Gold BitcoinSo you’ve heard of Bitcoin and you’d like to try this whole mining thing out but aren’t sure where to start. Well this guide is designed to get absolute beginners mining Bitcoin. You’ll need a desktop computer with a decent GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), preferably one by Radeon. You’ll also need to have a Bitcoin wallet set up. If you don’t yet have a Bitcoin wallet I suggest reading our Getting Started With Bitcoin post . It goes over the basics of Bitcoin and how to set up a wallet. Let’s get started.

Mining Basics

Mining is the process of using your computer’s processing power to process  transactions for the Bitcoin network. By allowing your computer to do a certain amount of cryptographic work you are rewarded with some Bitcoin.

Originally Bitcoin miners just used their computer’s CPUs (Central Processing Unit) like an intel i7 to do this work. Eventually a few users figured out how to get much better results by using GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) by installing some special software. Most users now mine in pools as the chance of finding a Bitcoin block (A group of 25 coins) is very low for most casual miners.

There have been some hardware progressions over the last year in Bitcoin mining that are beginning to make GPU mining less profitable in terms of the amount of Bitcoin earned from GPU mining. However, GPU mining is still considered profitable and may remain so for a little bit still. The first new hardware to be used were FPGAs which used less energy than GPUs. However, the biggest improvement has come with the development of ASICs for Bitcoin. Our Bitcoin ASIC Roundup gives a brief introduction to ASICs if you’re interested.

To mine Bitcoin you’ll need to download some specialized software. This tutorial covers a program called GUI miner used on Windows 7 and 8. We’ll also show you how to sign up for a mining pool in order to get a steady payout for your contributions.

Mining pools came about after the difficulty in Bitcoin mining became very high. Today mining pools allow groups of users to pool their mining resources making it more likely that the group, and thus the individual,  finds a block. The mining pool will then pay each miner a portion of that block corresponding to how much they had contributed (There are multiple ways of calculating this).

Downloading GUI Miner

GUI miner is a basic Bitcoin mining program that also works well for beginners. Unlike many of the other miners available, it has a front end (GUI – Graphic User Interface). There are more advanced mining programs but they often require users to be acquainted with the command line so we won’t cover them here.

The link below is the Github download for GUIminer for Windows. For other versions and operating systems check this bitcointalk thread.

Github Download For GUI Miner

After you’ve downloaded this program you’ll need to create an account at a mining pool. At this point there are a lot of different pools out there many with different upsides and downsides. I’m going to cover mining with Slush’s Pool ( for this tutorial as it is one of the longer running and bigger pools. With larger pools you’ll see payouts more often than with smaller pools. There is a full list of Bitcoin mining pools in this BitcoinTalk thread.

Slush’s Pool Mining Page

Slush's Pool

Once you’re at Slush’s pool click on My Account and you’ll see two login fields. Below those fields is a Sign Up link, click that. You’ll need to create a username (Which can be publicly visible depending on your settigns), enter an email and choose a password. Once you’ve registered you’ll be brought to your account page. The information that you’ll need for your miner is on this page.

By default a worker name and password is created. Your worker name should be something like Username.worker1 and your password will be something randomly generated. If you’d like you can create a new worker and give it a different password.

Once you’ve sorted all that out with Slush’s pool you’ll need to start up GUI miner. Go to the folder that contains GUI miner and find the .exe file in it (it is an application file that has a Bitcoin logo next to it). Here you’ll need to enter your settings from Slush’s pool. Once it is up and running it should look something like the below screenshot.

GUI Miner Bitcoin


After you start GUI miner you should see a hash rate appear at the bottom right of the GUI miner window. 698.9 Mhash/s was the hash rate that my Radeon 7970 was putting out when I took this screenshot. Most GPUs will not be quite this high. At current difficulty I’m making about 5 bitcents or .05 BTC per day (approximately $4 USD).

Make sure that you enter your bitcoin address into your account with Slush’s Pool and set a withdrawl amount. Once you hit that threshold your coins will be sent to the Bitcoin address you specified.

Where To Go From Here

At this point you should be successfully mining Bitcoin, congratulations! However, there is a lot more that you can learn about mining and a few different ways to work on increasing your hash rate. For a good idea of how much Bitcoin you’ll make in a day use this basic Bitcoin mining calculator. If you’re interested in ASIC mining hardware check out this post on the ASICs that are currently in the works.

