In this part of the tutorial, we will go over, step-by-step, how to put together all of the components that make up an effective GPU mining rig. In the first part, we discussed various mining hardware, the pros, and cons of each and some great tips and resources for getting started.
Here we will expand on some of those things while we explore the various components further and learn how to put it all together and get your very own rig up and running!
If you haven’t already, we recommend reading Part 1 – The Basics before going further. If you already have a good understanding of the basics of mining then feel free to continue on and begin building your rig.
The components you will need are as follows:
- Basic Motherboard
- Power Supply
- 1-6 Graphics Cards
- Cheap Solid State Drive
- All related cables
- Frame to hold all other components
Let’s get started!
First, you will need a motherboard. Just a basic, inexpensive motherboard will do. The motherboard is the part of a computer or mining rig that every other component plugs into. For our purposes, you will want a motherboard that allows for multiple graphics cards. An effective motherboard for a mining rig will allow up to at least 6 graphics cards but less is ok for your first rig. You will also need a CPU to plug into your motherboard, but again basic and inexpensive is all you need here.
Next, you will need your GPUs. You will not want to be cheap here as this is the component that will actually carry out the mining by solving the complex problems and creating new blocks on a given chain. If you are only using one, consider simply upgrading the GPU of your current computer. However, combining GPU’s in your rig is the best way to achieve high hashrates and so having multiple cards on your miner is preferred. You do not have to fill all the slots of your motherboard right away though. You can start with only one or two cards and upgrade your rig as you go.
The last piece of hardware you will need is a Power Supply. This will power the whole rig so it is vitally important that you choose a power supply with enough wattage to run the graphics cards without shorting out. You will need to figure out how much power your GPU requires and multiply that by how many of them you intend to use (even after upgrades) in order to figure out the best power supply for your needs. Generally, a 1500-1600w PSU should be more than enough.
Finally, you will need a frame for your rig. This can be a ready-made frame that you purchase, as long as it will accommodate the hardware you have chosen to use, or you can build your own out of a variety of materials that is custom fit to your needs. You can even recycle old crates or shelves to use as a frame. The most important thing about the frame is that it secures your hardware and that it contains minimal to no metal as the conductive nature of metals can affect the performance and health of your mining rig.
Once you have your frame ready, you can begin to put it all together. The steps are actually very easy! First, you will need to attach the CPU you acquired to your Motherboard and then secure your motherboard to the frame using screws. Now connect the CPU fan to a 3-4 jack and then to the RAM. Next, connect an SSD to the motherboard and secure it in place as well. Now connect the motherboard to the power supply unit using the 24-pin connector near the CPU and use the 8-pin connector to connect the CPU to the power supply. Then connect the SATA to the SSD. At this point, make sure that the SSD is properly connected to the motherboard. The SATA power cables are going to power your GPUs so simply align them to where the GPUs will be mounted and then use a zip tie or twist tie to secure the wires to the frame. Finally, secure your first GPU to the rig frame before you proceed to connect the USB into the motherboard slot. Now connect the SATA cable to the GPU. Do this one graphics card at a time till all are done.
Congratulations! You have completed building your very first mining rig! Now let’s get it up and running.
An important factor to consider is maintaining your mining rig. Keeping it clean of dust and periodically ensuring all parts are working properly will go a long way but there are other things that can make or break your rigs operation. One major problem facing these types of rigs is overheating. These things get hot – Really hot. In order to ensure the optimal health of your newly built mining rig, you will want to make sure you are keeping it consistently cool. This can be done by placing it near an AC vent in your home, placing one or more fans towards the rig, or any other method you come up with that will not damage the equipment. The other main concern is part failure or upgrades. In this case, either a component of the rig such as the power supply has burnt out and needs replacing or you have added to your rig and require better hardware to run it. In either case, you will want to build your frame in such a way that accessing and replacing parts when necessary is not harder than it needs to be.
Miner Configuration and Pools.
Now you have a completed rig, or you have opted to purchase an ASIC miner for a specific algorithm. Next, it’s time to put it to work and start earning an automatic passive income. First, you will need to connect the rig temporarily to a monitor of some kind and install the operating system of your choice. Most mining software and/or pools support many different operating systems but you will want to check and be sure before making your final choice. While your rig is connected to a monitor you should also switch the power management to reboot in case of a power outage. Alternatively, you could plug your rig into a surge protector to avoid this issue altogether but that requires a bit more investment up front that isn’t entirely necessary.
After you have installed the operating system, you will need to update all drivers for your motherboard and GPUs as needed. You should also disable updates and cancel all scheduled tasks. Finally, ensure that your system detects all of the graphics cards that you installed. When you are sure everything is working properly and fully updated, its time to download your mining software. There are many to choose from and you should research a few and compare reviews before making your choice. Once installed, most of the mining software will require you to create a *.BAT file to connect it to the correct network you will be mining on. Instructions for your *.BAT file are usually included with the software and/or mining pool you choose.
Mining solo has long been ineffective and largely unprofitable so you will want to connect to a pool in order to maximize your chances of solving the next block and receiving a part of the reward for doing so. Generally, you are rewarded in proportion to the hash power you are contributing. There are a ton of different mining pools out there and you can get started by clicking here to learn about how to choose which is best for your needs. MinerGate.com is a multi-pool with a very large community of miners that makes it extremely easy to get started. The downloadable mining GUI is as intuitive as it is simple and the necessary *.BAT files are generated for you automatically making the whole process easier than ever. MinerGate’s website also includes clear and easy instructions for connecting your rig to their platform to get the most out of it. Several tests have been done by crypto enthusiasts and professional miners that compare the power of MinerGate to other traditional mining software such as NiceHash or Claymore only to reveal that it is at least on par when it comes to mining capabilities. However, MinerGate is vastly easier to use and understand, especially for those new to mining.
As always, Happy mining!