November 23, 2023

My Nvidia Mining Rig experiment.

Can you make money mining crypto?

That was what I was asking myself back in Sept of 2017. I had been hearing from a few friends for a while about bitcoin, but finally decided to check it out myself and dip my toes into the water.  One of the issues I had though, was I found it hard to invest real money into it when the price had already seemed to have increased so much.

I was also wanting to upgrade and build a new pc and could use a new video card as well.  I came up with the solution to try and see if I could mine some crypto and pay off some of the new computer parts that I could use for a new PC. In a sense getting my computer parts for free. Looking at a few websites like whattomine and cryptocompare I was on my way.  It was initially looking to me like ~10 months and I would have the value of all my parts paid to me in crypto of some form. So far it has been a roller coaster when looking at value and I have learned a lot. For the most part, if I would have just invested in bitcoin with the money I spent on this, I would be WAY better off then I am now. I could have paid for it a couple times. (But what fun would that be?) <– That’s what I tell myself to make myself feel better. Anyways, I did not buy the video cards all at once and added them slowly as funds would allow.

To start out I wanted to buy parts that I could keep and use for an upgraded PC for myself when I get tired of mining. I wanted to try mining, and wanted to own some crypto, but I have trouble spending my hard earned dollars on just buying crypto. I needed a tangible asset. Plus being a computer nerd, It gave me time to play around and learn about crypto and mining. So some of my decisions might be different then others that are building a rig just for mining. One such decision was I wanted Nvidia video cards. Even though the AMD are supposedly better for mining algorithms such as ethhash and cryptonight, I tend to prefer the Nvidia drivers and software for gaming. Another benefit is that Nvidia are less power hungry so cheaper power costs. (If your footing the electric bill this can be important.)

I also wanted a motherboard that I would be happy with when used in my PC. I am a fan of Asus so went with an Asus Prime Z-270 A. Also a fan of EVGA as I think they have great customer support, I went with a 1000 Watt EVGA power supply. I wanted to make sure I had room to grow as I was not sure how many video cards I would be adding. For video cards I chose EVGA as well. One great thing about EVGA is their step-up program. They give you 90 days to try a video card, and if you want to upgrade it up to a higher model, you can just pay the difference and swap it out. I just liked that option in case I was not satisfied with a card. [UPDATE: Not sure if this program still exists, as I did not see it listed in the menu, but yet I did see it referenced in my cards I bought still.]

Here is my parts list :

ASUS Prime Z270-A
Silicon Power 120GB SSD 3D NAND
Intel BX80662G4400 Pentium Processor G4400 3.3 GHz FCLGA1151
Patriot Memory DDR4 4GB 2133MHz – PVE44G213C4GY
Warmstor 2 Pack 2 Pin SW PC Desktop Power Cable on/off Push Button ATX Computer Switch Wire 60cm
Ubit 12-PCS PCI-E Riser I only bought 6 of these, not a 12 pack.
EVGA 1000 GQ, 80+ GOLD 1000W, Semi Modular, EVGA ECO Mode, 5 Year Warranty, Power Supply 210-GQ-1000-V1
EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB SSC GAMING Graphics Card 06G-P4-6267-KR
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC GAMING Graphics Card 08G-P4-6173-KR
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti SC GAMING 08G-P4-5671-KR
Some plywood and boards from my garage to sit it on. (I went cheap, but you can see other cool mining rigs online if you want to build something nice looking.
In my picture here you can also see a couple older 750 ti cards that I had sitting around. While they cant mine Eth due to the amount of memory, they are still useful for some other coins.

In hindsight here are a couple things I wish I would have done differently. Due to trying to minimize the initial costs I started with a Pentium processor and 4GB of 2133 DDR4 ram. I wish I would have gotten faster Ram and started out with the processor that I really wanted (An i7 and some 2400 ram) I feel I will be buying these soon anyways so that the other Pentium and the 2133 stick will go to waste. I plan to upgrade the ram to 16GB when I turn it into my PC, but will probably buy 2400 ram.  But for strictly a mining PC, the RAM and CPU are adequate. Also I replaced that 120GB SSD with an M.2 250 GB WD Blue 3D nand model.

As for income that something like this can generate.  It seems to be all over the board. There are a lot of factors to calculate into it. You have power costs, the difficulty of the coin you are mining and the fluctuation of crypto prices. I have been playing around with different algorithms by mining various types of cryptocurrency and while I am not making much, I am slowly working towards being able to cover the cost of the equipment. Some of these various “Alt-Coins” May drop to nothing for the price, so there is a risk. But even if the price drops to zero at least I still have the hardware.

Running out of time at the moment.. To Be continued with info on Software and Hashrates etc…