GPU prices have reached all-time highs and finding them is an even great challenge. Here are a few options to build a budget mining rig to offset some of your costs so you can afford to buy some of the GPUs that are not likely to drop in price anytime soon.
Why Build a Budget Mining Rig?
If you have not noticed GPU availability has been almost no existent since a little after Christmas 2017. Looking back I wish I had stockpiled more equipment before everything was sold out. I never thought we would see such a demand. For example, I ordered a bunch of 1070tis when they were first released for $459. Ordering the direct from EVGA if you can be one of the lucky few that get there when in stock will now run you $590 including the $20 shipping they charge. Because of this, every dollar you spend for components could end up increasing your breakeven point to well over a year.
I decided to add another rig to my farm this week and took it upon myself to try and find some of the best deals to put together a budget mining rig while also ensuring it was effective and would run long term. I stayed away from unreliable parts I have not tested but will mention them as options for those you want to save even more money. I will put some GPU recommendation at the end of this build and my target prices. You can also look at my NVIDIA build and AMD builds for other suggestions for higher priced options that may be coming back in stock. This build will be something that can support up to 6 cards.
Motherboard (under $100 usually)
BIOSTAR TB250– http://amzn.to/2F8QVhU
Gigabyte Z270P– http://amzn.to/2H1n4IB
ASRock Z270 Killer– http://amzn.to/2F7PaBu (While this is a little over $100 has built-in Wi-Fi that will save you from buying a dongle if you are planning on mining with Wi-Fi)
SSD (If you plan on running windows. I will talk about OS below to save money but if you have a free copy or want to use an unregistered version a good SSD is essential)
KINGSTON 120GB- http://amzn.to/2FbshgE
SANDISK 120GB- http://amzn.to/2AQ0WRC
Power Supply (PSU) (Remember to not exceed 80% of the PSU total watts for your entire system.)
EVGA 1000w– http://amzn.to/2ARfQY3
Alternative Platinum Version 850w (if above is out of stock)- http://amzn.to/2F6ZIF9
Mintcell 6pack- http://amzn.to/2BQmJFY
I have used these for awhile now and have only 2 defective boards which were promptly replaced. Important I do not recommend using any SATA connections to power your risers.
Windows 10 (Can get cheaper discounts through being a student or military – http://amzn.to/2Ar1xu0
You also can mine off an unregistered version of Windows which cost you nothing. Follow the steps listed here.
USB 32gb Stick- http://amzn.to/2lXH3ik If you plan to run HiveOS or Simplemining you will need to have one to load the software. You can read more about your OS options in our software post but I recommend checking out HiveOS its free for the first 3 rigs and has a great interface.
Extra Connectors (Always good to have on hand in case you need more or you have damaged ones)
At least 2x 6+2 to 6+2 splitters- http://amzn.to/2CVReiQ
6 pin to dual 6+2 if you want to go that route- http://amzn.to/2BsVxkC
Zip Ties (for cable management or mounting video cards)- http://amzn.to/2kLJaJs
Kill A Watt (Monitor your electricity and watts for your rig. This way you can know exactly how much power you are putting out at the wall – http://amzn.to/2AWcKTB
Wemo Smart Plug- If you want something that can help monitor power remotely and also cycle your power for hard reboots the Wemo is the perfect choice instead of the Kill A Watt- http://amzn.to/2CrZgM3
Power Button– If you are building on a frame you will need a power button for your motherboard. Best option around http://amzn.to/2AUvmU8
Going through the list I managed to put together a complete build of components for just under $500 without the extra connectors, Wemo or Kill-a-Watt since I have extras of all of those from previous builds. Not bad for the core components for a rig.
GPUs for a Budget Mining Rig
Now here comes the hard part in building a budget mining rig finding GPUs. Buying GPUs at insane prices can increase your breakeven time by hundreds of days if you are not careful. Below is the price points that I use for obtaining cards. These will be for Nvidia cards as I don’t really build AMD rigs anymore.
1060 3gb– Under $300
1060 6gb– Under $340
1070- Under 530
1070ti– under $610
1080ti- Under $920
Going with these price points can make it hard to find cards but I promise with patience you can find cards for these prices. Start by going to EVGA website and placing notify me for every single card you want to purchase. If you get the email do not hesitate they will sell out in minutes. You can also place alerts on Nowinstock but usually, this service is a little slow and you won’t be able to get to the website before they are sold out. Also ensure you monitor your local Microcenter or equivalent for any deal, although they have marked everything up, its almost never worth it.
Once you have everything ordered take a read on ensuring you are ready for setting everything up by checking out our post on running a budget mining rig remotely.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out and I can help you out as best I can. All of the equipment listed in this guide as of the time of writing was in stock and should have no problem getting yourself everything you need minus the GPUs for under $500. The prices of GPUs are not likely to come down anytime soon so please ensure you have a budget in mind and don’t expect to break even for around 200 days or more. Keep in mind mining is for the long-term and most businesses do not even become profitable for years. Anything that can return a profit in under a year is considered a phenomenal business! I feel this point is often lost on people. This is not a get rich quick idea, this is a long-term endeavor. Keep that mindset and you be able to handle the lows and enjoy the highs!