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Author Topic: Please critique this mining rig build  (Read 2887 times)
Nyte
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January 05, 2012, 11:44:03 PM
 #1

Hello all!

I'm pretty new here. You might have seen my "Diary of a Bitcoin Virgin" post I made last month. I've stuck it out and am still lurking the forums.

I want to build a mining rig, and I've searched quite a bit for rig builds. But posts with actual builds don't seem to exist.

So from what little I've pieced together, I'm come up with this. I'd appreciate if you could critique this and let me know why or why not it would be a decent build for a mining rig.

Motherboard:
  • Biostar TA990FXE AM3+, AND 990FX chipset, $130
Processor:
  • AMD FX-6100 3.3 GHz (3.9 GHz Max Turbo Core), Hexa-Core, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, $160
CPU Cooler:
  • Xigmatek Gaia SD1283, $30
Memory:
  • Mushkin Enhanced Redline 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1600 Kit Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, $40
Graphics:
  • 3 x Radeon HD 5870 2GB GDDR5, $600
Hard Drive:
  • OCZ Vertex Plus 60 GB SATA II SSD 60 GB, SATA 3Gb/s, $80
Case:   
  • Antec Three Hundred, $58
Power:
  • Corsair Professional Series HX1050 80 Plus Silver Certified 1050-Watt, $210

Total Cost:   $1308

I'm pretty sure it's a given, but I'm going for max value - lowest time to break even. I also went with the 6-core AMD for some CPU mining too (litecoin).

I appreciate you checking this out and look forward to your feedback!
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rjk
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January 06, 2012, 12:02:05 AM
 #2

Litecoin probably won't make you enough to justify the increased power draw from the CPU running full throttle.
If it is dedicated to mining, you might not even want a case - they don't have quite as good ventilation as an open fram rig (my current build).

If I were you, I would cheap out on the CPU, say a Semp140 or 145, but also an ASRock mobo (because Biostar is cheap as well as crap, and ASRock is cheapish and high quality) Smiley
Also, memory could be a $13 2gb kit.

Finally, never go cheap on the PSU. You should size the PSU to be running about at 50-60% load with your hardware, for maximum efficiency.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
Nyte
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January 06, 2012, 12:08:02 AM
 #3

Litecoin probably won't make you enough to justify the increased power draw from the CPU running full throttle.
If it is dedicated to mining, you might not even want a case - they don't have quite as good ventilation as an open fram rig (my current build).

If I were you, I would cheap out on the CPU, say a Semp140 or 145, but also an ASRock mobo (because Biostar is cheap as well as crap, and ASRock is cheapish and high quality) Smiley
Also, memory could be a $13 2gb kit.

Finally, never go cheap on the PSU. You should size the PSU to be running about at 50-60% load with your hardware, for maximum efficiency.

Thanks for the feedback.

I love building gaming rigs, so I'm approaching this with that background and mentality. I'm sure I'm going overboard on some components (which is why I'm doing this post, of course Wink )

I could take it or leave it on the case. I've had good experience with the Antec 300 case and they are cheap atm, so I threw that in.

I usually build with Intel i5s or i7s. I just can't bring myself to cheap out too much on the CPU. But I will if it's not worth it.

Did I go cheap on the PSU?
rjk
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January 06, 2012, 01:41:12 AM
 #4

Did I go cheap on the PSU?
No, Corsair is good. 5870=188watts each with no overclock, so 3x188=564, which is about 53% of your PSU, not including proc, mobo, fans, etc. If you are making a dual-purpose rig, by all means go for the faster proc, etc. I am just saying what I would do for a single-purpose dedicated miner.
Good Luck.

Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
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January 06, 2012, 01:50:05 AM
 #5


if your not going to have an open case rig, at least make sure you have tons of air flowing into the case for cooling. 3 cards side by side will get very hot

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/112408294399222065988/albums/5658727447810944545

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jamesg
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January 06, 2012, 02:30:23 AM
 #6

Hi Nyte,

Your $$$/Mh is pretty high right now. I would like to make some suggestions to get this down. Please look through my post history to see my credentials.

Motherboard:
  • Biostar TA990FXE AM3+, AND 990FX chipset, $130

I would recommend going with this motherboard -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157262

Saves you $20 and you can run 5 cards with extenders if you want some day.

Processor:
  • AMD FX-6100 3.3 GHz (3.9 GHz Max Turbo Core), Hexa-Core, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, $160

If this is a dedicated mining rig, I would recommend using a sempron CPU -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103888

Saves you $120.


CPU Cooler:
    • Xigmatek Gaia SD1283, $30

    If this is a dedicated mining rig, you can just use the stock cooler with the CPU.

    Saves you $30.


    Memory:
    • Mushkin Enhanced Redline 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3-1600 Kit Dual-Channel Desktop Memory Kit, $40

    Just get two value sticks of 1Gb memory -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139343

    Saves you $20.

