Cryptocurrency Mining Rig Buyer’s Guide

Outside of the general “where can I find GPUs!???” question (let us know!), we are seeing a lot of new miners looking for equipment lists and buying guides for their first rig.

So, since we’ve built several, I thought we might put together a list of our general rig builds, with a few alternatives for each piece of hardware so that users have somewhere to go when certain pieces are out of stock, etc.

These won’t necessarily be “budget” builds, but they are solid builds that have performed very well for multiple rigs. And these certainly aren’t your only options, but a starting point.

Note that you are responsible for verifying the compatibility of any and all hardware you purchase. For example, some motherboards are only compatible with Gen 8 (Coffee Lake) Intel processors.
Also note: We are not affiliated with, nor will we receive any affiliate kick backs, etc, from any of the links featured within.

Pricing Note: Many retailers are not keeping up with stock on these products, so please make sure to shop around if you can’t find them on Newegg or Amazon. I may not link to retailers directly due to this fact.

Cost estimates: Our rigs, not counting GPUs, ran between $650 and $800 depending on market price. You should expect to spend around that much depending on the pricing you get and where you choose to skimp for lower price/quality items.

Best Motherboard for Mining

Mining Motherboard Options

What we use

Brand: Biostar
Typical Model: TB85

Biostar has several other models as well, depending on whether you want more cards, AMD processors, etc.

Alternatives

All of the following brands have comparable motherboards.

ASRock (H81 Pro BTC | H110 Pro BTC+)
ASUS (Z270-A | Z270-P | etc)
MSI (Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon | Z170A SLI Plus)

Best PSU for Mining Rigs

Mining Power Supply Options

What we use

For most 6x rx 580 (AMD) or gtx 1080 (NVIDIA) rigs, we use dual 750W HP server power supplies. This provides plenty of power and keeps things quiet and cool(ish). Note these also come with the breakout boards and 6pin > 6+2 (8)pin PCIe cables. Handy.

If Deep In the Mines is out of stock, they often have refurb availability of the same kits on their eBay store.

We don’t recommend using a single 1200/900W, but they do have those as well. You may find yourself overpowering the PSU depending on the cards and voltages you are running. Also note that the 1200/900W PSUs will only run at 900W from your standard 110v wall outlet (something many miss at first). You need a 240v connection to pull 1200W from them.

DONT FORGET POWER CABLES (server PSUs, and some others, don’t come with them)

Alternatives

Many like the EVGA Supernova power supplies. They make a 1600 W that has plenty of power for just about anything, or you can buy multiples (cheaper in some cases).

Otherwise, power supplies just need to produce as much power as you need and have the connections you need.

If you are running more than one desktop (non-server) PSU, you may need a multi-PSU 24-pin splitter/adapter to make sure both PSUs power on/off together (some come with jumper cables, some don’t).

Best CPU for Mining Rig

CPU / Processors

What we use

We have used Celeron G3930s and i3-4160s in our rigs, but only because they were cheapest at the time. You could use something like a Celeron G1820 too.

Alternatives

Anything that works with your motherboard should be fine for mining. For Intel, make sure the motherboard doesn’t have limitations on the generation of processor it supports. If so, make sure you buy that generation of processor!

best memory RAM for mining

Memory

What we use

It’s overkill, but we use G.SKILL Ares kits. If you are planning on running Windows (7/10), I would recommend 8GB, like that kit. If you’re running Linux, at least 4GB. Make sure you are buying the right type for your motherboard (DDR3 or DDR4, for instance).

Alternatives

This is one place you could easily skimp a little for cheaper memory, but I would stick with the above recommendations for amount.

Best SSD hard drive for mining rigs

Hard Drive

What we use

I like the PNY 120GB drives because they are large enough to be of use for other things down the road, while still being cheap. I also have a PNY CS1311 in one rig because the other model was sold out.

Alternatives

SSDs are just faster, and they are cheap enough these days, but you can run a regular HDD if you like. Also, many use 60GB or even 32GB drives, though I would say do at least 60GB if you are running Windows.

PCIe Risers for Mining Rig

PCIe Risers

You’ll need PCIe riser cards if you are building a rig with, for example, 6 GPUs. I don’t know that brand is really a thing with riser cards, so whatever you can find on Amazon should work.

I have purchased this set from Laboo multiple times, and only had 1 bad riser, which the manufacturer quickly replaced. That said, you may want to pick up an extra set to avoid any downtime should you get a bad one or two (I’ve heard horror stories).

One thing to keep in mind here is that some risers will have molex power connectors, and some will have PCIe power connectors (like the ones above). Make sure you purchase the right one for your rig and power supply and cables.

Required Cables & Peripherals

Note that we are running GPUs with single 8 pin PCIe connectors, but if you are running GPUs that have dual 8 pin power connections, you may need to double down on some cables to make sure you can power your risers and GPUs fully. Always double check your power/cables – draw a picture if you need to!

 

Misc.

If you want to monitor power at the wall for your rig, you might check out a WiFi Smart Plug. They also allow you to cycle power remotely via an App if your rig hangs and you can’t physically access it. Very helpful.


I hope this cryptocurrency mining rig buyer’s guide has been helpful. Remember, there are thousands of combinations and options for each piece of equipment, and this is just our experience and some alternatives/options that have worked well for us.

If you have other good quality builds, please list them out in the comments so others can benefit from your knowledge and experiences.

If you’d like to chat rig building, etc, stop by our Discord channel – we’re always testing and experimenting with equipment, mining, numbers, etc!

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