First Mining Rig - Have $4000 to spend - Any Recommendations?

Hey guys,

I’m new here. Looking to take my first step into crypto mining, both for the learning and hobby aspect as well as turning a profit. I’m kicking myself for not getting into this when I first learned of BTC 7 years ago. Anyhow, better late than never and I don’t want to look back another 7 years from now and really regret not jumping aboard.

With that said, I was hoping to use your expertise to make a good investment. I know I can use Minerstat, and I have been. But I would love to get some insight from some pros. Obviously I’d rather spend the least amount possible but as we all know, the older and cheaper hardware isn’t profitable now. I kind of like the idea of GPU mining just because of its versatility. However, if the ROI would be faster with ASIC mining, then that would be the route I’d take.

I should also state that I don’t mind if the rig is used. Also, I’d spend some more (max about $4.5k) if it meant the difference between huge earnings and modest. Any recommendations from you guys would be much appreciated. You all are light years ahead of me and I’d be really grateful for your thoughts/input. If you can spare a moment please help. Thanks in advance. :+1:

:roll_eyes: :no_mouth: If I was in your situation, would have been a whale by now

Yeah I get it. Humble beginnings though. We all start somewhere. Thanks.

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Here are a few options:

  1. 100% DIY. Build your own open-frame GPU miner. Get a motherboad like one of these:
    Put a mid-range CPU on it, some RAM and SSD and a beefy PSU (at least 850wts) Do not go cheap on the PSU!! You’re in the right place for DIY. VOSK has plenty of videos on Youtube about how to build a rig. Plus there a litereally 1000’s of videos that walk you through the process.

No need to buy ALL of the GPU’s in one go. Build the system, get 1 or 2 GPU’s to start and build up from there. Maybe even using your mining profits to purchase your additions.

  1. Get a pre-built riserless system. For example:
    This route I recommend installing a real mining OS. SimplemMiner (SMOS) or HiveOS. You can download and install it on a USB stick and boot from it. SMOS allows you to remote in from anywhere and control your rig. Linux-based, stable, no crashing, maximize your hashrate. Beware of one downside: Server builds can be FREAKING LOUD!!! You won’t be putting one in your bedroom and they’re usually 220VAC only (volts AC). If you don’t have access to 220VAC power, then not really an option.

  2. Look for used rigs online that match your budget. If you plan to mine something like Ethereum (ETH) keep in mind any GPU you get needs to be 6GB RAM or higher. 4GB GPUs can no longer mine ETH (at least not for a beginner, and not easily). I’d recommend 8GB GPUs at the very minimum in your build.

As of right now it will be a challenge to find GPUs. A newer card (i.e. Nvidia 3080) is gonna blow your budget just on a single GPU alone! So look in the used market for Nvidia 1080 variants. These were (and still are) workhorse GPUs with many “mining versions” of these cards released into the world. MSI Ventus versions or P104 versions where popular.

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Awesome thank you! So I was looking for used gaming PCs in my area since the sellers probably don’t know how much their GPU is really worth in the crypto world, but unfortunately the best I found was a $500 PC with a GTX 1660. I could expand my search radius I suppose.

I checked out your links. I see the minerdude rig is like $900. I could swing that and I found some AMD Pro W5700 cards for $700. That seems like a decent price for what everything else is going for. Do you think so?

I guess building my own rig would save a few bucks, right? DIY usually does. But if I bought the minerdude rig at least I wouldn’t need to start shopping for everything else. Plus they look like they are well built.

Anyhow, with minerstat and the cost of setting up, I calculate 180 days for ROI (at current ETH price). In your experience, is this a decent timeframe for ROI?

Also, am I right to take comfort in the fact that if all else fails, I can always sell the GPUs on eBay and recoup my investment? Or is there some underlying factor that is looming in the horizon which would render these GPUs useless for mining (e.g. Proof of Stake or something of the sort)?

edit I should clarify because I know ETH is talking about PoS, which would end mining for ETH. But with GPU we can just switch to some other coin, right? Also, what about rewards being cut in the near future…is that something that I need to watch out for before the 180 day ROI I’ve calculated?

By the way, Cryogen I really want to say thanks for taking the time to type up your response. Taking time out of one’s day to help a stranger is a really cool thing to do. Thanks much!

the 1660 is a useable card. Especially on Equihash coins. If it’s a 1660Ti or Super model that’s a good card because they’re about the most efficient GPU made for Hash/Watts with 6GB of fast RAM.

The Minerdude rig does make it more plug&play but remember 220VAC power from the wall and it will be LOUD! But add a GPU, install SMOS on a USB stick and off you go. Remember you cannot mix cards. AMD or Nvidia. You have to choose. On a Windows PC you may be able to mix Nvidia cards, but on the Server rig I’ve had no success in mixing different model GPUs, so I have all the same make&model in my rig.

