This article will be useful for those who want to build his/her own Ethereum Mining rig. Actually, there are 2 things you need to do. On the basis of your needs you are to choose equipment and then put all the “pieces” together. It’s impossible to say how much time these processes will take. Some people may manage to do all that’s necessary within 4 days while others will spend a week choosing the equipment and putting it all together (and some more time to set up configurations). All in all, the process of building a mining rig is very much like the process of building your PC. The only difference is that you need to take into account some things that have to do with your CPU.
If you don’t feel like buying the equipment necessary to start mining, you can buy a contract with a cloud service. For example, Hashflare or Genesis Mining.
- Choosing equipment. You’ll have to have a certain budget to spend on a number of components necessary for your future mining rig.
- The most important component that’s considered to be the brain of your mining rig is a motherboard. When choosing a motherboard, be sure that you check the number of slots for graphic cards on it (GPU slots). The more slots there are, the more graphic cards you can install and the higher your hashing power will be. Let’s say, there are 2 PCI Express slots. For you it means that you can install 2 Radeon HD 7950 (each implies a hashrate of 20 MH/s). Therefore, your total power will amount to 40 MH/s. A slot is a connection port on a motherboard that, as a rule, is of white colour (sometimes, the slots are coloured beige). You’re free to choose any types of slots you prefer. However, you need to know that the majority of GPUs are designed so that to work properly on PCI Express slots.
- The next thing you should do is to choose a graphic card that’ll meet your needs. Some people think that the more expensive a GPU is, the more hashrate power it allows to get. The truth is that it’s not always so. In the end, everything comes down to how powerful you want your mining rig to be and your budget. We don’t recommend buying a card that’s too cheap. Of course, you can purchase a second-hand card, but before deciding to do so make sure that you’re going to purchase it from a reliable and trustworthy provider (GPU Shack, for example).
Let’s say you bought both a mother board and a GPU that you like and see that they don’t fit together. Most often, you face such a problem due to the spaces left between the slots on a motherboard. Fortunately, there is a solution. You can buy a GPU riser (a simple extension cable). Keep in mind that there are some graphic cards out there that can be really big. That’s why you need to take the question of choosing such a card seriously.
- Find a good Hard Drive. This is the drive on which the operating system is installed and all your mining software is stored. We believe a miner will make do with a standard SSD drive (it’s called a solid state drive due to the fact that there are no moving bits). If you want to know what the size of your drive should be, we can only say that this parameter depends on your plans in terms of mining. If you want to mine alone, it means that you’ll have to download the entire blockchain. Besides, you should also try to predict how big this blockchain will become in future. Consequently, you’ll have to be ready to spend not a little sum on your drive. If you’re the one who prefers mining when being connected to a pool, there is no need to download a blockchain. Therefore, a smaller drive will be a good deal.
- Choose Random Access Memory. This “parameter” defines how quickly you can work on your PC and how fast will the processes you run go. We believe that having a PC with 4 GB of RAM is enough as long as mining goes.
- It’s also essential to buy a Power Supply Unit (PSU) that will allow you to work efficiently. For some people it can be quite hard to define the size of a PSU. Everything is easy. Sum up the power that’s required by all the components of your PC. The PSU you get should be able to supply a bit more than that. Consider buying a 750 Watt PSU if all the components off your PC consume not more than 690 Watts.
If your goal is to build a “super cool” mining rig that has 6 GPUs, we believe you’d better buy several PSUs so that to save some money. A 750 Watt PSU costs approximately $100 while a 1500 Watt PSU costs $300.
- Buy a case. Sometimes, it’s difficult to find a case that fits due to the size of your GPU and whether or not there are any risers. Still, we recommend every miner to try hard and find a case. The crux of the matter is that if all components are just put “on top of each other” it may lead to a fire. It’s not necessary to buy a case. If you feel like doing it yourself, there is nothing wrong about it. Alternatively, you can buy it from a provider. This way, all the hard job will be done for you.
- Putting all the components of your mining rig together. Double check that you have a PSU the power of which is enough for all the elements that need it. All the “parts” should be connected with each other nicely and held together firmly. Once everything is checked, you can turn on your PC (make sure that you have all the necessary software at hand).
Our tip on where to place your mining rig: GPUs very often get hot (especially when you overlock them with the view of earning more). That’s why you’d better place your mining rig in a room that you can air regularly to avoid overheating.
- Install necessary software. You start with installing an operating system. Those who have no problems installing Linux Ubuntu, are free to do it. However, the fact is that the majority of people find the Windows system to be easier to work on. With this operating system all the drivers are installed automatically. Consequently, you won’t have to worry about how to fix something that doesn’t work properly. The Ubuntu seems to be more beneficial due to the fact that it’s free and there are more options offered to users.
Once the system is installed, we recommend you downloading EthOs. This is a special application that’s used for mining Ethereum. We believe this is one of the best applications that’ll help you keep the functioning of your rigs and GPUs under control.
When everything is ready, there are 2 options for you to choose from – you can either mine alone or connect to a mining pool. The idea of having all the reward to yourself is very appealing. However, we need to warn you that when a person is mining alone, it’s exactly he/she who bears all the risks. As a rule, you’ll have to rely on your luck “when playing alone”. Besides, you’ll be required to download all the blockchain.
Taking into consideration the facts mentioned above, we tend to believe that a person is better connect to a mining pool. This way the volatility of your returns is reduced and there is no need to download blockchain.