What is crypto mining rig and how to build one? You will have a number of ways in which you can make money from the crypto space apart from the traditional methods of investing in and trading with the coins.
One such profitable and popular way is by crypto mining.
This is a process in which you will have to validate a transaction made on the blockchain to legitimize it and authenticate it to be added as a new block to the blockchain.
You will get rewarded for it with new coins usually.
However, if you want to mine crypto successfully you will need to compete with several other miners to solve the crypto puzzle first and earn the reward, which is limited.
Therefore, you will need a good mining rig for that which should be fast, powerful and efficient.
You can straightaway buy a new mining rig from the market but you can also build your own mining rig if you want.
But remember, this is not the same as your average laptop or desktop computer and therefore you should know how exactly you can build your own crypto mining equipment.
If you are unaware of it, this is fortunately the right place to be.
In this article you will come to know about everything that is related to building a new crypto mining rig right from the considerations to the ways to go ahead with it.
You will also know the different types of hardware components that you need to have in hand that will make a good crypto mining rig and how exactly to assemble them.
Therefore, read on.
What is the Crypto Mining Rig and How to Build One?
Typically, a crypto mining rig is an amalgamation of different components.
These individual parts of the mining rig will enhance the hash rate or the mining output power of the machine and therefore your chances to win mining rewards in turn.
Typically a mining rig is built either with Graphics Processing Units or GPUs or Application Specific Integrated Circuit or ASICs joined together.
In short, a crypto mini rig is the same as a customized computer.
It comes with all the common elements of a standard computer but the only difference is that these parts are much, much more powerful than those. These are:
- The CPU or the Central Processing Unit
- The GPU or the Graphics Processing Unit
- The motherboard
- The RAM or Random Access Memory and
- The storage.
There are also other crypto mining-specific components that you should use in addition to these common ones to make your rig ready for mining but more on those in the later section of the article.
One of the most significant components that differ from any average computer and a crypto mining rig is the graphics cards.
The graphics card needs to be exceptionally powerful because it is the GPU that will do most of the hard work and not the CPU when it comes to mining crypto coins.
It is for this reason most crypto miners use a lot more than one graphics card in their crypto mining set up, even if they use a comparatively cheap computer.
All these high-performing graphics cards are attached to a single system.
This means that you will need a specialized motherboard as well to handle it.
And, if you want to push things while mining crypto coins really to the extremes, you will also need more than one Power Supply Units or PSUs along with that.
When it comes to building your own mining rig, you will need to know about the three particular phases of it namely, planning, building, and mining, in that order.
In the planning phase you will need to put a lot of thought as to which component types to use, the cost factor, maintenance and lots more.
For this you will need to spend some time on your research.
In the building phase you simply have to execute your plan and assemble each component.
You may take help from one of the several videos available on YouTube for that if you get confused at any point during the building stage.
Finally, the mining phase involves verifying and validating a transaction and earning rewards for it by being the first one to solve the desired cryptographic algorithm or mathematical puzzle.
You will need some technical skills for that.
While building your own mining rig the two most important aspects that you need to seriously consider are:
- The efficiency of the rig and
- The power consumption during the mining process.
However, there are also other aspects to consider which will seriously affect the building process of your own crypto mining rig.
Before you jump into building the mining rig of your own or even buying the components required for it you should consider these following factors:
- The type of crypto to mine – This is important because different crypto coins will have different hashing algorithms, block rewards, and pricing. These will surely influence your choice of mining rig based on the mining difficulty. Moreover, some crypto coins can be mined profitably with an ASIC, some with GPUs and others with CPU mining rigs.
- Profitability of the mining process – There are several factors that will affect the profitability of mining such as the cost of electricity or power bills. You should include these points along with others such as the cooling mechanism, noise, and portability into your total cost.
- Algorithm to mine – Some crypto coins, such as the Ethereum, are changing from the Proof of Work algorithm to better ones. You should go for a mining rig that will allow you to continue using your rig for mining the crypto with a changed algorithm and not have to make a huge investment all over again.
- Connectivity and reliability – The components used in building the rig should be reliable to handle the workload just as you will need a strong and reliable internet connection for crypto mining.
A few other considerations made before you start looking for the components to use in your crypto mining rig will also help you.
One important thing to know is that it will not be cheap.
Therefore, make sure you have the cash in hand to buy expensive components for your crypto mining rig.
Another important thing to know is that the power consumption of the mining rig is an important factor in the equation because a high amount of it will eat away all your profits.
And, since you are not building an average computer, you will need to make a lot of trial and error efforts to get everything working properly.
You will also need to fiddle with several different drivers. Therefore, you should be a game and be patient.
Last, but not least, it is also good to know about a few troubleshooting tips so that you can identify and remedy any situation or common issues that may arise during the building process or while testing your crypto mining rig after you have finished building it.
If the system does not run while testing, check whether or not the device recognizes the driver correctly.
For this you can disable and then re-enable the device by right clicking on the proper icon.
If it does not, you may have to update the driver of the device.
You may search for the driver or enter the path of the specific driver used in the device.
