2021 Guide to Building a Crypto Mining Rig
Building a 6 GPU Crypto Mining Rig is a fun project and a great source of passive income. This guide will help you find and assemble the best crypto mining hardware currently available, to build your very own DIY crypto mining rig. Assembly time for your crypto mining hardware is about 3 hours and this mining rig is currently generating right around around $500/mo of digital currency (in September 2021). The exact amount varies depending on the current market price of the coin you are mining (Ethereum, Monero, Zcash, etc).
Sidenote: If mining isn’t your thing, and you are just interested in purchasing some cryptocurrency as part of your investment portfolio, I personally use and recommendVoyager. Download the app and trade $100 to get $25 of free Bitcoin. Use code JOSWDN to claim your free BTC.
6 GPU Ethereum Mining Rig Hardware Build List
Listed below are the components along with the amount you will need to assemble your GPU mining rig. Once your components arrive, you will want to come back to this guide for assembly and configuration instructions. I’ve included a YouTube video further with complete assembly instructions as well. If you find the guide helpful, give me a follow on my YouTube channel. I post frequently about crypto mining, trading crypto and other cryptocurrency related topics.
5 Minute 6 GPU Ethereum Mining Rig Assembly Video
1x Power Supply – 1200 Watt Gold Rated Power SupplyThe key here is to have an efficient power supply that will save you over the long run in electricity costs. Look for Gold or Platinum rated (as opposed to silver or bronze). This is the industry standard for rating the efficiency of a computer’s power supply unit (PSU).
1x Motherboard/CPU Combination – What is the best motherboard for mining Ethereum? I’ve listed below my favorite motherboard and processor combo that is compatible with 6 video cards.
MSI Z390-A PRO LGA1151 | Intel G530 CPU
If the motherboard listed above is out of stock or difficult to find, these motherboards will work equally well for a 6 GPU mining rig. Just be sure to match the motherboard with the correct processor (under ‘frequently bought together’ in the Amazon listing).
6x Graphics Cards
First Choice Nvidia GTX 1660– The very efficient Nvidia GTX 1660 can produce a hash rate of 30Mh/s using only 80 watts of electricity and is the best GPU for mining in 2021. It is much more power efficient than most of the AMD cards available on the market. Get one with twin fan design as they seem to run cooler than some of the other models I’ve tested. I put this card in all the rigs I build currently.
You can also check eBay or find other recommended mining GPU’s in my mining GPU comparison guide or the GPU Price / Performance Comparison Google Sheet (Updated Daily).
A close second choice for a mining GPU if the previously mentioned GPU is hard to find or out of stock, would be the Nvidia GTX 3060TI, capable of 60MH/s at only 160 watts of power. I’d recommend upgrading to a 1200 watt power supplyas you will be doubling the mining capacity of your 6 GPU mining rig.
1x RAM (System Memory) – 16GB RAM – You need a fair amount of system memory to mine Ethereum effectively. 16GB should be enough to also mine other cryptocurrencies like Monero.
6x USB Riser Cables – USB Riser Cables – These are to connect the 6 graphics cards to the motherboard and allow spacing between cards for heat dissipation and are necessary when building a rig with this many GPU’s. I like the MintCell 6-pack sold on Amazon.
1x Hard Drive (SSD) – 120GB SSD for installing the operating system and your mining software. Anything 120GB or larger is plenty of space and will also allow the system to use disk space if needed for swap files.
1x Custom Mining Case – I’d recommend an Open Air 6 GPU Mining Case. I’ve built several of these 6 GPU rigs for family and friends and any of the popular models available for $80-150 work well.
1x Operating System – I recommend mining on Windows 10, since it has great driver support for all the best mining graphics cards.
Alternatively, you can download NiceHash OS, HiveOS or RaveOS and flash it to a USB 3.0 thumb drive for a very simple mining set up.
Monitor, Mouse and Keyboard set to configure all the software settings, initially. Once your mining rig is configured and running, you can monitor it and the other dozen you build 😉 with remote monitoring software.
Assembling the Custom Ethereum Mining Hardware
- Scroll up to watch the assembly video that shows exactly how to assemble all the hardware components.
- Un-package everything
- Build / assemble the Open Air 6 GPU Mining Case
- Install processor and RAM on motherboard
- Plug in all riser cables
- Place motherboard in custom open air mining rig case and connect motherboard PSU connector (leaving PSU unplugged from the wall of course)
- Plug in SATA hard drive (or optional Linux on USB stick)
- Connect all GPUs to riser cables and fasten them to custom case. You might need to experiment for optimal spacing to keep the cards cool.
- Plug in all power supply connections.