Disclaimer About Laptops

Mining on laptops can be a very bad idea. Laptops don’t have the cooling that desktops do which has resulted in the death of more than a few motherboards. If you have a desktop-like or gaming laptop they might work out better. However,  ultrabooks and laptops like MacBook Pros don’t have a way to dissipate that much heat and it can also harm some batteries.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you end up with any issues with this tutorial. If you run into problems leave a comment below or shoot me an email at CryptoJunky at zoho dot com and I’ll try and help you figure them out. Also, once you have a few Bitcents please consider donating something to the developer of GUI miner.

30 Responses to “Absolute Beginner’s Guide To GPU Mining Bitcoin”

  1. Richard Says:

    Following this(total newb here) I got confused at slushy’s about the big blank box that asks for a bitcoin address to send coins to. I do want to get paid and I did not know where to get this address

    Open your wallet (downloaded and set up from the Getting started page/link), select Receive Coins, it should have an address there, if not hit the New address button at the bottom and hit Copy Address, paste this to the BIG empty box on your account page at Slushy’s, and now you can get paid, sorta…

  2. Absolute Beginner's Guide To GPU Mining Bitcoin | Making use of Bitcoin and Lightcoin - digital virtual currency | Says:

    [...] However, the biggest improvement has come with the development of ASICs for Bitcoin. Our Bitcoin ASIC Roundup gives a brief introduction to ASICs if you're interested. To mine Bitcoin you'll need to download some …  [...]

  3. Ermenso Says:

    Hi,About bitcoin Plus, can we reiceve payout without client?I know that bitcoin wallet provided by instawallet doesn’t allow receiving payouts for generation!If I have to have bitcoin client install and entering my instawallet on website, I hope client will sent payout to a instawallet wallet without using wallets created by client?Regards

  4. FB Appo Says:

    Bitcoins are currency, Bitminter is probably the best software to Mine bitcoins


  5. FB Appo Says:

    50miner is my favorite way to mine for bitcoins


  6. horst Says:

    Mine BTC w/o own hardware – join now

  7. bitmineridiot Says:

    it is not as easy as you make it out to be.
    Interfaces bad, software even worse,no real in structions that are up to date.
    nothing works as it should

    litecoins get even worse.

    I have been ripped off by at least ONE site.
    software says I a generating 3.6 mh’s, yet mining site says I don’t and haven’t had jack squat. In otherwords guiminer says I have over 2000 [accepted with zero in ()'s],yet when I go to,it says I don’t have anything, and haven’t since I started, 2 weeks ago at 3.6mh’s. so where does it go? and YES, I do know my way around ANY computer,period.
    I have tried this miner and that miner until I am minered blue in the face. They all suck………..

    you guys try to make it sound easy,but it IS NOT!!!

    1) download software
    2) setupsoftware
    and 3) start mining.

    is the stupidest thing I have seen yet. Same with LTC.
    How stupid are these instructions?
    Try them and see.
    Bet you can’t get it on the 20th try. Much less the first.

  8. bitmineridiot Says:

    do you have bitcoin running at the same time as guiminer,or do you just run guimine (guiminer has BIG problems and is limited on what miners it will run).
    How do you know if it is running diablo, reaper, roc, cgminer poolminer or any other miner? Same with litecoin,.exe.
    MOST of the software is written in DOS or for DOS.
    I cannot fathom a dos program being better at number crunching than fortran (especially for number crunching) c or c++ or any “visual” language. so why it is all written for dos? Why does no one explain the parameters or the data on the screen?
    I had to ask “what about those words “Accepted 0 (0),just what do they mean.
    NO ONE SAYS!!!!!!!!!
    Hey, if you are going to put data on the screen, at least tell us idiots what the hell it means.!!!!! Otherwise it doesn’t mean a thing.

    why are there no sites that address problems with this software, and give REAL answers, instead of crap for answers.
    You see the same old questions time after time and no one gives a REAL response.
    go to USELESS!!!!
    go to ( It is useless for information.

    so why do they make it so hard to understand and use?

    I can tell you this.
    “I” will write the definitive book on this junk,so that idiots like me can read it, understand it, and make it work without all the jackcrap everyone has given me to help get this going.

