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Some Tips for Windows Scrypt Miners
on May 8, 2013
I wanted to provide a few tips so that anyone else buying these to do some Scrypt mining can avoid some time wasting issues. Some of the following steps I am articulating were about a day or so of debugging until I arived at that step as conclusion (some steps were only an hour of debugging). I am highlighting these key points in one review for new buyers so they can avoid some of the same problems. I'm using Windows 8. These cards are happily chugging along at 620 kh/s now, finally.
1. First off, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, use the AMD Catalyst 13.1 Drivers. If you install 13.3 then cgminer will (likely) crash on Scrypt mode. Also, it can be really hard to remove all the 13.3 remnants. Some people seemed to have success removing with a utility whose name escapes me. I just did a full OS reinstall, which wasn't a problem as it was fresh install on the miner in the first place, just time consuming. If you have trouble finding 13.1 Catalyst I found them at a site with the name 3D Guru in it. So try to use those terms in the web search option of your choice (AMD catalyst 13.1 3D guru).
2. Use cgminer. Read about it on the coin forums (a helpful link is here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=117221.0) . It's very customizable and gives a way better hashrate than some other miners.
3. An important step to make cgminer run with high settings is go into cmd.exe and run this setting: setx GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT 100 If you don't cgminer will crash with an error about mem buffers.
4. After all of those were in place, the last important steps were adding the following to your conf file or command line settings:
"thread-concurrency" : "21712",
"worksize" : "256",
"kernel" : "scrypt",
"intensity" : "19", (or 20 here)
"gpu-threads" : "1",
"temp-target" : "74",
"temp-overheat" : "80",
"gpu-engine" : "1075",
"gpu-memclock" : "1650",
It was the gpu engine and memclock settings that made these cards actually run at the 620 khs. Those were the difference between 500 khs and 620 khs all other settings being equal.
It's about 65 degrees fahrenheit ambient temp in my computer room and these cards are running at 73 degrees C and the gpu fans are running at 60% in an open air rig with a box fan on them.
That wraps up the points that I wish I had had available to me when starting. I hope it helps somebody avoid some pitfalls. Good luck and happy mining!