- Connect mouse, monitor and keyboard and an internet connection (I use a USB WiFi adapter)
- Check all connections once more
- Fire it up and install the operating system and mining software (see additional instructions below).
- Make sure fans are fully functional. Start the mining software, tweak settings for maximum hash rates and let it run!
Motherboard, Windows and Mining Software Configuration
- Update the motherboard to the latest BIOS using a USB thumb drive. You can find the latest BIOS for the Z170 SLI Plus motherboard here.
- Configure Motherboard BIOS with the following settings changes:
- Settings > Advanced > PCI subsystem Setting: PEG 0 and PEG 1 set to Gen1
- Above 4G Decoding (cryptocurrency mining) should be set to Enabled
- OS settings: disable Windows 7, enable Windows 10
- Save and reboot
- OS / DRIVERS / MINING Setup:
- Boot from Windows 10 USB install media (you can buy it pre-loaded or build your own on the Microsoft website).
- Install Windows 10 Pro x64
- Install Nvidia Drivers
- Install MSI Afterburner and set memory clock to 600, and power to 70. This will give you 30Mh/s per 1070 GPU
- Install any system drivers that didn’t auto-install (check device manager)
- Rename PC to mining worker name. Something like Minion001, Minion002, etc.
- Install Claymore Dual Miner, edit the config file with your Ethereum address and miner name. Drop a shortcut to the mining software .exe file in your system startup folder if you’d like to auto-start mining when Windows boots up. You can find the system startup folder in Windows 10 by going to: Start > Run and entering ‘shell:startup’.
- Disable windows update using this guide.
- Set power profile to ‘always on’
- Install your favorite remote access software, especially if you plan to have more than one rig to manage.
- Fire up the mining rig and rake in those crypto coins!
I’ve received several questions about configuring drivers, adjusting overclocking/undervolting settings and configuring the mining software. Below, you’ll find a very brief 5 min video showing how to implement these 3 important steps in the mining rig configuration process.
Configure GPU Drivers, Overclocking & Claymore Mining Software
Something I’ve done when building out a GPU mining farm, is to do the OS/DRIVERS/MINING setup and then just clone the solid state drive using a 2 bay hard drive dock with offline clone feature built in.
Congratulations! You are now the proud operator of your very own custom built 6 GPU ethereum mining rig. Be sure to also check out our reviews of the best Litecoin mining hardware and Bitcoin mining hardware.
Sidenote: If mining isn’t your thing, and you are just interested in purchasing some cryptocurrency as part of your investment portfolio, I personally use and recommend FTX Global Crypto Exchange (Use FTX US if a US resident)
The owner of this tiny $875 rig mines bitcoin using free electricity at Starbucks
It may look cool, but Abada is the first to admit that his rig of TikTok fame doesn't make money.
"It's actually hard to make a profit out of this unless you have free electricity," he said.
Roughly every ten minutes, 6.25 bitcoins are created. In order to mint these new tokens, a global pool of miners are all contributing their computing power to running a hashing algorithm known as SHA-256.
The exact same code runs on every single bitcoin mining rig on the planet, including the one featured in Abada's Starbucks TikTok post.
But these miners aren't running the SHA-256 algorithm in a vacuum. They're competing against each other to see who can unlock each batch of new bitcoin first.
To win, you almost have to join a team of other miners, which is exactly what Abada has done with his rig. But even with the help of this so-called mining pool, the proceeds from his small rig are pretty minimal.
Abada says his mini miner generates 0.0002478 bitcoin per month, minus a 5% mining pool fee. At today's prices, that's worth $9.35. Because he's mining in Los Angeles, where the cost of electricity is 22 cents per kilowatt hour, if he runs his rig 24 hours a day, he pays $15.84 in total electricity cost.
So Abada actually ends the month in the red to the tune of roughly $5.88.
It should be noted that these numbers change by the minute and depend on the price of bitcoin and the global hashrate.
These kinds of operating margins are why Arvanaghi says that it's almost always a rule that buying bitcoin directly is cheaper than mining, unless you're running rigs with "outrageously cheap electricity or at scale."
"Everything is about breakeven cost when it comes to crypto mining," said Arvanaghi.
"USB miners like this could be attractive for people who don't have to pay for their own power. Maybe kids in public places, college dorms, buildings that share electricity prices, employees stealing electricity from their company," he said.
The most practical use case for this miner? A fun hobby for those dabbling in crypto.
"I think they're a cool novelty item, and they help educate people about bitcoin mining," said Whit Gibbs, CEO and founder of Compass, a bitcoin mining service provider.
Gibbs heads up a company that's also in the business of offering the uninitiated an opportunity to get their skin in the mining game.