    Graphics:
    • 3 x Radeon HD 5870 2GB GDDR5, $600

    Get these at ebay -> http://www.ebay.com/itm/AMD-ATI-Radeon-HD5870-HD-5870-PCI-e-3D-Video-Graphics-Gaming-3-Port-Card-w-HDMI-/130608691744?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item1e68e27a20#ht_2994wt_1348

    At $170 each, you can get three for $540.

    Saves you $60.

    Hard Drive:
    • OCZ Vertex Plus 60 GB SATA II SSD 60 GB, SATA 3Gb/s, $80

    Don't do a hard drive if it's a dedicated mining rig. Do this -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139246

    Saves you $70.

    Case:   
    • Antec Three Hundred, $58

    When I first started mining, I tried 3 6950s in a high air flow case. It did not work. Look around on the forums and figure out how to build an open air case. You'll save your cards and your sanity. Build it out of wood, it's less expensive.

    Power:
    • Corsair Professional Series HX1050 80 Plus Silver Certified 1050-Watt, $210

    Do this PSU -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817517008

    Save you $100.

    As for the OS, use BAMT. Look it up on the forums. Donate to the creator.

    Looks like if you follow my instructions above, you'll save ~$300 and build a 1.2Gh rig for under $900. Your $$$/Mh would be around $0.75 which is a good target for all new equipment.

    Let me know what you think.[/list]
    DeathAndTaxes
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    January 06, 2012, 02:34:38 AM
     #7

    That is a nice system but a horrible rig.

    RAM.  Cheapo-cheaperson-cheap brand.  2GB max.  1GB is fine.
    CPU.  Sempron.  Every dollar more spent is just more burned wattage.
    CPU Cooler.  The stock junk is more than adequate.  My semprons barely get warm to the touch with fan spinning as low as it can go.
    Case.  Open frame.  A case just costs more to raise your heat.
    HDD.  Forget a SSD.  Use cheapest HDD you can find or even better Linux on a $5 USB stick.

    The PSU is decent but for the long run you want nothing less than 80Plus-Gold.  Efficiency wins.
    GPU are a good pick but personally I would go w/ 3 used 5970s for $900.  You will get about 50% higher hashrate.  Granted 50% higher for 50% cost isn't great but now the rest of system cost is ammortized over more hashes.

    You can build a 3x5970 rig (used GPU) pushing 2.2GH/s on 870W for roughly the same price.



    Brunic
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    January 06, 2012, 06:56:43 AM
     #8

    Do what gigasvps and DeathAndTaxes say.

    Invest in:
    -A motherboard with enough PCIe slots for your desires. (Don't buy Gigabyte though, they're awful for USB Boot).
    -Video cards.
    -A good power supply.

    Everything else is money lost. Boot from USB and buy cheap.

    jake262144
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    January 06, 2012, 01:09:41 PM
     #9

    No, Corsair is good.

    Very few manufacturers actially build PSUs (the actual manufacturers are companies like Seasonic, CWT, Delta, Superflower, Impervio, or FSP).
    The others just purchase built PSUs and put their labels on them.
    Corsair doesn't manufacture PSUs.

    That particular one was OEMd for Corsair By Channel Well Technologies (CWT).
    The HX1050 is based on CWT's recent PUC platform which is a decent design.
    Efficiency-wise it does 80 PLUS SILVER(1) though the HX1050 was never certified.

    Links:
    (1)     http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story2&reid=245
    legolouman
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    January 06, 2012, 07:21:38 PM
     #10

    I think you can shave off a lot.

    Go with:

    AMD Sempron-saves power and costs less.
    CPU cooler? As far as I'm aware, you can stay stock, but heat is a problem. Even in a open rig.
    Minimum memory you need, doesn't even have to be 1600 or high end or anything.
    Why SSD? I'd rather get a junk Platter style if you insist on a drive
    Don't bother with a case.


    Your build seems almost like an odd gamer build. Just with the entire setup. Only thing is a gamer wouldn't pick a tri fired (can you even do that?) 5870.

    I think you can do better than the 5870's (not positive, and I'm not researching it)
    Litecoins aren't really worth the extra power/heat that you will have to deal with.
    A lot of miner's don't even use an actual Hard Drive. Normally it is a flashdrive with LinuxCoin on it.

    If you love me, you'd give me a Satoshi!
    BTC - 1MSzGKh5znbrcEF2qTrtrWBm4ydH5eT49f
    LTC - LYeJrmYQQvt6gRQxrDz66XTwtkdodx9udz
    jake262144
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    January 06, 2012, 07:31:43 PM
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    A lot of miner's don't even use an actual Hard Drive. Normally it is a flashdrive with LinuxCoin on it. They load the rails with a resistor.

