How to Build a Cryptocurrency Mining Rig & Start Mining Tutorial 2018in Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency mining is a risky business whatever the others told you before. Cryptocurrency is volatile, the governments still discuss the regulations, some countries state that mining is illegal or make crypto miners to pay taxes. There is even no any guarantee you will get back the money you wasted on the hardware. So, it depends only on you and your readiness to be aware of all this complicated stuff whether the crypto mining on your computer become a money tree or the beginning of the end.
In the guide, I will explain what is a cryptocurrency mining and how to build your own cryptocurrency mining rig for Ethereum mining.
- What is a cryptocurrency mining?
- What is a mining rig and how does it work?
- CPU mining
- GPU mining
- Mining Rig important issues
- Mining Hardware
- Building up the mining rig
- Software settings
Fiat currencies are under governments' control and are the main parts of the centralized economic system.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies are decentralized and no one controls them, even banks. So, there is no need for private ledgers. Public ledgers, which are unique for every cryptocurrency, came to their place. The public ledgers are called Blockchain.
Centralized bank system holds customers' private ledgers. As there are no banks in the cryptocurrency market, someone anyway needs to make a verification of the crypto transactions and add them to the blockchain system. This job cryptocurrency miners do.
Which is more, again, as there is no central authority, there should be a way to gather all the transactions in a block. Every minute a number of transactions are collected into a block and the block is recorded into the blockchain. The miner who does this gets a reward with the crypto coins. This task of collecting and recording the blocks and transactions is difficult and should be proved. The process is called a proof of work.
A mining rig is a powerful computer system built to undertake cryptocurrency mining. The rig can also be used for gaming purposes if needed.
A mining software is launched on a computer, a miner hooks it to a mining pool and the process starts. The mining pool spreads the hash rate between the miners depending on their hardware and the miners get the reward according to the volume of the work they have done.
CPU stands for Central Processing Unit. Every computer has it because it is its brain and the other systems support CPU's operations.
Nowadays no one can mine Bitcoin or other popular cryptocurrencies with CPU. It is just impossible. However in the early days of Bitcoin existing one could mine over 100 coins a day with its help. Today ASICS which were specially developed for bitcoin mining does that work, while CPU can still mine some altcoins such as Monero.
- Cheap - any computer is good enough for that
- New altcoins can be mined
- Very slow
- Low hash rate
- Not profitable
GPU, in its turn, stands for Graphics Processing Unit. It is a chip on a graphics card that processes graphics on a computer. Usually, they used for computer games. However, later people started using them to mine cryptocurrency and building crypto farms that are graphics cards linked to each other and based on a special order. The prices of the powerful GPUs raised and such companies like AMD and Nvidia make a successful business on that.
- Compared to CPU, the hashing power is high
- Good for a range of cryptocurrencies with different hashing algorithms - flexible
- Can be profitable
Read more about the other ways of cryptocurrency mining here.
To build a mining rig some important points should be considered.
Every second a mining hardware processes a certain number of calculations to find a block.This attempt proceeds with the help of a cryptographic hash rate.
Crypto miners measure hash rate in
megahashes (MH/s) per second = 1,000 kH/s
gigahashes (GH/s) per second = 1,000 MH/s = 1,000,000 kH/s
terahashes (TH/s) per second = 1,000 GH/s = 1,000,000 MH/s = 1,000,000,000 kH/s
The higher the hashrate of your equipment, the more chances you find, secure and verify a transaction.
Cryptocurrency mining takes a lot of electrical power which is also expensive. So, before you buy a hardware, consider how much watts ut will consume. To count it just divide the hash rate by the hardware's wattage.
Before you buy an equipment it would be great to count what ROI (Return on investment) it will get back. The cost of the hardware you are going to buy should be at least proportional to the profits you expect to get. Make a research in the intermet to buy the most profitable equipment for you.
I mean the technical service that your equipment will need and its costs. consider them, the frequency and time it will take.
The other important factor to consider is cooling. GPUs can be overheated so it will be great to place the mining rig in a well-ventilated place with AC, air duct boosters or oscillating fans.
A MotherBoard is a base of your mining rig. The main goal here is to plug in as many numbers of GPUs as possible and the compatibility of the other devices with your mobo. The most appropriate number of GPUs for the motherboard is six.
Here is a list of the mobos that support 6 GPUs:
- Biostar TB250-BTC
- Biostar TB85 Motherboard
- MSI Z170A SLI Motherboard
- MSI Z170A TOMAHAWK Motherboard
- Asrock H81 Pro BTC Motherboard
- ASRock ATX H97 Anniversary Edition Motherboard
- ASRock ATX Z97 Anniversary Edition Motherboard
- ASUS PRIME Z270-P LGA1151
- ASUS PRIME Z270-A LGA1151
- ASUS PRIME H270-PLUS
- ASUS ROG STRIX Z270E GAMING
- MSI Enthusiastic Gaming Intel Z270
Here are the motherboards that support more than a dozen GPUs:
- ASUS LGA1151 DDR4 HDMI B250 ATX (supports 19 GPUs)
- ASROCK H110 PRO BTC+ Intel H110 1151 ATX (supports 13 GPUs)
In the mining process almost all the work GPUs do, so take the cheapest CPU that supports one of the motherboards above.
Here is a short list of the appropriate CPUs:
- Intel Celeron G1840 Processor
- Intel Celeron G3260 Processor
- Intel Celeron G3930
- Intel Pentium G4400
- Intel G3900 Dual Core CPU
Graphics card is the main detail in the mining rig. Take the one with a high hash rate, low power usage, and low cost.
