How to build a mining farm from scratch?
In this article you will learn how to build a mining farm in 2021.
Technical basics of choosing a mining farm
In order to build a mining farm, first you need to decide on the following indicators:
- By the manufacturer of the video card (AMD or Nvidia)
- By choosing the video card itself
- Selection of components for the farm assembly
- The location of the farm
Let's look at all these points in more detail.
Video Card Manufacturers
Let's start the review in order with the choice of a video card manufacturer (AMD or Nvidia), yes, you need to start with this item, not the budget, since the price category of these manufacturers is different.
In addition, the video cards of these manufacturers are better sharpened for one or another algorithm (cryptocurrencies are mined using different algorithms).
For example, Ethereum (ETH) is mined best on AMD video cards, since the memory of the card is primarily used for the extraction of ether. Its price is also a plus: it is several times cheaper than the price of Nvidia cards, with almost the same amount of memory.
However, in 2021, with the release of the new 30 line of video cards from Nvidia, Ethereum mining also became very profitable on Nvidia.
And such a coin as Ravencoin is better mined on Nvidia video cards, since the processor frequency is an important component there (Nvidia's graphics processor is much more powerful than AMD's processor). Despite the high cost of Nvidia graphics cards, there are more coins for which it is best suited than coins that are better mined on AMD.
Simply put, AMD video cards perfectly mine the coins of the algorithm - Ethash (the algorithm of Ethereum and many other coins created on its platform).
And Nvidia video cards are excellent at mining coins using algorithms such as Cuckatoo31, MTP, Cuckaroo29s, as well as Ether itself (especially new card lines) and many others.
Of course, you can mine any coins on both Nvidia and AMD, but this is not entirely advisable.
Any cryptocurrency calculator, when any AMD-type graphics card is inserted into it, will initially offer Ethash algorithm coins, and after that algorithms such as KawPow (and others), since the former will bring more coins, which means that the equipment will pay off faster. It's the same with Nvidia cards.
Having decided on the choice of coin, pricing policy and directly with the manufacturer of the video card itself, we proceed to the next point.
After the graphics card manufacturer is selected, it is necessary to calculate the budget. Having this or that amount, it is necessary to calculate how many video cards you can buy.
Important! When calculating the budget, do not forget to take into account not only the cost of video cards, but also the cost of the system itself (motherboard, processor, RAM, hard disk (or SSD), power supply). All this will also cost a decent amount, since, for example, it is better not to save money on the power supply and buy high-quality, because it will power expensive equipment - video cards
The costs that will have to be incurred when assembling a mining farm:
- The first and most expensive – video cards
- System. Purchase: processor, motherboard, RAM, hard disk.
- Power supply unit. It is advisable to buy with a minimum certificate of 80+ Bronze.
- Riser (if you buy more than 1 video card). They are needed to connect several video cards to PCI-e x1 expansion slots on the motherboard.
- A frame for a farm (if the farm consists of more than one video card). It is necessary for the cards to stand steadily and be easily blown with air.
Choosing a video card
After you have decided on the pricing policy, we proceed to the next point.
The choice of the video card itself – that is, its model. As in any market, the more modern (newer) the product - the more its price. So it is with video cards: the newer its model is and the better its cooling system is, the more expensive it is. The latest models are always more expensive, but most often more efficient and mining more coins.
Let 's give an example:
In 2021, a farm of 6 Nvidia 3080 video cards per day will bring $ 45.95 on the Ethash algorithm:
And 6 6800XT graphics cards from AMD, per day will bring $ 32.24 on the same Ethash algorithm:
So that you can understand for yourself in real time how much a particular video card (or several video cards) brings, use a special online service - whattomine. Whattomine is an online calculator that shows how much cryptocurrency and money you will receive from a particular video card (screenshots above from whattomine).
