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Author Topic: Entry Level Mining Rig  (Read 1907 times)
benbit
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July 30, 2012, 04:05:32 AM
 #1

I'm looking to build a hobbyist level BTC mining rig. When I say hobbyist level, let me explain:  All the things involved with Bitcoin mining are things I enjoy spending some free time on, so thats what I intend to do.  I don't intend to make a career change or to have mining consume my life.  I'm willing to put a little money into it, but I also don't want to just waste money: I want my rig to be "profitable", at least making more money than the extra electricity I'll be using and maybe having a chance to pay back the cost of the rig eventually.  I'd also like it to allow me to earn and stash away some Bitcoin because I believe there's a good shot for Bitcoin to catch on and become more valuable in the future.  But if not, at least I'll have had some fun building, configuring, and maintaining my rig.

I've done a lot of reading about Bitcoin and mining over the last 3 weeks.  My goal is to build a rig that will have some room for expansion in the future with an initial investment in the $500 range. I want it to be safe (no fires please) and relatively quiet, as I'll be doing this mining in my homoe.  I plan to use Linux.  My electricity costs are about 10 cents/kWh  Here are the components I'm considering.  I'd like feedback and advice from those who are more experienced.  One specific question: does anyone have info on the energy consumption of 6770?  I'm leaning toward that card but can't find much info about that.  Thanks in advance.

Motherboard: ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157280
Processor: Sempron 145 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103888
RAM: Crucial 2x1GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148194
Hardrive: Seagate 250GB 7200 RPM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148765
Case: Cougar Evolution http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811553002
Power Supply: Rosewill Green Series 630W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182200
GPU: 1xAMD Radeon 6770 HD (with the thought of one day adding a second) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814105003


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Durendal
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July 30, 2012, 04:29:39 AM
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You would probably be better off with a 5xxx card around the same price that will yield a better hashrate; the 6770 is a great card but only a decent miner. Check out this chart for some numbers: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison#Single_Card_Setups

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benbit
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July 30, 2012, 04:41:38 AM
 #3

Availability of those cards seems pretty limited.  Is there anywhere to buy them new anymore?  I know I could get them off of ebay but then I'm likely I'm buying it used from someone who was using it to mine 24/7 and its at a higher risk of failing on me quickly Tongue
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July 30, 2012, 05:11:38 AM
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A used or refurbished 58xx card for only a little bit more will get you allot higher hash rates.  They sell broken ones even for 30-50 dollars sometimes and they hold their value more than any other cards.  A 5770 = a 6770 I think, there ok but the 58xx ones are cheap beasts.

I'm not bias towards amd or Intel or anything, Intel seems a little better for low dollar cpu's lately.  I think this is a deal that wont be around for long that I'm about to post, you can use PCI extenders if you end up getting more cards but it has one GPU slot.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121557
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116704
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145407

about $60 for the 3 parts, a full atx motherboard.  I would buy it now if I had the money.  
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July 30, 2012, 05:50:15 AM
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With the upcoming reward drop and introduction of ASICs it's pretty doubtful that you are going to be able to pay off that rig and turn a profit. If mining Litecoins continues to be profitable you could switch to that after ASICs come out though. I would also recommend that you get a 5850. I got a 5850 and a 5970 off ebay a few months ago. I'm pretty certain I didn't buy them from miners, and they have been running fine. A 5850 undervolted will do better than a 6770 at stock voltage and be much easier to keep cool inside a case. I've got my 5850 and 5970 in a case undervolted and they are both running about 65 C @45% fan. Anyway, I understand the concern about buying used, but still that is the way I would go. 
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July 30, 2012, 10:12:28 AM
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Just another post to say for mining your better off getting a 5850,5830,5870. And that it's unlikely you would actually turn a profit at this point from mining BTC. I assume you have already done some calculations but your probably going to be making between $0.5 to $1 profit per day for the next couple of months. Yes bitcoins COULD go up in value but the reward is halving later this year and with ASIC's around the bend difficulty is most likely going to go up quicker than bitcoin's value.

Litecoin mining is a possible saviour for your GPU's profability( i am currently mining Litecoins on mine) but it's very unpredictable and could be crap by the time your ready.

