What is Digital mining?
Digital mining is a lot like a giant lottery where you compete with your mining hardware with everyone on the network to earn Digitals. Faster Digital mining hardware is able to attempt more tries per second to win this lottery while the Digital network itself adjusts roughly every two weeks to keep the rate of finding a winning block hash to every ten minutes. In the big picture, Digital mining secures transactions that are recorded in Digital’s public ledger, the block chain. By conducting a random lottery where electricity and specialized equipment are the price of admission, the cost to disrupt the Digital network scales with the amount of hashing power that is being spent by all mining participants.
Fortunately, while mining, a computer is perfectly usable: you can use your daily personal computer to full-time mine and you won’t notice any differences in your experience. The GPU is usually not used (below 15% of usage) under typical “office” kind of use (surfing the web, watching YouTube videos or movies) and dedicating the GPU power to mining won’t slow the machine down or lag it up on you. As long as you don’t start a modern 3D game you probably won’t notice any differences while working on the computer. You can even start or stop mining at any time without losing any of your progress, so part-time or “during sleep time” mining is profitable as well.
If you want to build a system especially for mining you’ll start wondering how to fit more than 2 graphics cards in it. Well, graphics cards can also be inserted in the little PCI-E slots, but these slots have to be open on the right side (if not you can cut the slot border off to make it fit but you’ll definitely void your motherboard’s warranty) or you can buy PCI-E risers (flex ribbon cables to extend the slot) and adapters (to transform PCI to PCI-E) to fit 4, 5 or even 6 mining cards on a single motherboard.
MEMORY: 1GB is good enough. It does not matter what speed, timings it has or if it is DDR, DDR2 or DDR3 type of memory.
HARD DISK: any ATA SATA bigger than 30GB will do.
POWER SUPPLY: it should be a good quality power supply which meets the graphics card/s minimum requirements. The system will be under heavy load at all times, so be reasonable with it.
INTERNET CONNECTION: it does not matter how fast it is. Mining uses very low bandwidth (less than 10 KB per 5 seconds), it just has to be stable.
GRAPHICS CARD: as explained before, the graphics card is the most important factor for mining.
Among graphics cards, the most cost effective at the moment is the AMD Radeon HD 5XXX and HD 6XXX series. AMD GPUs are much faster than Nvidia GPUs in Digital mining because AMD GPUs by design have more ALU’s (Arithmetic/Logic Units) which are the ones used in these types of calculations (a more detailed explanation can be found here)
As you can see, any of the AMD HD5XXX or HD6XXX graphic cards perform very well, being the HD5830 and HD5850 the best bang for the buck. Investing in one of them is a good choice. Remember, time is money: you’ll probably recover the invested money in less than two weeks, plus you get the graphics card! A little gaming here and there won’t hurt :).