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Author Topic: building a mining rig with $1800  (Read 5506 times)
dmurph
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May 31, 2011, 12:39:21 AM
 #1

Hey guys,

So out of a ups blunder they completely destroyed my old desktop (dropped from like 10 feet or something).  I got $1800 worth of insurance, and I'm planning on using all of it on a new mining computer.  I liked this older post: http://forum.bitcoin.org/?topic=2610.0 but I know things have changed a bit and a couple of those motherboards are over with.

So I'd love some advice on what I should be purchasing for this rig, here's my current build:

(EDITx7)
Case:MYOPENPC BENCH King $60
PowerSupply:CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-850TX 850W $130
CPU:AMD Sempron 140 $40
RAM:Corsair 3GB$40
Motherboard:MSI 890FXA-GD70]MSI 890FXA-GD70 $200
GPU: 3x5850 (I already have 2 unbroken)$450
TOTAL:~$1000
Also with x16 expansions so around ~$1050 at the end.
Then I'll buy two 6970's for gaming rig (that i'll complete later), leaving me around 1750
Thanks to SchizophrenicX and bcpokey for suggesting this build!

For a dedicated miner build, what do you guys think?

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Genrobo
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May 31, 2011, 12:43:06 AM
 #2

You can save a lot of money if you go the AMD route and do an MSI 890FXA-GD70 motherboard.

Also, you can get the Antec 1200w PSU Quattro for $200

Versus what you have selected, if you're doing this for mining, it would be the smarter option.

You could probably save enough money to build 2-4 rigs total.
Which would kick the crap out of the single rig you're thinking of getting in terms of hashing power.

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dmurph
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May 31, 2011, 12:56:53 AM
 #3

Why would multiple cheaper rigs be better?  The issue is the insurance, I have to give an equivalent build, I can't tell them two computers haha.

that does look pretty cheap, and I can do up to 3 cards in xfire, correct?  Yeah I heard antec's ps was better, thanks
grue
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May 31, 2011, 01:10:33 AM
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don't buy that expensive motherboard. just get a cheap one, and use risers/extenders to utilize all the pci-e x1 slots. Also, you're wasting money with your i7, just get a AMD motherboard + cheapest CPU.

Everything i said above only applies to a dedicated miner, if you're using this for gaming, this build looks decent.

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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Genrobo
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May 31, 2011, 01:11:51 AM
 #5

Why would multiple cheaper rigs be better?  The issue is the insurance, I have to give an equivalent build, I can't tell them two computers haha.

that does look pretty cheap, and I can do up to 3 cards in xfire, correct?  Yeah I heard antec's ps was better, thanks

Ah, well my idea was multiple computers, more GPU's, but if you can only do one rig...

How does this insurance work?
You don't get to keep the full $1800?

From what I've read that MSI board should handle quad crossfire at x8 speeds.


17YwW6cuSbXLT8cvvdAcfy1iHyPkhVE7CG
Donations welcome, not required.
I'll be honest, any donations aren't used for a good cause, they go directly to booze, food, herbal substances Wink, and computer hardware.
I will squander the money, but hell, at least you know one person is having a good time.
grue
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May 31, 2011, 01:12:49 AM
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also, from a mining standpoint, crossfire is bad idea. (degrades performance)

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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May 31, 2011, 01:16:34 AM
 #7

don't buy that expensive motherboard. just get a cheap one, and use risers/extenders to utilize all the pci-e x1 slots. Also, you're wasting money with your i7, just get a AMD motherboard + cheapest CPU.

Everything i said above only applies to a dedicated miner, if you're using this for gaming, this build looks decent.

Where do you find your extenders? And are extenders no good for gaming?!

Like my post: 1DvQzs6zaE4HR2gjRRDd6dfu6mJJaCQv7Z
bitlackey
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May 31, 2011, 01:17:49 AM
 #8

also, from a mining standpoint, crossfire is bad idea. (degrades performance)
Crossfire hasn't made a difference in my numbers, opencl still uses each gpu individually, it just eliminates having to hookup another monitor or dummy plugs.

SchizophrenicX
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May 31, 2011, 01:17:57 AM
 #9

If the issue is with the insurance, try to get more GPU from the insurance and then use cash to buy the MOBO of ur choice
GD70 is what one of my rigs is using. It's got 5 PCIe slots.


Consider this option.
 - GD70 (5 PCIe slot)
 - 1000W/1200 PSU (support 5x5850)
 - CPU of your choice
 - HDD of ur choice (If theres a need)
 - Casing of ur choice
 - RAM (2 GB + What u want to use)
 - a few other GPU from the balance of $1,800

Piece together a dedicated mining rig using the GD70+Sempron 140 [Purchase ur own], 2 GB RAM, PSU & GPU + Ubuntu/Linux on Thumbdrive (4 GB) [For 5 GPU get 2 PCIe Extender for $9]

As for your own computer. U still have Casing, CPU of ur choice, RAM, HDD & GPU (Assuming you got 3 or more from the insurance). All you need to buy is MOBO and PSU.

