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Equipment for a mining farm – the up-to-date list for 2017-2018

Components Selection Guide for cryptocurrency production (altcoins and bitcoins). How to use hardware for mining that is relevant in 2018.

Let us analyze every mining farm element with recommendations for compatibility. We will clarify what you can save on, and what the final performance depends on.

In this material we will talk more about some individual farm elements. Complete review of all equipment types for mining you may see here, where you will find not only the information on farms, but also about the specialized ASIC equipment.

Processor

When it comes to choosing a processor for your farm, there is no need to focus on the top models, since no high performance results are needed here (if you assemble a farm for mining based on GPUs).

When reviewing the processors for mining, it is impossible to ignore such important element as two different connectors for processors: LGA1150 and LGA1151! (we are not interested in the later models, since they do not increase the hashrate during the mining where video cards are used).

Physically, the connectors differ in number of contacts, types of contacts, distance of CPU cooler mountings, which makes the connectors almost incompatible.

Therefore when choosing a motherboard you need to know which CPU connector it supports. So, let us focus on those CPU models which are not on the top list, but have an affordable price and also have all characteristics necessary for mining.

Processors with Socket 1150

Intel Celeron G1840 2.8GHz/5GT/s/2MB (BX80646G1840) s1150 BOX

  • Processor family: Intel Pentium Dual-Core
  • Connector type: Socket 1150
  • Intel CPU generation: Haswell (4th generation)
  • Number of cores: 2
  • Core speed: 2800 MHz
  • Integrated graphics: Intel HD Graphics
  • Level 3 cache: 2 Mb
  • TDP power 53W

Intel Pentium G3260 3.3GHz/5GT/s/3MB (BX80646G3260) s1150 BOX

  • Processor family: Intel Pentium Dual-Core
  • Connector type: Socket 1150
  • Intel CPU generation: Haswell (4th generation)
  • Number of cores: 2
  • Core speed: 3300 MHz
  • Integrated graphics: Intel HD Graphics
  • Level 3 cache: 3 Mb
  • TDP power 53W

Processors with Socket 1151

Intel Celeron G3900 2.8GHz/8GT/s/2MB (BX80662G3900) s1151 BOX

Processor Intel Celeron of 6th generation, microarchitecture codenamed Skylake.

  • Processor family: Intel Celeron
  • Connector type: Socket 1151
  • Intel CPU generation: Skylake (6th generation)
  • Number of cores: 2
  • Core speed: 2800 MHz
  • Integrated graphics: Intel HD Graphics 510
  • Level 3 cache: 2 Mb
  • TDP Power 51W

Processor Intel Celeron G3930 2.9GHz/8GT/s/2MB (BX80677G3930) s1151 BOX

Processor Intel Celeron 7-th generation, microarchitecture codenamed Kaby Lake.

  • Processor family: Intel Celeron
  • Connector type: Socket 1151
  • Intel CPU generation: Kaby Lake (7th generation)
  • Number of cores: 2
  • Core speed: 2900 MHz
  • Integrated graphics: Intel HD Graphics 610
  • Level 3 cache: 2 Mb
  • TDP Power 51W

Intel Pentium G4400 3.3GHz/8GT/s/3MB (BX80662G4400) s1151 BOX

Processor Intel Pentium 6-th generation, microarchitecture codenamed Skylake.

  • Processor family: Intel Pentium Dual-Core
  • Connector type: Socket 1151
  • Intel CPU generation: Skylake (6th generation)
  • Number of cores: 2
  • Core speed: 3300 MHz
  • Integrated graphics: Intel HD Graphics
  • Level 3 cache: 3 Mb
  • TDP Power 54W

Hard disk

We need a hard disk (HDD or SDD) to install the operating system and software for mining.

A solid-state drive or SSD, as they call it, will be good for this purpose (SSD is a storage device, and it owes its name to the fact that it has no moving elements that can break). Its capacity depends on the way you are planning to mine. If you are to download the whole blockchain and mine it alone (we will discuss this in details later on), then you should keep in mind that the blockchain will grow in size with time, and you need to buy a disk of a bigger capacity.

If you want to mine Ethereum as part of a pool, then you will not have to store blockchain, and that means you can buy SSD of a smaller capacity.

RAM

Random access memory (RAM). This is the basic component of any computer. There is no fundamental difference in performance, but for our task we need at least 4GB RAM and even more, so the more RAM is installed, the better performance we will get. 

If your farm contains 12-13 graphics cards, it is better to have 8GB RAM, for the system not to be slowed down during peak loads.

