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Author Topic: Building a small mining rig, need critique, potential small BTC reward  (Read 2253 times)
Thralen
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April 27, 2012, 06:14:24 PM
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I'm looking to build a small mining rig since I have a couple of spare video cards hanging around from upgrades on the single card I currently mine with. My intentions are to use the 5670 and the 6850 that I have to spare in this rig. I also have a 5870 that is what I am currently mining with. If anyone can suggest improvements to the setup I've come up with that are in the same price range, I'll happily drop a small BTC reward their way if they provide a wallet address.

A couple of notes about the environment for the system. I've specified a case because where I live is dusty everywhere, doesn't matter if you have air filters running, doors always closed, etc... There will be dust around. My current mining card (5870) runs in my main desktop system and I've essentially left the side off the case and replaced it with some window screen mesh to allow for more heat dissipation and to prevent dust from getting in. I still need to pull off the mesh, remove the card, and clean the interior of the case and the fans in the case and on the card about twice a month to remove dust build-up. So, if you recommend no case please also recommend a way to prevent dust from building up and potentially damaging the system.

Here is what I have tentatively put together, I haven't built a rig in more than a decade so I'm really rusty on this. That's why I'm looking for assistance.

LIAN LI Lancool First Knight Series PC-K57W Black SECC / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($50)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112323

ASUS F1A55-M LX PLUS FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) Micro ATX AMD Motherboard ($65)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131813&Tpk=ASUS%20F1A55-M%20LX%20PLUS%20FM1%20AMD%20A55

AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX250OCK23GM - OEM ($55)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103904&Tpk=AMD%20Athlon%20II%20X2%20250%20Regor%203.0GHz%20Socket%20AM3%2065W

Team Elite 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333  (package contains two 1 gb sticks) ($20)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313102

CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($70)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139028

My intention is to run a linux distribution (probably ubuntu) off of a USB drive for this system so no hard drive is included in the list. Anyhow, let me know if you think this system would work for the 5670 and 6850. Feel free to suggest upgrades in the same price range, or even out of the price range if you can give me a good reason to increase/decrease the cost for that component.

Thank you...
Thralen

Supporting bitcoin as best I can with 1. mining, 2. buying with bitcoin, 3. selling (or trying to) for bitcoin. If you make a donation to:  1MahzUUEYJrZ4VbPRm2h5itGZKEguGVZK1  I'll get it into circulation.
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scifimike12
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April 27, 2012, 06:45:01 PM
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I'd recommend a Sempron 145 instead.  Can be had for $22.99 using code SWEEPUP5.

The problem is that the board you chose is for FM1 socket.  You need AM3 or AM3+.  But if you still want to keep that board, then you can get a A4-3400 for $40.49 + shipping using that same code I mentioned before.

Also that PSU is way overpriced for the type of power it outputs (+12V = 480W).  I'd recommend a XFX Core Edition or OCZ ZT series.
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April 27, 2012, 06:55:51 PM
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its pretty dusty here
takes as long to clean a 1 card rig in a case as it does a naked 3 card rig - just easy access and stuff, if you are cleaning 2 times per month anyway, save the $50 on the case

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April 27, 2012, 07:14:57 PM
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Your CPU and mobo is incompatible. Socket FM1 is only for the APU's (a4/a6/a8) that have integrated gpu. You need an AM3/AM3+ socket mobo or a socket FM1 APU.

Thralen
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April 27, 2012, 07:20:58 PM
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Scifimike: good catch, this is the reason I was posting about it before just grabbing components. I'll probably look for a different board, my heart isn't set on any of these components. If you want to drop a wallet address I'll send .1 BTC your way.

Graet: Well, the twice a month cleaning is with the screen over it, it would be daily if it were totally open. My fear is that I'll somehow manage to skip cleaning an open case system for a few days in a row and start frying dust (and/or components).

ssateneth: thanks, scifimike caught that one first.

Thralen

Supporting bitcoin as best I can with 1. mining, 2. buying with bitcoin, 3. selling (or trying to) for bitcoin. If you make a donation to:  1MahzUUEYJrZ4VbPRm2h5itGZKEguGVZK1  I'll get it into circulation.
scifimike12
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April 27, 2012, 08:06:59 PM
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Scifimike: good catch, this is the reason I was posting about it before just grabbing components. I'll probably look for a different board, my heart isn't set on any of these components. If you want to drop a wallet address I'll send .1 BTC your way.

Thralen

Nah, it's cool.  If I can help someone out that is all that matters.   Smiley
twoBitBasher
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April 27, 2012, 08:38:53 PM
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If you are going to just mine on the rig of yours use BAMT(linux) It comes preconfigured. Just add your mining pool details and the clocks your GPUs will run and you are set. It needs 2GB+ usb stick to run. You will save a lot of setup time on this!

Also If you wan't to be serious about your mining operation then I'd go hunting for used 5870s with watercoolingblocks installed. The only parts you need to clean is the radiator and the fans of the radiator which is a 2min job by using a vacuum cleaner. The PSU could use a filter mask that you just dust off time to time. These airconditioning filters are cheap and do a fairly good job of keeping dust entering your PSU. On an open rig it is easy to clean the stock CPU cooler as well. If you think you need to shield your rig more from dust just put it under a table on top of something with wheels. There are good(and bad) samples of peoples solution for storing their rigs on the picture thread.

You can basically get everything you need used from ebay except hoses.
I have gathered such a setup and I'm fully expecting it to pay back before Christmas. I have been running it for a couple of months now.