However, Compass customers don't custody their mining rigs. Instead, Gibbs and his team help patrons buy mining hardware and install it at various data centers which host the hardware, pool it with other rigs, and handle the day-to-day logistics. It's more of a hands-off approach to mining.
But for Abada, it's all about being as close to the mining process as possible.
"I now devote myself to teaching and helping beginners around the world to mine cryptocurrencies in their own homes," he said.
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Best mining rigs and mining PCs for Bitcoin, Ethereum and more
TechRadar is supported by its audience. TechRadar does not endorse any specific cryptocurrencies or blockchain-based services and readers should not interpret TechRadar content as investment advice. Our reporters hold only small quantities of cryptocurrency (under $100 in value), as is necessary to perform wallet and exchange reviews, and do not hold shares in any publicly listed cryptocurrency companies.
There’s been a massive demand for the best mining rigs and mining PCs thanks to the value of Bitcoin, Ethereum and various other altcoins skyrocketing. So, if you’re in the market for one, you might want to set your expectations low and your budget high.
The good news is, if you're wary of spending money on something that can only mine, then buying the best mining desktop PC might save you a bit of cash. These desktop computers can also be used for other day-to-day tasks, such as working on and gaming, which means that you're also getting a top PC to do other things with as well as mining.
If you do have some extra cash lying around and are willing to spend money on a dedicated mining rig, which are specially designed for one purpose only: to efficiently and effectively mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The best mining rigs are designed to eke out the maximum workload-specific performance. Just bear in mind that you won't be able to use it for other tasks.
Here are our top picks of the best mining rigs and mining PCs below. They might be a bit trickier to get at the moment, but with a little luck, we’ll help you get the ideal one for you. Meanwhile, if you want to build your own mining rig or PC, check out our guides on the best mining GPUs, best mining CPU, best mining motherboards and best mining SSDs to help you get started.
1. Alienware Aurora R11 Gaming Desktop
Top-notch power comes at a cost
CPU: Intel i7-10700KF
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB GDDR6
RAM: 16GB DDR4 XMP
Storage: 512GB SSD + 1TB SATA HDD
Reasons to buy
+So much space for activities+Great benchmark results
Reasons to avoid
The Alienware Aurora R11 Gaming Desktop is an excellent choice for a gaming desktop PC, and it's also one of the best mining PCs money can buy, thanks to the powerful components inside, including Intel’s i7-10700KF processor, which offers 8 cores with 16 threads for multitasking. Crucially, it also has an NVidia GPU installed as well. There's loads of space in the eye-catching chassis for upgrading when you need to, though with all Alienware products, it's pretty expensive.
2. Bitmain S17 Pro
High specs and efficiency
Graphics cards: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Good profit rates+Multiple modes+Efficiency
Reasons to avoid
-Currently out of stock-Expensive
The Bitmain Antminer S17 Pro has some of the best advertised performance specifications, and comes with three different modes for advanced mining: normal mode, low power mode, and turbo. While the ASIC comes with a top hashrate of 56 TH/s, you will need to run it in the lower modes at times to help prevent overheating. Even still, the S17 Pro is one of the more efficient ASIC miners out there, with a Power Efficiency of 93.88±10%. However, because of its high specs, it is currently out of stock, and we await for Bitmain to restock the model and advertise a new price.
3. Antminer D3
Graphics cards: N/A
Warranty: Contact MineShop for details
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-Steep learning curve for new miners and ASIC mining rigs-Power consumption
Application-specific integrated circuit chips (ASICs) differ from other mining rigs as they don't utilize GPUs to do the mining, which means price and power consumption is reduced. They can also solve Bitcoin blocks faster, which means they are definitely worth looking into. The Antminer D3 is an ASIC miner from Mineshop.eu is a good mid-range miner that has a hash rate of 19.3 GH/s (Variation of ±5% is expected). While the power consumption is high at 1200 W, it does claim a 93% efficiency rating, making it definitely one to consider if space is at a premium.
4. MSI MPG Trident AS 10SC-1208US SFF Gaming Desktop
A great mining PC for mining 24/7
CPU: Intel Core i7-10700F
Graphics: GeForce RTX 2060 Super
Storage: 1TB SSD
Reasons to buy
+Very powerful system+Whisper quiet fans
Reasons to avoid
-Variety of ports can be confusing-High specs mean high price tag
This is another fantastic gaming PC that also doubles as a versatile mining PC. Thanks to its powerful components, you'll be getting some good returns when you put it to mining, and the excellent cooling system of this PC means it can run for long periods of time without overheating - or getting too noisy. It's another expensive outlay, but one that could quickly pay off if you mine wisely.