Also you have to understand an important thing: do not save money and buy a bunch of cheap video cards (so that you have a large mining farm), for example, such as: 1050 TI, 1060 3 GB, RX 470 (570, 580) for 4 GB and so on.
Of course, such video cards are 3 times cheaper, unlike the latest model video cards (or more powerful video cards), but they also bring many times less. It is not logical to collect such farms at home, because if you want to mine more coins, then you will need 3 times more such video cards than more powerful video cards (for example, 2080 TI), which means more occupied space in the apartment and more noise.
It is important to understand and not to confuse, we mean the purchase of very weak video cards. If, for example, you can buy quite profitable (not very powerful video cards) cheap, such as the 1660 Super, then of course it is better to take several such video cards than 1-2 expensive 2080 TI (or another), since you will be able to recoup them faster and make a profit faster! Remember, there is no point in saving and buying weak video cards that are already obsolete and that experienced miners are trying to get rid of and sell to "hamsters"!
It is worth noting that the complexity of cryptocurrency mining is growing almost every day. This means that very old video cards for mining become weaker (bring less profit), since complexity affects the production of cryptocurrencies, which means that a weak, old video card model will bring even fewer coins over time, which will lead it faster to the fact that it will produce less than the cost of electricity, unlike a powerful, modern video card.
In the screenshot below, you can see the increasing complexity of the most popular cryptocurrency (which is mined on video cards) - Ethereum!
After the video card model is selected, you should very carefully approach the choice of companies that assemble video cards (Asus, MSI, Palit, Gigabyte and many others).
Note that Nvidia and AMD create only graphics chips, and the assembly of the video card itself in the usual form is given to intermediaries such as Asus, MSI, Palit and many others. They, in turn, do the cooling of the video card and give their own design.
Why should you approach this choice carefully? Because the cooling of the video card is the most important thing to look at when choosing it, since it will work in your farm 24/7 (non-stop), respectively, the video cards will warm up. Modern video cards consume a lot of electricity, which means they emit a lot of heat and that they do not "burn out" they need high-quality cooling!
With poor cooling (and without additional ventilation in the room where the farm is located), the video card can overheat and go into protection (turn off), moreover, this will stop the entire process of mining cryptocurrencies (mining) until you restart it, and it will also cause any harm to the video card.
We also advise you to watch the video : is the temperature of the video card 80 degrees normal? What is the normal temperature of the video card in mining?
Good cooling of the video card is large radiators, a lot of copper pipes and large coolers (preferably 3), but there are cases when only 2 coolers cope with the task of cooling perfectly.
However, you should understand that it is very difficult to visually understand whether the video card copes with thermal loads or not, because there are cases when the video card has 3 coolers, a bunch of copper heat pipes, but the video card is still "hot".
Therefore, before buying a particular video card, be sure to look at the tests and thermal images of the video card on our website, or on others!
Selection of system components
After the final selection of the video card, you need to pick up and buy a good system (accessories).
The system for assembling a farm is no different from the system that is assembled for ordinary computers.
For the farm you will need:
- SSD or HDD
- Power supply
Let's analyze these points in more detail.
We advise you to watch the video : Mining accessories: how to choose? What do you need for a mining farm? What can you save on?
When choosing a motherboard, you should pay attention to the number of PCI-e outputs x16 and x1. The ideal ratio is a total of 6 slots.
You can take less, but if you plan to buy additional video cards in the future, it's better to take them immediately with a reserve, since then, in addition to a new motherboard, you will have to buy a new power supply, processor and everything else.
When choosing a motherboard, pay attention to its configuration.
The easiest motherboard for mining to set up is the "ASRock H81 Pro BTC r2.0". There are many other mothers that are not difficult to set up. And there are also those in the configuration of which even an experienced user will get confused.
Why should you pay attention to this? Because many motherboards will not start with the connection of more than two video cards without additional configuration in the BIOS (UEFI), without dancing with a tambourine.
Next comes the processor. Depending on the LGA of the motherboard, buy the most budget processor (the processor is selected by socket).