My honest recommendation is not to buy a mining rig at this point, perhaps building a gaming rig and using it to mine while it's still profitable then retire it just to gaming in the future is safer. But if you set on doing it (i also did it as a hobby and enjoyed it) then your you need to be betting on Litecoin being successful and be ready to accept you may not make all you money back.

Dargo
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July 30, 2012, 03:22:09 PM
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Just another post to say for mining your better off getting a 5850,5830,5870. And that it's unlikely you would actually turn a profit at this point from mining BTC. I assume you have already done some calculations but your probably going to be making between $0.5 to $1 profit per day for the next couple of months. Yes bitcoins COULD go up in value but the reward is halving later this year and with ASIC's around the bend difficulty is most likely going to go up quicker than bitcoin's value.

Litecoin mining is a possible saviour for your GPU's profability( i am currently mining Litecoins on mine) but it's very unpredictable and could be crap by the time your ready.

My honest recommendation is not to buy a mining rig at this point, perhaps building a gaming rig and using it to mine while it's still profitable then retire it just to gaming in the future is safer. But if you set on doing it (i also did it as a hobby and enjoyed it) then your you need to be betting on Litecoin being successful and be ready to accept you may not make all you money back.

That sums it up nicely.
benbit
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July 31, 2012, 02:32:56 AM
 #8

Thanks for all the feedback guys, this is helpful stuff.

Yes, I have done calculations about what kind of money I'd be netting- I don't have illusions of paying back the rig right away- or really ever, if the value of bitcoins don't go up and the difficulty does.  I don't game so I'm not going to be building a rig for that- but I am a developer and if I slapped some more ram in there it would be a useful machine for me.  Again, I'm primarily looking at this as a hobby endeavor.

That said, if GPU mining is really going to be the next CPU mining by October then I might want to think about things a little more carefully.  What is the overall feelings about these ASIC's supposedly coming out form BFL.  It seems to me a little too good to be true.  Have we seen working proof of concept?  Do we have any proof they can deliver what they claim?   And even if they can, do we know if they're really on schedule for the fall?  If they end up delivering 6 months late, thats a lot of time I can be GPU mining with my rig to stash a few coins away.

If we're mostly sure that ASICs are coming and that they will deliver what BFL claims, then would it be wiser for me to bump my investment up a little higher and buy a BFL Single FGPA for right now?  I could net a lot more bitcoins in the short term and possibly trade in at value for some type of ASIC setup later on or something?
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July 31, 2012, 03:23:56 AM
 #9

If you want a good case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147107&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Branding-_-na-_-na&AID=10440554&PID=4897915

(IMO)

And if you want re-used value in a year maybe a 7770 would serve you well

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127664&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-Branding-_-na-_-na&AID=10440554&PID=4897915

Sips power, remeber in one thread someone was claiming 3.x Mhash/J , pretty damn efficient. And its still worth something in a year.
Dargo
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July 31, 2012, 03:53:56 AM
 #10

^ Nice case. If you mostly want to mine for the fun of it, I would just go ahead and build the rig. If ASICs come out in October, then maybe you can switch to Litecoin (which can't be mined with ASIC) and keep going. If you need a new computer anyway, there's not much harm in throwing in a 5850, 6770, 7770, or whatever, and having a little fun.
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July 31, 2012, 09:06:22 AM
 #11

Availability of those cards seems pretty limited.  Is there anywhere to buy them new anymore?  I know I could get them off of ebay but then I'm likely I'm buying it used from someone who was using it to mine 24/7 and its at a higher risk of failing on me quickly Tongue

i've bought all my used cards off of miners, and none of them has failed yet

just one fan that i replaced

Feel free to join my G2A Goldmine Pyramid Scheme Team, or possibly even buy a Steam game from there.  Maybe. ------- Dacentec Dedicated Servers (Lenoir, NC, USA) from $25/mo & Time4VPS Storage VPS' (Vilnius, Lithuania) from €18/qtr & Hetzner's serverbidding, from ~€20/mo -- had bitcoin nodes & p2pool (dacentec, hetzner) for several years on these.  Only two are affiliate links too, kek!
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