Mining Newcomer Questions

Hi everyone, as the title suggests, I am a complete newcomer to mining any type of coin. I have followed the rise and fall of Bitcoin over the last couple of years, and was close to getting involved with Litecoin when it just started but didn't have the time to learn the trade at the time. I recently heard about Zcash and it has got me interested again.

Most of the 'newbie' threads I have seen here and on other sites presume at least a basic grasp of graphics cards or seem to be people who are only looking for the next 'get rich quick scheme'. I fit outside both these categories in that I don't expect to get rich (I am generally interested as a hobby) and I don't have hardly any computer build experience!

So what I am really getting at is can someone please take the time out to answer my questions below or point me in the direction of some truly 'Newbie' guides that you might know of? I would really appreciate it is not me being lazy, I have spent hours and hours and I don't seem to be getting anywhere and it is turning me off the whole idea! So...

1) What OS?

I see there are miners for both, and I would expect most techies to favour Linux over Windows but is there any deciding factor over use preference? I was thinking of building a Linux machine as a hobby anyway before I learned of Zcash so I am leaning towards that at the moment? I am guessing the main advantage to Windows would be user friendly interfaces but this would come at a cost to flexibility?


I think I read somewhere that for some reason AMD cards seem better at mining, but I can't find that post/article now. Is that correct?

3) Presuming AMD, what card?

From what I can see, the Saphire RX470 or RX480 seem to be the most popular when mining. I am guessing this is coming from experience in mining ETH? What would I be looking at when comparing models such as these?

4) Presuming the RX470, 4gb or 8gb?

I would always expect more memory to be a good thing anyway, and I believe I read that mining ZEC would be memory intensive so I would choose the 8gb card?

5) No. of Cards

Is it correct that most motherboards can only handle a maximum of 6 cards? I was looking at buying 4 cards to start?

6) Clock Speeds & Drivers

This is where it started really going over my head. A lot of videos and screenshots seem to show a lot of fine tuning going off but with my lack of experience I can see my frying the board. Realistically, how much more could you safely get out of overclocking etc, say 10%? If so I will stick to factory settings.

7) CPU

How do you go about selecting a CPU, do you have to look at matching against specific graphics cards to optimise performance?

8) Mining & Solving

Now this may sound silly, but I have seen reference to both miners and solvers. Are these not the same things?

9) CPU & GPU

I have seen some people say that depending on the miner you are using, sometimes it might be better to just use your GPU's as using the CPU to mine at the same time could slow things down. Is this nonsense or is the only way to find out though trial and error?

10) Anything I have missed!?

I think that is pretty much all the questions I had, I think if someone could answer me on the above then I could go through any of the various tutorials in setting up wallets, running the miner and connecting to a pool etc. but genuinely I can't find anything that covers this entry level of detail for a newbie, and if I cam going to spend £1,500 on a rig/computer then I want to make sure that all the bits actually work when I put them together!

I appreciate this is really long winded and people are probably rolling their eyes but if someone were to respond then please accept my thanks in advance.


whichever you prefer, developments are changing almost every day

miners are quickly advancing... there is no telling which will acutally be the better mining card tomorrow

4G price/performance without quesiton

6 cards

for now getting a good 4 core is better IMHO

seems like total nonsense to me

Thank you for your response cryptomined its much appreciated.