First Mining Rig – Good, Bad, Ugly

Good, Bad, Ugly

I’ll start with the Ugly. I’m an IT guy and have been building computing equipment for over 20 years and this was difficult.

To begin, there don’t seem to be any good case/frames unless you build one yourself. Judging from my experience and reviews, most have quality issues. It has gotten to the point, with reviews, that you can't really tell what's applicable and what is not.

Trying to figure out which GPU’s to use and how to mod them to work well is a challenge. There is a lot of information out there, but everyone has an opinion and the question is which one to use. A lot of the work is trial and error if you do it yourself. It’s much easier to purchase a rig that is already complete. You can find some by searching on the web for mining rigs for sale. I don’t endorse anyone and can’t vouch for their quality. I would build them but don’t want to get into the warranty business of supporting them. There’s always something that is going to go wrong.

The Bad is that the cost of just the parts for the mining rig are very expensive. A rig with 12 cards can cost in excess of $5,000 in U.S. dollars depending on what GPU’s you purchase. 12 cards is a fairly small rig. You may get about a 1/2 coin a month mining Ethereum depending on how you tune the rig. The electrical cost is over $150 a month depending on where you live. With only 12 GPU's you might be able to cover the cost in maybe a couple of years or less depending on what you’re mining. It all depends on how much the rig can produce and the price of the coin.

This is a speculative investment. You’re really betting that the value of whatever you’re mining will increase. Also, crypt-currency, in my opinion, is like the story of the emperor with no clothes. There’s nothing there, it doesn’t really exist. But that’s my opinion and I guess the value of anything is based upon what society says it is. So why do I mine it? The challenge of putting a rig together basically. IT gals and guys are intrinsically curious and this seemed worth it to me.

The Good – It’s a great learning experience but not for the faint of heart. Once it is built and running, you can probably make some money on it. It basically just sits there eating electricity and hashing out complicated equations (more or less) for a share of the profit. Because of the cooling fans it tends to be loud and is basically a very expensive heater because the GPU’s generate a good deal of heat in doing what they do. It's great in the winter months. But I’m getting into the bad.

We purchased the parts and I put them together in about two weeks. It took another couple of weeks of trial and error to figure out how to get it to work. And... that’s about all there is for an overview. Mining Ethereum until it transitions from proof of work to proof of stake, or until the DAG size tops out the GPU's. Then it's on to the next challenge.

More to come on this… in the future... Maybe.


© copyright 2021 h mark taylor

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