We all know it’s true… cryptocurrency mining isn’t going anywhere, it is here for the foreseeable future. Just as with servers, I like to build instead of buy. Over the years, I have done my share of research when it comes to hardware and components. I have made plenty of mistakes along the way and I have learned quite a bit about what works and what doesn’t work. With that in mind, I am going provide you with the list of components that I choose, at computingondemand.com, when building my mining rigs.
Since we are on the subject of hardware, let me make one thing crystal clear, my way may not be the best way, and it is definitely not the cheapest way… it is just my way. I like things neat, organized, and accessible. I also approach things somewhat differently than many of my peers. Many try to choose the cheapest parts and some try to build elaborate 12+ card rigs. I like to use quality components that can be resold or repurposed if the market suddenly changes and/or mining is no longer profitable.
Also, mining isn’t my sole source of income, it is a hobby and I approach it as such. I do things from the perspective of an enthusiast and pick my hardware the same way. I am sure there are plenty of ways to shave some capital off of my investments, but it wouldn’t be as much fun that way.
You will not see a GPU recommendation here… get whatever you can get your hands on!
So, without further ado, my recommended list of components:
For me, the Rosewill RSV-L4000C wins EVERY time. I am a big fan of Rosewill products and this one doesn’t disappoint. Its price tag is a bit on the high side ($299 USD), but the ability to rackmount my system while looking good, it’s a no-brainer. Read our Review of the RSV-L4000C. If this is a bit too rich for you, the RSV-L4500 can be easily modified to fit your needs.
While cases are in focus, we might as well mention cooling. The Rosewill comes with NO FANS. Yep, none at all. There is room for four 80mm fans at the rear, five 80mm fans in the middle, and three 120mm fans up front.
120mm fans, I find myself installing CoolerMaster JetFlo 120s. They aren’t the highest volume fans out there (Delta usually is), but they move plenty of air and look good doing it. It also helps that they are affordable; coming in at around $18.09 USD.
For 80mm fans, Noctua gets my nod. Their NF-A8 FLX pushes up to 85.6 CFM and is rated for up to 150,000 hours of continuous use. Although they are a bit on the pricey side at $15.95 USD, I don’t feel bad about dropping my money on them.
Motherboard: Biostar TB250-BTC
I have tested, installed, played with, and scrapped my share of motherboards in my efforts to find the best suited for my needs. Without question, my motherboard has to be inexpensive, support at least six GPUs, and sport an M.2 slot for storage. While ASRock populates one of my rigs, the others are all built on the solid, yet inexpensive, Biostar TB250-BTC. This board has everything I need at the price point I am looking for, $89.99 USD.
CPU: Celeron G3930
With what I mine, a hefty CPU is not needed. For me, the cheaper the better, include graphics and I am all over it. What covers all this at $39.99 USD? The Intel Celeron 3930 does. This chip supports onboard graphics and just enough processing power to keep things moving along.
Power Supply: Corsair HX1200
This is probably the hardest decision to make. There are a TON of options out there for power supplies. However, there is one brand that has never done me dirty. Their power supplies have been rock solid for as long as I can remember and their reputation for quality is clear. For me, the Corsair HX1200 PSU is the one that finds a home in all my rigs. At $229.99 USD it isn’t cheap, but I haven’t had one fail yet. Note: You can get them for 199 refurbished direct from Corsair.
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 8GB
Memory isn’t something that makes or breaks my rigs. Again, it is one of those things that keep the lights on, like the CPU. It serves its purpose and I go on my merry way. However, there are some brands out there that offer the affordability and the reputation to get my money. Typically, I find myself looking for Corsair, but will settle on just about anything that works. Lately, Corsair Vengeance has been priced pretty well ($89.99 USD) making it an easy choice.
Storage: Intel 545s 256GB M.2 SATA
My rigs only run Windows. No office, no Photoshop, nothing special. I don’t run wallets or any unneeded software on my systems. However, when (if) crypto dies, I don’t want to be left with a hard drive that I cannot use. You can save yourself some money when you build your rig by getting a 60GB, 120GB, or some variant drive, but I will not purchase anything less than 250GB. Also, I try to eliminate as much cabling as possible so m.2 drives are my go to. As I have said before, the highest performer isn’t my sweet spot, neither is the lowest (resale reasons), so for me, the middle is my home. The Intel 545s usually hits the mark. They can be found for $89.99 USD on sale. If they aren’t on sale, I start dropping my money on Samsung EVOs.
RISERS: VER 009S
Risers are another one of those things, most of them work just fine most of the time; no brand preference. You can expect to get a bad one here and there, but for the most part they do the job. Ideally, look for something that has multiple power options. SATA to 6-pin adapters have had some problems (caused me a small fire), so options are good. Personally, I use the 6-Pin PCI-E cable from my PSU to power the riser, then the extension to power the GPU. I have run 007 and 009s… get whatever you are comfortable with. Most of the time, the cables provided with them are crap, so look for some replacements.
There are always some things you want that you will not always need. This isn’t a long list, but it includes things like:
- Cable Matters (2-Pack) 8-Pin PCIe to 2x Molex Power Cable – 4 Inches
- Silverstone Tek Sleeved Extension Power Supply Cable with 1 x 8-Pin to PCI-E 8-Pin Connector (PP07-PCIBG)
- SilverStone PWM Fan Hub System, Black (CPF04)
- Cable Matters 2-Pack, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Type A Cable in Black 3 Feet
- FREEGENE DVI Graphics Card Display GPU Detection Monitor DVI-D Dummy Plug
- FREEGENE HDMI Dummy Plug Virtual Screen Display Emulator for Headless PC