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Author Topic: Macgyver Mining Rigs! (hodgepodge mining hardware / cooling systems, etc)  (Read 15269 times)
Grike_SixEcho
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June 08, 2011, 03:38:16 AM
 #1

In this thread, I ask that you post anything (potentially funny) having to do with Macgyver-esque mining hardware!

I've heard a lot of stories about amazing ways that people have cooled or created their mining rigs for next to nothing, and I was hoping you could share stories with everyone.

I'll start - Found a mediacenter-style PC online for the cheaps.  $400 got me 6GB DDR3 1333, an Athlon II quad at 3.0GHZ, a TB of 5400rpm storage, and an old MSI R5770 Hawk (that's the one with the twin frozr enclosure)

I added another EVGA R5770, and crossfired, boosting that nice RAM for my main PC, and the hard disc for my RAID array.  It's currently running DamnSmallLinux off a flash drive (serves it right)

Both my cards would do the whole "I'm gonna get to 70C now" thing.  This was not okay with me.  Removing the side panel -2C  Pointing small fan inside -3C.  Finally ended up putting it into a large cardboard box with a hole in the bottom for the AC vent that's on my floor, and holes for the PSU and GPU exhaust (PCI slots in the back).  The goal here was to ONLY allow air into the system via the nice cold (free) AC air, and only allow air out the PCI slots used for GPU exhaust.  The amount of airflow was so much it was making the secondary case fan cry, so I just yanked it out, and replaced it with a 4Ohm resistor.  Total temp change= -21C

On a side note, the top mounted PSU was competing with GPU #1 for intake air, so I put a piece of cardboard between the two, so they could get two different directions of airflow going. 

I consider this a success.  Fun stories always welcome from you.

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resin
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June 08, 2011, 04:06:49 AM
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First of all, Nice work!

You could have shaved some cost with a cheaper CPU since you're probably not using the CPU for computations anyway, and you could run the entire thing on much less than 6GiB of RAM and just a flash drive using the linuxcoin distro ( depending on if the computer is dedicated or if you use it otherwise). How many megahashes/second are you getting with the pair of 5770's?

There is a thread in this forum that shows a number of great innovations, storing the mining rig in the snow, external PCIe extenders allowing for more cards to be added to a single system, using some "cases" which are designed for tech benches which are entirely open. There are many who are using no cases at all and pointing conventional house fans at the system boards. Make sure you check it out.

It's not feasible for me to have a system that isn't fully enclosed, I've been opting to use the Silverstone Raven case which definitely adds some expense to the system, but rotates the system board by 90deg so that the PCI cards are all at the top of the case, and then it has 3 giant fans at the bottom that blow the air up and out of the case at a low RPM which makes it significantly more quiet. I use an 1155 motherboard with enough space between the 3 PCIe slots to put 3 full sized cards in there (EVGA) and a core i3-2100t which only uses 35W. Then I tuck that badboy under my desk at work and consume the free power and air conditioning in my office. My total cost was about $1k with 3x 5830's which when tuned correctly yield 1 gigahash/second. I bought a pretty high end power supply ( Corsair 850HX ), but I'm thinking that even if the cards draw 150W each + 35 CPU + 30 Motherboard I could have probably used a 550W power supply for a fraction of the cost. I don't have a kill-a-watt to determine my actual draw.
Grike_SixEcho
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June 08, 2011, 05:24:12 AM
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First of all, Nice work!

You could have shaved some cost with a cheaper CPU since you're probably not using the CPU for computations anyway, and you could run the entire thing on much less than 6GiB of RAM and just a flash drive using the linuxcoin distro ( depending on if the computer is dedicated or if you use it otherwise). How many megahashes/second are you getting with the pair of 5770's?


I'm still tuning them, but I can produce at the very minimum 300MH/s.
I'm aware that this CPU was quite overkill for a mining rig, but that was the CPU the pre-built referb had in it.  I have no intention of taking it out to sell, and certainly not switching it for my hex-core phenom on my custom jobbie.
In addition, I yanked out the ram and put in a spare gig of DDR3 1066 I pilfered from "throw away anything day" at my place of residence.

House fans over an exposed motherboard you say?  Interesting to say the least.  They're quite cheap, are they not?

Lastly, I did get a OCZ StealthXstream II 750watt for only $40 ($70 in coupons) to power the two cards.  I believe it was cheap because of it's TERRIBLE reputation, despite the brand.
I'm also in the process of unsoldering some PCIe x16 v2.1 slots from a broken high-end motherboard I obtained from a dumpster with intent to make my own PCI slot extenders so the cards can be zip-tie mounted for better airflow.

Once more, my intent was to hear about hodgepodge rigs, not to say yours isn't interesting.  Could you link me to the other thread? I did a cursory search before making this thread and found nothing.

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June 08, 2011, 08:03:05 AM
 #4

If you're into rack computing I've found that this is the perfect rack: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S49875896

I have an older version with a little bit deeper drawers, so you may only be able to use every other drawer in this one. Other than that it's perfect. Cheap, one mainboard fits nicely in each drawer, it's no problem connecting cables and ventilation is great. If you need better circulation I suggest something like this: http://www.nextag.com/standing-fan/products-html
namley
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June 08, 2011, 08:32:53 AM
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I'm int he process of putting together my shelf cooling system, which includes a 5 Tier Resin Shelf ( Walmart 24.99 ), 10,000 BTU Air conditioner ( FREE! ), Dryer hose, duct tape, silica packets, and perhaps a roast beef thermometer.

I'll post pictures when i get something up.

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June 08, 2011, 08:41:31 AM
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I had an extra comp HP Elite 8100, it has a PCI e graphics cards slot so I shoved a card in there... but found out there is not enough power from the power supply. I bought a power supply, found out the pins on the HP were non standard, so I shoved a power supply tester on the new PS and am powering the graphics card from an external power supply :p

Could it damage my machine? possibly? Shrug, I'm doing an extra 300Mh/s so I figured what the hell Smiley
rearwheels
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June 08, 2011, 08:44:18 AM
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If you're into rack computing I've found that this is the perfect rack: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S49875896

I have an older version with a little bit deeper drawers, so you may only be able to use every other drawer in this one. Other than that it's perfect. Cheap, one mainboard fits nicely in each drawer, it's no problem connecting cables and ventilation is great. If you need better circulation I suggest something like this: http://www.nextag.com/standing-fan/products-html

I was taking measurements of the Ikea rack last night. Smiley Seems to fit a ATX with PSU side by side.

I trying to decide if I should put just cardboard below the motherboard, or make a stand from aluminium L-brackets.

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June 08, 2011, 09:14:04 AM
 #8

Cardboard! Somebody told me that his whole rig is running because of stategically placed cardboard. And I'm now doing the same.

My motherboard has a small problem, it has 3x double PCIe x16 slots, but I can't use the bottom one because of a SATA connector that is in the way. So I've got 2x 6870 in there at the moment. They are placed next to eachother and they reach temperatures of 99 and 82 degrees (the top one has serieus cooling problems, it is blocked). Jamming a piece of cardboard between the cards, forcing a bit of room between them has greatly reduced this problem, they are currently running at 87 and 81. I'm now waiting for 2 case fans I've ordered to fix the cooling problem for good. And I've also ordered a flat SATA cable to allow we to put in another card.

Oh, and yes, I'm currently also using a desk fan instead of a good case fan...
Grinder
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June 08, 2011, 02:07:42 PM
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If you already have rack mountable equipment you're probably better off with a LackRack, though.
Grike_SixEcho
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June 08, 2011, 04:01:12 PM
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If you're into rack computing I've found that this is the perfect rack: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S49875896

I have an older version with a little bit deeper drawers, so you may only be able to use every other drawer in this one. Other than that it's perfect. Cheap, one mainboard fits nicely in each drawer, it's no problem connecting cables and ventilation is great. If you need better circulation I suggest something like this: http://www.nextag.com/standing-fan/products-html


That's one nice rack!

Grike_SixEcho
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June 08, 2011, 04:02:20 PM
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Cardboard! Somebody told me that his whole rig is running because of stategically placed cardboard. And I'm now doing the same.

My motherboard has a small problem, it has 3x double PCIe x16 slots, but I can't use the bottom one because of a SATA connector that is in the way. So I've got 2x 6870 in there at the moment. They are placed next to eachother and they reach temperatures of 99 and 82 degrees (the top one has serieus cooling problems, it is blocked). Jamming a piece of cardboard between the cards, forcing a bit of room between them has greatly reduced this problem, they are currently running at 87 and 81. I'm now waiting for 2 case fans I've ordered to fix the cooling problem for good. And I've also ordered a flat SATA cable to allow we to put in another card.

Oh, and yes, I'm currently also using a desk fan instead of a good case fan...

Like I said in my original post, a simple piece of cardboard between competing component intakes helps greatly by making two channels of air.  Your cards get up to 80c?  Yikes.  Whenever mine hit 60C I get all worried.

tito13kfm
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June 10, 2011, 08:49:52 AM
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Click for bigger!

As you can see, I have optimal airflow between my cards by a strategically placed Carmex tube.  The fan sitting on top is from a broken Xbox360, I clipped off the connector, stripped the wires, and taped them in to some 4-pin molex connectors with some packing tape.  It's caseless and sitting on the box one of the graphics cards came in.

Motherboard was the cheapest board with 2x PCI-E x16 I could find.  CPU is a Sempron 140.  I know I could have gotten one with 1 x16 and 1 x1, but I didn't want to bust out the dremmel or wait for shipping on some extenders.
2x5850s OC'd to 950/300, stock voltage.

750MHash/sec total.  GPU1=70C, GPU2=78C

PSU is a Kingwin (I know, I know) 850W Black series.

Harddrive was pulled from a MyBook Essentials that used to be a backup drive on my main rig.  Monitor is a 46" Panasonic plasma TV.  Both cards are hooked in to it.

This is my 3rd mining rig.  I call it, the Ticking Time Bomb!

Grike_SixEcho
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June 10, 2011, 04:43:26 PM
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This is my 3rd mining rig.  I call it, the Ticking Time Bomb!

It's... beautiful!

Quick question: why aren't the cards crossfired in that pic?

anodyne
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June 10, 2011, 05:20:33 PM
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30°C outside, no idea how hot it's inside. New 5850 to go with the 5870. Didn't take long to figure out that it works better on top of that 10 year old case rather than inside.

I need a better CPU cooler. Or at least a syringe of thermal compound so I can get that chunky Intel thing remounted properly once I have taken it off to see how many dust bunnies I can find between the fins...

Bitcoins: solid enough to build pyramids.
Grike_SixEcho
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June 10, 2011, 06:18:13 PM
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is that a pico-atx or something?

 Wow.

BiggieJohn
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June 10, 2011, 06:38:04 PM
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100F here in central Texas in the afternoon.  
1.5Ghash/sec was getting a little warm, so I had to improvise a cooling solution




PMC-1A11eCF2Rzqzy4PCrV9jabYv1fvYfmN2yc
Doge-D8KLtphcSB3qAkfjBdvceEMj9TJUiJrFd3
anodyne
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June 10, 2011, 06:46:07 PM
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No, regular ATX. Maybe it's the perspective and the 120mm fans that makes the rest look smaller.

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Slasklitta
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June 10, 2011, 06:46:36 PM
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100F here in central Texas in the afternoon.  
1.5Ghash/sec was getting a little warm, so I had to improvise a cooling solution



Wtf is that?! :O

Please explain more

Mining at https://www.bitcoins.lc/ @ ~1,2GHash/s
BiggieJohn
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June 10, 2011, 06:52:34 PM
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100F here in central Texas in the afternoon.  
1.5Ghash/sec was getting a little warm, so I had to improvise a cooling solution



Wtf is that?! :O

Please explain more

added another pic.

3 boxes, on a wire rack, sitting above a portable air conditioner (vents via hose in window)
plastic is to duct the hot/cold air directly into the AC unit.

 

PMC-1A11eCF2Rzqzy4PCrV9jabYv1fvYfmN2yc
Doge-D8KLtphcSB3qAkfjBdvceEMj9TJUiJrFd3
minerX
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June 10, 2011, 06:59:54 PM
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I had rope holding 4 GPUS to the shelving top...  But I came up for a more permanent solution and cut them all down.  No pics unfortunately.
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