For example, the most budget Intel Celeron G3930 2 core (socket 1151) is suitable for the Asus Prime z270-p (LGA1151) motherboard. In simple words, the processor socket must match the motherboard's LGA.
Remember, there is no point in overpaying for the CPU, it does not affect anything, buy the most budget! Well, if you want to mine cryptocurrency on a processor, for example, such as Monero, then we recommend buying only processors from AMD, since Intel is less profitable for this type of mining.
Watch the video : profitability from mining on the processor, is it worth mining on the CPU.
RAM. After selecting the processor, select the RAM. Depending on the motherboard and its technology, RAM (DDR3, DDR4 or other), supports a certain type of memory. We buy 4 gigabytes of the cheapest RAM. Do not overpay for the brand and buy more memory, it will not particularly affect the production of cryptocurrencies.
However, more and more often, coin algorithms have begun to appear that require more RAM (RAM is not important for Ether), so for safety, if you mine other cryptocurrencies in the future, you can take more RAM.
Hdd or SSD
It is worth noting here that if you have nothing else on the farm (except the operating system, the miner itself and programs), then a HDD (or SSD) will do, even with a memory capacity of 60 gigabytes (but it is better to take 128 GB to immediately download miners for different algorithms, programs, and so on). Also, for some algorithms, you will have to increase the swap file.
About 10 GB will be spent on the system, several gigabytes on various programs for overclocking and on miners (special programs for mining cryptocurrencies).
Which is better to choose: SSD or hard drive (HDD) for the farm? The answer to this question is very simple.
It is best to use SSD drives, since they will install the operating system many times faster, the farm will start in a matter of seconds (since the operating system itself will be almost empty after installation and not cluttered with various programs). Also, in the case of reinstalling the system, you will spend less time, which means that you will start mining (mining cryptocurrency) faster.
The programs themselves will be installed and run many times faster as well.
A hard drive is also a good option (you will get more memory for the same money as a 60 / 128 GB ssd.) but it will:
- Significantly slower
- Takes up a lot of extra space in the frame of the farm
There is no clear rule that it is better for you to decide.
And finally, we move on to the last, but most important point (after the video cards) - the power supply.
It should be noted right away that for a farm with a large number of video cards, you will most likely need 2 power supplies to power the entire farm. Here you can learn how to run 2 power supplies.
So, how to choose a power supply?
- Power supply unit power
- Number of wires (connectors)
The certificate is an important component when choosing a Power supply.
When choosing a certificate, pay attention to the fact that it should be at least "80 + Bronze". Also pay attention to the real Power supply manufacturer (OEM).
Why is it so important to pay attention to this? Since the unit will power not only the system, but also the video cards themselves (expensive equipment), it is worth approaching its choice with special care. When buying, pay attention to its functions and whether the unit will go into protection in case of a power surge (otherwise, it can burn video cards, it is better for the unit to burn itself and go into protection than expensive video cards).
Certificates are responsible for drawdowns in the supply of electricity (and much more). The higher the certificate, the smaller the drawdown of the current supply.
Remember that the power supply is the heart of your company, through which electricity passes, powering the most expensive thing in the farm - video cards! Do not skimp on the Power supply, do not make such mistakes:
A good power supply will die by itself, but it will not kill the video cards! A bad power supply will die by itself and kill the whole system!
Power supply unit power
Depending on the total total power consumed by video cards, it is worth choosing a power supply (1 or 2 depending on the number of video cards and the energy consumed by them). Plus, do not forget that the system also consumes electricity ~ 120 watts.
In stock, the power supply always needs to leave at least 80 watts, for stable operation. When overloaded, the power supply can simply not stand up and go into protection, and a bad power supply (cheap, without a certificate) and even worse - burn out. This is another reason why it is not worth saving on the block.
Number of wires (connectors)
Always count how many PCI-e, Molex and SATA wires are in the power supply.
