Monday, July 24, 2017

CryptoCurrency Mining Rig - Performance Tweaks to Maximize profitability

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With the hardware installed, on to the software portion of this build. Installing Windows 10 on the M.2 SSD is the same as any system, using a USB connected DVD drive or better yet a USB drive configured to install Windows.  Don’t worry about drivers, as any modern motherboard with 6 PCIe lanes should handle driver installation automatically during the installation process.**

**Note – You may have to modify certain settings in your system BIOS to allow for the use of 6 GPUs at the same time within Windows.  Refer to the manual for your specific motherboard for details.

With the particular Motherboard I am using, I had to make sure the following settings were configured as shown below.

Verify that BIOS settings are as follows:

  • Windows OS > Windows 10 > Enabled
  • PCI Settings > 4G > Enabled
  • PCI Settings > PCI > Gen1

The following are the tips that work for my system specifically, and may not necessarily be the best thing for your build, but maybe it will help you in some way.

Once Windows has fully installed, you want to run Windows Update and ensure that Windows Anniversary Edition update is installed. As of July 2017, if you are fully up to date, you will have that update as well.  Once all of the updates are completed, give your system a reboot, and then check out the Device Manager and ensure that all 6 GPUs are showing up.

If all the GPUs are showing up, we can assume that Windows automatically installed the correct GPU drivers, and its time to see if mining works properly with these cards. For my situation, installing the most up to date NVIDA GeForce drivers from Nvidia’s website actually made my mining performance worse, so I have been using using the drivers installed automatically by Windows instead.  If your cards aren’t showing up, or you are experiencing poor mining performance, best to uninstall graphics drivers using the DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) utility, and let Windows reinstall the drivers after reboot.

There are various mining applications you can run, along with mining pools you can join.  I chose to go with NanoPool and use Claymore’s Dual Miner to mine Ethereum. There is some configuration that will need to be done, but nothing too difficult. Once everything is set up, lanch the .bat file to start mining Ether. Off the bat, stock GTX 1060s will get between 18-19 MH/s. With a little bit of overclocking I was able to get on average 22 MH/s per GPU, and also reduced my power draw.

I was surprised to find that with this “under-clock” of the GPU, this system is only pulling around 35 watts from the wall when idle, and around 560W from the entire systems during mining operations. Not bad at all, considering I am getting a combined total of 132 MH/s from this system.

At this point you are pretty much done.  I do recommend installing some monitoring  / remote access software to check on the system when you are away. With everything up and running, you can just leave it alone and it will keep mining away.  As long as there is sufficient cooling, it should be pretty maintenance free, and can run for weeks at a time without any issues.

Thanks for taking a look at my project blog, and hit up the next post if you would like to see a video overview of the entire build process. I will also be building a 2nd system in the following weeks with GTX 1070s! So take care, and be sure to check back. Thanks.

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