BUYERS GUIDE - How to build your own GPU mining rig - What to buy!

mining
howto

#1

I know that this has been mentioned in many threads throughout our forum but I want to get specific with these mining topics. So let’s start with what you need to buy to build your own GPU mining rig.

I want to make this simple enough for people who haven’t built a computer before and are not familiar with what it takes to build a computer. Building a GPU mining rig is similar to building a computer. This is the first part of many threads to come. By the end, I hope that all of you will have the basic knowledge of how to build your own computer and mine cyrptocurrencies!

What do I need to buy to build my own GPU Mining Rig?

Open air Frame - Open air frames can be found all over the internet now. They range from wood structures, to acrylic, and even metal. You can even find YouTube videos on how to make one yourself. Some of these frames are even stackable which is really nice when you have limited space. An alternative to an open air frame structure is a wire frame rack that you can purchase at Home Depot. The small wire frame racks can house around 6 GPU mining rigs and cost only $50! An open air frame will set you back around $199 to $250 if you purchase one online.

*Note: Extra items are needed if you go with a small wire frame rack such as zip ties, plywood, and motherboard riser screws.

Motherboard -You won’t get far, if anyone, without a good motherboard. The motherboards I prefer over all other motherboards are the motherboards designed for gaming. There are motherboards that are designed for mining but they are also 3 times more expensive. Look for motherboards that have a total of 7 PCIe and PCI slots. The motherboard I recommend (again, I know there are others out there) is the ASUS Prime Z270-AR LGA 1151 ATX Intel Motherboard. I’ve seen people build out 10+ GPU mining rigs with these motherboards.

CPU - We have two brands of CPUs to choose from AMD and Intel. The AMD Ryzen 7 CPU is currently the best CPU to use for mining however its expensive. This is why I prefer to go with an Intel i3-7100. For mining, we don’t need a crazy good CPU. The CPU won’t be doing the mining, the GPUs will be doing the mining.

Hard drive - There are a few different kinds of hard drives we can choose from now. We have the classic HDD, the SSD, and now the M2. For mining, since I don’t require a super fast read/write, I go with the classic HDD. Typically a 1 TB hard drive is sufficient for mining. I believe that bitcoin’s blockchain size is around 130 GB currently. So a 1 TB hard drive is more than sufficient.

RAM - You are going to want to purchase 16GB of RAM. Typically this is 2 8GB sticks.

PCIe Risers - PCIe risers are used so that you don’t have to plug in your GPUs directly into the motherboard. Placing two GPUs next to each other, without PCIe risers, is impossible. Most motherboards have the PCI slots so close together that the GPUs we will be using nearly take up 2 spaces. PCIe Risers can be purchased on amazon and are generally inexpensive.

Power Supply (PSU) - THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! You should calculate for yourself what your power consumption is going to be for your rig. The power consumption of each brand of GPU is different based on its core clock and memory clock. Use this website, http://www.coolermaster.com/power-supply-calculator/. DO NOT think that if your calculation comes up with 1250 watts that a 1300 watt PSU will be sufficient. PSUs, generally, are not designed to run at 100% their rating. Depending on when you are in your budget, it may benefit you to go with a platinum or titanium rated PSU. Shop for PSUs that are full modular. Once you get into the 1500 watt PSU size, these all generally have enough PCIe, and Sata power slots. Keep in mind, you will need 1 PCIe power slot for each GPU and you can use 1 Sata power slot per 2 GPUs. DO NOT EXCEED 2 GPUS PER SATA POWER SUPPLY!

Operating System - If you are here reading this, you are probably not familiar with Linux. Go with Windows 10 64-bit Home. I know a lot of people believe that Windows 10 is not great for mining but for simplicity reasons I recommend starting with Windows 10. Be sure to get 64-bit or else it will not read all 16 GB of RAM.

Power Switch - You can purchase these on Amazon. Do a search for “Computer Power Switch” and you will get tons of results.

GPUs - Time for the money makers! There are dozens of brands and manufacturers in which we can save this discussion for another thread. For now you are going to want to do your homework on which GPUs you want to mine with. You are going to want to come Return on Investments (ROIs). You are going to want to look earnings after the ROI period. All of which I’m going to start another thread on and it’s going to be very interesting!

DVD-ROM - You’ll need a dvd-rom so that you can install Windows. Don’t get a bootleg version online to save $100.

I hope this gives you all an in depth view of what all you need to build your own mining rig. The recommendation I made are to build these rigs on a budget. You want to spend as little money as possible because the more you spend, the longer your ROI period is.

Can’t wait to hear what you guys have to say about this!


