To preface this thread, I’d like to emphasize that I went head first into building a mining rig with absolutely ZERO knowledge about crypto, mining, or PC building. I will try to include detail about all the issues I ran into and mistakes that I made to hopefully help anyone else that’s literally starting from nothing…
[I ordered everything on amazon to get quick shipping and easy returns if necessary; if you want to minimize your hardware investment you can find good deals on hardware at [Newegg](http://Newegg.com) and eBay. A big factor to consider is whether you want to spend a lot on new hardware or save a little bit and buy used hardware (risking a hit to longevity and performance)].
GPU: 3x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition (Used for $285ea, function perfectly!)
PSU: 2x Mistel Vision MX850 (850W)
Motherboard: ASUS b250 mining expert
CPU: Celeron G3900
CPU Fan: Cooler Master i71C
RAM: DDR4 1x8GB 2400MHz Corsair Vengeance LPX
Solid State Drive (SSD): PNY CS900 120GB SSD
USB thumb drive
PCIe Risers 6-pack @ Amazon
Overall I spent about $1650 on hardware (after taxes).
How many GPUs do you plan on adding?
I went with the ASUS b250 ME mobo because it has room to add 19 GPUs. I don’t plan on adding this many anytime soon, but having the option is great! I would like to work my way up to having 8 GPUs on this rig in total. I will probably not buy more of these NVIDIA cards but rather try to get my hands o some AMD Radeon 5700s that are expected to hash at 51.5Mh/s, compared to the rate of my GTX 1070s at 30.5Mh/s, without much of an increase in power consumption.
Selecting a PSU
This is important so you don’t burn your house down or ruin any expensive hardware… Don’t skimp on price when it comes to a PSU—I have seen some sad examples of PSUs that have labels showing specs that don’t add up or have fake certifications!. I went with two 850W PSUs from Mistel. These are 80 Plus Platinum certified. I linked both PSUs together with a 24-pin dual PSU adapter cable. I used 2x 850W PSUs rather than one 1200+W PSU simply because it was a cheaper breakdown for more power. Mistel isn’t a huge brand, and they actually focus on making keyboards, but I’ve been in contact with the company and they have awesome support via the email on their website or their Instagram DMs @mistel_keyboard. I got a reply in just a few hours, and even though it was in extremely broken English I couldn’t have been more pleased with the quick and useful support! The company is in Taipei and they use Japanese components, nothing from China. So far it seems to be great quality. The fans don’t spin unless they require cooling… after running my rig for almost 24hrs they have yet to even get warm! (Of course this is expected to change once I start adding more GPUs).
I mentioned a 24-pin dual PSU adapter! Many motherboards only have one 24-pin connection spot to plug in a PSU. The ASUS b250 ME I’m using actually has three spots! They’re divided into A,B, and C with corresponding PCIe slots. ASUS recommends going sequentially, so I linked my PSUs both to power connection A and have all three GPUs connected to PCIe slots A01-A03. As I add more GPUs they will go on A04-A06, B07-B12, C13 and so on. For anyone using this motherboard and looking to add over 13 GPUs, you will have to do some research because it requires you to have a mix of different cards.
For someone who knew basically nothing about hardware and had never build a PC before, compatibility presented itself as my biggest issue. I originally had an Intel i3 9100f CPU on my mobo and could not get any signal on my monitor… Well that CPU is a 9th generation, which the ASUS b250 me does not support. Make sure you—before ordering anything—check compatibility for all your hardware… (CPU/Mobo compatibility, RAM specs, Mobo # of PCIe slots, etc.) The seemingly small mistake of my mobo and cpu not being compatible not only cost me money on the CPU, but also cost me about a week of mining since I had to wait for a replacement. Compatibility is a BIG deal!
Here is a link to the ASUS b250 ME cpu support list
That feels pretty in-depth as far as hardware goes, so I’ll move on to my rig’s actual performance…I may add some more details to the hardware and building process later on.
I’m using Windows 10 OS to mine Ethereum on Claymore15 DualETH miner. Each of my 1070s was hashing around 27Mh/s before overclocking. With MSI Afterburner I was able to overclock them to perform just over 30Mh/s each, using approx. 120W each. I don’t really know anything about overclocking, but a little internet research and playing around with MSI afterburner got me to a good spot. I’ll include a picture of my MSI Afterburner settings for these graphics cards.
Claymore15 DualETH miner claims you can mine decred, siacoin, Lbry, or pascal simultaneously with ETH without any decrease to your ETH mining hash rate. I decided to test this out and my ETH hash rate dropped from around 30.5Mh/s on each card down to 28-29Mh/s. My conclusion is that Claymore is incorrect and this does slightly cost your ETH mining hash rate. Unless you want to save extremely small quantities of DCR (probably not even enough to get a payout from a pool LOL) then this is definitely not worth it. WhatToMine.com shows a $0.03 annual revenue. I’d rather keep the couple extra Mh/s dedicated to ETH mining .
I’m using MyEtherWallet (MEW) and 2miners’ pool which has a 1% fee and rewards based on PPLNS payment method.
If anyone has any questions for me I’m happy to try and help! Also, if any of you who are much more experienced have any tips for me as I continue diving into mining/crypto, it is greatly appreciated! I will leave a link to an Imgur gallery with my rig and the msi afterburner settings.
Imgur Link: Rig & MSI Afterburner Settings
I used this YouTube video to figure out how to install Windows 10 onto my rig for free. Whoever made this video is a savior. He provides a Discord Server with all the software you need to get started(Windows for free, Claymore, 7Zip, MSI afterburner, etc). In the video he also configures Windows to perform at max efficiency and be dedicated to mining, basically disabling all the unnecessary stuff, unless of course your rig takes on a nasty minesweeper addiction… then you can keep the default apps.
UPDATE: I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to own ETH I would be better off buying it because my rig will accumulate such an insignificant amount over time. I am now Mining Zero (ZER) using lolminer / equihub pool. My three GTX 1070’s are hashing between 60-65 sol/s. At this rate, I am accumulating a little over 4 coins per day in the equihub pool. ZER is valued at $0.17 right now. So a little under a dollar per day, but if this coin’s value rises in the future it will have paid off.