    This has been going on for how long? without any kind of useful information and software being available?
    Then you get on some stupid forum that won’t let you ask questions of the admins or users who have gone through this several times, and know how to do it, the admin thinks all newbies are idiots. Yet, he was a newbie once,too?
    so what does he think he is?

  9. Andrew Says:

    I have a wallet (actually a few now, because – ahh I don’t know). I downloaded both GUIminer & 50Miner. I signed up at BitcoinCZ and BitMinter and on and on. I would not have signed up for more sites or downloaded more software if one of them seemed to work.
    I am frustrated with trying to mine. I am not a computer geek, (although I wish I was). I think I am an average user for my age (47). I am a Bitcoin newbie and it seems that being a newbie now means that I have come late to the game. Anyways, I am still interested in this Bitcoin revolution and like the idea of a government-less currency.
    Since I got so frustrated, I started going to these sites that give free bitcoins for simply putting your wallet in and proving you are a human with the work thing. I waste hours doing that, I realize that I will never get a Bitcoin that way. Yes, I have to admit I was trilled to see the bits of a Bitcoin actually arrive in my wallet, but one millionth of Bitcoin is not productive.
    I also sign up for BitcoinPlus the web based miner. It is easy and I saw small payouts, but 3-4 hours for a 0.0000024 pay is also not product (yet I haven’t given up). I still have it running, but the kicker is that BitcoinPlus minimum amount they will send to you is 0.01 BTC. So, wow it will take me a year to get any of my payouts. Its easy to use but, I think the site probable set the minimum to a level that would make the average interest party give up which means the payout are pure profit for Bitcoinplus. I have to say the site is very up front about everything, seems honest and all but it’s a long road to a Bitcoin.
    So, now I am back to wanting to get a miner working on my desktop or just buy the Bitcoin from an exchange. With the price wildly fluctuating from $ 90 to double that, It seems to crazy to buy (but I want to be a part of this currency revolution).
    I have an older computer, AMD Athlon 64×2 dual core 5200+ 2.71 GHz with a Nvidia Geforce 8600GT and running Window 7
    With GUIminer (the first miner I tried) I picked a pool (server: bitcoinpool) and put my wallet in it. The problem is that when I click the exe – it opens to the system tray. If I click on it in the system tray and choose restore the icon goes to my task bar. Right click left click open close all day but I never get to see the GUInter face, just the icon back and forth. So I had it with that.
    50miner opens and I logon on, but it won’t start – stating “connection error”.
    At this moment I have the BitMinter client running at ≈ 1.80 Mhps, should I just be happy with that?

  10. Klauss Says:

    Hello, i have to seal a 25 GH/s Bitcoin Miner for sale.
    I bought it from
    Price: 1500 USD.

    Size: 100.32 mm x 100.32 mm x 80.49 mm
    Processing Power: 25 GH/s (+/- 10% running variance)
    Power Consumption: Approximately 60 Watts.
    Included accessories: USB Cable and Power Cord.

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  12. abitminer Says:

    It would appear that your name really sums it up. If you don’t know what you are doing or aren’t capable of grasping the basics from the plethora of guides that are available then this-is-not-for-you!
    Just because a program is run from the command line does not mean that it is written for DOS. It just means it can be run from the command line.

    Either figure it out yourself and stop complaining on forums and in comments. This is a great guide for beginners and possibly… just maybe if you pulled your head out of your arse you’d be able to understand that.

  13. YoDude Says:

    My hash rate is only going from 1.1 to 6. somehing is that normal if not how do i increase it ?

  14. YoDude Says:

    CPU icore7 graphic is geforce GTX 670 MX when i turn it on graphik my hash rate is about 37

  15. jon Says:

    Hi, I’m a noob to bitcoin mining but followed instructions, i have my slush account sorted, guiminer installed, the latest driver for my GPU.

    but when i open guiminer the “device” box says no openCL

    how do i work round this?

    nforce 7800GT

  16. jon Says:

    its ok i’m mining :)

  17. mcbrokeasfuc Says:

    I have accepted shares on my gui miner but I don’t see them any where anyone know why ???? email me bhanrahan85@yahoo

  18. CrispyCritter Says:

    Relatively speaking, I’m a “bitminer n00b”, but I did manage to throw together a half-way decent mining rig in 1 day. I had started out with Win7 Ult. x32, but it was an old install, and I kept getting a generic “Hardware not recognized”, referring to leftover bits and pieces of old drivers hanging around in the registry.. even after running driver sweeper 2-3 times, nothing.. So I hosed the entire OS.. installed x64 ver. of Win7 Ult… worked like a charm.