You'll get at least 2.5 Ghash/s with a working computer of ur liking + dedicated rig (naked or cheap casing). (total around 5~7 GPU) With a bit more investment.

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May 31, 2011, 01:21:18 AM
 #10

Where do you find your extenders? And are extenders no good for gaming?!
cards that are connected with extenders are terrible for gaming. My evaluation of your rig was on a pure mining basis. Tongue . You could always stick with 1 or 2 cards (connected via x16) while you game, and connect the rest of the cards using extenders. it's highly unlikely that you will use ALL of your card's processing power, but you'll save a ton of money.

extenders can be obtained here:
https://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=6128.0 (already pre-cut for x16 cards)
or ebay (not pre-cut, but only $4 vs $16)

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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dmurph
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May 31, 2011, 01:44:09 AM
 #11

If the issue is with the insurance, try to get more GPU from the insurance and then use cash to buy the MOBO of ur choice
GD70 is what one of my rigs is using. It's got 5 PCIe slots.


Consider this option.
 - GD70 (5 PCIe slot)
 - 1000W/1200 PSU (support 5x5850)
 - CPU of your choice
 - HDD of ur choice (If theres a need)
 - Casing of ur choice
 - RAM (2 GB + What u want to use)
 - a few other GPU from the balance of $1,800

Piece together a dedicated mining rig using the GD70+Sempron 140 [Purchase ur own], 2 GB RAM, PSU & GPU + Ubuntu/Linux on Thumbdrive (4 GB) [For 5 GPU get 2 PCIe Extender for $9]

As for your own computer. U still have Casing, CPU of ur choice, RAM, HDD & GPU (Assuming you got 3 or more from the insurance). All you need to buy is MOBO and PSU.

You'll get at least 2.5 Ghash/s with a working computer of ur liking + dedicated rig (naked or cheap casing). (total around 5~7 GPU) With a bit more investment.

This sounds great, thanks so much for the info!  Yeah this computer is completely dedicated to mining.  I have a couple followup questions:

  • How much power might this draw?  What should I do to the appt I'm in to make sure I'm not gonna blow things up?
  • Will 5x5850's fit in the altec 1200 case?  Any tips on what will hold all of this?
  • Do i need to crossfire anything? or can i just specify the gpu on 5 different miners?

don't buy that expensive motherboard. just get a cheap one, and use risers/extenders to utilize all the pci-e x1 slots. Also, you're wasting money with your i7, just get a AMD motherboard + cheapest CPU.

Everything i said above only applies to a dedicated miner, if you're using this for gaming, this build looks decent.

Yeah good point, thanks.

How does this insurance work?
You don't get to keep the full $1800?

From what I've read that MSI board should handle quad crossfire at x8 speeds.

Yeah, it has to be a replacement of same value (which I'm claiming at $1800), so I'm pretty sure I can't swing multiple computers.  Plus I don't have that much room/power  Wink
Genrobo
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May 31, 2011, 01:54:24 AM
 #12

With the $1800 at your disposal, it's probably best to splurge it all on good GPU's then.
Then make a dedicated mining machine with those good GPU's like grue suggested.
That will get you the most bang/buck as far as mining is concerned.

17YwW6cuSbXLT8cvvdAcfy1iHyPkhVE7CG
Donations welcome, not required.
I'll be honest, any donations aren't used for a good cause, they go directly to booze, food, herbal substances Wink, and computer hardware.
I will squander the money, but hell, at least you know one person is having a good time.
dmurph
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May 31, 2011, 02:08:17 AM
 #13

With the $1800 at your disposal, it's probably best to splurge it all on good GPU's then.
Then make a dedicated mining machine with those good GPU's like grue suggested.
That will get you the most bang/buck as far as mining is concerned.

Yeah, and from what I'm reading the 5850 is the most efficient miner, and there are (were) 5850's on amazon for $150 each, which means I can buy a LOT of them.  Not sure if I have access to this much power haha
um0rion
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May 31, 2011, 02:26:11 AM
 #14

Ive got the MSI 890fxa-gd70 as my miner board... Im using 4 slots of the 5, they're double slot cards, so you're going to have to be creative... Also I dont know if its just my board, but in a 3 card configuration, I cant get the middle card to work.Im using the Sapphire 5850s as well, just fyi.