For example, if you are using an Nvidia model, you can type C:/Nvidia/ as its path and the Windows operating system will search for the driver in the child directories and even update it automatically.
If nothing works, right click on the icon and uninstall the device. You may go to Action and select ‘scan for hardware changes.’
Finally, you can re-run the Nvidia driver installer, if you are using one. It may correctly identify the hardware and install the suitable drivers.
Things may still not work and the driver may not appear and in that case you can check these hardware parts in particular:
- The power connections to the PSU and
- The connection of the GPU with all its pins.
Also check the riser card to ensure it is fitted properly on the GPU, functioning properly and is recognized by the computer in its slot to the motherboard.
In order to be very sure that the issues are mainly with the riser card, you may try the card with different graphics cards and see whether or not it is working.
If it works fine in others, then there can be an issue with either your GPU or in the Windows installation.
There are three fundamental categories of a mining rig namely, the CPU, the GPU, and the ASIC or the Application Specific Integrated Circuit.
This is a kind of mining where the processing power of the CPU is used to generate the required hashes.
CPU mining was good enough to earn handsome rewards even a few years back but as the mining difficulty has risen and more and more players have got involved in crypto mining, it has become less powerful and less efficient than before.
CPU mining now simply cannot outperform the GPUs and ASICs in terms of mining output and computational power.
However, there are some good CPUs that you can use in your mining rig. One significant advantage of going for a CPU rig is that your investment will still pay off if crypto mining does not PAN out since you can use your system for other computational jobs.
However, there is a significant risk of overheating of a CPU mining rig apart from its limited hash per second.
This means that you will need to invest separately in a powerful and efficient cooling system for your rig to take on the workload.
Building a GPU mining rig is a bit more complicated but with a little knowledge you may find it easy and even some common aspects in comparison to CPU mining rigs.
Even if you need multiple GPUs, it will be much easier to connect them to a single system than connecting a bunch of CPUs together. You simply have to connect the GPUs to the motherboard and set them to work.
However, you will need to choose the right GPU for your mining rig which is quite tricky.
You will need to do a lot of research for it since there is no silver-bullet suggestion to it.
ASICs are the most powerful machines that are specially designed for crypto mining. These machines lead the pack by the virtue of their features and ability to generate incredible hash power.
However, you should avoid building these machines because it is not only difficult to build but also because it is quite expensive and the model that you use may be soon outdated by a newer one.
Therefore, it is either a CPU mining rig or a GPU mining rig that you should ideally go on to build for you.
And, for that you will need these following components apart from a reliable and powerful CPU and GPU:
- Motherboard – This is needed to connect the GPUs and other working components. The more slots it has the more GPUs it will be able to accommodate.
- Case or frame – You will need a CPU case that is bigger and better than those found in an average computer so that all the GPUs can fit in it. You will not want a few of them lying on the floor for sure!
- PSU – A short for Power Supply Unit, the PSU should be powerful enough to be able to run all the GPUs that you use in your mining rig along with the CPU and the motherboard as well. Therefore, evaluate the power draw of the system so that all the components in your mining rig get enough power but also keep the power consumption aspect in mind because that may eat up a huge portion of your profit.
Here are some other components that you will also need to build your crypto mining rig. The list includes:
- Hard Drive – For proper and better storage, you will need to use an SSD or Solid State Drive of a decent brand. It should be reasonably good since the operating system of your computer will be running off the SSD as well. It may not be ultra-expensive but not ultra-cheap. You may also run a USB rig to run your crypto mining rig.
- RAM – You may use an 8 GB or 16 GB RAM that would be enough for mining crypto coins. There are a variety of options available in the market to choose from.
- PCIe Risers – Also called the PCI Express Risers, you will need it to plug in all those graphics cards into it if you are not planning to connect them all directly to your motherboard. However, make sure that you have a few spares of these ‘extension cords.’
- Cooler fan – The CPU of your mining rig should stay as cool as possible and therefore you will need some good cooling fans. This will prevent the CPU from becoming excessively hot while running and taking a lot of load while hashing all the day and in the process damaging innards of the mining rig and shortening its overall life. Make sure of the size of the fan so that it fits well in the CPU case.
- Operating system – Finally, it comes to choosing the operating system you want to install in your crypto mining rig. Ideally, there are three main choices such as Windows, Ubuntu, and HiveOS.
Though all these three operating systems have their characteristic pros and cons it is good to go with the HiveOS because it is a mining specific operating system and is known for its simplicity.
It also comes with a lot of built-in automation, monitoring, and remote control features.
However, the downsides of HiveOS include its learning curve and much more hardware-specific features than Windows and Ubuntu operating systems.
The network drivers are also restricted to AMD and it can be hard to install the correct drivers without finding and copying them manually.
As for the Windows operating system, the upsides of it are availability of a lot of drivers, it is easy to install, and everything is GUI or Graphic User interface based.
However, it does not have too many automation opportunities.
And, in the case of Ubuntu, you will be able to control everything fully through physical configuration.
You can even write your own automation and startup scripts to monitor, control, or overclock it for crypto mining with a lot of learning opportunities.
However, you will need to configure everything manually which will need a lot of effort, time, and technical skill.
