I dusted off an old i5 with 8gb of ram, installed Ubuntu 16.04 on it and installed zcash from the binaries with apt. I was validating about ~100,000 TXs per 10 minutes for a while just running zcashd in the foreground. According to the System Monitor, I was keeping 1/4 cores near 100% and frequently hitting 1MB/sec received on the network.
tromp or default, things seemed to work pretty well. I got a few segfaults and core dumps here and there. I installed the java GUI wallet and I saw the "Block Chain Synchronized" go from ~39% to 69% over the course of several minutes.
Now, zcashd hasn't crashed in a few hours. But, the CPU is barely getting hit at all. Instead of pegging a core, zcashd is not even taking 2% according to top.
According to the zcashd foreground report, I'm not even validating a TX a minute; according to the GUI, I've been stuck on 69% synchronized for hours.
The bottleneck seems to be the network. Instead of hitting 1MB/sec, I'm lucky to be getting 5KiB/s down and 100bytes/s up. Otherwise my networking speed on this computer is fine, 13 down, 5 up.
I've never mined any coins before; just experimenting. Is this normal? Is there something I could check from my end? How long should I expect it to take to synchronize the blockchain? When should I expect to have earned 0.00000001 ZEC with this setup?