Building a 6 GPU Ethereum mining rig 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 rigup and running. It should take you about three hours to assemble this mining rig.
Sidenote: If mining isn’t your thing, and you are just interested in purchasing some cryptocurrency as part of your investment portfolio, I personally use and recommend Coinbase. I would also recommend keeping your coins safe using the Ledger Nano S hardware wallet, since even the best crypto exchanges can be hacked through a variety of methods. OK, with that out of the way, onward to the build guide…
6 GPU Ethereum Mining Hardware Build List
Listed below is the hardware you will need to purchase and assemble. Basically, you are building a custom open-frame PC, 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.
Power Supply – 1000 Watt Power Supply – The key here is to have an efficient 1000 watt power supply that will save you over the long run in electricity costs. Look for Gold or Platinum rated (as opposed to silver or bronze). This is the industry standard for rating the efficiency of a computer’s power supply unit (PSU).
Motherboard/CPU Combination – What is the best motherboard for mining Ethereum? I’ve listed below my favorite motherboard and processor combo that is compatible with 6 video cards. This is the ethereum mining motherboard that is used in large scale mining deployments. If the pros use it, you know it’s good.
6x Graphics Cards (GPUs) – Nvidia GTX 1070 – The very efficient Nvidia GTX 1070 can produce 30Mh/s using only 100 watts of electricity. It is much more power efficient than the other GPU’s in this list. Anyd of the twin fan overclocked Gigabyte or EVGA cards work great out of the box. I find that eBay often has these in stock when Amazon is sold out.
RAM (System Memory) – 4 GB 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.
USB Riser Cables – (6 pack) USB Riser Cables – These are to connect the 6 graphics cards to the motherboard and allow spacing between cards for heat dissipation. These 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 an Open Air 6 GPU Mining Case.I’ve built several of these 6 GPU rigs for family and friends using this particular mining case works quite well for airflow and ease of building.
Operating System – Eth OS ethOS is a free 64-bit linux OS that mines Ethereum, Zcash, Monero, and other GPU-minable coins on AMD GPU’s. If you are using the Nvidia 1070 GPU’s, I recommend mining on Windows 10, since Eth OS has some driver issues with Nvidia cards.
Assembling the Custom Ethereum Mining Hardware
- Un-package everything
- Build / assemble Open Air 6 GPU 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 ETH OS.
- Make sure fans are fully functional. Start the mining software, tweak settings for maximum hash rates and let it run!
Motherboard, Windows and Mining Software Configuration
- Update the motherboard to the latest BIOS using a USB thumb drive. You can find the latest BIOS for the Z170 SLI Plus motherboard here.
- Configure Motherboard BIOS with the following settings changes:
- Settings > Advanced > PCI subsystem Setting: PEG 0 and PEG 1 set to Gen1
- Above 4G Decoding (cryptocurrency mining) should be set to Enabled
- OS settings: disable Windows 7, enable Windows 10
- Save and reboot
- OS / DRIVERS / MINING Setup:
- Boot from Windows 10 USB install media (you can buy it pre-loaded or build your own on the Microsoft website).
- Install Windows 10 Pro x64
- Install Nvidia Drivers
- Install MSI Afterburnerand set memory clock to 600, and power to 70. This will give you 30Mh/s per 1070 GPU
- Install any system drivers that didn’t auto-install (check device manager)
- Rename PC to mining worker name. Something like Minion001, Minion002, etc.
- Install Claymore Dual Miner, edit the config file with your Ethereum address and miner name. Drop a shortcut to the mining software .exe file in your system startup folder if you’d like to auto-start mining when Windows boots up. You can find the system startup folder in Windows 10 by going to: Start > Run and entering ‘shell:startup’.
- Disable windows update using this guide.
- Set power profile to ‘always on’
- Install your favorite remote access software, especially if you plan to have more than one rig to manage.
- Fire up the mining rig and rake in those crypto coins!
Something I’ve done when building out a whole mining farm, is to do the OS/DRIVERS/MINING setup and then just clone the solid state drive using a 2 bay hard drive dock with offline clone feature built in.
Congratulations! You are now the proud operator of your very own custom built 6 GPU ethereum mining rig.