Official_Litecoin_LogoOver the past year Litecoin has solidified its place alongside Bitcoin as a viable digital currency. Accompanying increasing prices has been a deluge of new miners hoping to help run the Litecoin network and earn some coins. Traditionally Litecoin mining has been more efficient with Radeon GPUs, but recent improvements in mining software for NVIDIA cards has significantly increased their efficiency. No longer is cryptocurrency mining with graphics cards the sole territory of AMD/ATI/Radeon. So for all you NVIDIA card owners, here’s your guide to mining Litecoin with NVIDIA graphics cards on Windows as well as a brief overview of cryptocurrency mining.

If you’re brand new to Litecoin and don’t yet have a Litecoin wallet I’d suggest checking out our guide to Getting Started With Litecoin. It provides an overview of Litecoin and a guide to setting up a wallet. Also note that the following guide and mining software is compatible with other Scrypt based cryptocurrencies such as Feathercoin, Dogecoin and Worldcoin.

If you want to get started as quickly as possible with mining then skip ahead to the Installing GUI Miner Scrypt section.

Mining Basics

Litecoin mining is the process of using your computer’s resources in order to help run the Litecoin network. Like most cryptocurrencies, Litecoin is initially distributed through block rewards, where miner’s get a certain number of Litecoins by solving a certain amount of cryptographic work.

Originally mining could be done individually, referred to as solo mining. However, over time it became too difficult to do individually as the probability of finding a block solo mining became very low. This led groups of miners to develop what is referred to as pool mining. Today nearly all miners use pool mining, where they mine in groups resulting in steadier payouts.

Evolution of Cryptocurrency Mining

Originally Bitcoin was mined solely by CPUs (Central Processing Units). The original Bitcoin client included a CPU miner that beginners could use to solo mine. Eventually programs were developed that allowed users to mine with their computer’s GPUs (Graphics Processingi Units). GPUs offered much faster speeds than CPUs. Following GPU mining came the development of specialized hardware such as FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) and ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits).

Litecoin’s original design was intended to prevent GPU mining and did so by using the memory intensive Scrypt hashing algorithm as opposed to the SHA-256 algorithm used by Bitcoin. Eventually mining programs were developed for GPU mining Litecoin, though the difference between CPU mining and GPU mining remained smaller with Litecoin than it had been with Bitcoin. While there is at least one company that has announced they’re developing specialized mining hardware for Litecoin, no one has actually demonstrated a working product yet. Today Litecoin mining is dominated by GPU mining rigs and has recently become a more profitable endeavor than Bitcoin mining.

Until recently GPU mining with NVIDIA graphics cards was much less efficient than mining with AMD/Radeon graphics cards. However, a recent rewrite of some of the software involved with NVIDIA mining has lessened the gap. While Radeon cards still offer higher hash rates, NVIDIA cards are generally easier to tune. If you’re looking to build a fast, high end mining rig then Radeon is still the way to go. If you already have a decent NVIDIA card then the following guide will help you get started mining Litecoin.

GUI Miner Scrypt Versus CUDA Miner

This tutorial covers two mining programs. CUDA Miner is a command line program, meaning you have to use the command line in windows to run it. GUIMiner Scypt has a graphical user interface that runs CUDA Miner for you, which is easier for many people. I’ll be covering GUI Miner Scrypt first, though CUDA Miner is covered later.

If you’re comfortable with the windows command line I suggest you use CUDA Miner. GUI Miner Scrypt currently does not output your hash rate, or mining speed, due to a small programming issue. Thus you’ll get more feedback, and it will be easier to debug, if you use CUDA Miner. The latest version of CUDA Miner is also considerably faster than the latest version of GUI Miner Scrypt.

Installing GUIMiner-Scrypt 

You’ll need to download a couple of things in order to start mining Litecoin with your Nvidia GPU. For this portion of the tutorial we’ll be focusing on GUIMiner Scrypt, though you’ll need the same programs for CUDA Miner. In order for GUIMiner Scrypt to function correctly you’ll need to update your drivers directly from NVIDIA. If you’re looking to build CUDA Miner from source you’ll need the developer’s toolkit listed below.

NVIDIA Graphics Card Drivers (Mandatory)

NVIDIA CUDA Developer’s Toolkit (Optional)

Once you have the latest drivers downloaded and installed then go ahead and download GUIMiner Scrypt from Mega at the the link below (See this Bitcointalk thread for further details on GUIMiner Scrypt or to donate to its developer, TacoTime).

Download GUIMiner Scrypt From Mega V0.04

GUIMINER_SCRYPT_SCREENSHOT

Joining A Pool

Once you’ve downloaded GUI Miner Scrypt you’ll have to set up an account at a mining pool. For this tutorial I’ll be using WeMineLTC.com, a prominent Litecoin mining pool which incorporates several modern pool mining features and has several servers located worldwide. We’ll also be using their mining proxy program, which makes it a bit easier to setup your mining program.

