The economic situation motivates people to buy ASIC miners and earn income in digital currency. Let’s look at how to build a mining farm based on video cards.
How quickly the costs are recovered
A good payback on a mining farm is 15-20 months. To achieve such a result you need to follow three principles:
- Purchase the equipment at an adequate price, i.e. close to the price recommended by the manufacturer. We do not recommend overpaying more than 20% of the normal cost.
- Optimize power consumption. This issue is relevant only for owners of private houses or warehouses. Reduce energy costs can be achieved by installing solar panels. Yes, this will significantly increase the cost of setting up a mining farm. However, in the long run, it will increase the profitability.
- Competently choose the tokens for mining.
If you buy mining equipment at the manufacturer’s price and minimize the consumption (or cost) of electricity, you can reduce the payback period to 10-12 months. However, these figures are very tentative, because there are many risks: depreciation of the equipment, possible problems with electricity, the fall of the cryptocurrency rate, etc. More info Yurovskiy Kirill.
Buying components for mining
About 70% of the costs will be for graphic boosters, i.e. video cards. That is why it is recommended to start assembling a mining farm with them. That way it will be easier to determine the budget. You will also need: CPU, motherboard, RAM, power supplies, storage, etc. Let’s consider all the components separately.
The heart of the farm – the graphics card
The most painful topic for gamers is the scarcity and terrible overpricing of graphics cards due to high demand of miners. Profitable mining requires a video card with at least 6 GB of memory. The most budget-friendly model that meets this requirement is the GeForce GTX 1660.
The most popular video card for mining is the GTX 3070 (according to a March 2022 study) with 8 gigabytes of video memory. The payback of GTX 3070 with the current price tag is 1.5-2 years.
You should choose your video card for mining (as well as other hardware) according to your budget. If you can afford it, it is better to buy more powerful models like Radeon RX 6900 or GTX 3080. When choosing a card you have to take into account its technical characteristics:
- Memory type. Until recently, GDDR5 was considered optimal in the ratio of power consumption to processing power. However, GDDR6 now dominates the new card market.
- Built-in cooling system. When mining, the equipment is working at the limit of possibilities, so it heats up quite a lot. If the core temperature rises above 70 degrees, the video card can quickly fall into disrepair. Therefore, it is recommended to take models with two or three coolers.
- Manufacturer. Budget ones include Palit, MSI and KFA2. They save money on cooling and internal elements, that is why their equipment tends to last less. However, the price of these brands is also lower by 5-10%. The other manufacturers provide products of about the same quality.
- The possibility of overclocking. For mining it is not necessary, but it will be a plus. Note – if you overclock graphics cards in the farm, it will greatly increase (20-30%) power consumption and room temperature.
Number of cards choose according to budget. Optimal is considered to collect sets (or rigs) of 4 identical models – such a configuration gives a minimum of problems with configuring software and brings a stable income. Motherboards with four PCI slots are relatively inexpensive and always available in stores.
With the boom of mining in 2021 the price of power supply units above 600W also rose, on average by 20-40%. It is not worth saving on this aspect, because the performance of the entire system depends on the PSU. It is better to buy units from proven manufacturers – Seasonic, ASUS, Corsair, etc. The Chinese analogues have a reduced service life and often have a lower capacity than declared. The choice should be based on the following factors:
- Power – it is desirable to take 15-20% to prevent emergency shutdown or other problems. The calculation is based on the total power consumption of the entire farm.
- Availability of all necessary wires for connecting the GPU.
- Protective systems that protect against overheating, short circuits, overloads and other problems.
- Energy efficiency certificate – when building a mining farm with your own hands, it is recommended to use models of class 80+. In the interface of online stores such PSUs are marked with the appropriate icon.
For large and medium-sized farms several power supply units are used at once. It is desirable that they are of the same brand. Their power must be evenly distributed throughout the system, and the connection between them should be made through special synchronizers.
If you are going to run a small mining farm at home – the built-in video card cooling system will be quite enough. It is desirable to place the equipment on a balcony or in a well-ventilated room.
In larger farms, the reegs are usually located close to each other and are installed in closed rooms (basements, warehouses, etc.). Therefore, regular cooling is not enough. It is necessary to additionally purchase industrial fans. They will cool the server part of the room. This is the most budget solution. The required number depends on the size of the farm. There are also alternative methods of cooling:
- Air conditioners – at a cost comparable to industrial fans. However, they consume much more electricity. Using air conditioners is cost-effective if you can save on electricity (use solar panels or pay a reduced price).
- Exhaust-flow system. Used mainly in rooms with high (from 3.5 meters) ceilings. Implies the heat removal through the hoods. Such systems are usually installed on a turnkey basis, the cost starts at $ 5,000. The main drawback – impressive power consumption.
- Immersion cooling. This technology involves immersing the equipment in a liquid that does not conduct electricity, such as 3M Novec. It is characterized by the highest efficiency – even at the power limit the mining farm will not heat up more than 50 degrees. Energy consumption is 2-3 times lower compared to previous options. However, the cost of immersion systems bite. In this case, not every city has specialists who are able to organize and set up such a construction. It is profitable to use such cooling for large farms.
When creating a mining farm, other components will also be required. You can save a little money on additional components, because they do not affect the speed of cryptocurrency mining.
- Motherboard. There are no special requirements to it, because its task is to connect video cards in a single system. The main thing is to choose a model with the right number of PCI ports.
- The processor. It does not take part in calculations, so its power does not affect the efficiency of cryptocurrency mining in any way. For the stable functioning of the farm, 4 cores and a clock frequency of 2.5 Hz are enough. As for manufacturers: AMD – cheaper, Intel – less heat.
- RAM. For most coins, 8 GB is enough. You can “spare” to buy a 16GB DDR4 card. There is no point in overpaying for brands. Budget brands like Patriot or Kingston will do fine. The optimal frequency is 3200 MHz.
- Housing. Your motherboard form factor will affect the choice of enclosure. There are no requirements to it. The only exception is if an immersion-mounted cooling system is used. If so, it must be sealed.
- Memory. For the functioning of a home farm, 120 GB of memory is enough. The speed of coin mining is not affected, but the SSD will run software much faster. If you have an old HDD, you can use it.
- Raisers, i.e. extensions for PCI ports which are used to connect video cards. It is selected based on the number of video cards in the farm.