 –gpu-engine 1050 — gpu-memclock 1600 –gpu-powertune

20 -o pool address:port -u worker -p password

CGMiner for mining Decred with Nvidia and AMD graphics cards

A new version of CGMiner 5.3.1 git-tpruvot for mining Decred has appeared. This new miner version should work better than the previously available CGMiner fork for DCR.

This fork comes with the support of two protocols for receiving the shares, such as an official getwork protocol, and more advanced getwork through stratum. As mentioned above, this miner will work both with the graphics cards from AMD, and with Nvidia GPU (using OpenCL, and not CUDA).

Keep in mind that NVML monitoring works only with 64-bit version. When testing this version of the miner we managed to get a higher hashrate with the graphics cards from Nvidia, than when using tpruvot fork ccMiner for mining DCR. Those who mine with AMD graphics cards shouldn’t have any issues with the transition to this version of the miner. You will more likely get better results when mining Decred by using the pools with Gatework through Stratum support.

CGMiner for AMD graphics cards with increased Neoscrypt performance

This official CGMiner update to the 3.7.8 version with Neoscrypt support, which adds the new core with better performance and allows the miner to work with the latest drivers AMD 14.9, which was impossible with the previous version of the miner 3.7.7b. We have compiled the source code of the new cgminer 3.7.8 Neoscrypt for Windows, and you can download and test it yourself by clicking the link below.

Our first test with AMD Radeon R9 280X without overclocking showed the performance of 140 KHS, which means that the increase is 50% comparing to the previous versions. Some users even managed to get the 200% increase, although they used overclocked graphics cards. Since it is still impossible to get CUDA-miner for Neoscrypt, you can use this CGMiner with Nvidia graphics cards based on OpenCL, although you will not be able to achieve some serious performance increase.

CryptoNight algorithm for mining Monero and ByteCoin

The main task of Cryptonight is not to create a gap between the PC users and the specialized ASIC device owners during mining. Abady and other cryptographers have developed memory-intensive algorithms.

The main idea is to allocate a large data block (Notepad) in RAM with an unpredictable sequence in it. The block should be large enough to make data storage more convenient, than computing them with each access. The algorithm should also prevent internal parallelism, that is N of concurrent threads should require N times more memory at once.

The popular Scrypr algorithm also uses memory, but it provides an opportunity to build powerful and relatively inexpensive computing devices for calculating this algorithm. As with CryptoNote, unlike Scrypt, each new block (64 bytes) depends on all the previous ones. The new algorithm uses about 2 MB of RAM, which is the minimum size of the L3 cache memory for modern processors. At the same time, such an amount of RAM excludes the use of ASIC.

You should distinguish between CryptoNote and CryptoNight. CryptoNight is one of the CryptoNote protocol implementations. Monero (XMR), ByteCoin (BCN), Aeoncoin are based on “CryptoNight” algorithm.

Advantages of mining using this algorithm:

  • Smoothly decreasing emission.
  • Short time intervals between blocks;
  • ASIC mining impossible.
  • The use of CPU+GPU binding for greater performance.
  • Crucial differences from bitcoin, which contributes to the growing interest in new cryptocurrencies.
  • Thanks to the innovations the CryptoNight coins compare favorably with the most altcoins based on the old algorithms.
  • Profitability and expedience of mining are higher, than the most other cryptocurrencies have.
  • Graphics card and processor overheat less than during mining using the other algorithms.

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