After counting the number of video cards, find the block with the ideal number of PCI-e wires for you.
For example, if a video card consumes more than 250 watts, then for safety reasons it needs to be powered by two separate PCI-e wires. That is, if you have 4 video cards of such power, then you need 8 wires.
In the same situation, but with a video card power consumption of less than 250 watts, 4 video cards will need 4 PCI-e wires.
SATA and Molex are the wires that will power the riser. Do not forget that 1 SATA wire is given to power the hard drive.
It is best to power the riser through Molex, but there are very few of them in almost all power supplies (more often 2-3 wires). If there are not enough molex wires, then power it via SATA.
To do this, you need either SATA risers at once, or regular Molex risers, since they always include a sata adapter in their kit.
If in any scenario you can't connect the entire farm with 1 unit, then it's worth buying and powering the farm with 2 power supplies.
The assembly of the farm on 5,6,7,8 video cards - occurs in the same way as described above. The only thing that is different is that you will need to find a motherboard that supports connecting 8 PCI-e wires. Also, most likely, 2 power supplies will be needed to power such a company, since there will not be enough wires for one unit.
The choice of the location of the farm should be approached with special attention: Your apartment or some kind of storage room. The second option is much simpler, so let's focus on the first one in more detail.
The choice of the location of the farm in the apartment should be approached carefully, since the apartment is most often warm (and stuffy in summer) - this means that the video cards will be hot.
In this case, the video cards need to be blown with additional fans and produce frequent ventilation of the room, and it is even better to keep the window open, since video cards, consuming electricity, push it out of themselves in the form of heat. The more video cards, the greater the electricity consumption, and consequently more heat generation.
A storage room or a small enclosed space is not suitable for the location of the farm, since the video cards will again be hot.
Ideally, place the video cards in a well-ventilated room (preferably not in the bedroom), since there will be a strong hum from the farm (from the fans of the video cards and additional blowing). Ideally, the farm is best placed on a small frame on the floor, for better purging.
In case of saving space, you can assemble a large frame, but in this case it will be necessary to install additional cooling (for example, fans), since such a frame allows you to place many closely spaced cards, they in turn emit heat and warm each other.
Since video cards consume a large amount of electricity, you should immediately find out what kind of wiring is in your room, and how much electricity is allocated to it.
- Copper wiring is an excellent wiring that easily withstands heavy loads.
- Aluminum wiring - most often distributed in the old fund. It is worse than copper and harder to cope with a heavy load.
If there is aluminum wiring in your room, then it is best to run a copper wire from the switchboard to the farm. This operation will allow you to withstand the load from the farm, but will not give a good indicator otherwise, since aluminum wiring will most likely also go to the shield.
Depending on the amount of electricity allocated to the room, for example 15 kW., do not use all 15 from one outlet, as it simply will not stand. If you want to install several trusses in one room, it is best to run an additional copper wire from the shield and make an additional outlet. Otherwise, you will constantly knock out traffic jams.
After you have selected all the equipment, it remains to buy it. Next, let's look at how to build a mining farm from scratch.
How much money does the mining farm bring?
This video explains in detail how to find coins for mining, how much money 1 video card, how to start a miner, configure Bat files and much more:
Mining farm assembly scheme
After the equipment is purchased, we proceed directly to the farm assembly itself.
To begin with, we take the motherboard, RAM and processor.
RAM and processor are inserted into the corresponding slots of the motherboard.
Next, we take the power supply and connect it to the motherboard. To do this, we will need 2 wires from the power supply:
- Motherboard power supply
- Processor power supply (on almost all modern blocks, the word CPU is written at the connectors (wire edges))
The wire feeding the motherboard is tightly inserted into it. Check if there are any cracks. If there are any, insert the cable tighter.
Next, we take the processor cable from the power supply and insert it into the motherboard.
