DAG calculator: How to know the DAG size?

We have already presented the DAG in mining.

As a reminder, the DAG (Directed Acyclic Graphs) is a mathematical and computer construction allowing the creation of distributed systems and networks. The DAG is notably used by the Ravencoin cryptocurrency which works thanks to the Proof of Work system.

In the mining activity, the size of the DAG is crucial. It tells whether the GPUs used are powerful enough to mine this and that cryptocurrency.

In this article, we will find out how to calculate the DAG size with the help of a DAG calculator that we recommend.

Reminder on the definition of DAG

The DAG is a well-known construction in the mathematical and computer world. The study of this type of structure began in 1878 with the research on graphs by the English mathematician, James Joseph Sylvester.

In cryptomining, the DAG gives the technical possibility to build identical distributed systems, like those found in blockchain technology.

A DAG is a finite directed graph, without directed cycles. Its vertices (which can be compared to blocks in the blockchain) are connected by edges (like the hash) with a specific direction.

Moreover, the entire graph takes us from point A to point B, without the possibility of returning to point A in any case.

A blockchain is composed of information grouped by sets, cryptographically linked and ordered to a previous set. This relationship cannot be broken at any time in the blockchain without immediately replacing the following blocks. If the blockchain is modified, a fork is generated.

For the DAG, there is a relationship between vertices, a relationship given by the edges. If an edge is modified in the DAG, its relation is rewritten, generating a new DAG, and thus a different history.

Note that a DAG has an epoch. An epoch is a period of mining. For example, the epoch increases for every 60 000 blocks for Ethereum Classic.

When we talk about DAG, it is important for miners to know the current and future size of a DAG file. Indeed, a DAG file has a major impact on the speed of mining cryptocurrencies

What is the DAG size?

It all started with the Ethash algorithm, when Ethereum could be mined. The cryptocurrency required a dataset of about 1 GB, so the DAG file size was 1 GB.

However, the DAG file size did not stay at 1 GB and was increasing with each epoch, 30,000 blocks for Ethash. With these years of operation, Ethash increased its DAG file size, which made some GPUs obsolete for mining Ethereum.

The DAG size is actually the size of the DAG file. It is important to know that not all cryptocurrencies have the same DAG size, as they can be mined at different block heights.

Mining algorithms like Etchash (Ethereum Classic) or KawPow (Ravencoin) use the Proof of Work system which also uses a lot of memory to run.

Let’s go back to our file. The DAG file is located directly in the VRAM of a GPU. If this DAG file is larger than the memory of the GPU, then the GPU will become obsolete for mining cryptocurrencies.

Today, the current DAG file size for Ethereum Classic is about 3 GB. This means that it is possible to mine Ethereum Classic with GPUs with at least 3 GB of VRAM. 

A DAG calculator

The DAG size calendar offered by Minerstat allows you to know, depending on certain cryptocurrencies, the minimum number of VRAM that your GPU needs to mine this and that cryptocurrency. We can know this according to the number of epochs of each cryptocurrency.  

Let’s take an example.

For EthereumPoW, we see that a GPU with a minimum of 5 GB of VRAM is required to mine the EthereumPoW cryptocurrency. We are currently at about 15 million blocks mined in total for this cryptocurrency.

We also see that by April 2024, we will need a minimum of a 6GB VRAM GPU when we reach the 19,200,000th block, which is at the 640th epoch. 

Mining EthereumPoW will require a GPU of at least 6 GB in April 2024

To mine Ravencoin, you will need at least a 4GB VRAM GPU on July 9, 2023:

Mining Ravencoin will require at least a 4 GB GPU in July 2023

We can see that it is important to know the file size of the DAG. Without this, mining may be impossible due to outdated hardware.

The DAG is also an important element if you want to dual mine.

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