Mining cryptocurrency is not free money. You are trading your mining hardware’s rx 580 ethereum mining hashrate for some currency and contributing to the network.
It is also highly speculative and the exchange rates are volatile. You could achieve a return on investment in 90 days, a year, or never. Being smart with your purchases and not blindly purchasing “good mining cards” is the biggest protective measure. Personally, I mine because I like the idea of decentralized currency and being involved in such a big financial revolution. If I make money that’s nice too. Windows 7, not a performance-maximizing guide.
Also if you plan on having more than 4 cards per motherboard Linux is a much better choice, as Windows starts to have issues with PCIe slot order and other shenanigans that go down you definitely don’t want to deal with. Windows for what you do then this is a good option too. You can use advanced flags for Claymore’s Dual Miner to specify which cards to mine on and leave one for daily use. With all that said, mining on Windows 7 is completely achievable and serves as a great introduction to mining especially for small scale setups, so don’t let me deter you and let’s get started! Windows 7 and the drivers for your graphics cards.
Make sure to install CUDA if you are using NVIDIA cards. The hardware that will be doing the hashing is graphics cards. The AMD 470,480,570, and 580 are the currently most popular at the time I’m writing this. As AMD prepares to launch Vega GPUs the price of 470s and 480s dropped dramatically just as Ethereum is gaining major traction, creating a perfect opportunity to mine with these cards. Other cards’ mining stats can be found with some quick googling, but beware that Windows doesn’t play nice with all cards, and especially Windows 10 which is why W7 is used in this tutorial. To squeeze out maximum performance download a performance software for overclocking your cards. I chose MSI Afterburner for this tutorial.