Build an Ethereum Mining Rig

Technical Skill: Difficult


This is a Basic Parts list to build an Ethereum Mining Rig, although you can also mine other non-ASIC coins as well. Shop around for the best deals. This will put you back about $4-5k.


The Choices


Main board:

Biostar is a solid brand and manufactures a 12 GPU board.


Processor:

As long as it’s compatible with the mobo, get what you want.


Memory/RAM:

8GB is plenty for Windows or Linux if you dual-boot. You’ll want to run Linux. I recommend the supported EthOS.


Hard Drive:

You can run off a USB 3 stick really unless you want to dual-boot Linux and Windows. I like to leave my options open so I opted for a 120GB SSD.


PSU:

The power supply is expensive but the most important single part. You don’t want to burn up your parts with a cheap PSU. Optimally, it should run at no more than 80% of it’s rated load. For a 1600 watt unit that would be up to 1280 watts about. If you use MSI RX 580 cards and configure properly you’ll get about 105-110 watts per card and about 350 watts for everything else. That should put you right around 1230. If you use other cards you’ll need to figure probably two 1200 watt PSU’s and split the load. Remember, when you first bring up the unit, the cards will put a LOT more than 110 watts because they aren’t configured.


Warning: You MUST ensure one rig (or no more than 6 cards) are connected to one Dedicated 20amp circuit. Nothing else on the circuit, otherwise you will trip the circuit at least and could cause fire. You will need a qualified electrician to install these circuits.


Surge Outlets:

Metal are the best, this rig is going to pull a LOT of wattage. I have two 1200 watt PSU’s and both pull about 950 to 1100 watts. Not just any old surge protector will do. It would be nice to have a battery backup unit on each PSU. But the cost for something that would handle that much wattage is prohibitive. Also, I use the Kill A Watt meters on each PSU where it plugs into the surge strip so I can monitor wattage.


Riser Cards:

You’ll need one for each GPU, so 12 for this unit. I have been advised to use the ones that have 6 pin Molex connectors for safety.


Power cable:

Used to turn mobo on and off and you’ll need something for reset too. However, I think the case has this.


Case:

I like this case primarily because it is open air and stackable. It's not easy to stack it, but you can do it. It's also very solid. I happened to purchase only one and built a second floor for it. But it's way easier and cheaper to just purchase two and stack them.

Mining Rig Frame, 6/8 GPU Aluminum Stackable Open Air Mining Computer

Frame Rig Ethereum Veddha (6 GPU)

This web site has some good alternatives:

https://miningcave.com/

Unfortunately, right now in 2021 January everything is out of stock since the coin price is so high. You can build your own case out of plastic or aluminum posts and

Here are some ideas

For the frame: Stand Tools 20 Series, 20 mm x 20 mm T-Slot Aluminum Extrusion x 100 mm Pack of 4

For the platforms: 2 Pack 1/2" (12mm) Clear Acrylic Plexiglass Sheet 8"x12" Thick Cast AZM


Fans: As stated above, these fans are critical! Don’t skip on fans. The cooler your GPU’s, the better they run and extend longevity. Each case comes with 6 fans but you will need spares as they fail. The higher RPM the better. Your GPU's will run very hot and if you don't keep them cool, you will burn them up and that's a LOT of money.


GPU’s: Most important part. I’ve run 1070’s, 570’s, other 580 brands. The MSI RX 580 GPU listed above has the lowest operating cost so far. Others can add with their experience but this is what I’ve found with my very limited testing so take it with a grain of salt. But I know you can get 105 watts on this GPU with lower temps than the other ones I’m running.


IMPORTANT NOTE:

If you are running EthOS, I don’t think you can currently mix AMD and NVIDIA cards – either one or the other due to the required drivers.


OS: It’s really up to your comfort level. I spent weeks trying to get this to work on Windows 10 and various Linux versions. I will disclaimer: I am NOT a Linux guy. After a week of misery, I broke down and purchased EthOS. It has a lot of good documentation, albeit some of it difficult to find. It is not easy to get support but it does have most of the tools you need to work with your cards.

Note: I set this up in 2018 and had to redo the mining software in 2020 because it stopped working due to the DAG size. I am now running the Nanominer and it works very well. I should have run it from the beginning but EthOS doesn't support it and it was a hack to get it to work. In running Nanominer you may as well not use EthOS and just install Ubuntu.


In using Linux as the OS, you pretty much need to just use the CLI,

otherwise known as command line interface. There is no pretty interface to use and mouse around. If you are building your own rig, you will have to learn the basic Linux and Ati-Flash command line to at least configure your cards. My MSI 580 started out at 15 mh/s on Ethereum with high wattage use until configured. So you can’t expect to just install a GPU, turn it on and have it operate optimally. In Linux For instance, it isn’t particularly easy to mount a USB drive unless you understand how Linux deals with such things.


Why Linux? Windows costs over $100 and you really need the Pro version so that’s $199 at the current price. Also, it’s hard to maintain, updates itself, restarts without much warning, and isn’t something to run a 24×7 mining rig that you don’t want updating, restarting, and messing up your labor-intestinal (intensive) configurations. There are ways to stop the updates and restarts, but why fight with it. (statement, not question). Also, I don't think Windows will support 12 GPU's; there is a limit on the number of GPU's.


GPU WARNING: You will need to alter the GPU firmware. This will VOID YOUR WARRANTY. It's a trade-off if you want to mine.




© copyright 2021 h mark taylor

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