4

This question already has an answer here:

Is running a full node (mining) bandwidth heavy or is it hardware (GPU) heavy?

marked as duplicate by Nick Johnson, Tjaden Hess, Waqar Lim May 11 '16 at 22:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 2
  • Welcome to Ethereum Stack Exchange! It is preferred if you can post separate questions instead of combining your questions into one. That way, it helps the people answering your question and also others hunting for at least one of your questions. Also, This question will probably be closed as a duplicate soon. If the answers from the duplicates don't fully address your question please edit it to include why and flag this for re-opening. Thanks! – Waqar Lim May 11 '16 at 22:52
5

You might have a misconception here:

  • running a full node does not require mining and is only supporting the network without you getting any (monetary) reward. It has no high bandwidth requirements (runs on my private internet access and I can still stream movies etc) and almost no CPU or GPU requirements (unless you sync from scratch then it takes a bit of CPU power and bandwidth for the initial sync). You can run a node perfectly well on a Raspberry Pi or other micro computer: http://ethembedded.com/
  • mining is GPU intensive (not worth trying on CPU as you will not get meaningful financial rewards for it) but does not have much more bandwidth requirements than a full node. If you consider mining: keep in mind that Ethereum will change to proof of stake and mining will not be requierd anymore at some point (nobody knows exactly when, but it might be in half a year or a year or so), so your return-of-investment should not be longer than that.
3

Tl;tr

Pool mining doesn't require a full node. Mining is a computational heavy processes and its highly taxating on the GPU. Solo mining requires a full node, but you need to own a large hashpower to see a steady income stream from it. As of today, you need at least 5 modern GPUs to mine an ether a day.

Longer:

If you join a mining pool, then mining doesn't necessarily requires a full node. The mining pool runs a full node, or multiple for redundancy, and each time it receives a block it sends its header as a work package to its miners.

This system is not trust-less: miners within a pool have to trust the pool to provide a verified, authentic block. But there is a mutualistic economic relationship between pool and miners: if a pool doesn't provide authentic blocks, its miners will lose the reward and they will likely leave the pool, which will then lose the fees miners pay to stay within the pool. This is true as long as a pool has substantially less than 51% of the overall network hashrate.

Solo mining does require a full node for now, since it's on top the last block that you start mining: i.e, the hash of the last block header is an input of the mining process. Potentially, when light client support will come around, you will be able to mine on a light client.

The mining process is GPU intensive, and you can find more information on it's algorithm Ethash, here.

  • Thank you for clearing that up, @Marco_Giglio. Suppose I download and synchronize with the blockchain and I choose to mine; does that mean I am running a full node? I thought that was what that meant. – Daniel Roth May 11 '16 at 22:31
  • 1
    @DanielRoth Yes in that case it does, because as of right now Ethereum doesn't have light client support in its mayor nodes implementation. To mine for yourselves, i.e not in a pool, you need to use a full node and sync with the blockchain – Marco Giglio May 13 '16 at 13:04

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.