WeMineLTC Registration Page

Make sure to record you login credentials or choose something you can easily remember. You’ll need them to manage your account and to receive the Litecoin that you mine.

WeMineLTC_Registration

Once you’ve created and recorded your account you’ll need to setup a worker by navigating to My Account -> My Workers. You can setup multiple works for multiple miners, but for this tutorial you’ll just need one.

WeMineLTC_workers

 

You’ll also need to download their proxy program, which makes setup a bit easier and can make mining slightly more reliable and efficient for you. Download stratum_proxy.exe from the link below or from this page on WeMineLTC.com.

Download stratum_proxy.exe – WeMineLTC.com (Mandatory)

Start Mining

First off go ahead and double click on stratum_proxy.exe in order to get it running, you should see something like the below window pop up.

proxy_startup

Once the proxy is up and running then you can open up GUI Miner Scrypt. You’ll need to setup your new worker, so go to File -> New Miner -> New CUDA Miner (Must be CUDA miner, other programs are not optimized for NVIDIA). Then just input the settings for you worker that you set up at WeMineLTC.com, it should look similar to the below screenshot.

GUIMiner-Scrypt-Nvidia

Once you have everything setup save your settings and then click Start. Because of a small issue, GUI Miner Scrypt will just continually say Starting in the bottom right hand corner. However, checking the proxy program should show you some activity. If you see activity similar to the below screenshot you should be good to go and hashing.

stratum_proxy

Note you can also check your hashrate at WeMineLTC.com via their web interface, though it can take up to 20 minutes to update and is an average over time, not exactly what speed you’re at at that moment. If you want better stats then I suggest trying out CUDA Miner from the command line, covered below.

CUDAMiner

CUDA Miner is the command line program used for Litecoin mining with NVIDIA graphics cards. Since it is a command line program it’s not quite as beginner friendly. It works essentially the same as GUI Miner Scrypt but requires that you setup a configuration file or pass some arguments to it when it first starts. If this isn’t something you’re comfortable with then I suggest you stick to GUI Miner Scrypt. Otherwise you can download the most recent version of CUDA Miner from the link below.

CUDA Miner Bitcointalk Thread

Download CUDA Miner From MEGA (Mandatory)

You’ll need to open up a command prompt and navigate to the folder containing CUDA Miner. Once in the folder with the version of CUDA Miner you need for your platform (x86 or x64), then run the following command, filling in your worker details.

cudaminer.exe -o http://127.0.0.1:8332 -u Username.Workername -p password

Here are my worker credentials for example

cudaminer.exe -o http://127.0.0.1:8332 -y CryptoJunky.NVIDIA -p 12345

Once you’re up and running you should see something like the below screenshot.

CUDAMIner-CryptoJunky

Speed

Mining speed is measured in number of hashes per second. For Litecoin mining, the most commonly used abbreviation is kh/s for kilohashes per second. You can check LitecoinMiningCalculator.com to get an idea of how many Litecoin you’ll be earning based off of your hash rate.

The newest version of CUDA Miner hashes considerably faster than the older version. At the moment, the newest version of GUI Miner Scrypt uses the older version of CUDA Miner. For instance, using a EVGA GEFORCE GTX 660 for this tutorial, I managed to get around 127 kh/s with GUI Miner Scrypt, and about 174 kh/s using the most recent version of CUDA Miner.

If you’re looking to get the fastest possible speed, try out the latest version of CUDA Miner or make sure to update GUIMiner Scrypt once a new version is available.

Where To Go From Here

One thing we didn’t cover earlier is that using the proxy program is not mandatory. You can connect to most pools directly by using a url they provide instead of a proxy and 127.0.0.1. Just follow the instructions your pool provides you for worker settings.

At this point you should be mining Litecoin, congratulations! Once you get a little more comfortable with mining and cryptocurrencies in general you might take a look at Dustcoin or Coinwarz. These sites help to show which cryptocurrencies are the most profitable to mine at any given time.

If you’re interested in adding GPUs you should check out the Litecoin Mining Hardware Comparison page in the Litecoin wiki. If you’re looking at building a high end GPU mining rig check out CryptoBadger’s guide to building a litecoin mining rig. His guide describes how to build a linux machine on the cheap with maximum hash rates.

Laptop Disclaimer

Many high end gaming laptops come with decent graphics cards that are capable of mining cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin. However, there have been multiple cases of users burning out their CPU or melting their motherboard while trying to mine with a laptop. Laptops simply are too compact and do not have the means to dissipate all the heat created when constantly mining cryptocurrencies. Essentially the risk is not worth the reward and I’d strongly advise against mining with laptops. You’d be much better off to build a low-end GPU mining rig than to risk a nice laptop.

