Is it better to mine in a virtual machine or on the desktop?

I'm mining for Bitcoins and Litecoins, and am wondering how I can get the most hashes per second without altering my hardware. If it matters, I am on a laptop. I see a couple of choices, such as:

So far I have tried running GUI Miner while doing other stuff. This doesn't work out well and I end up with only 32khash/s. Which of the above is the most optimal for doing this, or is there an even better choice?

My Laptop Specs

System Information
       Machine name: SAMSUNG
   Operating System: Windows 8 64-bit (6.2, Build 9200) (9200.win8_gdr.130531-1504)
System Manufacturer: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
       System Model: 520U4C/520U4X
               BIOS: P03RAL
          Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3210M CPU @ 2.50GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.5GHz
             Memory: 8192MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 7894MB RAM
          Page File: 3598MB used, 5510MB available

Display Devices
          Card name: Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000
       Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
          Chip type: Intel(R) HD Graphics Family
           DAC type: Internal
        Device Type: Full Device
         Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_0166&SUBSYS_C682144D&REV_09
     Display Memory: 1664 MB
   Dedicated Memory: 32 MB
      Shared Memory: 1632 MB
       Current Mode: 1366 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)
       Monitor Name: Generic PnP Monitor
         Monitor Id: SEC0200
        Native Mode: 1366 x 768(p) (60.072Hz)
  • 1
    What hardware do you have to mine with? If it's not a high-end video card, there is no optimal way to mine. Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 1:43
  • It's not very high end, just your average laptop.
    – user6398
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 4:40
  • Oh, then there's no point. You're competing with people who have optimized hardware. Odds are, the power you use would cost you more than the value of the Bitcoins you mine. Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 6:41

2 Answers 2


You should consider mining alt coins period. At this point you missed out on the BTC mining boat with your hardware sometime around February 2012...You are looking at mining maybe .00001 btc per day. You would make more money selling lemonade on a corner for nickels. BUT if you get into Alts you may be able to mine somewhere on the realm of a few dozens to a few hundred coins per day in pools. Keep in mind that it is A LOT harder to get scrypt mining configured ESP if doing the GPU route. Seems like you maybe be able to scrape by with maybe GUIMINER (scrypt) edition. Alts could be sold at exchanges. I suggest that you at least investigate the exchanges 2 weeks or more before you anticipate selling coins as you will not know the ideal price or even the going rate price such that you could gain substantially as opposed to dumping your coin on the exchange the moment it is mined (stupid and losing your money 95 percent of the time if you dump them to sell immediately for btc)

  • So which alts would you recommend?
    – user6398
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 13:05
  • it was easy enough for me to do freicoin, zetacoin, and Terracoin. Two of those are currently sold on exchanges, and the 3rd one wasn't released too long ago so the difficulty is still low. Commented Aug 24, 2013 at 6:00
  • And these can convert to Bitcoins?
    – user6398
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 2:53
  • Yes - you can use an exchange such as cryptsy, coins-e, and mcxnow to trade these alts for btc Commented Aug 27, 2013 at 22:17

Without changing hardware, GPU mining is almost certainly the "best" option. For BitCoin ASIC is the fastest, anything else is a waste of electricity at this point. For LiteCoin GPU is the fastest, and CPUs are around breakeven (electricity usage vs LiteCoin value).

Keep in mind that LiteCoin is inherently about 1000x slower than BitCoin mining. Getting 32kh/s out of a laptop GPU is doing reasonably well (my work laptop does the same). That same GPU can get almost 30Mhps mining BitCoin.

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