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Author Topic: Putting together a mining and gaming rig - seeking advice  (Read 570 times)
sloopy
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November 07, 2016, 03:08:31 AM
 #1

I have been speccing' out a new gaming rig for myself.
I have been bitcoin mining since mid 2014 with Asics but have not done GPU mining.
I have shied away from altcoins except for some occasional trading and a couple of coins I am holding long term but no serious scrypt or other algo mining.
I do have extensive PC hardware knowledge up until 2012 ish and can troubleshoot with the best of them. I simply do not have the PC hardware knowledge as it relates to today's mining.
I am willing to admit when I am wrong and most of all I understand and recognize when a person puts in effort to help someone and that someone argues with the person. Not me, and I certainly recognize and attempt to reward a person who provides significant assistance. Obviously the term "significant assistance" is subjective but I am not interested in abusing anyone's time or efforts. Knowledge in an specific area is one thing but having the ability to understand the end user's needs and applying that knowledge is a completely different which requires real work.   

Earlier today I began evaluating the practicality of using my new gaming rig for mining altcoins. Obviously the time spent gaming will not be the best time spent mining, but my gaming time is very limited, and I use my Xbawks-one and PS4 for gaming as well. In reality the PC I build will be mining 90% at the most. It will probably be mining much more than 90% but I am using this analogy so the gaming factor is still a major consideration. There are some games where I might decide to go on a weekend binge with a new game where I use it for a 24 hour stretch, but that would be a worst case scenario and binges could only be called common when a new game I want to use on my PC is released. A handful of times per year these days. Work and family are my top priorities.

I have UTFSE quite a bit and am continuing to do so. I am hoping I may receive guidance from others here. If anyone has any partpicker website links of theirs or others system builds or equivalent links to system builds it would be fantastic.

I am thinking along the lines of a dual boot system as I have already fought the native windows experience for a couple of games being more enjoyable versus the alternatives. However I am open to other thoughts and will continue looking for alternatives here.

I know I want AMD GPUs for mining but I haven't seen AMD CPUs shining. I was an AMD guy for years but I have not found anything showing me this is the best way to go today. Maybe I am wrong if we discuss price to performance ratios?

My knowledge is weak in this area so please forgive me if I misspeak but since mining is the main objective it appears there are not any Z170 boards supporting enough lanes for the GPUs. If the way I phrased that statement is incorrect please correct me as I want to be correct but my understanding is the Z170 boards are going to be sharing those lanes with other PCIe devices regardless of any BIOS configuration options. They are physically built so those lanes are shared and the best you can get is on one motherboard 16x8. It is a chipset design.

In that vein my understanding is an I76700k with Z170 is not the best way to go.

However I have an open mind and welcome suggestions.

When I used to build PCs for people a few of the first questions I always asked are:
1. Intended use for the PC?
I believe I elaborated on this above but to summarize, priority 1 is GPU mining priority 2 is gaming, and priority 3 is "future-proof" as much as anyone can be.

2. What is the budget?
I would like to stay in the $3,000 USD range not including power supply(s), monitors, keyboard, or mouse.
When purchasing multiple GPUs I understand this can blow out 3k on GPU cards alone. So, along with the "future proof"  if that means the price is $4000.00 because I needed to pick up more GPUs I would still like to see that number. It may make more sense to price GPUs separately? The same with storage. Obviously large SSDs, M2, PCIe storage, etc is still up there in price and not as vital for mining, but for the gaming aspects important considerations. So, please do not let my budget amount hinder recommendations as it is flexible for the requirements.

3. What is the time frame where you wish to have the system in operation?
Well in this world everyone loves to have it yesterday, but I understand to do something correctly it takes time to research. My worst case is having all parts delivered by 12-31-16. However if there is a part on backorder worth waiting for then I will be flexible. I would prefer to have everything in my hands by 11-23-16 but I'm sure everyone knows how things go and sometimes I do not get to have what I want, when I want... but sometimes we do get it that way too so we'll see.

4. What are the size limitations?
None. As a matter of fact I prefer large cases with plenty of room. I have gotten myself in situations where cables were not long enough because the case was so large so it is nice to avoid such but if the components make sense to order custom cables / extensions that is what I would do.