Welcome to the Litecoin network!

8633927328_cea4ddc847_o

 Questions, comments, and hash rates are always welcome in the comments! (Include a LTC address and you may even get tipped for providing good advice!)

37 Responses to “Beginner’s Guide To Litecoin Mining With NVIDIA Graphics Cards”

  1. eduardo Says:

    hello,
    what is the host and port that I should use?

  2. CryptoJunky Says:

    Assuming that you’re running the proxy you’ll want to use 127.0.0.1 for the host and port 8332. If you are using a different mining then the host will be the URL for the mining pool and the port will be specified by them, usually 3333 or 3334.

  3. Josh Says:

    hi
    I have a Laptop with NVIDIA GTX 760M and i really would like to mine. Is there a program for Laptop mining? Or can i do something else to stop my Motherboard or GPU melting?

  4. CryptoJunky Says:

    Josh,

    Your motherboard won’t necessarilly melt, it just has happened in a few rare cases before. There isn’t a program that I’m aware of soley oriented towards laptops. If you just want to try out mining and mine in moderation you should be alright. However, if you kept a laptop mining constantly for weeks on end then you’re going to have problems. Try mining and monitoring your GPU with a utility like Tech Power Up GPU-Z and keep any eye on the temperature, then go from there.

    -CryptoJunky

  5. ivan0Tron Says:

    when I try to run stratum_proxy.exe I get the message ” this software does not run on this machine ( I have windows 8 64 bit Pro edition ) this build has the Nvidia card that i want to try LTC mining with.

  6. Yello Says:

    Why is LTC mining so difficult? BTC mining you can setup in minutes. LTC mining is a timespending operation with too many steps.
    Now I understand why BTC mining is more popular.

  7. CryptoJunky Says:

    Yello,

    I would argue that Litecoin mining and Bitcoin mining are pretty similar in terms of difficulty getting started. There are some ASICs that are easy to setup and mine with these days, but many more that are difficult and require finding specific drivers, settings, etc.

  8. sean Says:

    This is the weirdest thing. I updated the nVIdia driver whilst cudaminer was running:

    It sudden skipped up to over 600khash

    However nothing was being accepted and I restarted cudaminer, back to 226khash

    Interesting all the same….

    [2014-01-09 21:39:35] accepted: 10/10 (100.00%), 209.82 khash/s (yay!!!)
    [2014-01-09 21:40:04] GPU #0: GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 6190464 hashes, 211.66 khash/s
    [2014-01-09 21:40:04] accepted: 11/11 (100.00%), 211.66 khash/s (yay!!!)
    [2014-01-09 21:40:49] GPU #0: GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 12700800 hashes, 281.51 khash/s
    [2014-01-09 21:41:03] Stratum detected new block
    [2014-01-09 21:41:03] GPU #0: GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 9265536 hashes, 672.24 khash/s
    [2014-01-09 21:42:03] GPU #0: GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 40336128 hashes, 671.71 khash/s
    [2014-01-09 21:42:29] Stratum detected new block
    [2014-01-09 21:42:29] GPU #0: GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 17566080 hashes, 671.02 khash/s
    [2014-01-09 21:42:44] Stratum detected new block
    [2014-01-09 21:42:44] GPU #0: GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 10534272 hashes, 671.01 khash/s
    [2014-01-09 21:43:44] GPU #0: GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 40260864 hashes, 671.07 khash/s
    [2014-01-09 21:43:45] Stratum detected new block
    [2014-01-09 21:43:45] GPU #0: GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 260736 hashes, 664.46 khash/s

  9. Annoyed Says:

    This tutorial is useless. Yello is right, bitcoin mining is far easier to set up. Litecoin mining is far too frustrating. the guiminer-scrypt download doesn’t even work properly, I have tried downloading it three times, it supposedly runs, because there is an icon in the system tray, but the program window never shows up on the desktop so I can’t change any settings. The one and only time I was able to get the program open properly to set it up it just gave me an error message and failed to mine.

  10. CryptoJunky Says:

    Annoyed,

    GUIMiner Scrypt is the only half-decent mining program I know of at the moment that somewhat works with CUDAMiner. If you have knowledge of the command line/terminal/bash I strong suggest trying the command line version of CUDA Miner on its own. It will be faster, work more smoothly, and generally give you more control over your miner(s).

    -CryptoJunky

  11. hockeytime Says:

    You have a rather bad typo in your 86x software: 127.0.0.1:9332

    I also can use the GUIminer interface.

  12. Crashnburn Says:

    Thanks for writing the article on using NVidia cards for mining. Here’s my story:

    I joined the above mining pool. I downloaded and started the stratum proxy.
    I updated my NVidia drivers to the latest version. When I tried to run cudaminer, I got a MSVCR100.dll missing error, so I downloaded the NVidia SDK, which didn’t help. What solved that problem was installing the Microsoft VC++ runtime library.