For mobo I'd go with anything that has a good price and isn't on the list of needing a jumper cable for x1 slots to be recognized. As long the mobo has enough pci-e connectors (4+) it's good. It doesn't matter are the connectors x16 or x1 because you can use extenders(powered preferred). The sempron sounds nice.

The PSU is the one part you don't get used because efficiency matters in this business. The PSU should be oversized as well so that if you initially have just a couple of cards you can add more later without needing to upgrade. 1000W gold rated is probably ok.

The thing you should be considering setting up your rig at this time is the break even time it needs. If it goes a lot beyond Christmas it might take forever Wink A low hashing power/high cost system has a poor chance of that.

If you think my comments have benefitted you it would be nice to hear thanks Smiley

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Thralen
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April 28, 2012, 02:16:51 AM
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twobitbasher: I'll check out BAMT, at a glance it looks intriguing.

I'm not setting up a serious mining farm. I am just trying to put the two cards that I started mining with back into use as opposed to letting them gather dust. I may try the open case deal but be prepared to make a small box out of 1 X 2's and screen mesh to cover it with if necessary. Under the table doesn't work, my current desktop is under my desk and, as I said, needs cleaning frequently, even with a screen.

Thinking of this to replace the motherboard I listed earlier:
MSI 870A-G46 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130591

So, consensus seems to be boost the PSU from the 600W I was looking at there.

I'm not interested in getting new cards, as I said, I just don't want to let the ones I have sit idle. So, without new cards, and leaving off a case I'm looking $220 plus shipping (plus however much more the PSU I end up with goes for) so it isn't a horrible break even time, all things considered. Even if it were, I'm half doing it to support bitcoin, the extra BTC is simply a nice bonus. But I figure $250 (estimated) to put another 270-400 Mhash/s into service is acceptable to me. If I decide to go more serious, I've got one more pci-e slot on the new motherboard I mentioned here and could always swap out the 5670 to boot, it was only about 114 Mh/s when I was running it before.

So, how is this looking?

MSI 870A-G46 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard ($75)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130591

AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX250OCK23GM - OEM ($55) (need FM1 or swap Mobo)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103904&Tpk=AMD%20Athlon%20II%20X2%20250%20Regor%203.0GHz%20Socket%20AM3%2065W

Team Elite 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333  (package contains two 1 gb sticks) ($20)
 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313102

Plus a PSU in the 750-100W range.

Put it in an open case and how do you think that will do for my specified purpose?

Thank you...
Thralen


Supporting bitcoin as best I can with 1. mining, 2. buying with bitcoin, 3. selling (or trying to) for bitcoin. If you make a donation to:  1MahzUUEYJrZ4VbPRm2h5itGZKEguGVZK1  I'll get it into circulation.
Thralen
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April 28, 2012, 02:37:22 AM
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Oh, and twobitbasher. I sent 0.1 btc to the address in your sigline, sorry it isn't more but I try to get my coins into circulation so don't have a lot at any one time.

Thralen

Supporting bitcoin as best I can with 1. mining, 2. buying with bitcoin, 3. selling (or trying to) for bitcoin. If you make a donation to:  1MahzUUEYJrZ4VbPRm2h5itGZKEguGVZK1  I'll get it into circulation.
Graet
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April 28, 2012, 02:50:55 AM
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avoid vaccuuming pcs, static build up can be very bad
compressed air to blow is much safer

| Ozcoin Pooled Mining Pty Ltd https://ozcoin.net Double Geometric Reward System https://lc.ozcoin.net for Litecoin mining DGM| https://crowncloud.net VPS and Dedicated Servers for the BTC community
Thralen
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April 28, 2012, 02:59:13 AM
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avoid vaccuuming pcs, static build up can be very bad
compressed air to blow is much safer

Yup, I normally shut down, let the card cool down, remove it, blow the case out and clean the dust from the fans (card and case) with a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. Replace the card and good to go... But thanks, in case I hadn't known.

Thralen

Supporting bitcoin as best I can with 1. mining, 2. buying with bitcoin, 3. selling (or trying to) for bitcoin. If you make a donation to:  1MahzUUEYJrZ4VbPRm2h5itGZKEguGVZK1  I'll get it into circulation.
twoBitBasher
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April 28, 2012, 06:36:50 AM
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Thralen, thank you! Glad I could help.

Yes the vacuum cleaner is a risk if you go brushing the components with it. However the radiators aren't particularly vulnerable to ESD and I'd say that the fans aren't either. CPU cooler is usually conducting and might do the grounding straight through the CPU so compressed air for that. Casing is still making this difficult no matter what you use for cleaning.

I think that buying brand new hardware (except the PSU) is not going to be a good investment on this low end system. The system you got planned is okay otherwise.

An ideal dedicated miner has just enough computing power to run the mining software and is extremely power efficient without breaking the bank. So the funny part here is that while the FM1 platform might be more power efficient it also comes with an iGPU that is next to useless in mining and thus only adding to the systems consumption(it can be disabled though). It is also difficult to find a mobo for this platform that is cheap and has enough pci-e slots for expandability. The bottom line here is that with used components it is possible to get a system that has the same power characteristics and expandability but is significantly cheaper(half the price). Okay RAM might be a though one($20) but people do sell their old mobo+cpu combos on the cheap. YMMV

If you think my comments have benefitted you it would be nice to hear thanks Smiley

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