A used gaming PC is also a good place to learn how to mine. $500 is a good price as a 1st learning step. A dual GPU setup is a good environment to learn the basics. My game PC has (3) 1660Ti’s working away. That’s how I learned then added the Minerdude rig.

Mining can turn into a rewarding full time hobby and there is a vast world of mineable coins out there. Most are shitcoins, some are a good longterm investments. If you just let your GPU crank on ETH you won’t really go wrong, it has a ways to go before PoS takes over and PoW is phased out.

I totally agree with this turning into a hobby. I remember the days of flashing roms and kernels on my android phone and I had so much fun doing it. I bet you are right about this because this will be also making money on top of it all.

So is there an alternative to the noise with gpu rigs or are they all loud like the ASICs?

Unfortunately the GPUs I mentioned, the AMD Pro W5700 are on back order until March. I also realized that they are inferior to the RTX 5700. Someone said they were getting around 50 MH/s with one but this was a couple of years ago. I’m curious if they would be a good GPU to mine with but minerstat doesn’t list those.

Also, you already answered one of my next questions, about same make but different model GPUs. So you are saying that it can be done with a gaming PC but NOT with a rig? I was thinking they were both windows so it would work. I’m glad you cleared that up for me before I made that mistake. :raised_hands:

Well it looks like I’m going to go ahead and bite the bullet and just jump in head first with a complete setup. I want to start a little bigger than I originally had planned because I want to get the ROI as fast as possible. I know people have mixed reviews about buying from Alibaba. I guess using the trade assurance is one thing. Do you have any recommendations for companies to buy GPUs? Ever heard of ShopBLT?

Thanks again, Cryogen.

It’s supposed to be possible to mix Nvida cards in a server-style rig (like the Minerdude). But your limited by the drivers included with the Mining OS. So while you “can” do it, I was not able to figure it out. For example: I could not get my 1660Ti to work next to a 1080. But on a Windows-based mining rig this should be less of a problem. It should work.

Noise on the Minerdude/Server cases are par for the course. They are loud like ASICs. Server PSU’s are basically mini freight trains in a case. You can (at added expense) swap out the case fans and PSU for silent versions. But then you’re spending another $300-$400 on duplicate parts.

A DIY GPU rig can be pretty quiet. I barely hear my PC. So if you go that route noise won’t be much a problem. Just make sure you have good cooling for everything. When you crank up GPU processing it puts out a lot of heat!

I looked around and couldn’t find a GPU at any online retailer. My web searches only turn up ebay auctions.

If you’re gonna go with the Minerdude rig, jump over to and start learning how to get the OS installed on a USB stick. They also have directions on how to install it directly on your rig’s SDD. Jump on their Discord server and start reading. If you know what you’re doing you can be up & mining in 10 minutes. But if it’s your first time looking at a Mining OS you’re gonna have a lot of “what the hell?” moments.

If you’re gonna buy a complete PC rig then Windows will get you started since all miner apps are usually released for Linux & Windows. You can get started with ETH pretty quick here: No affiliation, just the one I know.

Never heard of ShopBLT. Do they make sandwiches? (BLT joke)

Final tips:

  • Never mine to an Exchange address
  • Do not install a wallet on the rig you mine with!! (Especially Windows!!!)
  • Use a Password Manager with unique strong passwords for everything crypto! Keepass is opensource on Windows. Or 1Password for iOS.
  • Download a good Wallet (ZelCore or Vidulum) to a separate, secure iPad, phone or computer and mine to your own wallet address there.
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Cool. Thanks for the tips. I will keep all of this in mind when I’m searching. I, too, am only finding gpu on ebay. I am seriously considering trying to buy a few RTX 3080 gpu. Minerstat has them making $8.44 per day!

I know it will cost more up front, but once I break even, I want the profit to be high. So I’m trying to get over the initial cost to get set up.

Thank you again for all your advice. I definitely would like something quiet, but I like the idea of being able to expand up to 8 GPUs for example, which doesn’t seem possible in a PC tower.

You can totally build a 6-GPU open frame rig yourself:

Then with a mining motherboard (see my 1st reply) you can add GPUs as you go.

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Perhaps I will go this route. Maybe I can also get some more quiet fans lol

Great info cryogen, I want to revive my gpu rig, and I like these ideas… But one question, isn’t XMR still gpu, asic resistant? More importantly, profitable?

@Don_Verge Thanks!
Yes, Monero moved to a RandomX variant that is mined with CPU. People usually go with AMD processors to mine RandomX cpu algorithms. I don’t dual mine since my rig is purpose built and that celeron cpu is not meant for XMR, although if you mine on a gaming PC then it’s worth giving it a shot. Especially if you’ve got 8-cores/16-threads, or more, just sitting there (and a really good cpu cooler!!!)