Ever since I heard about mining, I was intrigued by the idea that you can set up a machine to earn passive income without much effort. I was lucky to set a mining rig up in December of 2017, when the GPU prices were still reasonable.
Here is a list of hardware components I bought for mining Ethereum:
I did a lot of research on what cards to pick. I found that AMD cards are generally better than Nvidia card for mining Ethereum. Also, I had a lot of troubles installing Nvidia card on Linux in the past, so I decided to use AMD cards. The high end AMD cards like the Vega series are very expensive and they also consume a lot of power. Considering the price, power consumption, and performance, the RX 580 cards offer the best bang for your buck. Any RX 580 cards with over 4GB memory is good for now. However, it might not be possible to mine Ethereum using a 4GB card in 2019. Therefore, it might be worth it to get cards with 8GB memory.
The motherboard is very important and the other components depends on it to function. You want to pick a motherboard with enough PCI Express slots for the GPUs. I picked this motherboard because this one has 6 PCI Express slots and I like Asus brand in general. It also has two M.2 ports, so if you buy two M.2 to PCI Express adapters, you can connect 8 GPUs to the motherboard. There is also a motherboard designed for mining. You can connect 19 GPUs to it!
I am going to mine Ethereum using GPUs, so CPU is not that important. Picking an entry level CPU can also help you reduce the total power required. Since Asus Prime Z270P is a LGA 1151 motherboard, I picked Intel Celeron G3930.
You don’t need a lot of RAM for Ethereum mining. I just picked the cheapest one for my motherboard. Any DDR4 desktop memory is OK.
You do not need a big hard drive for mining. I found a good price on this 128GB drive, so I bought it. If you are going to use Windows OS, you can get by using a 64GB SSD drive. For Linux, you don’t even need a SSD. People have used just a 16GB USB stick with success.
Power supply is very important in mining. You need enough power to drive all the GPUs and you also need enough connectors. The RX 580 card uses about 120W after modding. You need at least 1000W to drive the 6 RX 580 cards and the CPU. 1300W is a bit overkill, but I can add two more GPUs to my motherboard if I want to in the future. This power supply has 10 year warranty which is class leading in the industry.
PCIE Riser Cards
You cannot connect 6 GPUs to the motherboard directly. Therefore you need riser cards. Unlike the other components I picked, there are no riser cards from established manufacturers. A lot of people said that most mining rig problems came from riser cards. I took a leap of faith when picking these cards, because there were not a lot of reviews about them. After a couple of months running the rig, these cards are still doing well.
There are some mining cases available on the market. However, they are expensive and do not have good reviews. I decided to use a milk crate initially, but I could not fit all 6 GPUs in it. I later found out the AmazonBasics chrome 3-shelf shelving unit is perfect for a mining rig. It is also very cheap. Note that because the shelf is make of metal, do not put the motherboard directly on the shelf. You need something to insulate the motherboard from the shelf. Also, when moving the unit, do not pick on the shelves. The shelves will be separated from the posts. Holding the posts to move the unit.
Since I do not use a computer case, I need cable ties to tie the components to the shelving unit. I also need a power switch for the motherboard. The Kill A Watt monitor is useful to find out the total power consumption of your rig. While the smart plug lets me shutdown/start the rig remotely. You also need a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse to set the rig up.