Display emulator

HDMI-VGA adapter is able to work as a full-fledged HDMI-VGA adapter, but for the mining process it is interesting as an emulator of display at the output of a graphics card (you don’t need to plug a display for that).

VGA (DE15F) — 15-pin subminiature connector for connecting analog monitors requiring VGA connection. VGA is an analog interface designed for CRT monitors.

Digital Visual Interface, (DVI) is an interface standard designed to transmit video to digital display devices, such as LCD monitors, TVs and projectors.

High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is an interface for high-definition multimedia, that allows to transmit high-definition video and multi-channel digital audio with copy protection.

Farm case (aluminum or wooden)

Choosing a case can be a problem, and it depends on the number of graphics processors and the availability of risers. The components should not lie on top of each other, since it may result in a fire. You may not use the case at all, or make your own one. A ready-made case usually costs 1500-2000 rubles. depending on the number of graphics cards in the rig.

Graphics cards for mining (GPU)

Choosing graphics processors! Some graphics cards cost a fortune, but they have a slow hashing speed. Others may be better in terms of performance, but they consume more power.

Here is the list of graphics cards, that are worth buying for mining in 2018:

AMD Radeon RX 470,

AMD Radeon RX 480,

AMD Radeon RX 580,

Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 ti,

Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060,

Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070,

Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080,

AMD Fury X.

You have to look for the balance between power and price, but be sure to choose a graphics processor with good performance. Be careful when buying a pre-owned graphics card, since they often have issues that you will not see until you connect the card to the motherboard. You have a possibility to see a list of graphics cards filtered by cost and features.

Another problem is the connection of graphics cards to the motherboard when the distance between PCI Express slots is insufficient. But you shouldn’t worry. You can use a riser, which is an extension cable for PCI Express slot. Some video cards are really big, so be careful when making your choice.

Additional equipment – consumer wattmeter

An energy meter is a device that allows you to measure parameters and network loads. Also, it is possible to keep records of the consumption of power used by devices connected through it. Using an energy meter, you can measure the voltage, power and current in the network.

There are 7 modes that are used to see the full functionality of the device. They are displayed differently on a 3-inch liquid crystal display. One can switch between modes by pressing the FUNCTION button, located below the display. Information on the display is divided into 3 lines (rows).

The first line always shows the time counter of active use of the connected devices. When you start the device for the first time, you will see the time displayed in minutes (00-00, where the first 00 are minutes), as soon as the time exceeds 60 minutes, the display will show time in hours (00-00, where the first 00 are hours). After the time on the counter exceeds 23-59, the counter resets and the new count starts from 00-00, on the display where the second work mode is displayed, the number of days changes from 0 to 1 and so on.

The second and the third line display data according to the selected mode:

  • mode — the current power consumption in watts, the symbol W is displayed below the digits and the total cost of electricity consumed is displayed in figures;
  • mode — the amount of consumed electricity in kilowatts, and the symbols kWh are displayed under the digits. The number of days is displayed below;
  • mode — the current voltage in the socket in volts, the symbol V is displayed under the digits, and the frequency of the network used in hertzs is displayed below;
  • mode — current intensity in amperes, the A symbol is displayed under the digits, power factor is displayed below;
  • mode — the minimum fixed power, the W symbol is displayed under the digits, the Lo symbols are displayed below;
  • mode — the maximum fixed power, the W symbol is displayed under the digits, the Hi symbols are displayed below;
  • mode — electricity cost for 1 kW/h.

In order to adjust the electricity cost, the COST button should be pressed for 3 seconds. After that, the digits 00.00 will blink in the third line. You can move through the values by pressing the FUNCTION button, and you can change the values by pressing UP and DOWN buttons.

The 3.6-V rechargeable Ni-Mh is built into the power meter, which is necessary for storing settings and data in the memory.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions of the energy meter (L х W х H): 156 х 70 х 38 (72 — including the plug);
  • Energy meter weight: 200 g;
  • Energy meter operating voltage: 230 В, 50 Hz;
  • Maximum operating current: 16 А;
  • Time display range: 0 seconds-9999 days;
  • Current power display range: 0-3600 W;
  • Voltage display range: 0-9999 V;
  • Current display range: 0.0-16.0 А;
  • Frequency display range: 0-9999 Hz;
  • Minimum/maximum power display range: 0.0-3600 W;
  • Display range of electricity cost adjustment: 0.00-99.99 currency units/kW/h;
  • Display range of electricity consumed: 0.000-9999 kWh;
  • Display range of the total cost for the electricity consumed: 0.00-9999 currency units;
  • Plug type: EU;
  • Housing color: white.

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