My Mining Rig Part List
Unless you are shoving some GPU in your home desktop to mine Ethereum for *maybe* 26 MH/s, you will need a mining rig. I did that - shoved a GPU in my desktop and sacrificed tons of graphics performance - and it works. I of course am now building a rig. One card just isn't enough; we need full-blown rigs to really get some income.
You will need an understanding of how a computer is put together to build a rig. I won't teach you how to build the rig, but I will help you source compatible parts in the most economical way. I am a math-loving programmer, not as much a teacher.
My Mining Rig (Not fully assembled), showing SSD, RAM, Motherboard, and 9 GTX 1050 Tis
I consider this to be an intermediate rig because of its large scale and investment, however this will be my first dedicated mining rig. It has 13 GPU slots (not all of which have to be used). I haven't finished building it yet. Here are its parts:
- 1 x ASRock H110 PRO BTC+
- 1 x Intel Pentium G4400
- 1 x 64 GB+ SSD
- 1 x 8gb 2133MHz DDR4 RAM
- 13 x PCIe Powered Riser
- 1 x 1500 Watt Corsair Power Supply (read the note, it is important)
- 10+ GPU of choice (I chose the 1050 ti)
Note: Depending on your GPU, the power supply may need to have more wattage. 1050 Tis don't pull lots of watts, but the other cards do. Make sure your power supply can handle your load.
About the Parts
I chose these parts for a reason. Here is why.
ASRock H110 Pro BTC+
This motherboard has an enormous capacity for GPUs. There are more GPUs for every other component, which means that more of the watts are used on cards than other components. This is more efficient than, say, an 8 card rig, meaning more profit for your expenses.
Intel Pentiums are not the best processors anymore, so they're cheap. That is good since we don't need great CPU and RAM, just a fast boot up time and efficient GPUs. Also this processor doesn't use tons of watts like more powerful CPUs. Other great CPUs are Celerons. Like pentiums, they are cheap and work well enough.
64 GB Or More SSD
SSDs aren't cheap, unless you get only a little bit of storage. A mining rig isn't a database server, it is a really fast calculator. It doesn't need much storage, it just needs the storage it has to be fast. SSDs are really fast, and that is great for mining rigs.
8gb 2133MHz DDR4 RAM
This RAM, honestly, is overkill. It is faster than it needs to be and it's DDR4, the absolute latest class of overspeedy desktop memory. DDR3 would work fine, except the motherboard only supports DDR4. Other than that the RAM is simply compatible with that Pentium I selected and works pretty well.
PCIe Powered Riser (13 of them)
GPUs are FAT. Really fat. So fat they don't fit in the motherboard if you have a lot of them. Additionally the port for the GPU and the GPU port on the motherboard are slightly different... Powered risers save the day. Powered risers bring power and a motherboard slot to the GPU so all your GPUs can hang on a rack. Pretty cool!
Additionally I made a video for some of the risers I am usingwhen I got them in the mail. You can see it on YouTube here.
The Power Supply (1500 Watt)
It is best if the power supply is modular. That makes it better for cable management and generally more customizable/useful. Unfortunately 1500 Watt PSUs are rare right now (at least for any price I am willing to pay), so for my mining rig I will try to use some hardware hacking to use three salvage PSUs for my mining rig. Will keep you posted on that adventure...
[EDIT] : I tried the PSU hack, and it worked. I may have broken one of my 3 PSUs, however I can now mine with 5 cards. I still need more power to use all of my cards.
10 or More GPU of Choice
It makes no sense to put 6 cards in a 13 slot mining rig because you would be WASTING more than half of your mining rig's potential. This is why you should use 10 or more cards.
What GPUs you use don't matter that much as long as they are profitable, compatible with your hardware, and have enough RAM to last a while against the Ethereum GPU DAG. (Read about the Ethereum DAG here) Of course, they also have to be able to mine Ethereum