    I have a 4 core Intel Processor, running hyper threading. I have 9 GB of RAM. My video card is a EVGA NVidia 560 Ti.

    When I run
    cudaminer.exe -o http://127.0.0.1:8332 -u Crashnburn5590.NVIDIA -p 1
    with no tweaks, it mines at about 134Kh/s. and uses around 285 Watts.
    The mining pool seems to recognize my worker’s contribution.

    If I enable the K-Boost. it mines about 204.7 Kh/s and burns about 155 watts.
    However the mining pool doesn’t seem to recognize my worker’s contribution.

    I know the easy answer is don’t use K-Boost, but I don’t think its worth my while to mine at 134 Kh/s and burn 285 Watts to do it. Is there a way to get the pool to recognize my worker’s contribution when I’m using K-Boost?:

    (K-Boost is a tweak provided by EVGA’s Precision-X monitoring and control software)

    Thanks,

    Crashnburn

  13. justtineg Says:

    what max difficulty do you recommend? im using a gtx 760. im currently trying suggested difficulty @ 64 and max @ 192. is that okay or should i just revert to default?

  14. fusi Says:

    Thanks for this tutorial. Within 10min I was able to setup everything. My GTX660Ti delivers 220kH/s (online) or 263kH/s (guiminer). I know I won´t getting rich, but I lost interest in F@H and it works.

    Thanks from Berlin
    Fusi

  15. marc Says:

    When I try installing either the gui or command-line miner, cudaminder.exe gets flagged as a trojan.

    Given this is all crypto-stuff, I can imagine the possibility that’s a false alarm, but I haven’t found posts anywhere else suggesting other people were getting this specific issue, so I’m a bit concerned about a redirected link to a malicious program.

    Does anyone have any info about this?

    Thanks

  16. marc Says:

    Actually I dug around and it looks like this is common for mining software in general. Might help to include a note about that if you think it applies.

  17. MsM Says:

    I was so excited about mining and I read so many tutorials, but it appears NVidia Geforce GT 420 is way too old and crappy for this… I didn’t find it at litecoin.org’s mining hardware comparison chart at all. I’m not computer illiterate but I’m a real noob when it comes to stuff like this. Is there any way for me to mine litecoins without having to buy new hardware? (I’ve meant to for a while, though, because the GT420 is a piece of crap and doesn’t support all the games I’d like, but I’m broke right now.)

  18. MusicalSoulz Says:

    I use Nvidia. But going to switch to AMD for lite and bitcoin mining. Cause I think of it this way Nvidia is more gaming architecture and AMD is more programs like Photoshop and Sony Vegas. But not worth mining with Nvidia. So buy a $250 or more AMD Graphics card and you will be good to go. Plus bitcoin you have to build a spend more moneys for a massive rig while lite coin you get block like every to mins. Bitcoin more like every 2 hours.

  19. Frank Says:

    Dear Crypto , THANK you very much for this perfect tutorial . I have two loyal GTX 570 1gb each and I just have one question. The cards mine at half the rate using Stratum (110 khash against 230)

    However, noise and temperature are as never seen before. Do you think there is a risk for the cards or other components? If so I wouldn’t mind going back to the quiet 110 k.

    Thank you once again mate.

  20. mick Says:

    hi
    my problem is when i enter the command line for cudaminer in cmd.
    i get an error message bad worker credentials code -1
    i have tried nearly everything what did i do wrong btw my worker has a suffix .1 ????????????????????????????

  21. Colin Bowen Says:

    What if I don’t want to mine as part of a pool? Does this support solo mining please?

    I will give CudaMiner a go, although I am not proficient in command line. I guess I will need to send a different command (or just omit the -u and following text?) to solo mine. If I have problems, I will try GUIMiner.

    Thanks for the interesting and simple guide.

  22. asdafar Says:

    mine gui didnt start and i did everything as u say and its kept saying “startin” help me :(

  23. Max Says:

    Hello,
    I use CUDA-miner because GUIMiner does not work. But where to put in this command:
    “cudaminer.exe -o http://127.0.0.1:8332 -u Username.Workername -p password”
    ?

  24. Gilmore87 Says:

    This tutorial is great!!! I found another site with interesting info and the 0.5 built Alpha Tecnologies modified GUI miner, which is giving me 760 Kh/s on a 7970 (used to be 720 on cgminer 3.7.2).

    Check it out: http://stevenspilling.byethost13.com/

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  26. Roscoe Says:

    Hey ive set up my GTX 760 but im only getting 43KH/s with guiminer is there something ive done wrong? I left the diff settings as default

  27. toti Says:

    about the link to dl guiminer-scrypt in mega, my antivirus tells me it contains a troyan. better to downlad the bin from the official author/project page .

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