Currently I'm using 1 r9 380 card with 20 MH. I've only been mining for 3 days straight (72hours). I used the Mining Calculators from Etherscan and Cryptocompare. While these sites calculate it will take me approximately 1 month to solve a block for 5 Ether on this single card, with the exponential rate of difficulty increasing is it futile to mine solo? Should I just jump into the adult swim (mining pool) for at minimum some payout in finney? Or should I expect some finney payout in my 20 mh solo mining efforts at least once a week if not daily?

Basically I'll never see a single amount in my wallet , not even a penny ('finney') because the pools collectively out pace a 20 mh card (or even a 45mh rate for that matter if I added crossfire).

To answer my question please also include the 'reward' process for solo mining. These calculators are not descriptive enough and I have yet to find a Q&A to this delimma.

  • You don't need crossfire to mine on 2 cards. Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 16:20

3 Answers 3


short answer too, that will take the exact opposite stance as @nicolas-massart ;)

in the long run you'll be always better off mining solo, ever because you get uncles and pay no fees

pool mining reduces your variance, period.

this reddit post is quite interesting, it's basically @vitalik-buterin asking as to why people mine in pools.

It's not true for all pools but most of them don't pay you uncles : that substracts to your gains. It's almost true for all pools, there is a fee that substracts to your gains too

  • This reddit post is full of useful information and documented with tacit knowledge. Every novice should read this for sure.
    – 01infiniti
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 17:06
  • Yes but this is not very clear if pool or solo wins... except for decentralization (but I guess most miners are mining for money before any other reason). Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 7:38

Short answer : don't try to solo mine with less than 100MH/s[1]. You will almost never get reward as, during the time you will spend mining, the difficulty raise will lower your luck of mining a block so much that you will finally never mine one.

[1]: note this value gets higher as the time passes.


It's very easy to calculate reward probability with a little information. What is the Network's Global hashrate, Blocks/day, and your percentage of the global hashrate. Because of the law of averages and luck involved in hashing algorithms, your variance in hitting a block time-wise will average out over the higher amount of set data.

Simply divide your hash power by the global, multiply that by the average blocks per day times block reward (e.g. Ether 5, Zcash 12.5) to find your maximum pool reward per day. Ether is supposed to average 20 secs per block or 4320 blocks (21,600Ether) per day, but this will have variance. at 20MH to 100TH, you represent 0.0000002 (.00002%). So if you joined a pool earning 100% of the blocks you would make .00432 ($1.30@$300/ether) Ether per day, assuming accurate share reporting. Pools vary at block earning ability so do the exact same calculation using the pools stats instead of the network and you can estimate your earnings per day.

As for solo-mining, use a similar line of thinking. If you expect .0000002 out of 4320 blocks per day that is .000864 blocks per day it would take 1157 days before you should expect to have mined 1 block (coinwarz at 20MH calculated 1341 days.)

That being said, you should keep in mind that every block that gets rewarded is pretty random. The pools are filled with ppl runing all range of hashrates. Think of it this way, imagine a giant pile of lottery tickets and everyone one in the network is furiously digging through the pile to find the matching ticket. It's guaranteed there will be 1 or 2 winning tickets per round. Now, what are ppl using to hash with? 1 Gpu, multiple Gpus, or multiple systems etc. Say someone is hashing 100MH with 5 GPUs identical to yours in 1 system. Each GPU is getting the job from the miner and attempting to find the winning ticket. This person can throw away 5 tickets every time you throw away 1, so they are 5 times more likely to find the right ticket. But each ticket has the sames odds! Meaning they have 5 equal tickets to your 1, not 1 ticket with a 5 times higher chance of winning. Does the distinction make sense?

Anyway, you might consider looking into new and upcoming coins. The dollar per day earnings can be higher with a cheap currency. You could pool or solo mine many coins with lower market caps and come out better than with Ether. And it is easy to trade through the exchanges like bittrex.

Hope this helps.

  • It's always good answer others questions, but make sure to format it nicely making it more readable. You may look here :) Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 10:31

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