Crypto 101

A Detailed Look At Your First Mining Rig

A quick look at everything involved for your first rig!


#QUESTION: What kind of hardware is best for mining?

If you’re just getting started, try to pick your hardware based on:

• Price-to-Performance (P2P) How much will it cost and at what rate can you make it back (ROI, or return on investment)?

• Resell/Reuse Value If every cryptocurrency plummets tomorrow, how can you repurpose your hardware or how much can you resell it for (and how quickly)? If your wallet is deep, ignore.

• Quality Save every penny where you can, but don’t pinch pennies where you shouldn’t. You’ll likely spend over $2000 / €1700/ £1500, don’t cheap out where it matters.

• Availability

Yes, RX 580s have amazing P2P, but they’re not available. It’s always better to have a decent mining rig than to have an imaginary optimal not mining rig.

RECOMMENDATIONS Do take with a pinch of salt.

On SALE because of the current market:

13 GPU/PCIe Slot – ASRock H110 Pro BTC+ 13GPU Mining Motherboard  (Amazon Link)

19 GPU/PCIe Slot – ASUS B250 MINING EXPERT LGA1151 DDR4 HDMI B250 ATX Motherboard (Amazon Link)

Back to the article…

#MOTHERBOARD: x1 Z170/Z270 LGA 1151 (Amazon Link)

The Z170/Z270 boards are very easy to find and quite a few models come with 6+ PCI-e slots + M.2 expandability. Be sure to check your board’s specifications to ensure that it has enough PCI-e slots to meet your needs (PCI slots DO NOT work).

• Price-to-Performance: 5/5

Great motherboard that supports up to 7 GPUs (x6 PCI-e and x1 m.2) for around $120.

• Resell/Reuse Value: 3/5

Buying used motherboards is always a bad idea, so it’s safe to assume resale is low. However, this board can be repurposed in a PC build as it does support i3/i5/i7 series CPUs. • Quality: 5/5 Not much to say. MSI makes pretty sturdy motherboards as far as I know.

• Availability: 4/5

You can get it in 2-3 days via Amazon, Newegg, and other online stores. However, these sources do seem to run low on supply from time to time.

#CPU: x1 Intel Celeron/Pentium LGA 1151 (Amazon Link)

CPU power is pretty useless so just grab the cheapest one you can find. Intel’s Celeron/Pentium LGA 1151 CPUs sell for as low as $40 and will do the job just fine.

• Price-to-Performance: 5/5

There’s not much performance to be had, but it’s required and it’s cheap.

• Resell/Reuse Value: 1/5

Buying used CPUs are also pretty iffy, so it’s safe to assume that resale is low. On top of it, Celeron/Pentium chips are pretty outdated so you’ll have a hard time repurposing it in a decent PC build.

• Quality: 5/5

It’s made by Intel and it works.

  • Availability: 5/5

You can get it in 2-3 days via Amazon. If you’re not in a hurry, you can save $10 or so by going through a less well known online dealer like B&H. #RAM: x1 4-8 GB DDR4 ((Amazon Link)4 GB is all you’ll need as RAM is not as -crucial- for mining.

  •  Price-to-Performance: 5/5

There’s not much performance to be had, but it’s required and it’s cheap. • Resell/Reuse Value: 3/5 4 GB wouldn’t sell very well but 8 GB has decent value. 8 GB can also be used in a PC build • Quality: 4/5

Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digit…

You can get Crucial RAM w/o the heatsink for a bit cheaper but that’s entirely up to you.

• Availability: 5/5 RAM is available everywhere. Amazon/Newegg has 2-3 day delivery. #STORAGE: x1 120 GB SSD (Amazon Link) Again, not too important. Get an SSD over an HDD to save yourself from slow boot-up nightmares.

  • Price-to-Performance: 5/5

It’s cheap, it’s fast, it’s an SSD.

  • Resell/Reuse Value: 4/5

SSD storage is pretty easy to resell/re-purpose.

Some builds are made with USB sticks/ boots depending on the size of your Operating system!

  • Quality: 4/5

Not the fastest SSD but SanDisk is a good brand.

