Building the Ghetto rig

My original plan was to:

  1. Mine some ETH with my gaming PC.
  2. Sell ETH for fiat currency on Kraken.
  3. Transfer money to my regular bank account.
  4. Build a proper rig.

More power

Check, check, check and now working on number 4. I got together with two friends and made an investment:

hardware for the ghetto rig

Hardware for the ghetto rig

We went with similar parts to what I used in my gaming PC with some exceptions.

  • Core i3 CPU. Cheap and doesn’t use much power, but not completely worthless. One could use even cheaper CPUs but we reasoned that since we might need to repurpose the rig in the not so distant future that might not be optimal.
  • ASUS z270-P motherboard. This guy managed to build a 8 GPU rig with it so it should work for our initial 6 GPU build.
  • 6x MSI GeForce GTX 1060 6GB OC. Cards are getting increasingly hard to find. This was the only 1060 model we found that we could buy six of. AMD cards haven’t been available for months, otherwise there might have been more value in rx570 cards.
  • Corsair RM750x PSU. This could be where we failed some. If we would be able to connect all GPUs to this PSU we might put to much strain on it. Each of those GPUs will use 85-100W and then you need some for the rest of the hardware. There is a plan B and C though. We have a 1050W PSU available that’s not being used to its’ full potential and we might swap that one for this RM750x. Plan C would be to fit in a secondary PSU and use two in the rig. The PSU situation is the same as with the GPUs, there are just no powerful PSUs in stock at the moment.
  • 2×4 GB Corsair Vengance DDR4. Maybe more than we need but same reasoning here as with the CPU.
  • Cheap WD Green SSD

Since we didn’t buy a case we also needed a power button. I ordered this from AliExpress a couple of weeks ago:

power button

Power button for when you don’t have a case

To be able to connect 6 GPUs to one motherboard you also need PCI-E risers. There are two PCI-E x16 and four PCI-E x1 slots on the board and with these risers you can connect x16 cards to x1 slots. The risers also makes it possible to get the cards (and heat) away from each other which is vital. They haven’t arrived yet though so for now we will only install two cards in the two available 16x slots.

pci-e risers

Risers that connects x16 cards to x1 slots

Putting things togheter

Inspired by all the milk crate rigs you find on the Internet, we went with this:

ghetto case

the ghetto case

It isn’t very well ventilated so we needed to do some work on it, but the motherboard and PSU went magically well inside:

z270-P and RX750 in case

z270-P and RM750x in case

ventilation for psu

Ghetto style ventilation for PSU

modded case

case modded and parts some fitted

pulp ball

To put some distance between the case and the motherboard we needed to raid my five year old daughters room for some ordinary pulp balls. I admit, we came pretty unprepared for this step but it worked out great. Six screws, each through the motherboard and the case with one pulp ball between the case and board. On the bottom where the screws were sticking out we put more pulp balls to hide the screws and get feet for the case. We also used them as distances between the side of the case and the PSU and then secured the PSU with a cable tie. Success.

the ghetto rig

the ghetto rig with two 1060 cards fitted

Once the GPUs where in place we slapped an old case fan directly to the cards to help further with driving out hot air in between.

Results

rig up and running

The ghetto rig up and running

It’s alive! And also mining ETH. We tweaked the cards with MSI Afterburner (power target 70%, memory clock up) and were getting ~23 MH/s per card at less than 60C temperatures after 6+ hours of mining.

ghettominer mining

Getting ~46 MH/s average hashrate

What we need to do next is to wait for risers to arrive, solve the PSU situation and modify the case to support four more cards.

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