Going back to the analogy of real-world mining, in cryptocurrency mining you can use different tools to find the gold, so-called mining software. Each mining software has evolved over the years, but some have developed more than others. The primary contenders for Ethereum mining are Claymore and Genoil.
Geth is the original software from the Ethereum team. If you wish to solo mine, this will be your best option. It’s simple and straightforward to use. It can also create your wallet for you, but as discussed below, you should get Mist/Ethereum Wallet as well if you prefer a GUI option.
MinerGate isn’t recommended if you plan to have dedicated mining rigs. If, however, you wish to mine on an existing computer as a hobby, or out of interest, it’s perfect.
While it does take a fee from your mining, it’s GUI is quick and simple to use and once install you can be mining instantaneously. It also has some challenges that encourage you to mine, and if you’re an absolute beginner, then the simplicity of this software will have you jumping for joy. If simplicity is something you prefer, then NiceHash is also a very solid option.
Genoil is a continually developing and very optimized miner for Ethereum. It runs smoothly, and you can get up and running with it very quickly. Personally, I’ve had a few issues with DAG generation, but a few tweaks quickly solved this. If you’re only planning on mining Ethereum, then Ethminer by Genoil is a strong contender.
Personally, I’ve found Claymore to be the strongest and best all round miner. It’s easy to set up, I’ve never had any issues with it, and it has a ton of added functionality (e.g. fan management), that I haven’t seen with other miners. It also has the bonus that it can mine two coins at once, which some people have found very useful to optimize their income. There have been reports of anywhere between 3 and 10 percent extra income.
For each operating system, I will give the setup instructions for the preferred miner.