  • Availability: 4/5

No shortage of SSDs. Prime eligible too.


x2 750-850 or x1 1000-1200 Watt Gold/Platinum Modular (850W – Amazon Link , 1000W – Amazon Link , 1200W – Amazon Link)

Look for a modular Gold/Platinum rated PSU for the efficiency and versatility. If your energy cost is low, Gold will do just fine, but if you want to penny pinch on the electric bill, spend a little bit extra to pick up a Platinum.

  • Price-to-Performance: 5/5

Do not cheap out. The efficiency is important if you want to save a few bucks on the electric bill. Every dollar is worth it if it makes itself back in savings.

  • Resell/Reuse Value: 3/5

As a crucial part of any build, I imagine not many people would buy second hand PSUs. Will easily repurpose as a PSU for any PC build.

  • Quality: 6/5

EVGA, Corsair, SeaSonic. Other brands have a few decent PSUs but you really can’t go wrong with these guys. Every penny is worth the quality.

  • Availability: 2.5/5

While the 850/1000 W are usually available, but the 1200 W Platinum seems to be constantly back-ordered/out-of-stock. #RISERS: x12 PCI-e Molex Power Riser (Amazon Link) Used to connect GPUs to the motherboard. Molex powered is ideal because PCI-e slots draw up to 75 W. Avoid using the molex-to-SATA connectors that are included if you can, buy some extra adapters instead.These will NOT work with PCI slots (see “MOTHERBOARD”).

  • Price-to-Performance: 4/5

It’s cheap and it does the job.

  • Resell/Reuse Value: 1/5

Don’t think anyone’s in the market to buy second hand PCI-e risers.

  • Quality: 3.5/5

The MintCell risers (see link) are great but they’re not always available. Careful when purchasing from other sources as they are known to have a few defective risers per batch. Order extra to be safe.

  • Availability:

1/5 Really hard to find decent ones in stock with fast shipping.


RX 470/480/570/580 4/8 GB

  • Price-to-Performance: 3/5

At normal prices, the RX 470/480/570/580 would be an easy 5/5 as they can easily get 25 MH/s stock and 30 MH/s overclocked (daggerhash). But the prices are super inflated ($350-$500), so their P2P is average at best. •

  • Resell/Reuse Value: 2/5

In case of a fallout, the RX 470/570 has a poor resale value as they’re pretty outdated for gaming. The RX 480/580 has a few years of value left as a medium-end gaming GPU, but you’ll likely suffer a huge loss if you buy at current prices and try to sell after a crash.

  • Availability: -5/5

Good luck finding them for less than $300. Constantly out-of-stock or back ordered (market dependent of course).

GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB

• Price-to-Performance: 4.5/5

Despite never being mentioned as an option, the 1050 Ti is a great option for smaller budgets. At $100-$120, this card can get 150 sol/s and 12 MH/s stock and 170 sol/s / 14 MH/s overclocked (equihash/daggerhash)

• Resell/Reuse Value: 1.5/5

This GPU will likely become obsolete within a year or so. Even now, there isn’t much of a demand for second hand 1050 Ti’s.

  • Availability: 4/5

High stock, low demand. Keep your eyes peeled as they do go on sale for as low as $100. The model isn’t a big deal, just grab the cheapest one you can get your hands on.

GTX 1060 3/6 GB

  • Price-to-Performance: 5/5

The 1060 3GB goes on sale for $150 quite often while the 6 GB can be found in abundance at around $230. Both can get 275 sol/s / 20 MH/s stock and 290 sol/s / 22 MH/s overclocked. The 3 GB will pay for itself in 1.5 months and the 6 GB in 2 months (@ current rates). Do take into account that Etherium DAG size is approaching 3 GB (~November?), so you won’t get as much life out of the 3 GB version.

  • Resell/Reuse Value: 3.5/5

The 3 GB has a lower resale value than the 6 GB (obviously) but both have a year or two left as a medium-end gaming GPU.

  • Availability: 4/5

High stock, low demand. Keep your eyes peeled as they do go on sale for as low as $150 for the 3 GB and $190 for the 6 GB. The model isn’t a big deal but do try for a 2 fan.

GTX 1070

  • Price-to-Performance: 4.5/5

Definitely not as cost efficient as a GTX 1060 due to higher cost and power consumption, but the GTX 1070 is easily the best GPU to buy if you have the budget. For $400 normal price or $320-360 on sale, the 1070 can push 28 MH/s stock and 30 MH/s overclocked (daggerhash, but will mine many other alt coins just as well) . This card will take anywhere from 2-2.5 months to pay itself off, but is definitely worth the extra buck.