The motherboard is connected, now you need to power the hard drive or SSD. To do this, you will need 2 wires: one SATA from the power supply, and the second SATA wire from the motherboard (comes with the motherboard).
The wire that comes with the motherboard looks like in the picture below (it may be a different color, most often black)
The wire for the hard disk (SSD) from the power supply looks like in the picture below.
Now these two wires need to be connected to the hard drive. The wire from the power supply unit must be inserted into the unit itself and directly into the hard disk.
The wire that was included with the motherboard is inserted into the hard drive with one end and the other end into the motherboard.
On the motherboard, the connector for the hard disk is called – SATA.
The hard drive is connected, the system is powered up. It remains to connect only video cards.
We insert the first video card into the large PCI-e x16 slot of the motherboard.
Now you need to supply power to the video card. To do this, we take a PCI-e cable from the power supply, insert it with one end into the block, and with the other into the power supply of the video card (into the connectors). On such a cable, "PCI-e" is most often written.
Pay attention to the power consumption of video cards.
If video cards consume more than 250 watts, then according to safety regulations they need to be powered by two different PCI-e wires. And if the power consumption is less than 250 watts, but at the same time there are 2 power outputs (2 connectors) on the video card, then 1 double wire (technical name – PSI-e (6+2) is enough+(6+2))
The connected video card to the power supply looks something like in the picture below.
Now it is necessary to power the remaining video cards, most likely they will all be installed on the riser.
In the remaining PCI-e x16 and x1 slots, we insert adapters from risers, as in the picture below.
Now it is necessary to insert power into the risers themselves – wires from the power supply, Molex or SATA. In order not to confuse those who are not well versed in this, the picture below shows the difference between SATA and Molex wires.
Having tightly inserted the power cord (SATA or Molex) into the riser, insert the USB cable wires (which were previously inserted into the motherboard). It turns out as in the picture below.
Now it remains only to insert the video card already recorded earlier by the power supply into the riser. This procedure is no different from inserting a video card into the PCI-e slot of the motherboard, since the slot in the riser is identical to the slot in the motherboard. It will turn out as in the picture below.
That's it, the mining farm has been assembled, now you need to turn it on and connect the monitor.
For the first time, be sure to connect the monitor to the main (first) video card located in the motherboard itself. To turn on the farm, switch the button on the power supply from 0 to 1.
Now the most interesting thing is, because there is no button to turn on the computer (farm), as on a standard, familiar PC. In order to turn on the farm, you need to find the following inscription on the motherboard (it will be next to the needle-like outputs) "+PLED" "+PWRBIN".
After finding these inscriptions, take a metal object (for example, scissors), and pinch the two extreme needles. Hold a metal object for no more than 1-2 seconds, the system will instantly turn on, the video card cooler and power supply will start working.
The mining farm is assembled and fully ready to work. Now it remains to configure the video cards and install the miner itself - a program for mining cryptocurrency.
After the farm is turned on and the operating system is loaded, first of all download the program for managing overclocking, coolers, power consumption and many others – "MSI Afterburner".
MSI Afterburner: how to overclock GPU in gaming and mining - power limit, monitoring, core voltage
Next, you need to:
- download and install a miner program for mining cryptocurrencies. You can download it on our website. Instructions for setting it up are provided in the section - pools.
- Register on the exchange. To mine coins, you need to create an electronic wallet on the exchange. Also, after mining a certain amount of coins, their sale is carried out through the exchange. See the rating of reliable exchanges.
- Select a coin mining pool. A pool is a place where all miners unite in order to mine coins, as one by one, coin mining is now almost impossible due to the ever-increasing complexity.
The choice of a pool and the setup of a miner for it is fully and step-by-step described on our website.
Also on our website you can choose an exchange that is convenient for you, with full instructions on its operation, from registration to trading.
After the above procedures, the mining process can be started. It will look like the picture below. Depending on the coin being mined, the appearance may vary slightly from the picture presented, but the essence will remain almost the same.