Now that you have everything in hand, it is time to assemble the components and build your crypto mining rig eventually.
First, attach the motherboard. You will need to place it outside the mining frame, preferably over the foam or an anti-static bag.
Make sure that you release the lever that holds down the processor socket protection and finally put the thermal paste to the heat sink.
Second, attach the CPU to the motherboard on the socket.
Make sure that the alignment of the pins is in accordance with the respective and dedicated slots on the motherboard when you attach the CPU to it.
If you get the right arrangement it should slide comfortably into the slots.
If the processor comes without any pins, refer to the guide to make sure everything falls into the right place.
Do not force it in because it may bend or break the pins. Also, do not use it unless it is installed correctly because it will not work.
Third, attach the CPU cooler fan to the processor. There should be some kind of paste to attach it.
When done, connect the power cable of the fan to the right slot on the motherboard.
Fourth, attach the RAM to the dedicated slot on the motherboard. It is usually on the side brackets.
Align it properly and push it to fit it. If you do it in the right way, the RAM module should be clipped to the brackets.
Once again, do not use any force to push anything that does not fit in smoothly. It may not be aligned properly. If you push it, you will damage it.
Fifth, attach the motherboard to the frame. Usually, you will need to place it on the lower side of the mining frame.
This is because the graphics processing chips usually sit on the upper deck of the motherboard.
While attaching, make sure that you do not scratch the motherboard.
If the motherboard is metallic, it is better to use a plastic or wooden attachment and then place the motherboard to attach it to the frame.
This will prevent any shorting when the arrangement is disturbed or moved.
Otherwise, make sure that the metallic frame touches the screw holes precisely and the screws are fixed firmly.
Sixth, attach the PSU or Power Supply Unit and make sure that it is placed close to the motherboard.
Ideally, there will be 24 pins to connect the PSU cable to the motherboard.
While connecting the PSU, make sure that you check the label on the connector so that you do not mix them up.
If the power connector is labeled PCI-e, hook it to the corresponding GPU making sure that the pins are adequate but if it is labeled as CPU, hook it to the CPU.
Seventh, fix the USB riser cards to the motherboard via the PCI-e x1 connectors, SATA cable, or any other depending on the model.
If you have to connect the graphics cards to the motherboard through the PCIe risers, slip it onto the GPU and connect the USB cable to the riser.
Attach the other side of the cable to the USB-to- x1PCIe adapter which should, in turn, go into the particular USB-to-PCIe slot on the motherboard.
Apart from the above, there are a few things that you should also keep in mind towards the end of the building process of your crypto mining rig.
There can be multiple USB-to-PCIe slots on the motherboard so that you can connect multiple graphics cards to it.
However, the GPU should be connected by a separate riser to a different USB-to-PCIe slot.
You will then need to connect the power connectors of the PCI-e to one of the GPUs first and the other connectors to the other GPUs to complete the set up.
When done, you should finally connect the monitor of your mining rig to the GPU via the primary PCI-e slot on the motherboard.
In the same way and in the respective slots on the motherboard, connect the keyboard and the mouse.
Finally, check and recheck all the connections referring to the respective manuals before you turn it on.
Then connect the Ethernet cable simply to the motherboard.
If you are very particular and do not want too many cables all around that may cause some inconvenience to you while working, you may use zip ties in order to bundle the cables together and sort them out.
Remember, everything should be in the exact order when it comes to assembling the CPU, GPUs, PSU, motherboard, RAM and others onto the frame of your crypto mining rig.
This will not only prevent your crypto mining rig from overheating but will also allow you to add on more graphics cards if you need to do so later on.
Make sure that you check and follow the guide properly and also take help from the different online forums for additional support while assembling according to the CPU and GPU model, the software you are using, the type of crypto coin you want to mine, the mining pools that you want to connect too and all your needs.
USB Based Rigs
If you want to mine Bitcoin or any crypto coin individually but do not want to build one yourself or spend a lot of money on buying a mining rig, you can really strike gold with the USB based rigs.
The rigs may look tiny but are quite powerful to produce the desired rewards while mining.
For years, ordinary people have not been able to mine crypto coins successfully and make profits.
Since the difficulty in Bitcoin mining along with other crypto coins have increased, the rewards have been collected typically by the very big operations using a set of unbelievably powerful machines.
However, the small USB based mining rigs have helped the solo crypto miners a lot in using their comparatively weak setups to find the elusive success in crypto mining.
The fees, the reasonably high hash rate and high performance have enabled the miners to earn coins worth tens of thousands of dollars.
There are lots of such USB based rigs that come with different hash rates available in the market for you to choose from.
Therefore, though not at an exceptionally high level, the solo miners can still compete with others quite confidently and successfully by using these USB based crypto mining rigs.
The rewards may not be colossal but still these are worth it given the fact that you will be using a very tiny and comparatively cheaper mining rig in comparison to those huge ones that are used for carrying out megalithic operations.
Therefore, you can see after reading this article that it is not always necessary to buy a costly PC to mine crypto.
You can build your own and save some money as well but for that you will need to know the parts to use and how to build it.