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The Journey of a Hobbyist Crypto Miner
Welcome everyone! This is a YouTube script turned article which details the journey of a hobbyist miner who started off with a single GPU budget rig and gradually expanded it by adding three more graphics cards. The aim of the project was to develop a cryptocurrency mining rig while operating within a budget. Today, we’ll offer a recap of that journey and explore the outcome so far.
Building a Mining Rig With a $500 Budget
Several months ago, we embarked on a project intended to demonstrate that it’s perfectly possible to build a functioning, budget-friendly mining rig. That journey began with an initial video showcasing the parts we planned to purchase for the project, along with a comprehensive parts list and the total cost – which was, importantly, capped at $500.
In the subsequent video of this series, we completed a full build of the mining rig, showing every step in the process of constructing a rig from those parts, eventually assembling a single GPU rig. The final video in this initial series documented the profitability of the rig, which was powered by an MSI 1660 Super GPU.
Time to Expand the Rig
Fast forward a few months, and we felt it was time to extend our mining operation. In line with the original budget-focused ethos of this project, we sourced a selection of additional parts with cost-effectiveness in mind to keep expenses as low as possible. We then upgraded our $500 mining rig – powered by a single MSI GPU, an i3 6100T CPU, and a 460-watt EVGA power supply – to accommodate three additional graphics cards. Despite the added power, we still managed to stay within our budget.
The first card we added was an EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 that cost $150, followed by two four gigabyte Gigabyte AMD R9 380 GPUs, each of which was a mere $90. We installed these with the intention of mining Ethereum Classic and to give some love to the four gig market.
To match the requirements of these additional graphics cards, we had to replace the existing 460-watt power supply unit with a more powerful one. We opted for a SuperFlower 650-watt PSU, which is a popular option among hobbyist miners. The new PSU, which cost $47.99, came equipped with all the necessary supporting cables. By upgrading the power supply, we could ensure the rig had sufficient power to run the four graphics cards we now had installed.
In addition to the new power supply, we needed GPU risers – these connect the GPUs to the motherboard; we had some spare so didn’t need to fork out any extra cash for these. However, GPU risers can usually be found relatively cheaply online. Furthermore, we required PCI splitters – one for the riser and one for the graphics card itself.
Once everything was in place, we discovered that the R9 380 cards weren’t compatible with our rig, and so were forced to replace them with two 1060s. This didn’t deter us from pushing forward and working out the settings required for our current motherboard to work with the new cards.
Putting the Rig to Work
After making some necessary modifications in the motherboard settings, we finally got the rig to work, and it was now time to put the rig to work. We powered on our upgraded mining rig, installed the GPUs into their slots, booted up the system, and got everything running smoothly.
Overclocking GPUs and Making Profits
We carefully adjusted the overclock settings for each GPU to ensure optimal performance. We used three 1060s and one 1660 Super, each with unique settings for Core, Memory, and Power limits. Do bear in mind, overclocking should be done cautiously and is always linked to the memory type of each card
A week later, we were successfully mining Ethereum. The four GPUs were running smoothly on our frame, with room to possibly add a couple more, and were not over-consuming power.
End of the Journey? Hardly!
As we concluded our project, we stood back and admired our mining rig: upgraded and fitted with new parts, all within a strict budget. It was disappointing that things did not work out with our R9 380s, but we learned a lot and were able to make use of them in a different rig.
Remember, this is just a recap of some parts of the journey of our hobbyist miner. If you are interested in learning more details about the specific components used, or if you have any questions or comments about this journey, you can watch the video series or engage in the comments.
Take away this, you don’t need a fat bank account to start on the mining route, just a clear budget, a realistic plan, the right components, and a little bit of your time. When you start to see your rig making profit, you’ll realize it’s worth every cent!