Its configured:
Card
fan
space
Card
fan
space
Card
fan

I couldnt figure it out, but every time I tried that I saw 3 devices in device manager that were 5850s, but only 2 in catalyst/display settings. It wouldnt allow me to extend the display to enable the middle card. I did have dummy plugs, and with 4 cards in the system It works well, but this is without using the black pci-e slot. Like I said it might only be my board, but check to make sure it's able to be utilized before you dive in. 4 cards run really hot when they're all in their respective slots, so be prepared for that. My cards run 300 mhash/s each, and they run between 80 (coolest card) up to 90C (hottest card).
SchizophrenicX
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May 31, 2011, 02:34:38 AM
 #15

If the issue is with the insurance, try to get more GPU from the insurance and then use cash to buy the MOBO of ur choice
GD70 is what one of my rigs is using. It's got 5 PCIe slots.


Consider this option.
 - GD70 (5 PCIe slot) $195
 - 1000W/1200 PSU (support 5x5850) $80/$200
 - CPU of your choice $270
 - HDD of ur choice (If theres a need)
 - Casing of ur choice $160
 - RAM (1 GB + What u want to use) $12+(?)
 - a few other GPU from the balance of $1,800

Piece together a dedicated mining rig using the GD70+Sempron 140 [Purchase ur own], 2 GB RAM, PSU & GPU + Ubuntu/Linux on Thumbdrive (4 GB) [For 5 GPU get 2 PCIe Extender for $9]

As for your own computer. U still have Casing, CPU of ur choice, RAM, HDD & GPU (Assuming you got 3 or more from the insurance). All you need to buy is MOBO and PSU.

You'll get at least 2.5 Ghash/s with a working computer of ur liking + dedicated rig (naked or cheap casing). (total around 5~7 GPU) With a bit more investment.

This sounds great, thanks so much for the info!  Yeah this computer is completely dedicated to mining.  I have a couple followup questions:

  • How much power might this draw?  What should I do to the appt I'm in to make sure I'm not gonna blow things up?
  • Will 5x5850's fit in the altec 1200 case?  Any tips on what will hold all of this?
  • Do i need to crossfire anything? or can i just specify the gpu on 5 different miners?

don't buy that expensive motherboard. just get a cheap one, and use risers/extenders to utilize all the pci-e x1 slots. Also, you're wasting money with your i7, just get a AMD motherboard + cheapest CPU.

Everything i said above only applies to a dedicated miner, if you're using this for gaming, this build looks decent.

Yeah good point, thanks.

How does this insurance work?
You don't get to keep the full $1800?

From what I've read that MSI board should handle quad crossfire at x8 speeds.

Yeah, it has to be a replacement of same value (which I'm claiming at $1800), so I'm pretty sure I can't swing multiple computers.  Plus I don't have that much room/power  Wink

I'm not sure how much power. I think I've read somewhere when Overclock the 5850 draws around 200 W. But recently I read you could run 4 of them off a 850 W. I'm not sure how much does the MOBO+CPU draws either. So I'm going with 1000W~1200W if 5x5850.

You don't need xFire to mine. Specify different miners to each GPU just like you said.

And with regards to the casing I think it'll be better to just go with no casing if you're intending to go 5xGPU since heat is going to be a real problem. Take a look at the "Show off your mining rigs" thread somewhere, you'll get an idea about casing, placement and etc.

I took the liberty to link to (see in quote) newegg to give a rough estimate of the prices, your insurance and additional investments

1000W PSU - $195 + $80 + $270 + $160 + $12 + RAM for your gaming rig = $717 + RAM
1200W PSU - + $120 = $837 + RAM

Balance from insurance should be close to $800~$1000, enough to get 4~5 GPU example (2x6970+2x5850)-(2x320)+(2x150)=$960
All these are just from ur insurance. You'd still need to buy a Sempron 140 ($38) for your mining rig, a 2/4 GB Thumbdrive ($6)(Linux) + MOBO for your gaming rig + PSU ($70) for your gaming rig [optional + HDD + OS if you need] (If you got more than 6 GPU then get PCIe extender

(PSU and MOBO assume 2x6970 xFire, 4 RAM slots for option and Cheapest Investment since if anything fails you could swap the GD70 for ur gaming rig)

This config gives you
1 Dedicated Mining Rig @ 4x5850 = 1.3~1.4 Ghash/s
1 Gaming/Dedicated Rig @ 2x6970 = 800 Mhash/s
Total = 2.1~2.2 Ghash/s

Insurance Cover $1,800
Additional Investment ($38+$6+$70[+HDD+OS]) = $114

This should be all you need. Just tweak a little to your liking. I forgot US still sells 1GB RAM and changed the 2GB to 1GB. Remember the PCIe Extender if you get 5 GPU from ur Insurance

EDIT: I forgot you wanted i7 in that case you can't use GD70 for ur gaming rig. Reconsider some of the config. This is to give you an idea.