    Aren't you mixing two different concepts? The resistor trick is only required when using multiple PSUs with one rig. It has nothing to do with using flash drives.
    legolouman
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    January 06, 2012, 07:39:49 PM
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    A lot of miner's don't even use an actual Hard Drive. Normally it is a flashdrive with LinuxCoin on it. They load the rails with a resistor.

    Aren't you mixing two different concepts? The resistor trick is only required when using multiple PSUs with one rig. It has nothing to do with using flash drives.

    That was a misunderstanding. That makes more sense. I'll edit my post. Thanks.

    If you love me, you'd give me a Satoshi!
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    jjiimm_64
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    January 06, 2012, 07:51:28 PM
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    gyg, i got excited when you showed this link, but they they are not 170 each....  they are Price:   US $370.99  each..


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    rjk
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    January 06, 2012, 07:53:01 PM
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    gyg, i got excited when you showed this link, but they they are not 170 each....  they are Price:   US $370.99  each..


    Wow, they used to be cheaper, wonder why the seller changed the price so dramatically.

    Mining Rig Extraordinaire - the Trenton BPX6806 18-slot PCIe backplane [PICS] Dead project is dead, all hail the coming of the mighty ASIC!
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    January 06, 2012, 07:58:25 PM
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    gyg, i got excited when you showed this link, but they they are not 170 each....  they are Price:   US $370.99  each..


    Wow, they used to be cheaper, wonder why the seller changed the price so dramatically.

    They must have changed the price today to see if they can make some more money. Bastards.
    legolouman
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    January 06, 2012, 07:59:38 PM
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    No, Corsair is good.

    Very few manufacturers actially build PSUs (the actual manufacturers are companies like Seasonic, CWT, Delta, Superflower, Impervio, or FSP).
    The others just purchase built PSUs and put their labels on them.
    Corsair doesn't manufacture PSUs.

    That particular one was OEMd for Corsair By Channel Well Technologies (CWT).
    The HX1050 is based on CWT's recent PUC platform which is a decent design.
    Efficiency-wise it does 80 PLUS SILVER(1) though the HX1050 was never certified.

    Links:
    (1)     http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story2&reid=245

    I'm not going to pick a fight on PSU's, but I've always liked Compucase's Zephyr Line. I like the quality, efficiency, and price.

    If you love me, you'd give me a Satoshi!
    BTC - 1MSzGKh5znbrcEF2qTrtrWBm4ydH5eT49f
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    jjiimm_64
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    January 06, 2012, 08:13:34 PM
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    gyg, i got excited when you showed this link, but they they are not 170 each....  they are Price:   US $370.99  each..


    Wow, they used to be cheaper, wonder why the seller changed the price so dramatically.

    speaking of gpus, and not to hijack the thread or anything, but does anyone know where to get new 5870's other then ebay?

    They must have changed the price today to see if they can make some more money. Bastards.

    1jimbitm6hAKTjKX4qurCNQubbnk2YsFw
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    January 06, 2012, 09:23:43 PM
     #18

    I agree with most of the advice presented here.  Get a good efficient power supply.  A good motherboard, I use the MSI 890FXA-GD70, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130274.  Don't get a case, a waste of time, money and it doesn't work as well.

    I disagree about the hard drive.  I started out with usb sticks and switched to 60 G ssd drives.  You end up rebooting the computer a lot, especially when getting the computer set up, and the fast boot time of an ssd drive really helps.

    Sam
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    January 06, 2012, 10:22:22 PM
     #19

    Beg your pardon? Rebooting a dedicated miner a lot? Doling out money for a SSD drive?
    Let me check my calendar - is it All Fool's Day yet? Surely you must be joking.

    If you need bootup speed just buy a faster flash drive, something using USB3 like A-Data N005.
    Nyte
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    January 07, 2012, 12:26:36 AM
     #20

    Thanks all for the feedback. A lot to digest, but goes down smooth Wink

    So based on these comments here's the "Virgin's Mining Rig, v0.2":

    Motherboard:
    Processor:
    Memory:
    Graphics:
    • 3 x Radeon HD 5870 2GB GDDR5, $600
    • (For my build, I already have these cards - other builds may want to consider something different)
    HD / USB / SSD:
    No Case:
    • Open-air build: Cost Unknown
    Power:

    Total Cost (w/USB):   $1077
    Total Cost (w/SSD):   $1148

    So a couple of thoughts:
    The power supply could be cheaper, but it seems investing a little more up front might pay off in reduced energy costs in the long run. Not sure if $100 extra is justified though.
    The MSI Motherboard is $80 more than the ASRock. I love MSI and have great experiences with their boards. I have zero experience with ASRock.

    So, potentially this build could be at $997 going with the ASRock.

    How's this looking?
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