You can’t run GPU’S without a whole bunch of accessories ! Let’s go over what you need to know to make informed decisions.
- Motherboard: You need a cost effective motherboard of reputable quality. You are looking for 5 or 6 PCI-EXPRESS lanes ideally (doesn’t matter if they are x16 or x1). Costs add up, so the more gpu’s you can fit on your rig the better. If you are still running windows 7, you may have to install a 6 gpu mod. If you run into problems, you will need to set your bios PCI settings to gen 2 or gen 1. Also set your bios to restart the computer automatically when there is a power cut (if available). You will also need to install the appropriate drivers, such as the LAN driver and others that are on the website of your specific motherboard.
- CPU: You need a cost effective CPU that will fit on the same socket as the motherboard you found. It does not really matter what the cpu is, but as people have found out with zcash, sometimes its better not to buy the cheapest one. But a dual core will do fine with ethereum.
- RAM: 4g of ram is enough on windows, but I recommend 8g if you can find some on sale. As for all your parts, its better to buy reputable quality at a good price. The difference in price is not great so it can be worth it on the resale value alone.
- SSD: SSD’s are cheap and 120g is more than enough.
- Power Supply: This is the important one. You need a top quality power supply. Ideally you would have a server power supply on 220v, but there is no problem in putting in a consumer grade ATX power supply. Only buy a gold or better tier one power supply (such as the EVGA G2 series or highly reputable PSU’s). You will also need to check if it has enough PCI cables for your setup and also enough molex cables. A good power supply has a warranty of over 5 years. See JohnyGURU for all reviews !
- USB Risers: Buy usb 3.0 risers, and verify that they are generation 5 or higher (the ones with 3 capacitors minimum). You will need a molex cable for each one. They do come with a sata to molex adapter but be warned: these are very low quality and it is not safe to use them compared to other solutions. Once your rig is set up and running, always verify if your cables are hot to the touch. If they are, stop it and remove them.
- A windows copy or ETHOS, or another linux build. I recommend linux if you have time to learn, but windows works extremely well in most circumstances. You can also check out Simplemining OS.
- GPU RIG: What holds everything together ? Well this is up to you. As long as its metal or heat resistant (but don’t put your motherboard directly on metal) you should be fine. In the past people have even made rigs out of milk crates. For inspiration go here.
It is important to keep all the boxes and accessories. In the event of equipment malfunction (it will happen), you can RMA and return the item with the original packaging. Keep all invoices and related info. When you buy items, check the warranty. A refurbished item may have a good price, but a 90 day warranty isn’t that great compared to a 3 year one.