5. Overclocking abilities?
I am an overclocker from way back and must have those abilities in my components.  I understand this should not be a priority as to how it may impact stability with regards to mining, but it is still very much a part of what I want in this new build. I do not wish to infer I would risk my mining for an extra couple hundred MHZ of CPU speed or a slightly higher 3Dmark score but overclocking is a very enjoyable hobby and one I wish to explore with almost any new build for myself or someone else who requests such. This is not to say it would remain in any overclocking scenario where it either is not a significant system improvement as it relates to mining or if I cause system damage from my "playing". That is a risk I choose to take and I understand the implications. (Obviously I follow manufacturer warranty statements.)


My apologies for the WOT but I wanted to make sure I relayed some / most of the critical information I would request from someone to get the ball rolling if I were going to specify and assemble
a system.

Feel free to ask anything and no idea is too outlandish.
I know this is the best community to work with on something like this and I Thank You for your time.

Transaction fees go to the pools and the pools decide to pay them to the miners. Anything else, including off-chain solutions are stealing and not the way Bitcoin was intended to function.
Make the block size set by the pool. Pool = miners and they get the choice.
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arielbit
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November 07, 2016, 03:31:47 AM
Last edit: November 07, 2016, 03:44:00 AM by arielbit
 #2

I do have extensive PC hardware knowledge up until 2012 ish and can troubleshoot with the best of them. I simply do not have the PC hardware knowledge as it relates to today's mining.

some of my mining rigs

core 2 quad, p35 motherboard, 4gb ddr2 ram, 80gb hdd .... you can trace this PC hardware backwards up to 2007-2008 ... you are good to go  Wink

that rig is less than 100$ (power supply and graphics card not included)

regarding spacing, depends on the climate where you are living, ventilation and space...it is subjective so it is best to experiment and test for yourself.

i didn't use cases...some rigs here are screwed and zip tied to the wall LOL
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November 07, 2016, 03:41:29 AM
Last edit: November 07, 2016, 04:04:57 AM by Za1n
 #3

If you have $3,000-$4,000 to spend I would separate your mining and gaming PC into two different rigs. You can build a nice 5-6 GPU rig for about half that budget that uses a lower end CPU, 4-8 GB ram and a small SSD. There are a few good socket 1150 mobos that work well as a mining platform that won't be a good gaming candidate. The famed ASRock H81 Pro BTC board (hard to find) is one example that can run 6 GPU's. There are even a couple that can support up to 7 GPUs (such as the MSI Z97 Gaming 5).

You can get RX470 or RX480 AMD GPUs for around $179-$229 each, with the price difference depending mainly on the amount of on-board memory (4 GB or 8 GB). This would set you back (rig and GPUs) around $1,600-$1,800 but you could always start out smaller and buy additional GPUs at a later point to save a few $$. For the dedicated miner you can construct an open air frame as cooling is the most essential feature when you have this many cards in close proximity to each other. You would need USB powered risers to bring the cards up and away from the mobo, but these can be found for around $8 each.

Then spend the remaining funds on a higher quality PC with a i7 processor more ram, a large SSD and so on. Plus this way you don't need to avoid the Z170's mobos which can be great for gaming rigs. You can outfit it with two AMD RX 480's with 8GB onboard memory and use them in cross-fire mode when gaming. When you are not gaming you can utilize these GPUs for supplemental mining. I wouldn't go with more than two GPUs in an enclosed case that you would probably want for your gaming rig.

So with a little effort I believe you could have two nice rigs, one geared to dedicated mining and the other geared toward gaming which would give you 6 GPUs full-time and up to 8 during off-hours to point toward mining. I think with careful shopping you could stay right around that $3,000 point too, maybe stretching a bit to $3,200.
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November 07, 2016, 04:19:01 AM
 #4

Great replies here, and the two rig idea does seem like the way to go.

Much Appreciated

Transaction fees go to the pools and the pools decide to pay them to the miners. Anything else, including off-chain solutions are stealing and not the way Bitcoin was intended to function.
Make the block size set by the pool. Pool = miners and they get the choice.
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November 11, 2016, 04:35:35 AM
 #5

Great replies here, and the two rig idea does seem like the way to go.

Much Appreciated

Hi Sloopy, I'm on similar boat. I'm making a gaming rig, but would be used to mine altcoins while working/sleeping.
May I know the final spec you're getting? Cheers!
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November 11, 2016, 07:32:32 AM
 #6

you can build a rig that do both thing, but you need to work a bt on the airflow, because in a gaming rig gpu are too close together, if you put them on pcie

otherwise you can siply make a open frame rig with riser and ll of that but that is also your gaming rig, so you will buy a good cpu instead of the crappy g1840, good ram etc...
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