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May 31, 2011, 03:12:31 AM
 #16


I'm not sure how much power. I think I've read somewhere when Overclock the 5850 draws around 200 W. But recently I read you could run 4 of them off a 850 W. I'm not sure how much does the MOBO+CPU draws either. So I'm going with 1000W~1200W if 5x5850.

You don't need xFire to mine. Specify different miners to each GPU just like you said.

And with regards to the casing I think it'll be better to just go with no casing if you're intending to go 5xGPU since heat is going to be a real problem. Take a look at the "Show off your mining rigs" thread somewhere, you'll get an idea about casing, placement and etc.

I took the liberty to link to (see in quote) newegg to give a rough estimate of the prices, your insurance and additional investments

1000W PSU - $195 + $80 + $270 + $160 + $12 + RAM for your gaming rig = $717 + RAM
1200W PSU - + $120 = $837 + RAM

Balance from insurance should be close to $800~$1000, enough to get 4~5 GPU example (2x6970+2x5850)-(2x320)+(2x150)=$960
All these are just from ur insurance. You'd still need to buy a Sempron 140 ($38) for your mining rig, a 2/4 GB Thumbdrive ($6)(Linux) + MOBO for your gaming rig + PSU ($70) for your gaming rig [optional + HDD + OS if you need] (If you got more than 6 GPU then get PCIe extender

(PSU and MOBO assume 2x6970 xFire, 4 RAM slots for option and Cheapest Investment since if anything fails you could swap the GD70 for ur gaming rig)

This config gives you
1 Dedicated Mining Rig @ 4x5850 = 1.3~1.4 Ghash/s
1 Gaming/Dedicated Rig @ 2x6970 = 800 Mhash/s
Total = 2.1~2.2 Ghash/s

Insurance Cover $1,800
Additional Investment ($38+$6+$70[+HDD+OS]) = $114

This should be all you need. Just tweak a little to your liking. I forgot US still sells 1GB RAM and changed the 2GB to 1GB. Remember the PCIe Extender if you get 5 GPU from ur Insurance

EDIT: I forgot you wanted i7 in that case you can't use GD70 for ur gaming rig. Reconsider some of the config. This is to give you an idea.

Holy crap, thanks for all this help!  Here's what I think I'll go with for the insurance then:

Mining rig:
(put this up top) ~$1000 (I have a slightly more expensive psu in there, might change that)
+ extenders and dummy adapters

Gaming rig:
GPU: 2x6970s (~$720)
buy the rest later

= around $1800! yay!

I have a couple old hdds laying around, so I'll just use one of those for the OS.  I'll have to look around about the casing like you said, but I have the altec 1200 in there just for now.  I'll keep the top updated to my build
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May 31, 2011, 03:28:05 AM
 #17

What you did is very similar to my setup, only I wanted an actual replacement/gaming PC as well.

Here's what I bought on NewEgg:
     1   
DISCOUNT FOR COMBO #642427
-$40.00
     1   
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103727
$140.99
     1   
Thermaltake TR2 TRX-1200M 1200W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817153119
$229.99
     1   
ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131646
$119.99
     1   
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129042
$59.95
     2   
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231311
$169.98
($84.99 ea)
     1   
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204
$20.99

Subtotal   $701.89
Tax   $0.00
 UPS 3 DAYS   $13.45
Order Total   $715.34

I then got two cards on Amazon: (Currently Out-of-Stock)
http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graphics-100282XTREME/dp/B004W75ATI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306812248&sr=8-1

If you do this, you will need to purchase a CrossfireX Bridge as well:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000PD81LW

Also, I recently have this being shipped to me to make sure I'm using my PSU efficiently:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009MDBU

EDIT: My only comment on your build specifically would be whether or not you really want to get a Full Tower Case.

ALSO, I almost forgot this sucker:
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Cyclone-Blower-Case-Expansion/dp/B000051299/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306813611&sr=8-1

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May 31, 2011, 03:48:51 AM
 #18

I don't need the crossfire though, correct? I can have my main gpu hooked up to (sometimes) a monitor but the others can all be used by miners, right?

[Edit] Whoops, this was already answered
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May 31, 2011, 04:03:51 AM
 #19

U don't need dummy adapters for Linux Rigs. U do however need one on ur 2nd GPU on ur gaming/mining rig if u're not using dual monitor like me Smiley

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May 31, 2011, 04:14:32 AM
 #20

U don't need dummy adapters for Linux Rigs. U do however need one on ur 2nd GPU on ur gaming/mining rig if u're not using dual monitor like me Smiley

Glad you mentioned that, I was about to buy them haha, now I don't need any!  Also another quick question, should I get the molex adapter x16 extenders? and why would someone need the 1x extender?  Would I be able to turn regular pci ports into express ports with that?

Thanks again for your help, I'll throw a bitcoin your way Cheesy
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