(UPDATE: This mining rig can be used to mine any Scrypt based coin. I am currently using this as a Dogecoin mining rig. Also, the hardware errors you see at the end of the video has been completely fixed by using Thread Concurrency at 8192. I currently get ZERO hardware errors)
I am back with another crypto currency mining project. Today we will build a dedicated Litecoin mining rig.
Mining Litecoins (or other scrypt coins) has become very attractive because, unlike Bitcoins, Litecoins can still be mined with a personal built computer. The most important piece of hardware used to mine Litecoins is the graphic cards, also known as GPU’s.
In fact, since Litecoin mining has become so popular, there has been a shortage in supply for these graphic cards. With the demand being so high, these GPU’s now have severely inflated prices but the opportunity to receive a great amount of return on investment has made these inflated prices easier to swallow.
The Litecoin mining rig that I show you in this article/video is meant to be a budget project. The GPU’s that I chose are NOT the most powerful cards you can buy. I wanted to show you a budget mining rig that costs hundreds, not thousands, of dollars.
I will list all the parts needed to complete this project. This list will also include the recommended hardware if you want to build a more powerful Litecoin miner than what is shown in the video. Regardless of what hardware you choose, the assembly of these parts are the same.
- XFX Radeon 7850
- Sapphire Radeon 7950 (recommended)
- Sapphire R9 290x (recommend)
PCI-E Riser Cables
- ASRock 990FX Extreme 3
- ASRock 970FX Extreme 4 (Alternative)
Power Supply Unit
- Western Digital SATA (if running Windows)
- SanDisk 8gb USB Thumb Drive (if running Linux)
Assembling your Mining Rig
Now that you have all your parts, it’s time to put them all together. The assembly of your Litecoin mining rig is basically identical to building a standard computer. I will give you a quick overview of how to install everything here, but please watch the video for a step-by-step guide.
The first thing to do is to install your CPU onto the motherboard. Take a look at the CPU and you will see a gold arrow, this arrow matches the arrow on the motherboard. Simply lift up the lever on your motherboard, place the CPU down in the slots, and lock the lever by pushing it back down.
Next, take the heat sink that comes with your CPU and clamp it down on the motherboard. You will also need to connect the heat sink fan to the motherboard connection labeled “CPU Fan”.
After installing the CPU, you can now insert our 4 GB DDR3 memory into the memory slot of our motherboard. I always prefer to place the memory stick into the slot that is closest to the CPU, but it will not really matter which slot you use.
The memory that I chose is just your basic DDR3 computer memory. There is nothing special about it. You will want to get at least 4 GB but you can use more if you want. However, there is no real benefit with more memory.
Now will be a good time to install your graphic cards. Simply insert each GPU card into their PCI-Express 16x slots. You will want to make sure that the locking clip is out of the way before inserting, then lock it back in place once the card is firmly in place.
As shown on the video, you will want to keep an eye on the temperature that your GPUs are running. Having the GPUs too close to each other can cause overheating issues. This really depends on which motherboard you choose and the placement of the PCI-E slots.
One way to combat this issue is by running a box fan across all the cards. You will need to keep this box fan running 24/7 if you experience heating issues.
Another popular, and recommended, way to deal with overheating is place your entire mining rig into a milk crate setup. This is done by using PCI-E riser cables and lifting all the cards above the motherboard, allowing extra airflow. You can then secure each GPU on to the milk crate.
I will eventually transition into the milk crate setup, however I am still waiting for my riser cables to arrive. Once I get them, I will make another detailed video on how to set up your Milk Crate Mining Rig.
Hard Drive & WiFi
After installing the GPUs, you can now connect all the odds and ends of your Litecoin mining rig. Mainly you need to install your hard drive and WiFi adapter. Depending on the Operating System you choose, you can either install your SATA hard drive if using Windows or a standard 8 GB thumb drive if using Linux.
For this project I will be using Linux as my Operating System which is why I am using a thumb drive. The advantage of Linux (specifically Ubuntu) is that you can run your entire Operating System on that thumb drive without the need of a traditional computer hard drive.
Your Litecoin miner is now one step away from powering up.
Finally you need to give power to all the components of your mining rig. You do this by plugging in the power connectors from your power supply. You do not want to cheap out on the power supply, this is a very important factor for your mining rig.
The power supply that I chose has a modular design. This means that I can leave out cables that I will not be usings. This is beneficial because you will not have random power cables all over your rig.
You will need to connect your power supply to the main motherboard connection as well as the CPU power connector located near the CPU. Each GPU will also need its own power connector. My GPUs require a 6 pin PCI-E power connection on each card.
Next, install your Power/Reset switch on to your motherboard. This will obviously allow you to turn on your mining rig since the motherboard does not include a built-in power switch. Just follow your motherboard’s user guide for the correct placement of the connectors.
Once you have supplied all the necessary components of your miner with power. You can now turn on your Litecoin mining rig and start mining.
Of course this article just covers the parts needed and the assembly that is required to build your Litecoin mining rig. You still need to install your Operating System and mining software. Like mentioned above, I am using Ubuntu Linux Operating System on my 8 GB thumb drive.
The mining software that I will use is called CGminer. This is a very popular application to use but keep in mind that any version above 3.7.2 will not support GPU mining. At this type, any scrypt based crypto coin, like Litecoin, still require GPU mining. Bitcoins on the otherhand is SHA-256 based and require ASIC mining hardware. You can read about how to build a Bitcoin mining rig in my previous articles.
I will aslo make another article/video about how to transition everything in to a milk crate. This will come pretty soon depending on when I receive my PCI-E riser cables.
Stay Tuned and Happy Mining!