Pool vs. solo mining
Why You Are Here
You are most likely here because you have been asking questions on #bitcoin-mining
What this topic discusses
The purpose of this page is to explain what the differences between pooled mining and solo mining. This Topic will give pros and cons of each, and explain at what point you would want to switch from one to the other.
What is Pooled Mining?
Pooled mining "pools" all of the resources of the clients in that pool to generate the solution to a given block. When the pool solves a block, the 50 BTC generated by that block's solution is split and distributed between the pools participants.
This means that you get "steady" payouts over time (ie 0.01 BTC per block that the pool solves, and the pool solves blocks ~30 min)
What is Solo Mining?
Solo mining means that you pool all of your resources into a private pool. When YOU solve a block YOU get 50 BTC.
This means that you get "unsteady" payouts over time (ie 50 BTC per block that you solve, and you solve blocks ~X days)
Someone needs to fill this. Say something about Pooled mining has % taken by the pool, and solo has uncertainty and unless you have 5Ghash/s or better you get payouts every 90 days or so.