Building a 6 GPU Ethereum mining rig from scratch is a rewarding project. Here in this guide, we will walk you through selecting the best ethereum mining hardware, assembling the parts, and configuring the software to get your very own Ethereum mining rig up and running. It should take you about three hours to assemble this mining rig.
In terms of ROI, it will cost you about $1,800 to build this rig and at the time this post was updated (5/22/2017) should generate about $900/mo in Ethereum cryptocurrency. You can see the current mining profitability using this handy calculator.
6 GPU Ethereum Mining Hardware Build List
Listed below is the hardware you will need to purchase and assemble. To break it down, you are simply building a custom open-frame computer, but instead of one or two graphics cards (as you would find in a gaming computer), you will be adding SIX to the build requiring riser cables and a frame as shown in the photo.
1x Power Supply – Gold Rated 1200 watt Power Supply – 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 gold rated (as opposed to silver or bronze). This is the industry standard for rating the efficiency of a PSU.
1x Motherboard/CPU Combination – What is the best motherboard for mining Ethereum? Finding a Motherboard/CPU combination that is compatible with building a 6 GPU mining rig, can be a challenge, since they are often sold out at most retailers. I've listed below some combinations that have been tested and will work for mining with 6 video cards. Keep in mind, you only need one of these motherboard/cpu combos to build your gpu mining rig.
- ASRock ATX H97 Anniversary Edition Motherboard | Intel Celeron G1840 Processor
- MSI Z97 Intel LGA 1150 Gaming Motherboard | Intel Celeron G1840 Processor
- Asrock H61 Pro BTC Motherboard | Intel Celeron G1840 Processor
- Asrock H81 Pro BTC Motherboard | Intel Celeron G1840 Processor
- Asrock B85 Anniversary Motherboard | Intel Celeron G1840 Processor
- Gigabyte F2A88X-D3H Motherboard | AMD Athlon X4 860k Processor
6x Graphics Cards (GPUs) – Here are the current (updated weekly) recommendations for the best GPU to mine Ethereum with:
- Radeon Rx 580 – This card can mine at 29mh using only 135 watts of electricity – It is the best card to mine Ethereum currently.
- Sapphire Radeon Rx 480 – This card can mine at 27mh using only 150 watts of electricity
- Sapphire Radeon Rx 470 – The Rx 480 is the best, but if the price difference is high due to demand, this would be my second choice. This GPU can mine at 25 mh using only 140 watts of power. Also, the rom can be modified to produce 27mh if desired.
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 – If you pay more than $0.08/kwh for electricity, the very efficient Nvidia GTX 1070 can produce 28mh using only 90 watts of electricity. The initial purchase price is steep, but long term will produce the best ROI after factoring in your reduced electricity costs.
1x RAM (System Memory) – 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 – (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.
1x Hard Drive (SSD) – Solid State Drive for installing operating system and your mining software.
1x Custom Mining Case – I’d recommend something like this, if you’d rather not build one yourself.
Operating System – Eth OS ethOS is a free 64-bit linux OS that mines Ethereum, Zcash, Monero, and other GPU-minable coins.
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.
In addition to mining as part of your crypto investment, I recommend buying Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin at Coinbase. I would also recommend keeping your coins safe using the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet.
Other Digital Currencies – STRATIS
One of the most promising up and coming digital currency projects I am following is Stratis, incidentally, a direct competitor to Ethereum. It was created in 2016 and has an incredible team of developers behind it, already enjoying the #14 spot in terms of market cap as of the time of this writing. They are getting ready to release a software wallet called Breeze which will provide anonymity to all Bitcoin transactions as well as their own currency, STRAT. I'd recommend reading up on it at https://stratisplatform.com// . Some of the developments planned for this year can be found on the Stratis Development Roadmap. Be sure to check out the rest of the wiki on that link as well.
If you'd like to purchase some STRAT as part of your crypto portfolio, I'd recommend trading Bitcoin for it on the Poloniex exchange.
Disclosure: I own a few STRAT as part of my crypto portfolio.