The right mining hardware is just part of the story. If you're serious about mining Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, check out our guide to what you need to know cryptocurrency mining. Cryptocurrency mining has driven up GPU prices and is hurting gamers. But if you're dead set on spelunking into the cryptocurrency mines, you might as well know what you're getting into.
To be clear, we don't encourage this. But if you really want to start mining Bitcoin or Ethereum or another cryptocurrency, don't be too intimidated: if you've built a rig before, putting together a cryptocurrency mining PC is an easy weekend project that will let you learn how blockchain technology works, the limits of at-home hashing, and the real costs involved, some of which are hidden.
You should also be aware of the risks. Cryptocurrency is volatile, and there's no guarantee you'll make back the money you spend on your hardware as quickly as you expect. You could even lose it altogether. Financial philosophy aside, the hardware part of the bitcoin equation is simple.
In fact, other than a few odds and ends, you may already have most of the parts sitting in a garage or closet—leftovers from previous gaming rig upgrades. A simple frame is all you need to house your mining rig, so wait for a sale or try DIY before spending hundreds of dollars on a 21st century pan and pickaxe. Mining rigs start with a rudimentary open-frame enclosure for the motherboard and other components.
While many prebuilt configurations exist , they can cost more than proper gaming cases since, in a long running tradition , suppliers often charge a premium on mining hardware.
Ingenious crypto miners have used everything from nailed wooden planks to milk crates with good results. The main point of the open-air frame is ventilation and space for the GPUs. The downsides are noise and exposure, so a separate, dry, well-ventilated room is recommended. Flexibility and stable operation are the top considerations for mining motherboards, rather than all-out performance, since the goal is attaching as many GPUs as possible.
Most recent gaming motherboards from top-tier manufacturers like Asus, MSI, or Gigabyte will suffice here, although check the documentation to see how many graphics cards the hardware can handle. Keep in mind that some BIOS adjustments will be required to maximize stability with more than a couple of cards.
While a hand-me-down gaming motherboard should be sufficient for a starter rig, serious enthusiasts use boards made for mining, such as this Asus B Mining Expert that supports a crazy 19 GPUs.
More serious cryptocurrency hobbyists use dedicated mining motherboards that have pre-tweaked BIOS settings and the ability to connect over a dozen GPUs. But supply and demand issues are a recurring theme with mining rigs, and the boards that support more than six GPUs are often out of stock or seriously overpriced. This is how you get half a dozen or more double-slot sized GPUs to fit on one motherboard.
Celerons, single-stick memory configurations, and other money saving shortcuts are all fine here. This is a perfect place to use items off the spare parts shelf. Dust off that dual-core Celeron, puny Pentium, or Ivy Bridge antique. They all work just fine in a mining rig. There's a small corollary here, and it's that CPU mining of certain algorithms is still potentially profitable. You're probably better off buying another graphics card rather than worrying about CPU mining potential. Right now they're expensive though.
But check this listing to make sure. Be wary of second-hand cards formerly used in mining rigs however, as the stress shortens the lifespan of the hardware considerably. One area requiring investment is the power supply. Typical multi-GPU cryptocurrency setups require plenty of juice, more than even a high-end gaming system, and these PSUs will cost you. A gold rated power supply is minimum, since mining rigs run at constant high loads, and depending on what GPUs you're running and how many of them , you'll want at least a W output, if not more.
This Corsair HXi has the capacity for several high-end graphics cards. You'll need all the efficiency you can get. Something else to keep in mind with power use is your power circuit. Most US homes come with 15A circuit breakers, which means a single circuit will top out at around W. If you're thinking about setting up multiple mining rigs, you'll need to keep them on separate breakers. Good news: you may be paying a premium for a graphics card and a high capacity power supply, but you can cheap out a bit when it comes to your system memory and storage.
Likewise, the speed of your OS drive isn't important for mining. If you have an old hard drive or spare SSD around, that'll do the job just fine. If you're picking up a fresh part, grab a small SSD on the cheap. It'll make the system easier to use, and you don't need much storage space to keep your mining operation running. You only really need 4GB as there's not much going on in the memory-use front. Building your own cryptocurrency mining rig is no harder than building any other custom PC.
It's a great way to learn the inner workings of the hardware, and save some money over a prebuilt system outrageous graphics card prices notwithstanding. But if you really don't have the time to build your own mining rig, buying prebuilt is always an option. But should you buy a prebuilt desktop PC, or a dedicated mining rig with multiple graphics cards? Thanks to the cryptocurrency boom, the latter cost thousands of dollars on Ebay, both used and new.
Buying used could net you heavily worn graphics cards with diminished lifespans. Either way, it's a huge investment if you're just getting started with mining. And if the mining thing doesn't work out, you've still got a bodacious gaming PC. But is at-home mining worth it? Do you have cheap power rates? Hardware laying around? Friends with spare video cards? For the cryptocurrency curious who can say yes to these or other similar considerations, it may be worth giving mining a try.
Our advice is to not invest more than you can afford to lose, and don't get caught thinking about breaking even and making a profit in just a few months. Realistically, right now the price gouging on graphics cards means you're looking at a best-case result of around seven months, assuming nothing goes haywire. If crypto prices drop further, it could take much longer to break even—and of course there's the possibility of another bubble.
But if you already have most of the parts handy, you could give it a shot. Just stop buying up all our gaming GPUs, please. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. More about mining The right mining hardware is just part of the story. See comments. Topics Hardware.
It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin
Let me welcome you to this guide to choosing the best Bitcoin mining hardware. This guide will explain the differences between the top Bitcoin mining rigs on the market today. This guide to Bitcoin mining machines will cover the following:. The role of Bitcoin mining is to verify that transactions on the network follow the rules. To do this, complex computer units are used to check the transactions and hardwarr them to other computer systems around the world.
Http://trackmyurl.biz/bitcoin-started-what-year-8100.html are sold separately. Error, failed harwdare subscribe. While a hand-me-down gaming motherboard should be sufficient for a starter rig, serious enthusiasts use boards made for mining, such as this Asus B Mining Expert that supports a crazy 19 GPUs. It's a great way to learn the inner workings of the hardware, and save some money over a prebuilt system outrageous graphics card prices notwithstanding. Most mining hardware appears profitable until electricity costs are accounted. Yardware there is more computing power collectively working to mine for bitcoin, the difficulty level of mining increases in order to keep block production at a stable rate. Read. Cloud bitcoin mining allows for an individual to pay for haedware use of hardware and software needed for bitcoin mining without expending the cost of overhead associated with a personal mining rig.