  • Resell/Reuse Value: 5/5

Easily another generation or two as a mid/high-end GPU. Despite the announcement/release of a new generation of GPUs (Vega & Volta), I do believe that the 1070 will retain it’s value over time.

  • Availability: 4/5

High stock, medium demand. If you’re in a rush to get your hands on 4+, it’ll cost a bit more, but if you’re lucky, you can find them for $320-360 from rare sales. #GTX 1080/1080 Ti.

If you have the money for these, just go for it. See “GTX 1070”.

QUESTION: Is it safe to use SATA power for PCI-e risers? It all depends on your GPU’s power consumption. Do some quick math to determine whether or not it’s safe or not to power your PCI-e risers with SATA: GPU Wattage – GPU Pin = X

  • GPU Wattage: Check spec sheets of your specific model
  • GPU Pin: 6 Pin = 75, 8 Pin = 150

if X > 50, NO (use molex)

if X < 50, YES

GPUs draw supplementary power from the PCI-e risers. SATA is designed to safely deliver 50 W. So while some people say their rig is running fine with SATA power, it’s advised to not have your GPU drawing more than 50 W through a connection that isn’t designed to handle it. Be safe, don’t SATA unless you gata.

Do I mine with Geth or MEW? No, you just need a wallet to produce an ether address. It is up to you whether you choose to use geth, which downloads the entire blockchain or mew which is online but can be used offline. So how do I start mining? You need an address for eth (mew) You need a pool to mine from, use nanopool or ethermine You need a miner, use claymores for dual mining Then edit settings on the miner to point to the pool+your wallet, read through the miner settings and then have fun! Does dualmining increase profits? Yes, but it increases spread and power usage. Is NiceHash okay to use? Yes, it’s easy and will pay you in bitcoin with minimal effort.

Question: Why do people say GDDR5X is bad for mining?

What can I do do maximize profit if my card uses it? Ethereum’s algorithm is poorly optimized for GDDR5X. You can fully exploit your card by mining some random altcoin that uses a better algorithm like Zcash for example. is recommended for such currency mining because it allows you to autoconvert your altcoin into ETH.

Tips and Trick’s

Dual Coin Mining: If you find yourself making too low of a hashrate while Dual Mining with claymore, remember you can play with your DCRI settings by pressing the + and – keys on your keyboard in the command prompt of Claymore. Lower will be less intensity on the dual coin and bring up your hash rate on Ethereum side of things, if you raise it, often times you find out your graphics card can boost your dual coin profitability 25% or more with very little to no impact to your hashrate depending on your set up.

GPU Tips and Tricks:

I personally like to run my overclocks on my card with the power limiter and temperature limiter unbinded from each other as there are points where you can go lower in power, but because of the expected heat draw is so low, your hashrate becomes unstable making your downclock useless or ineffective, it is okay to run your card hotter, just manage your temperature separately with a custom fan curve or employ external case fans to supplement, its not worth the lost hash power

Sidenote: This does not seem to work well on the R9 family of cards


Linux Setup for Ethminer on Linux w/Nvidia Optimizations

Note this isn’t meant to be fully comprehensive if you don’t know these commands you probably shouldn’t be doing this. Also I am assuming you have Nvidia CUDA and Nvidia drivers already installed. As well as various C++ libraries and dependencies.

Cd ~


sudo tar -xvzf v0.11.0.tar.gz -C /usr/local/MINING/ethminer

cd /usr/local/MINING/ethminer/ethminer-0.11.0

sudo mkdir build

cd build

sudo cmake -DETHASHCUDA=ON ..

sudo make -j2

Sudo make install ethminer –version

That should return: ethminer version 0.11.0

Then for your startup script add “–cuda-parallel-hash 4” parameter

Prospective DAG impacts on specific mining cards, please take this artical with a grain of salt and use your best judgement (Review -3rd party)

Ethereum Hashrate Performance Drop Might Be Coming – AMD and NVIDIA GPUs Tested – Legit Reviews If you are mining Ethereum you might have noticed that your hashrate recently dropped if you are using AMD Radeon RX 400/500 series cards. Seeing your mining hashrate drop is nothing new for Ether miners and it is usually due to the growing DAG (directed acyclic graph) file size. The Ethereum DAG is a key component …more 06/27/2017

