Building a Mining Rig – Part 1 – The Basics

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Building a Mining Rig - part 1 - the basics

Have you been experimenting with mining and are ready to take it to the next level? Maybe you’ve been mining with a laptop or desktop CPU or maybe you are completely new to mining. Either way, this tutorial will show you, step-by-step how to build, configure, and maintain an effective and profitable mining rig.

Once finished, you will have a better understanding of the needs and costs of running a mining rig and you will be on your way to creating an automatic income while supporting vital functions of the blockchain(s) on which you are mining!

How to build your mining rig

Where to start?

In order to start mining today, you really don’t need anything other than your computer. Any computer is capable of mining, however, the difficulty associated with mining various coins has become so high that this type of mining is no longer profitable. If you are completely new to mining We highly suggest trying this method before spending any money on equipment in order to familiarize yourself with basic mining functions. This isn’t necessary of course but it will make things much easier when you do start purchasing equipment. Mining rigs can be very costly depending on what equipment you decide to use and what level of hashing power you are trying to reach. To learn more about hash power check out this earlier post.

As always, you will need to do some research to determine how profitable your mining rig can be. You will have to factor in the upfront costs of equipment as well as the energy costs for running it in comparison to the value and quantity of a given coin you are able to mine using your equipment. To find out your hardware’s energy consumption, take the total hash rate and divide it by the wattage of your hardware. Luckily, many sites are either dedicated to or include mining calculators to make this process much easier for you. In order to use these calculators, you will need to have a few coins you are interested in mining to compare possible returns on investment. Click here for a review of the most promising coins to mine in 2018 to help you get started.

Types of Equipment

When it comes to the equipment required, there is almost no end to the choices available. Let’s break it down into simple categories:

Central Processing Unit

CPU – This is the processor for your computer. Computers with decent processing power can do very light mining. The better your CPU, the better your hashrate will be. However, the processor is not very cost effective when it comes to mining. Many high-end processing units can be very expensive and still will not likely generate enough mined cryptocurrency to even cover the costs of the unit. CPU mining tends to be very slow and not very profitable in most cases.

Graphics Processing Unit

GPU – Early on it was discovered that miners could get much more bang for their buck by using their GPU for mining. “Graphics processing units”, or just graphics cards for short, work at significantly higher hashrates with much smaller energy consumption. Because of this, they have become the preferred type of processor used in most mining operations. Many high-end graphics cards used in either gaming or processor intensive digital art have exploded in price after the demand for them went up as a result of crypto mining. Even still they are the preferred processing units for almost all known crypto algorithms and remain profitable regardless of inflated prices. There are a host of sites with reviews on various GPUs so we will not cover them all here. To learn more about some of the best GPUs of 2018 check out this article. Multiple graphics cards can be combined with a cheap motherboard and CPU to build what is known as a mining “rig”.

Application-Specific Integrated Circuit

ASIC – This is a specially designed machine that’s sole purpose is high powered mining. Application Specific Integrated Circuit machines are built to be the most effective miners all the way down to the chip level. Everything about these machines is specifically for mining and nothing else. However, there are a few drawbacks, namely cost, and usability. When mining with a GPU rig mentioned above, the user is free to switch between different currencies being mined more easily. In contrast, ASICs are built to mine one specific coin or multiple coins using the same algorithm. In this way, the user is limited to what they can mine with any particular ASIC. These machines are extremely powerful and therefore very expensive. When it comes to generating hash rate there is not much competition and these types of machines are the primary reason that most people cannot compete easily in the crypto mining realm. As such, many crypto developers have made the point to create new coins that are resistant to ASIC miners in order to level the playing field for everyone. You should be very sure about the currency you are going to mine before investing in one of these machines. You can find a recent post discussing the top ASICs for the cryptonight algorithm here.

The Next steps

With CPU and even ASIC mining, you are pretty much ready to start mining. However, if you want to build a rig, which can be the most cost-effective and flexible of all of the options listed, you will need a few things and a little bit of work. It may seem daunting at first, but is actually fairly straightforward and can be a lot of fun to learn!

The primary components you will need are as follows:

  • Basic Motherboard
  • Power Supply
  • 1-6 Graphics Cards
  • Solid State Drive
  • All related cables
  • Frame to hold all other components

Be sure to check out Part 2 for step by step instructions on putting it all together and starting the next stage of your mining adventure. Until then – Happy mining!

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