5. Whatsminer M21S
A great mining rig for professional miners
Graphics cards: N/A
Warranty: 180 days
Reasons to buy
+Great build quality+
How to build a cryptomining rig: Bitcoin mining 101
Cryptocurrency has been -- and continues to be -- a wild ride.
I'm old enough to remember being given a couple of bitcoins when they were worth next to nothing. Needless to say, I don't have them anymore. Now, with bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices skyrocketing again, there's renewed interest in cryptomining, which is a way to accumulate cryptocurrency without having to pay for it.
Let's take a look at what makes a good cryptomining rig, and what hardware it takes if you want to be serious about mining.
What is cryptomining?
In the most basic terms, you are using a computer (or computers) to solve cryptographic equations and record that data to a blockchain. Taking this a bit deeper, miners verify the hashes of unconfirmed blocks and receive a reward for every hash that is verified. The process is computationally intensive, requiring state-of-the-art hardware if you are planning on making much headway with mining. Mining, as it was back in the days of the gold rush, is not for the faint of heart.
And as with all high-end systems, it's less a case of how much do you want to spend, and more a case of how fast do you want to spend. So, what hardware do you need to mine cryptocurrency?
What is a cryptomining rig?
OK, the "rig" is essentially a customized PC. It has all the common elements of a PC: CPU, motherboard, RAM, and storage. Where things deviate from the norm is when it comes to the graphics cards. It's the GPU that's doing that hard work when it comes to mining cryptocurrency, and not the CPU. You're going to need quite a powerful GPU for mining, and likely you are going to be buying more than one. A lot more.
In fact, you can think of a mining rig as a relatively cheap PC with one or more high-performance GPUs attached. You need to connect multiple graphics cards to a single system, which means you also need a motherboard to handle that. You'll also be looking at more than one power supply unit (PSU) if you're planning to push things to the extremes.
There are also some other mining-specific items you'll need to make the mining rig ready for mining.
Mining rig considerations
Here are a few considerations to bear in mind when building a mining rig:
- It's not going to be cheap!
- You need to factor power consumption in your mining equation because that can eat into your earnings.
- You're not building a regular PC, and getting everything to work can become a game of trial and error and a lot of fiddling with drivers. Be patient!
Asus B250 Mining Expert
OK, let's start with the motherboard. The Asus B250 Mining Expert is a beast of a motherboard, capable of having 19 graphics cards connected to it. That's a lot. The board isn't new -- it was released in 2017 -- and it is finickity when it comes to setting up (it needs a specific layout of AMD and Nvidia graphics cards),
Asus has published recommend GPU layouts for 19-, 13-, and 11-card for this board, and while other layouts might work, I recommend staying with what the manufacturer suggests, as veering away from this is a recipe for a serious -- not to mention expensive -- headaches.
Note: Asus recommends running Windows 10 with this motherboard.
$450 at Newegg
Intel Core i5-6500
There's no real point in overspending on a CPU for a mining rig since it's the GPU's that are doing the hard work. This quad-core Core i5 is perfect for this setup and works great with the motherboard chosen above.
$125 at Newegg
SanDisk SSD Plus 1TB
I'd install a couple of these 1TB SSDs. At under $100 each, they're perfect for this kind of application. You could go with HDDs, but I prefer going with SSDs nowadays.
$95 at Newegg
Segotep 850W Full-Modular PSU
Depending on how many graphics cards you have installed, you may need multiple PSUs. It's tempting to find the cheapest possible, but since they are going to be pushed hard, I recommend paying a little more.
These Segotep PSUs are middle-of-the-road good value, yet they offer reliable performance. The modular nature also means that you're not turning the mining rig into a spaghetti of wires.
$100 at Newegg
FebSmart 16x to 1x Powered Riser 6-pack
Even if you've built a PC in the past, I bet you've not had to fit in PCI-E risers. This is where a bitcoin mining rig differs from a regular PC in that you can't have all the graphics cards directly attached to the motherboard, so these risers allow you to connect them indirectly.
You're going to need one of these for every card you connect (other than the card that goes into the x16 PCI-e slot). This six-pack of powered risers are great and provide stable power to your graphics cards.
I do not recommend using non-powered risers. I've had nothing but problems with stability using them in the past in cryptomining rigs, so don't make the same mistake I made!
$60 at Newegg
Nvidia graphics card
ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
This is a great card and everything you're looking for in a mining rig. Loads of potential for overclocking, stable, and great cooling. Another nice side benefit is that it's quite an efficient card, which means lower power consumption and reduced mining costs.
The only downside is the price, which gets exponentially more painful when you add more cards.
$540 at Newegg
Related Topics:PCs Servers Storage Networking Data Centers Sours: https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-build-a-cryptomining-rig/
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