# noob question

• I've looked through the tutorials on setting up wallets/plotting etc but is there any point starting with just a windows pc with 300gb spare?...

what would be the minimum id need to start with in order to at least cover electricity costs?...
also do people in the main leave their hardware switched on 24/7 ?

• @johnm 300GB is small, but OK. My phone mined a block with 120GB.

Yes, keep your system on 24 * 7.

The answer to how much you need to cover costs - is "It depends." If you don't normally have your PC on 24 * 7, then you've got additional costs for the extra powered on time. If the PC is already normally on 24*7 then the differential cost is the cost of your CPU or GPU resources for the mining time, along with the disk drive. Disks are ballpark 5W when idle 7-10W when active.

An average round is 4 minutes, so 15 times per hour your CPU/GPU and disk will be using additional power for the mining duration. That duration is going to depend on how big your combined plot size is, and the type of CPU/GPU you're using. Best way to measure is to get a kill-o-watt meter, measure your system power usage when idle, and usage when mining.

Take the watt difference, multiply by the duration of mining in seconds. That gives you the watt seconds above idle you're using when mining. Take that number, divide by 3,600 then multiply by 24, this will give you watt/hours/day - divide be 1,000 to get kilowatt hrs/day.. That will give you the kilowatt/hr usage you're using - multiply that by your cost per kilowatt/hr to get your daily mining cost.

I ran the calcs on one of my systems - just on the drives, not CPU/GPU ( https://forums.burst-team.us/topic/197/how-green-is-burst ), differential cost turned out to be 1/10th of a penny per drive per day, which is about 3 Burst. So if you're averaging more than 3 burst/drive/day, you're ahead.

• thanks for this.....

very informative.... so am i right in saying its not really worth my while mining 9-5 while my work machine is on on?.... i'd need to have a dedicated machine on 24/7....

does your calculation include wear and tear on the machine leaving it on 24/7?

• @johnm Any time you can mine is potential earnings.

You apply more stress on your system by turning it on/off daily. Leaving it on 24*7 is actually less stressful on your system.

I made a mistake in the post above, in the calc I went from watt/seconds to watt/hrs - but neglected to convert to kilowatt hours - editing now.

• thanks again....

so to get started i might use my old laptop and 500g hard drive to test it out...

Are there any tutorials on how to set up a more substantial mining system?.... i was reading other threads there and a lot of the set ups used look quite complicated

• @johnm A large miner is the same as a smaller miner, just more drives. When you get into > 24 Drives, that's when it starts getting interesting .....

But basically, install additional drive(s) to your system, use Disk Manager to assign it a drive letter, and format it as NTFS with a 64KB Block size, then plot/mine it.

• @haitch 64KB? guessing there's an advantage to larger blocks, less read time on multiple blocks?

• @mrgoldy Yes, a nonce is 256KB, by formatting as 64KB and using optimized plots you have (by default) 16x less read requests - the Miner can read in 64KB of nonces to process with one request.

• @haitch Thanks! I'm going to reformat/plot my 1TB tonight, and I'm getting an 8TB tomorrow so I'll be sure to 64KB that one. Probably in 100GB increments from now on, because last time my 1TB took ~12hrs to plot

• @haitch Man I wish I knew this before. Any way to check the current cluster size? I will make sure to do this with the next drives and might have to reformat the other 4 later as they are mining now.

• @mrgoldy I know it hurts - but a single 8TB file is much more efficient.

• @newsense2004 from a cmd prompt running as administror do:

fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo <drive letter>:

The Bytes per Cluster is the cluster size:

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.14393]

C:\WINDOWS\system32>fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo c:
NTFS Volume Serial Number : 0xa04ccc784ccc4aac
NTFS Version : 3.1
LFS Version : 2.0
Number Sectors : 0x000000008ba857ff
Total Clusters : 0x0000000011750aff
Free Clusters : 0x000000000c83125c
Total Reserved : 0x00000000000211fb
Bytes Per Sector : 512
Bytes Per Physical Sector : 512
Bytes Per Cluster : 4096
Bytes Per FileRecord Segment : 1024
Clusters Per FileRecord Segment : 0
Mft Valid Data Length : 0x0000000038700000
Mft Start Lcn : 0x00000000000c0000
Mft2 Start Lcn : 0x0000000000000002
Mft Zone Start : 0x0000000003b72380
Mft Zone End : 0x0000000003b7db80
Max Device Trim Extent Count : 256
Max Device Trim Byte Count : 0xffffffff
Max Volume Trim Extent Count : 62
Max Volume Trim Byte Count : 0x40000000
Resource Manager Identifier : D274D079-9AA3-11E5-BC9B-E1F56070F275

• @haitch Mine says 4096 is that what I want?

• @newsense2004 No, you want 65536. If the drive is already plotted though, I don't know if I'd replot - 64KB is optimal, but replotting may not be worth the time the drive is not available for mining. Future drives though, format as 64KB

• @haitch Not what I wanted to hear but better to learn now so thank you. Once I get a lot bigger I can probably replot one at a time without anyone caring especially if I get a second plotter and replot while plotting a new drive.

• @haitch thanks for the info.... i guess the next question how on earth do you go from 1 external hard drive to 24 :) ... i used to a laptop with a single usd storage device.... wouldnt have a clue how to set up a system with more than that

• @johnm I don't use externals, but to do a large number of external USB drives, you need USB Hubs - I believe the max recommended drive per hub is 4 drives. You'll also need PCI-E to USB 3.0 add in cards - and make sure that the card has a separate controller per port, not one controller for all ports.

• @haitch just started plotting 1 file on my 8TB with 2 cores so I can continue working. Is there a way to determine how long it will take based on the numbers it's cranking thru?

• @mrgoldy At around 14K nonce/min for plotting speed - it'll take about 2 days.

• @haitch Ouch! I'm at 3500nonces/min, I think I'll quit the process and start again at 3 or 4 cores.
Can you change the amount of cores while it's in process? Say I want to run 8 cores at night, and then when I start work, take it down to 3 or 4 cores.