How to build a cryptomining tool: Bitcoin Mining 101

1642096193 How to build a cryptomining tool Bitcoin Mining 101

Digital money has been - and still is - a wild way.

I’m old enough to remember that I was given a couple of bitcoins when they were worth next to nothing. Needless to say, I no longer have them. Now, with the prices of bitcoin and other digital currencies rising again, there is renewed interest in cryptomining, which is a way of collecting digital money without having to pay for it.

Let’s take a look at what makes a good cryptomining tool, and what hardware it will take if you want to be truly into mining.

Index

    What is cryptomining?

    In the most basic terms, you are using a computer (or computers) to solve cryptographic equations and record that data to a blockchain. Taking this a little deeper, miners verify unchecked block hashes and get a reward for every hash that is verified. The process is arithmetic intensive, requiring modern hardware if you plan to make much progress with mining. Mining, as it was back in the days of the golden rush, is not for the faint of heart.

    And as with all high-end systems, it's less a matter of how much you want to spend, and more of a matter of how fast you want to spend it. So what hardware do you need for cryptocurrency mining?

    What is a cryptomining tool?

    Okay, the "rig" is basically a custom PC. The most common elements of a PC are: CPU, motherboard, RAM, and storage. Where things are moving out of the ordinary is when it comes to the graphics cards. It's the GPU that does all that hard work when it comes to cryptocurrency mining, not the CPU. You will need a very powerful GPU for mining, and you may be going to buy more than one. Lots more.

    Of course, you can think of a mining device as a relatively inexpensive PC with one or more high-performance GPUs connected. You need to connect several graphics cards to one system, which means you also need a motherboard to handle that. You also look at more than one power supply unit (PSU) if you plan to push things to the extreme.

    There are also some other things that are specific to mining that you need to get the mining machine ready for mining.

    Consider mining equipment

    Here are some tips to keep in mind when building a mining machine:

    • It's not going to be cheap!
    • You need to incorporate energy consumption into your mining equation as that can eat into your earnings.
    • You're not building a normal PC, and it can all work in a trial and error game and a lot of fiddling with drivers. Be patient!

    Why are graphics card prices so speculative?

    Prices are driven by two factors:

    • Supply chain issues causing backlash
    • To prevent high demand from miners causing even more issues, most cards now feature LHR (Lite Hash Rate) to limit mining distances, making them less eager for cryptomining. The card listed below is not limited, so the price makes it perfect for mining.

    Asus B250 mining expert

    Okay, let's start with the motherboard. The Asus B250 Mining Expert is a motherboard beast, capable of attaching 19 graphics cards. That's a lot. The board is not new - it was released in 2022 - and it's inconclusive when it comes to setup (it needs a special format of AMD and Nvidia graphics cards),

    Asus has recommended GPU versions for 19-, 13-, and 11-card for this board, and while other versions might work, I recommend sticking to what the manufacturer recommends, as looking away from this is a recipe for a real - not to mention expensive - headache.

    Yes, prices are going up a lot for this motherboard, but that's an essential part of bitcoin mining. If you want something with a slightly more affordable price, you can check out the Monland B250C BTC mining motherboard. Much less power, just a fraction of the price.

    Note: Asus recommends running Windows 10 with this motherboard.

    Intel Core i5-6500

    Intel Core i5-6500

    There is no real reason to spend too much CPU on a mining machine as it is the GPUs that do the hard work. This quad-core Core i5 is perfect for this setup and works well with the motherboard selected above.

    G.SKILL Aegis 16GB (2 x 8GB)

    G.SKILL Aegis 16GB (2 x 8GB)

    You're not going to spend too much on RAM anymore. The motherboard supports DDR4 2400, and this 2x8GB package from G.SKILL fits the bill.

    Segotep 850W Full-module PSU

    Segotep 850W Full-module PSU

    Depending on how many graphics cards you have installed, you may need several PSUs. It's a shame to find the cheapest ones, but since they're going to be pushed hard, I recommend paying a little extra.

    These Segotep PSUs are a good mid-range value, but they offer reliable performance. The modular nature also means that you do not turn the mast into a spaghetti of wires.

    FebSmart 16x to 1x Powered Riser 6-pack

    FebSmart 16x to 1x Powered Riser 6-pack

    Even though you've built a PC in the past, I bet you didn't have to install PCI-E risers. This is where a bitcoin mining tool differs from a standard PC in that not all graphics cards can be directly connected to the motherboard, so these risers allow you to connect indirectly.

    You will need one of these for every card you connect (except the card that goes into the x16 PCI-e slot). This six-pack of power risers is great and provides stable power to your graphics cards.

    I do not recommend using non-powered risers. I've had nothing but stability issues using them in the past in encryption files, so don't make the same mistake I did!

    MSI Ventus 3X GeForce RTX 3090

    2022-10-26-12-28-29.jpg

    This is a great card and everything you are looking for in a mining rig. Loads of capacity for overclocking, stable, and extreme cooling. Another nice side advantage is that it is a very efficient card, which means lower power consumption and lower mining costs.

    And, unlike a lot of graphics cards today, this does not feature LHR (Lite Hash Rate) that limits mining distances.

    • 24GB 384-Bit GDDR6X
    • Raise the clock to 1725 MHz
    • 1 x HDMI 2.1 3 x DisplayPort 1.4a
    • 10496 Colors CUDA
    • PCI Express 4.0
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