    I popped in a Radeon HD6670 2GB ram… and I’m getting 91 – 112 Mhashes/sec.

    I did some research and found that AMD / ATi vid cards (if you’re using a normal desktop PC) are FAR superior to nvidia cards for mining. I’ve always preferred ATi cards for gaming over the years, so I suppose I lucked out a bit.

    For any other “complete newbies” out there, here are a few tips I’ve picked up from a great deal of research I’ve done (this is for all those Windows-based folks):

    1.) ATi/AMD > Nvidia. EVERY TIME.

    2.) With an ATi/AMD card, you mustn’t go any lower than the HD4xxx series, as anything lower is not OpenCL compatible. OpenCL is CRUCIAL to getting an even somewhat decent Hash rate.

    3.) For the LOVE OF GOD, use a decent password when setting up your wallet!! It is extremely easy to hack a short / memorable psswd, so make it as complex as possible — (substitute vowels for numbers, mix in capital Letters, etc.)

    4.) For whatever reason, the Radeon HD 5xxx series seems to be better at Hashing quickly than the newer ones. Dunno why. They just are. If you can find one on ebay / amazon used and in good condition, get one.

    ATM, I’m going to stick with one mining machine and see where that gets me after a few weeks. If I see a decent return for the computing time, I’ll re-invest my earned money into an HD5800 series. — I joined on Slush’s pool. It seems to be one of the biggest and most popular ones online. If anyone reading this post knows of any better-paying pools, please do let us all know!



  19. Junaid Says:

    After reading so much i still didn’t understand why we are mining are we doing to predict a equation if so than what value are we predicting it so much confusion here so any one point me to right direction

  20. kabos Says:

    Üdv kitűnő a leírás és ha igaz már gyűjtögetek.
    Lenne viszont kérdésem kérlek adj elérhetőséget (skyp, efektívebb), vagy imél.

    Előre is köszi

  21. dede Says:

    here people a new site to get bitcoin with sign up bonus of 0,10bitcoin.
    donations welcome

  22. wwzsocki Says:

    Hi guys I read all the posts here and I will tell you my honest opinion about Bitcoin. I startet watching closely bitcoin in 2010, I tryied mining with GPU CPU with OpenCl and no. All types of mining softwares I used (command line , scrypt ,+conf.file and so on) were not good (fast) enough together with my 2,7Ghz 2GB Ram 512 Radeon HD 7310 . In late 2011 the price was 5$ so I have mined only for electiicty bill not mention about my laptot which costs 450Euro and was overhit 24hours a day (now he turns off when I look films on flash all because mining) When I look back now I was wrong because today the price is 900$ – 1BTC and I have mined dailly about 0.1BTC so now it is 90$ day , wow!!!. Stop , Stop don’t run to computer and start mining software because you heard about 90$ a day . This is the secret about bitcoin and evrything : “You have to be in the right place in the right time”. I was and now I am angry that I stoped with minning evry time I look on the price chart. Today the difficulty of bitcoin minning is so high that with the same computer I had you could probably get 0.000001 a day. But don’t give up here I come with conclusion. If you will start minning Bitcoins today you have to get professional mine rig like ASIC and join a pool or if you have very good computer you can think about minning other currencies like Litecoin or Peercoin. The price of this currencies are growing (1Ltc – 31$) they are rarely new and difficulty is not high. I think there will be allways place for one or two more coins as a competition. FINALLY FOR ALL AVERAGE COMPUTER USERS who will take a part in Bitcoin revoulution . FUTURE IS IN CLOUD MINNING !!!. You need only a computer and internet connection. You don’t need nothing special (hardware , 50000Ram , 200core , etc.) Here I have to stop writing because I have to go, on the end I will give some links to free BTC , LTC sites ( best paying sites) , cloud minning , etc. I use this evry day because I think that BTC price goes up to 10000$ for 1BTC that’s why we have mBTc , uBTC.

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