What Is a DAG File?
This is an ordinary question of the Ethash algorithm miners. We’ve already explained what a DAG is in our post When Will My Graphics Card Stop Mining Ether?
In simple words, Ethereum mining requires a big file called DAG to be loaded to your mining GPU every time you mine. If you have multiple-GPU setup all of your GPU’s need to load this file. Without DAG loading Ethash mining doesn’t work. This is a basic principle.
DAG file constantly increases. 2GB GPU’s have stopped mining Ethereum at the end of the 2016 year. 3GB GPU’s have stopped mining Ethereum at the end of the 2018 year. This year (2020) 4GB GPU’s have begun to refuse ETH/ETC mining. However, don’t be scared. We got a solution for you.
Setting Up The Phoenix Miner
Phoenix Miner being the most robust and simple Ethash mining software is included in our Quick Start archive. Archive password: 2miners
Quick start archive could be found on the How to Start page of every coin which is presented on 2Miners pool.
Phoenix Miner has a special parameter -rvram. It sets the amount of reserved GPU memory which could not be used for mining purposes. The default value of this reserved RAM is 384 MB on Windows OS and just 128 MB on Linux OS. In order to make your GPU mine Ethereum longer, we need to disable this memory allocation. To do so set the -rvram option to 1.
Add -rvram 1 to your Phoenix Miner bat file.
Miners from our Telegram chat also recommend for Windows OS installing 20.4.2 AMD driver and AMD-Compute-Switcher tool.
Setting Up The Claymore’s Miner
One of the most popular and famous Ethash mining software for both AMD and NVIDIA GPU’s is Claymore’s.
Claymore’s miner has a so-called -eres parameter. This option allocates GPU memory in advance for a number of epochs. For example if eres is set to 2 the mining software will allocate the memory enough for mining this epoch, and the next two epochs. After that, the miner will need to re-allocate the memory again. Each memory allocation procedure requires some time so powerful GPU’s with high amount of memory could use high eres values. For GPU’s with a low amount of memory you should do the exact opposite action – set the eres parameter to zero and don’t let your GPU’s to allocate more memory than required at the moment.
Add -eres 0 to your Claymore’s Miner bat file.
Unfortunately, Claymore’s miner is not operating on Windows with 4GB GPU’s anymore. Try PhoenixMiner or Linux OS.
Reconfigure Your Mining Rig
If your mining rig is built of different GPU’s, most likely some of them have more memory than others. Place the more advanced graphics card (with more memory) at the first x16 PCIe slot which is also called zero slot. For example, if you have 6 GPU’s with 4GB memory and 2 GPU’s with 8GB memory let one of the 8GB GPU’s be GPU0, place it to the zero slot. You could find the picture of the ASUS Z270-P motherboard below as an example.
Place 8GB/16GB GPU to GPU0 slot.
Switch From Windows To Linux
It is a known fact that Windows OS allocates more GPU memory than Linux OS. If you want to mine using 4GB graphics card the OS selection could play a critical role. Both Phoenix and Claymore’s miners are available for Linux. We do highly recommend you using one of the specially-built Linux distros such as HiveOS or SimpleMining OS. They provide the easy-to-use interface for mining. HiveOS has preconfigured setup files called “Flight Sheets” for all the 2Miners pools.
Use Linux OS.
When Will 4GB GPU Stop Mining Ethereum?
Even if you do everything as we told 4GB GPU’s will stop mining Ethereum and Ethereum Classic someday. When exactly should this happen?
We expect 4GB GPU’s to stop mining Ethash coins on 375 epoch approximately (depending on your rig configuration and mining software).
It takes 30 000 blocks to change each epoch so 375 epoch starts on block 11 250 000.
The current network block height could be found on the main pool page for both Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
Ethereum is now on block 9 871 779
11 250 000 – 9 871 779 = 1 378 221 (blocks left)
1 378 221 x 13s = 17 916 873s (average block time is 13s)
17 916 873 / 60 / 60 / 24 = 207 days to go
If we do the same calculation for Ethereum Classic which is now on block 10 187 286, we’ll find that 4GB card should stop mining ETC even earlier – in just 160 days.
4GB GPU’s will stop mining Ethereum in January 2021, Ethereum Classic in September 2020.
My GPU’s No Longer Mine ETH, What Should I Do?
If your GPU’s have already stopped mining Ethereum we still have a solution for you. Other Ethash coins such as CLO, ETP, PIRL, EXP have much lower mining epochs so their DAG file is much smaller. You could still mine these coins.
If you have NVIDIA GPU’s you are luckier than AMD owners. NVIDIA mining rigs are usually more flexible and they could mine different mining algorithms. However even AMD rigs with latest lolMiner mining software are powerful enough.
Check the 2CryptoCalc mining calculator to find the most profitable coins to mine for your GPU’s. The most popular Ethereum alternatives for GPU mining are Ravencoin, Zcoin, Bitcoin Gold.