If you are mining Ethereum you might have noticed that your hashrate recently dropped if you are using AMD Radeon RX 400/500 series cards. Seeing your mining hashrate drop is nothing new for Ether miners and it is usually due to the growing DAG …

2Mh/s bug -> force the creators update July 1, 2017

Tips for Fire Safety

  1. Buy a Kill a Watt (Amazon Link) and know how much power you are drawing for your rigs/fans/etc.
  2. Know how many amps your circuit breaker will handle. In the USA modern homes are 15amp 120v lines for a max capacity of 1800W, really for safety you likely do not want to load more than 1200W.
  3. Check all connections everywhere. Your Power plugs, GPU power cables, PCIe riser power, anywhere you are powering anything. Make sure you have tight secure connections. Connectors are 95% of the time where a fire starts.
  4. Lookup your power supply, mining is a very power intensive operation. Most consumer power supplies were not designed to be at 85%+ load 24/7. You generally want to over purchase capacity, and ideal target would be to be between 50-70% of the maximum load. Also lookup your specific model read some reviews see if others have issues with it.
  5. Be aware of your PSU branch cables. You generally do not want to power more than 2 PCIe risers per set of wires from the PSU. Which means the more PCIe risers, the more branches you need to be using. The same goes true for PCIe power connections. More wires/copper is better as you will lower the amps of any given wire. #aimark42’s tips for fire safety (Part 2)
  6. Be careful of the PCIe risers, these Chinese suppliers send these SATA > Molex/PCIe/ connectors. SATA is not rated to deliver the 75W that a graphics card can draw from the PCIE connector! If you have 4 Pin Molex, use the connectors directly from your PSU and forget the adapter. Or you can make or order custom cables ( which will allow for a safer setup.
  7. Most miners who have many rigs end up having a spaghetti mess of extension cables around your house, this is because you cannot run more than 1 maybe 2 rigs on the same circuit. So, the more rigs you have the more circuits you need to connect to. Since most rooms have multiple plugs on the same circuit this means you need to draw power from other places of your house. Make sure you ensure that the extension cords you use are rated for the power capacity (in watts) for the length. Plugging in extension cord to extension cord is highly NOT recommended.
  8. Do not use power strips EVER. Power strips are generally only designed for 300W load, most rigs will exceed that. Direct to wall connections are highly recommended unless you have a server grade PDU.
  9. Anywhere you make an electrical connection should NOT be warm to the touch ever! If you can touch your power cable, or PCIe cables and they are perceptibly warm to the touch over ambient temperature this is VERY BAD, you should figure out why immediately!

to see what Powerstate your Nvidia-card is in, or to look at the W it is currently using open a command prompt and type: cd “C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\NVSMI”

After that:



Guide to Connectors 6/8Pin

6 Pin (True 6 Pin not the 6+2)

The 6Pin uses the 12 Volt rail and can deliver a maximum of 75W (12V*2.083A per line (which there are 3 of)= 75W)

8Pin (8 or 6+2)

The 8Pin too uses the 12 Volt rail and can deliver a maximum of 150W(12V*4.167A per line (also 3)= 150W)

The Molex connector has one 12V lane which kan deliver a maximum of 132W (12V11A=132W)


The Sata connector has 3×12 Volt lanes which can deliver a maximum of 54W (12V1.5A per line (3)= 54W

These are the specifications of the different connectors, so depending on which connector you are using there are some rules that apply as followed

If your riser card uses Molex, you can do a maximum of 2 risers per cable

If your riser card uses Sata, you can do a maximum of 1 riser per cable !BUT TRY AVOIDING SATA, OR IT MAY HAPPEN AS BELOW!

Your riser can either have one of those plugs so pay attention when buying These simple rules prevent your cables from melting/burning, with every new psu you should have enough cables if not or if you want to do something different please feel free to ask us.


Motherboard PCIe

The PCIe on the Mobo deliveres a maximum of 75W this will also be what any riser will deliver as a maximum !

If you are wondering why your rig still works though you plugged in 3 risers on one molex or 3 on sata, that only is possible because companies design with a lot of headroom, but is neither ideal nor safe, keep in mind!

Guide on ROI/Is it worth it to mine?

