Building a 6 GPU ethereum mining rig from scratch is no easy feat. There are basic assembly issues, operating system limitations , and hardware and software challenges to sort out. Here in this guide, we will walk you through selecting the best hardware, assembling the parts, and configuring the software to get you very own Ethereum or Zcash mining rig up and running. Once this rig is fully assembled and configured correctly, it is capable of securing the ethereum network and earning you real value in ether, the crypto-currency of the ethereum network.
6 GPU Ethereum Mining Hardware Build List
Power Supply – $250 EVGA SuperNOVA 1200 P2 – The key here is to have an efficient power supply that will save you over the long run in electricity costs. This 1200w power supply is platinum rated (as opposed to silver, bronze or gold). This is the industry standard for rating the efficiency of a PSU.
Motherboard/CPU – $180 Gigabyte GA-Z97X-GAMING motherboard, combined with the Intel Celeron G1850 CPU. This motherboard allows you to connect 6 GPU’s on powered PCI-e riser cables and since the CPU power is irrelevant to mining, we’ve chosen the cheapest compatible CPU on the market for this motherboard.
Graphics Cards (GPU) – 6x $200 Radeon RX 480 8GB graphics cards. If you shop around, you can pick these up for around $200-250 and they will each produce about 25MH/s of mining speed. Their price point and power consumption specifications make them an ideal graphics card for mining Ethereum.
RAM (System Memory) – $20 4GB DDR3 1600Mhz RAM – You don’t need a lot of system memory to mine ethereum effectively. 4GB is about as small as a stick of RAM comes these days, so I recommend just picking up a cheap one for about $20.
1x to 16x Powered Riser Cables – $50 – (6 pack) PCI Express 1X to 16X Powered Riser Cables – These are to connect the 6 graphics cards to the motherboard and allow spacing between cards for heat dissipation. Powered risers are necessary when building a rig with this many GPU’s.
Custom Mining Case – $30-$80 – You can build one of these yourself with angled aluminum from your local hardware store. There are several custom case builders selling these as well. I can personally recommend the custom built cases designed and built by Rich Chomiczewski. They are well built and reasonably priced and I’ve used them to build several rigs myself.
Extra Cooling – $30 – Box Fan (I find supplemental cooling from a box fan to be helpful in keeping the temperatures down on the graphics cards)
Operating System – $0-$90 – Windows 10 supports 6 GPU’s, 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 Ethereum mining, since it keeps your overall costs down, improving your Ethereum mining ROI or return-on-investment). Keep in mind that undervolting/overclocking works better in Windows vs Linux for mining due to better drivers in the Windows world. You can load almost any operating system with a thumb drive these days, but some folks might prefer to load the OS from an install CD, in which case you’ll probably want to pick up a $30 external USB powered DVD drive. Many laptops in the ‘thin & light’ category are shipping with no internal optical drive, so it will probably come in handy for other uses as well. I have one that I use fairly frequently around the house.
Total Hardware Cost to Build a 6 GPU Ethereum Mining Rig: ~$1,800
Assembling the Custom Ethereum Mining Hardware
- Un-package everything
- Build / assemble custom open air mining case
- Install processor and RAM on motherboard
- Plug in all riser cables
- Place motherboard in custom open air mining rig case and connect motherboard PSU connector (leaving PSU unplugged from the wall of course)
- Plug in SATA hard drive (or optional Linux on USB stick)
- Connect all GPUs to riser cables and fasten them to custom case. You might need to experiment for optimal spacing to keep the cards cool.
- Plug in all power supply connections.
- Connect mouse, monitor and keyboard and an internet connection (I use a USB WiFi adapter)
- Check all connections once more
- Fire it up! Install the OS if needed. Install Graphics card drivers. Install mining software.
- Make sure fans are fully functional. Start the mining software, tweak settings for maximum hash rates and let it run!
Congratulations! You are now the proud operator of your very own custom built 6 GPU ethereum mining rig.