Besides, you can look for special six-pack deals on the Internet or already second-hand GPUs. However, be aware of that the latter ones can be with a shortened lifespan or with a problem.
Here is a list of the best graphics cards for Ethereum mining depending on the hashrate:
- Geforce GTX 1060 – 20 MH/s using 110 watts
- Radeon Rx 470 – 21 MH/s using 120watts
- Radeon Rx 570 – 22 MH/s using 125 watts
- Radeon Rx 480 – 24 MH/s using 170 watts
- Radeon Rx 580 – 25 MH/s using 175 watts
- Geforce GTX 1070 – 27 MH/s using 200 watts
- Radeon R9 290x – 28 MH/s using 280 watts
- Radeon RX Vega 56 – 31 MH/s using 190 watts
- GeForce GTX 1080 TI – 32 MH/s using 200 watts
- Radeon RX Vega 64 – 33 MH/s using 200 watts
Don't forget to calculate the power your mining rig will consume. To do this, use the following algorithm:
Recommended power in Watts + (number of cards in the rig x max power consumption in Watts)
For example, if you are going to buy PowerColor 8 GB Radeon RX Vega 64, use the following equation:
750W + (6 x 180W) = 1830w
A good power supply will help you to save electricity. Take Gold or Platinum rated ones.
Here is a short list of PSUs depending on the power output:
- Corsair CP-9020073-UK Professional Platinum Series HX850W
- Corsair CP-9020074-UK HX1000W
- Seasonic Power supply Power Supply SSR-1200G
- SilverStone Technology Strider 1200W 80 Plus Platinum
- Thermaltake 1200-Watt 80 Plus Gold
- Thermaltake Toughpower DPS G RGB 1250W Digital 80+ Titanium
- Thermaltake Tough Power Series ATX 12V 1200
- Corsair CP-9020140-NA HX1200 1200W
- Silverstone Tek 1350W
- Silverstone Tek 1500W 80 PLUS Gold
- Corsair AXi Series, AX1500W
- EVGA SuperNOVA 1200 P2 80+ PLATINUM
- Evga SuperNOVA 1600 G2 80+ GOLD
If you are looking for where to save some bucks, here it is. You won't need much memory - 4Gb will be okay for Windows and 2Gb - for Linux. If you have an old or spare hard drive somewhere around it will be fine.
Here are some examples of fresh ones:
- Corsair CMK4GX4M1A2400C16 Vengeance LPX 4GB
- Patriot Signature Line DDR4 4GB
- Crucial 4GB DDR4 2400 MT/s
As to the hard drives, a 16Gb stick for Linux and 60Gb for Windows will be okay. The only reason you will need them is to install your operating system and to run the mining software:
- SanDisk Cruzer 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive
- Patriot Memory Torch 2 60GB
- DREVO X1 Pro 64GB SSD 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive
- ssd 120GB
They will be useful to leave some space between the connected GPUs for heat dissipation. If you are going to build a rig with more than 6 GPUs they will be irreplaceable.
Risers are subdivided into powered and unpowered
- Powered - connect a GPU to a PCIe slot on the motherboard. It takes additional power directly from the PSU
- Unpowered - allows GPUs to receive 75W through the PCIe bus on the motherboard
Motherboards are not designed to deliver more than 150W through PCIe busses, so don't plug in more than two unpowered risers to a motherboard.
Don't take powered risers with SATA-to-molex power adapters as they may become a cause of a fire.
You can both buy a nice purpose-built mining frame or buy a plastic storage crate/milk crate. I would recommend the first option, despite the fact it is quite expensive. You can either build something for yourself if you are handy and have tools.
- Operating system (64-bit Linux OS to mine Ethereum, Zcash, Monero, and other GPU-minable coins or Windows 10)
- Mining software: BFGminer, CGminer, NiceHash
- Overclocking software (to adjust GPUs core, voltage and memory): MSI Afterburner, SAPPHIRE TriXX
Here is a video instruction on how to use them:
- Ethereum wallet
- Mining pool - in our previous guide I already mentioned that it is better to mine in a mining pool than solo. In such a way the possibility that you will get a reward is higher.
- Build the mining case
- Install a motherboard there
- Attach CPU, heatsink (if you need one) and RAM
- Connect the power riser cables to the motherboard and PSU
- Add the PSU connectors to the motherboard
- Connect a hard drive
- Plug in all the GPUs to riser cables and hang them on the frame of the case
- Connect the PSU
- Connect the other equipment (monitor, mouse, keyboard and the Internet)
- Install the operating system and mining software
- Start mining!
Here is a step-by-step video guide on how to build up the mining rig to mine Ethereum:
- Download the latest BIOS on the motherboard.
- Set the following settings on the Motherboard BIOS configuration: Settings > Advanced > PCI subsystem Setting: PEG 0 and PEG 1 set to Gen1
- Enable 4G Decoding (cryptocurrency mining)
- Install Windows 10 Pro x64
- Install Nvidia Drivers
- Install MSI Afterburner setting memory clock to 600, and power to 70 which will give you 30Mh/s per 1070 GPU
- Check device manager and install any system drivers that weren't auto-installed
- Install Claymore Dual Miner, and edit the configuration file with your Ethereum address and miner name.
- Disable windows update
- Set power profile to ‘always on’
- Install your favorite remote access software
- Start mining!
Now when you have built up your own mining rig you can mine crypto-coins boundless. Make sure you have taken all the precautions and do not stop on the amateur mining rig if it has already paid off!
Besides, take a closer look at the ASICs mining hardware. In the end, it is not that expensive as it may seem, although their hashrate is much higher than the GPUs one which means, as you know, that you will positively get a reward.
Whatever you choose, I wish you good luck!
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