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#2

Great post. Thinking of setting up a couple of separate rigs / farms in southeast Asia with some friends. One in Hanoi and one in Borneo to take advantage of the cheaper electricity (though the require aircon in those climates will be a leveller). Looking forward to reading your views on GPUs. Was looking at GTX 1060 6GB GPUs but not settled yet. The guys in Hanoi are leaning towards Bitmain L3s though. That’s another kettle of fish though. Think I may have to talk them out of that.


#3

To go on the epic side, I saw this link which made me drool a bit http://www.zdnet.com/article/asus-unveils-cryptocurrency-mining-motherboard-that-supports-19-gpus/ I mean, one motherboard and NINETEEN GPUS!!! Upward facing Doge yo…


#4

This is exactly what I have been looking for. Much appreciated :+1::blush:


#5

@ImaginaryPi Dropping Knowedge bombs


#6

Deep Space Nine… YOOOO! :space_invader: :slight_smile:


#7

Thank you very much for the guide! Definitely a nice reference when I’m ready to build a rig of my own.


#8

#9

Tweeted that. Share it out guys! What a great article!


#10

DO NOT EXCEED 2 GPUS PER SATA POWER SUPPLY!

I needed this post last week! :slight_smile: I blew the fuse in my 1050W PSU with just 3 GPU’s.
And on the topic of power supplies, check your circuit breaker box for your home/apartment. If you don’t have at least 20A rated breakers, you’re going to have a hard time keeping the power on for 600W or more. I ended up running an extension cord to another outlet on another breaker to get my rig to stay powered on. I also have 10A breakers and waiting on electrician to come upgrade me.

Also, having blown the fuse in the 1050W, I ripped it open and found the fuse mighty difficult to replace. These days, they don’t house 'em in clips. They solder them right onto the board. So, be careful and don’t overload 'em or you’re definitely in for a hassle.

Lastly, I also learned that desktop PSU’s are not built to the same standards as server PSU’s. Server PSU’s are designed specifically for continuous high draw while desktop PSU’s are designed for maximum efficiency at about 40% to 50% of their max rating.

Here’s a question, why is no one using or recommending PCIe splitters? (see picture below)? Are they known to not work or kill performance in mining rigs?

image


#11

Great post- I was in the process of buying 5 gtx 1070s to put together a rig, but every order I tried got cancelled.

I heard someone there some whales are renting 747s to get gpus set up asap in the usa.I’d like some advice for if i should wait till the next gen gpus come out or for supply to come back online, or if I should accept the new higher prices…


#12

@eb3 I had the same problem…check out The Great GPU Hunt where I opened this topic. The long and short of it, I found great deals on eBay for AMD R9 390X and have been quite happy with these cards and got everything working under Ubuntu 16.0.4

Michael


#13

thanks so much for the reply


#14

I haven’t seen many of these 4 way splitters being used. I’ve seen 2 way splitters.

GUYS PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH ELECTRICITY!

@mwlang You mentioned running extension cords, this is TEMPORARY! Do not use extension cords long term, ESPECIALLY for mining. They are no designed to carry that much load continuously.

My next topic is going to be on electricity. There are other topics I want to cover but I think that this is probably one of the most important topics to cover. Even if you get everything else built right, if you cut corners on the electricity, you are looking to BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!


#15

Luckily we are still finding GPUs at our local stores. Limit 2 GPUs per person.


#16

Good to raise the point on the use of extension cords long-term. I agree and I do have an electrician coming. Hopefully the existing wiring in the house is up to code to handle higher amp breakers.

Michael


#17

Nice thread @ImaginaryPi thanks for sharing. This is definitely the next the step in our strategic planning to make our moon shot.
I have a couple of old mac pros (2008/9) that I’m hoping could be configured to do the very same thing, however i’m not sure how practical/feasible this is… Are macs NOT the best thing to use at this point? :thinking:

I would rather use those and upgrade them as best as possible then have to build from scratch… If it is possible of course. :confused:

I guess Cloud Mining would be the solution if Mac’s are not the one to use.

Any advice on this would be great! :sunglasses:

Cheers

Carlton


#18

@carlton I’ve never owned a Mac so I have no idea how it will fare mining. I’m willing to help you try it out though. Send me a PM when you are ready to set it up and we can work through it together.


#19

Really appreciate that man!

I figured that GPU’s used in Macs would be powerful enough to do what we need them to do for mining, given that they are used as extensive creative and graphics tools in the creative world.
Maybe that was a technically naive though… :thinking:

Anyway, once i’m able I will definitely reach out to you for some experienced input. I’m realistically looking to do this within the next few of months. Got to put in some research first.

Thanks again and will be in touch real soon!

C


#20

The problem with them is that they will get damaged by heat…
If you can keep them cool, it should be fine.
I also have a few old laptops laying around with graphic cards… Can I use them? :slight_smile: