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Author Topic: Guidelines for building a mining rig  (Read 4062 times)
grue
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June 13, 2011, 12:52:15 AM
 #1

CPU:
  • Speed does not matter, so get the cheapest one
  • undervolt, and underclock the CPU, to save power

RAM:
  • 1 GB for linux
  • 1-2 GB for windows
Storage:
  • a cheap, <500GB hard drive
  • or a USB, loaded with linuxcoin
Motherboard:
  • Enough Pci-e slots.
  • keep in mind pci-e x1 slots can be converted into x16 slots with no loss in performance, although you'll need extenders for the cards to fit
  • Most cards are 2 slots wide, so try to get one with more than 2 slots between the x16 slots
    like this:

Power supply
  • Ignore the total wattage. Most of the power will be drawn from the 12v rail(s), so get the one that has most 12v amperage
  • use this to calculate power requirements: http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine
Video card
  • Most cost effective cards ($/MH) are 58xx series cards, but only if you can get them at non-inflated prices
  • 69xx series cards are the next best thing. They are more expensive, but they are more energy efficient.
  • only reference design, and some non-reference design cards can adjust voltages
  • some brands are better for overclocking *cough*sapphire than others *cough* XFX
  • to boost performance and save power, underclock the memory to 180-400 mhz range
any suggestions?

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June 13, 2011, 01:55:24 AM
 #2

I would emphasize that CPU speed really doesn't matter. My main mining rig is running an Athlon X2 4200 @ 1ghz to save on power.

Also that the most important thing with power supplies is the amount of wattage/amperage available on the 12v rail(s). Do not just simply look at the overall power (ex: 600watts) written on the front of the box. I have a 400w Enermax that puts out more 12v power then some 700w PSU's i've seen on Newegg.
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June 13, 2011, 02:02:14 AM
 #3

I'd add:
- RAM - only use one stick to save a few Watts, even if going for 2GB. One 2GB stick uses the same amount of power as a 1GB stick
- CPU - downclock and undervolt it to save power. Pretty much all CPUs should run at 1-1.5 GHz and =< 1V. Also, if using a multi-core CPU, disable all but one core. And if using a hyperthreading-enabled CPU, disable that too.
- Video cards - downclock the memory to save power and possibly improve performance (depending on model of card and operating system). On a 1GB video card you can save some 20-30W per card, depending on original and final memory clock. To hit optimal performance, you will have to experiment, as the sweet spot can be anywhere in the 180-400 MHz range
- PSU - ignore the total wattage and focus on just the 12V rail. Single 12V rail is the better design for mining, as opposed to multiple 12V rails

19Wsi1QNn7A9YHwbQsjXz4tWxdu72HQ8zM (just in case Smiley)
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June 13, 2011, 02:11:43 AM
 #4

From what I have found out from several sources in the last week, the 58xx series has been discontinued. No more new ones in the distribution channels. So if you find anyone that actually as them in stock, go for it. This makes sense b/c AMD is about to formally announce the 7000 series this week, and production has probably already started in earnest on those cards.
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June 13, 2011, 02:14:51 AM
 #5

basicly its okay.
but hardly 58x0 is max "cost/effective", cuz 69x0 already cost as much[you can get 6950 for ~$250 today] and do more MH/s, but they more "power/effective", a bit. actually its more noticeable in BitCoin-unrelated GPGPU workload, like [Huge-HR/DR]image-processing or AV/match crunching.
[virtually]any GPU's brands is okay, but reference GPU design boards/cards/coolers is better[overall. without compromising one or another aspect of design/usage. which is usual for "alternative design" boards], while being little noisier.
grue
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June 13, 2011, 02:18:24 AM
 #6

I'd add:
- RAM - only use one stick to save a few Watts, even if going for 2GB. One 2GB stick uses the same amount of power as a 1GB stick
- CPU - downclock and undervolt it to save power. Pretty much all CPUs should run at 1-1.5 GHz and =< 1V. Also, if using a multi-core CPU, disable all but one core. And if using a hyperthreading-enabled CPU, disable that too.
- Video cards - downclock the memory to save power and possibly improve performance (depending on model of card and operating system). On a 1GB video card you can save some 20-30W per card, depending on original and final memory clock. To hit optimal performance, you will have to experiment, as the sweet spot can be anywhere in the 180-400 MHz range
- PSU - ignore the total wattage and focus on just the 12V rail. Single 12V rail is the better design for mining, as opposed to multiple 12V rails

I would emphasize that CPU speed really doesn't matter. My main mining rig is running an Athlon X2 4200 @ 1ghz to save on power.

Also that the most important thing with power supplies is the amount of wattage/amperage available on the 12v rail(s). Do not just simply look at the overall power (ex: 600watts) written on the front of the box. I have a 400w Enermax that puts out more 12v power then some 700w PSU's i've seen on Newegg.
basicly its okay.
but hardly 58x0 is max "cost/effective", cuz 69x0 already cost as much[you can get 6950 for ~$250 today] and do more MH/s, but they more "power/effective", a bit. actually its more noticeable in BitCoin-unrelated GPGPU workload, like [Huge-HR/DR]image-processing or AV/match crunching.
added

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

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bustaballs
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June 13, 2011, 05:59:52 AM
 #7

Can people post recommended parts and maybe newegg / tigerdirect links? Thanks.

AreYouCereal
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June 14, 2011, 04:25:15 AM
 #8

Thanks for this, took me a while to figure out this information by myself but I pretty much formed the same opinion but it's nice to see it all put together in front of you

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grue
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June 21, 2011, 08:15:21 PM
 #9

Can people post recommended parts and maybe newegg / tigerdirect links? Thanks.
because of changing market conditions, and international users, it's not very practical to post links to specific products. Just follow the guide, and pick the cheapest/best product.

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pennytrader
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June 21, 2011, 10:31:44 PM
 #10

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_rig

please donate to 1P3m2resGCP2o2sFX324DP1mfqHgGPA8BL
grue
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June 22, 2011, 02:46:12 AM
 #11

yes, that has links, but the components that were chosen isn't exactly the best cost/performance ratio. Better to use your brain, look at what's being discounted, and buy those, instead of blindly buying.

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

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