  1. Don’t spend/invest into this unless you can afford to lose the money!
  2. Cryptocompare’s calculator said I would get X a month/year etc. That calculator is one of the worst out there, it assumes static ETH price, static difficulty, and static global hashrate. None of these will ever be static. Your returns WILL decrease over time, plan for it!
  3. Is it too late to make money mining? Honestly, nobody can accurately answer that question, it is based on the global hash rate, difficulty, and the price of ETH. However, most indicators are showing a near zero probability in the Nov 2017 to March 2018 range.
  4. I can switch to X coin when ETH profitability decreases. While this is true, the market capitalization of almost every other mineable coin is tiny compared to ETH. Sia = 6%, LBRY = 2.8%, and Music = 0.2% have the market caps compared to ETH (as of 7/5/17). So if huge floods of miners jump into these markets they will simply crush profitability in those markets as well. You might get lucky and pick the next coin to blow up, but more likely not.
  5. Is it worth it to start building a rig? I cannot tell you what risk your willing to take on, but ROI is seemingly more and more impossible for ETH given rarity of GPU’s and high costs of related products.
  6. But my GPU’s/Parts will still be worth something. It very well might, but you can pretty much expect a price crash of GPU’s on secondary markets. As well as many gamers avidly avoid parts that have been mined on. I wouldn’t expect more than 50% of your initial costs to be recovered

Guide on AMD vs. Nvidia Mining cards? 

There are 3 major factors to consider when choosing a GPU. Cost per MH, Residual value, and Power consumption.

All $ amounts are in pre-mining GPU pricing you can adjust accordingly based on current conditions. All residual value numbers are based on average May 2017 completed ebay auctions (prior to mining craze). All Power consumption numbers are based on wattage values with decently optimized single ETH mining. Dual mining would affect these.


Cost per MH: GTX 1080 TI $700/28MH=25; GTX 1080 $500/22MH=22.73; GTX 1070 $400/30MH=13.33; GTX 1060 6GB $250/25=10; GTX 1060 3GB $200/22=9.09; GTX 1050 Ti $130/13.5=9.62

Risidual Value: GTX 1080 TI $650; GTX 1080 $450; GTX 1070 $300; GTX 1060 6GB $200; GTX 1060 3GB $170; GTX 1050 Ti $50

Power Consumption: GTX 1080 TI 120W; GTX 1080 120W; GTX 1070 100W; GTX 1060 6GB 75W; GTX 1060 3GB 70W; GTX 1050 Ti 52W


Cost per MH: Vega FE $1000/33MH=30.30; RX580 8GB $300/30MH=10; RX 580 4GB $250/30MH=8.33; RX 570 8GB $250/27MH=9.26; RX 570 4GB $200/27MH=7.41

Risidual Value: Vega FE ???; RX580 8GB $215; RX 580 4GB $200; RX 570 8GB $220; RX 570 4GB $180

Power Consumption: Vega FE ???; RX580 8GB 120W; RX 580 4GB 120W; RX 570 8GB 100W; RX 570 4GB 100W

*All these would be recalculated based on what you paid for the GPU*

Pro AMD: For the most part the cost/MH is the lowest of any cards for original prices. However, given the market and this perception that AMD cards are better at mining the prices are significantly higher now.

Con AMD:

AMD cards in my experience are far trickier to overclock and run stable for long periods of time. AMD cards also will slowly decrease in hashrates with the larger and larger DAG (see:, this may not be as relevant as probability may be almost done with by the time this happens. Due to the insane price inflation AMD cards have seen the total percentage return on initial costs will be dramatically lower than that of Nvidia cards if you paid such high prices. Generally the MH/Watt ratios are not great on AMD cards.

Pro Nvidia:

Much more stable over long periods of time. Lower power consumption on a MH/Watt ratio. Likely not as inflated prices in the current market. Higher general volume of Nvidia cards in the market over AMD cards so they tend to be more available today.

Ethereum Hashrate Performance Drop Might Be Coming – AMD and NVIDI…

If you are mining Ethereum you might have noticed that your hashrate recently dropped if you are using AMD Radeon RX 400/500 series cards. Seeing your mining hashrate drop is nothing new for Ether miners and it is usually due to the growing DAG …

Con Nvidia: Lower top line MH/$ ratios.



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