In our previous articles, we saw what mining is, its characteristics and its use in the blockchain environment, then we talked about ASICs. If you want to know more about these computers, we invite you to read the article on ASICs and their profitability. In this article you’ll discover the second type of computer that can be used to mine: “RIGs“.
But what are RIGs? If you have read the article on ASICs, you should know that an ASIC only allows you to mine one cryptocurrency at a time. RIGs, on the other hand, offer greater versatility by allowing you to mine several cryptocurrencies at the same time and, consequently, optimise the profitability of your equipment.
Now let’s identify the necessary components to build a performant RIG. We will provide you with the basics to avoid making beginner mistakes and thus saving you time.
What are the components to build a RIG ?
We will look at them one by one to help you understand their roles in the mining activity:
- A power supply: It’s not the first component you want to look at when buying a multimedia computer, but it is quite different when you want to mine cryptocurrencies. Indeed, this type of activity involves the use of a graphics card at full capacity requiring a sufficient power source.
If you want to start mining with a single graphics card, then we recommend investing in a certified power supply with a minimum power of 650W.
Otherwise, with several graphic cards, (i. e. 3 to 4 cards) you should acquire a power supply providing at least 1200W. With 6 cards, go directly for a 1500W power supply.
- Steel box: It will allow you to properly organise and store your computer components in order to optimise heat circulation and, therefore, their lifetime. If you are in a hurry and you don’t want to build the structure by yourself, you can get it directly from Amazon at a fair price.
- RAM memory: It is one of the least important components to optimise your RIG since the latter mainly use the power of graphics cards to mine cryptocurrencies. RAM allow you to increase your operating system fluidity, 4GB are enough for mining.
- A portfolio of cryptocurrencies: Even if this device is not necessary to start mining, it is nevertheless strongly advised to get one (the cost is around 85$) since it can literally save your funds (cf: Wallet). The different exchange platforms suffer from regular cyber attacks, you will feel much more secure to know your hard earned funds will be safe in your wallet.
The company Ledger offers one of the best device on the market, they also have a very good customer service and they regularly publish security updates.
- PCIE and Risers cables: Risers allow you to optimise the ventilation of your IT components, especially graphics cards because they generate a lot of heat. If you use several graphics cards to mine, you better equip yourself beforehand to avoid unpleasant surprises. Each riser allows you to connect a graphics card. PCIe cables will connect the graphic cards to the power supply. Given its low cost, we recommend ordering several pieces in case the cables were to be broken. If you rather choose to use risers, which is a wise decision for the health of your graphics cards, simply connect your cards to a multi-sata power cable connected in turn to the power supply unit.
- Cable RJ-45 + CPL: By experience, we do not recommend mining using wifi, which is too unstable to mine qualitatively. That’s why we recommend connecting an Ethernet cable to your RIG for more stability. If your modem is too far away, we recommend that you purchase a CPL.
- SSD hard disk: In view of the huge drop in price of SSD hard disks, it would be a mistake not to buy one for your rig. Indeed, SSDs consume less energy, moreover, they are much more powerful and ergonomic than simple hard disks. It will cost you about 45€ to own a Kingston A400 120GB which is powerful enough for mining, but you can choose to take one with a larger or smaller capacity depending on your budget constraint. In addition, it is possible to acquire an SSD hard disk with an included EthOS operating system.
- Operating system: An OS is necessary for any computer, mining rigs are no exception. You can mine with the system that suits you best: Windows, MacOS, Linux, all systems are compatible. Otherwise, it is also possible to install systems specifically designed for mining, such as EthOS, which makes possible the mining optimisation of Ethereum and Monero (about 45$).
- One or several graphic cards: Here is the key element to optimise mining performance. You will have to spend about 700€ for each graphics card if you choose to take a GTX Nvidia 1070 Ti which we consider to be the best quality/price ratio just before the GTX 1060. You can also go for an AMD card for a cheaper price, but they are more energy consuming graphics cards although the difference in profitability is negligible in the short term. The RX580 also remains an excellent choice for mining cryptocurrencies such as ETH. Consider the memory available before purchasing your card as it is a good indicator of how long your card will last. Obviously a card with 8GB will be obsolete less quickly than a 4GB or 6GB card, mainly because of the DAG which is stored in the graphic memory. Once the memory is full, the graphics card will no longer be able to create cryptocurrencies. Finally, the strong competition and technical progress will make your graphics cards outdated quite fast…
- Motherboard: This component is very well named, its choice is not to be taken lightly as it will determine several of the components composing the final machine. Many miners mine cryptocurrencies with more than 6 graphic cards but not all motherboards can accommodate such numbers. Each card also has its own features that do not allow any type of processor or RAM memory. To find out if the motherboards can accommodate 6 graphics cards, you will need to make sure that the motherboard has at least 6 PCIe slots. Still most motherboards “only” allow you to mount 3 to 4 graphics cards, so you will probably have to find specific components for mining such as the model “Asrock H80 pro BTC“.
- Processor: The processor is not the most important part in the context of mining cryptocurrencies a “cheap” processor compatible with the motherboard socket is more than enough. We recommend an Intel Pentium G4400 (3.3Ghz) Skylake processor (about 55$) especially for low resource consumption system with less than 55 watts of power consumption.
- Other components: Now that you have all the necessary components to build a powerful RIG you will need, as for any other computer, a screen and a keyboard. It might seems logical to you, but we prefer to make that clear for the beginners who would like to order their components right after the reading of this article.
The CIA’s opinion
As you have probably understood after the reading of this article, these components will allow you to build a computer. But what is the point to create another computer if you have already a computer that allows you to read this article ? To answer this question. First of all, when you mine cryptocurrencies, your computer dedicate its resources in crypto mining so it will considerably slower the other tasks you might want to do on your computer. Moreover, mining requires a lot of computer power to verify transactions and validate blocks so you will have to invest in top equipment to avoid your computer to die too quickly. You will understand that investing in an expensive computer is clearly not the best way. Instead, you should look for components specifically designed to mount your own mining RIG.
We hope this article has answered all of your questions you and that it will help you build your first mining RIG . In the next article we will see a tutorial explaining how to set up your mining rig. Feel free to comment and share your experience.
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