You might have read our previous article, detailing how to build a 4 GPU Litecoin mining rig, but maybe you don’t want to invest that much money in a rig just yet. No worries! In today’s post, I’ll show you how you can assemble your own 1,350+Kh/s Litecoin mining rig for under $1,000. As of the date this guide was updated (2/20/2014), a 3 GPU Litecoin mining rig like this, can generate over $150 USD worth of Litecoins or $230 USD worth of Dogecoin per month. Click here, for a pre-configured Litecoin mining calculator or here for a Dogecoin mining calculator. You’ll just have to enter your local power company rate to calculate your net profits. As you can see, using the best scrypt mining hardware currently available on the market, we can build a fairly low risk investment in the future of crypto-currency. Let’s get started!
Mining Hardware List
Essentially, a Litecoin mining rig is a custom-built PC with parts chosen for maximum hash rates (determines how fast you can mine) and minimal overall cost. Here are the parts you’ll need to build this budget sub-$1,000 rig.
- Power Supply – $140 - Corsair 850 Watt Gold Rated PSU.
- Motherboard – $95 – ASUS M5A97. This motherboard has two of the 16x PCI-e slots and two of the 1x PCI-e slots. All four slots can be used for mining GPU’s. If it is out of stock, this one or this one are good alternatives.
- GPUs – $600 (3x $200) – AMD Radeon R9 270 - If the R9 270 is out of stock, the R9 270x costs just a bit more for slightly more hashing power and will still work with everything else in this setup. For specific configuration details be sure to read this litecoin mining hardware comparison.
- Powered Risers – $30 (3x $10) Use 1x to 16x powered risers suspended above the motherboard with proper spacing for cooling the cards. You can get away with non-powered risers for rigs with up to 3 GPU’s, but I usually recommend going with powered risers if the price is similar as it reduces the strain on your motherboard.
- CPU – $35 - AMD Sempron 145 Processor Since CPU specs have no effect on mining efficiency, we’ve chosen the cheapest option here.
- RAM - $40 – 4GB Kingston DDR3 RAM
- Hard Drive – $40 - 32GB Solid State Drive or boot BAMT from a fast USB thumb drive)
- Case - $6 - Plastic Milk Crate (you might be able to pick one of these up at your local office supply store for less)
- Power Switch - $6 – A basic Motherboard Power Switch does the trick, making it easier to start up your mining rig.
- Extra Cooling - $30 - Box Fan (good supplemental cooling for a mining rig, as it pushes all that hot air away from the cards)
- Operating System - $0-$90 - Windows 7 is my preference, but if you’re familiar with Linux you can of course download it for free (some folks consider Linux to be the best OS for litecoin mining, since it keeps your overall costs down, improving your litecoin mining ROI or return-on-investment). If you will be loading the operating system from a CD or DVD, a $29 external USB powered DVD drive will come in handy.
- Monitor, Mouse and Keyboard (to install the OS and configure the mining software, no need to buy more than one set since you only use this for setup)
Total Cost: ~$980 minus the extra cooling and optional operating system costs.
Putting it all Together – Assembling your Budget Litecoin Mining Rig
- Un-package everything (be sure to keep original packaging for future re-sale or warranty work)
- Install the Sempron 145 CPU and RAM on the motherboard (the processor comes with a good heatsink and fan assembly; it’s a question I am often asked).
- Plug in the hard drive or optionally a USB thumb drive.
- Insert the graphics cards in the 16x PCI-e slots on the risers and plug the risers into the motherboard.
- Plug in all power supply connections
- Place motherboard in plastic milk crate.
- Connect mouse/monitor/keyboard and an internet connection (You can use a USB WiFi adapter, however in my experience, a hard wired ethernet cable connection to your modem/router will have fewer ‘stale shares’ when mining Litecoin).
- Check all connections once more
- Start up your rig! Install the operating system, latest graphics card drivers, and mining software. Make sure the fans are doing their job. Start the mining software, tweak for maximum hash rates and mine some Litecoin!
A word on Bitcoin mining:
Several people come to this site every day, looking for directions to build a Bitcoin mining rig. Unfortunately, GPU-based Bitcoin mining rigs are no longer profitable, due to the introduction of ASIC miners. You could buy an ASIC, but to be honest, you won’t make much due to the intense competition in that market. I’d recommend just buying the coin outright through Coinbase (as I do, using dollar cost averaging).Sign up through that link, and they’ll reward you with $5 worth of Bitcoin to get you started as a way of saying thanks for buying your first coin through them!