Tag: GPU Mining Rigs

GPU Mining – Getting Started Guide

Choosing a graphics card

The first part of setting up your mining rig is choosing the proper hardware. Although you could use a CPU or an ASIC device for mining, this article will be focusing on GPU (graphics card) mining. AMD creates their graphics cards with an infrastructure conducive to mining, but Nvidia cards get exceptionally low hash rates making them a terrible choice for mining. The best Nvidia graphics cards yield less than half a megahash. Laptop hardware is even worse for mining than Nvidia cards are, so you’ll need a desktop system to mine. Having a desktop system allows you to keep your hardware properly cooled as well.

The graphics card or cards need to be able to fit your motherboard, and your power supply must have an adequate number of PCI-E connectors. Before settling on your graphics card, keep that in mind. To keep your system cooled properly, you can remove the cover from the case to allow for better heat dissipation. That is called an “open-air rig.” If you point a floor or box fan at your system, or have it near an air conditioner, you can make your rig run even cooler, providing longevity and potentially better hash rates.

So, in summary, here’s what you need to look for to create an optimized GPU mining rig.

  • AMD GPU (Select a card from the list.)
  • Desktop PC (Remove the side and top panels of the case and point a fan or air conditioner at it.)
  • Choose a motherboard that has adequate PCI-E space for your card. Please note that some cards take up multiple spaces on your motherboard.
  • PSU with enough power for your card and system, and provides an adequate number of PCI-E connectors.

GPU mining software

GPU mining software is what makes your miner a miner. You could use cgMiner (no longer supports GPU mining despite its name) or BFGMiner directly, but to make things exceptionally easy, a front-end to the console is a great choice. cgWatcher is a program that provides a front end to cgMiner. cgWatcher offers a much more powerful interface, but we’ll be working with MultiMiner for its simplicity.

MultiMiner interfaces with BFGMiner, and when you run the program for the first time, you’re walked through setting everything up. It downloads BFGMiner and even locates proper mining cards attached to your rig and automatically configures them. Unlike cgWatcher, MultiMiner offers remote management and monitoring for free and instead of using software to provide this functionality, it uses a web interface so you’ll always have it with you wherever you have an internet connection.

In order to finish setting up your mining software, you’ll need to enter pool information. There’s already an article about choosing a profitable mining pool, so review that article and create an account with a pool you like the best. Enter your URL and worker information into the MultiMiner wizard.

Once you’re at the main interface for MultiMiner, click the “start” button or tweak other settings as you see fit. If you get a message saying that none of the pools can be used, check to make sure that you’ve entered your full worker name. You may enter command line options manually through MultiMiner’s advanced settings menu for your GPU.

Did you find this guide useful? If you’d like to read a guide on something else, please let me know what you’d like to read about by leaving a comment.

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6 GPU Ethereum Mining Rig Build Guide

Building a 6 GPU Ethereum mining rig is a fun project and a great source of passive income. This guide will help you find and assemble the best Ethereum mining hardware to build your very own Ethereum mining rig. Assembly time is about 3 hours.

6 GPU Ethereum Mining Rig Hardware Build List

Listed below are the components you will need to assemble your GPU mining rig.

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1x Power Supply –  1000 Watt Power Supply – The key here is to have an efficient 1000 watt 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. This is the ethereum mining motherboard that is used in large scale mining deployments. If the pros use it, you know it’s good.

If the motherboard listed above is out of stock or difficult to find, these motherboards will work equally well with the Intel G3900 Skylake processor:

6x Graphics Cards  – Nvidia GTX 1070 –   The very efficient Nvidia GTX 1070  can produce a hash rate of 30Mh/s using only 100 watts of electricity and is the best GPU for mining in 2017. It is much more power efficient than most of the AMD cards available on the market. My favorite model of this GPU is the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 Windforce OC (model # GV-N1070WF2OC-8GD). It has a twin fan design and seems to run cooler than most of the other 1070 models I’ve tested, so I put this card in all the rigs I build currently. If that specific model is unavailable, any of the twin fan overclocked Gigabyte or EVGA cards work great out of the box.

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1x RAM (System Memory) –  4 GB RAM – You don’t need a lot of system memory to mine ethereum effectively. 4GB is about as small as a stick of RAM comes these days, so I recommend just picking up a cheap one as long as it is DDR 4 desktop memory.

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. These are necessary when building a rig with this many GPU’s.

1x Hard Drive (SSD)  –  Solid State Drive  for installing operating system and your mining software.

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 using this particular mining case works quite well for airflow and ease of building.

1x Operating System –  If you are using the Nvidia 1070 GPU’s, I recommend mining on Windows 10, since it has the best driver support for those graphics cards.

MonitorMouse and Keyboard to configure all the software settings, initially.

Assembling the Custom Ethereum Mining Hardware

  1. Un-package everything
  2. Build / assemble the Open Air 6 GPU Mining Case
  3. Install processor and RAM on motherboard
  4. Plug in all riser cables
  5. Place motherboard in custom open air mining rig case and connect motherboard PSU connector (leaving PSU unplugged from the wall of course)
  6. Plug in SATA hard drive (or optional Linux on USB stick)
  7. 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.
  8. Plug in all power supply connections.
  9. Connect mouse, monitor and keyboard and an internet connection (I use a USB WiFi adapter)
  10. Check all connections once more
  11. Fire it up! Install ETH OS.
  12. Make sure fans are fully functional. Start the mining software, tweak settings for maximum hash rates and let it run!

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Motherboard, Windows and Mining Software Configuration

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. OS / DRIVERS / MINING Setup:
    1. Boot from Windows 10 USB install media (you can buy it pre-loaded or build your own on the Microsoft website).
    2. Install Windows 10 Pro x64
    3. Install Nvidia Drivers
    4. Install MSI Afterburner and set memory clock to 600, and power to 70. This will give you 30Mh/s per 1070 GPU
    5. Install any system drivers that didn’t auto-install (check device manager)
    6. Rename PC to mining worker name. Something like Minion001, Minion002, etc.
    7. 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’.
    8. Disable windows update using this guide.
    9. Set power profile to ‘always on’
    10. Install your favorite remote access software, especially if you plan to have more than one rig to manage.
    11. Fire up the mining rig and rake in those crypto coins!

Something I’ve done when building out a whole 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.

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 Coinbase. I would also recommend keeping your coins safe using the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet, since even the best crypto exchanges can be hacked through a variety of methods.