I built an Ethereum mining rig in 2020 for under $1,000 — here’s an update on how it’s going.
Here’s an update on how it’s going.
I started mining Ethereum in September 2020.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the rest of the crypto market started pumping soon after my mining rig was up and running.
The short answer:
- I had more time for my crypto hobby
- I wanted to do more than just buy crypto
- I was curious to learn more about GPU mining
Yes, my initial costs were under $1,000.
I originally spent $978 on my GPU mining experiment. That initial price tag included just two graphics cards. So, my two-GPU mining rig was up and running for less than $1,000.
Electric Costs Remain Minimal
Getting the parts needed for the rig made up my fixed costs to start mining. Then, there’s ongoing costs like electric.
My electric costs are minimal, roughly $10 per month so far. That takes into account adding two additional GPUs to the mining rig.
Electric costs vary depending on your location and services available so keep that in mind if you’re building a mining rig.
Currently, the GPU mining rig is making between $3.50–4.50 USD per day. This fluctuates wildly depending on the current price of Ethereum. More recently, the rig has returned closer to the high end of that range.
Recent jumps in price mean that the Ethereum I mine is worth more. So of course, any decreases in price would in turn decrease profits.
To keep my costs down, I chose to use older, less expensive graphics cards.
That means they won’t be as profitable as some newer cards. You can check some info about GPU profitability on WhatToMine.
As mentioned above, I started with just two graphics cards.
Last month, I added two more cards to the mining rig to roughly double its output. I plan to add two more in the coming weeks.
Adding the two graphics cards brought my overall fixed costs closer to $1,500. You can get started mining at a lower price point and build out your rig further as you go.
Graphics Cards Are Hard to Find
COVID, the cryptocurrency market booming, and people gaming A LOT more at home has made graphics cards harder to find and they’re more expensive.
There’s plenty of cards still out there on the secondary market, but they’re more expensive now. When I added the two additional GPUs to the mining rig, the cards were available at normal prices.
Now, the same graphics cards that I’m using are either not available for purchase through NVIDIA GeForce or are too expensive in my opinion to buy somewhere like eBay.
I plan to upgrade the rig by adding 2–4 more cards sometime in the next two months but am keeping a close eye on both their availability and prices. If they remain hard to find, it could take longer to add them.
Since I started GPU mining Ethereum, ETH 2.0 has launched.
I’ll admit I’m still tracking and learning about everything that’s happening with Ethereum 2.0. Since I’ve been invested in Ethereum and Bitcoin for several years now, I was aware that ETH 2.0 was coming prior to building a GPU mining rig.
Ethereum is moving to a proof of stake (PoS) system and away from its proof of work (PoW) system.
GPU mining Ethereum is associated with PoW. Eventually, this will be a thing of the past. When the full transition to PoS happens, however, is still TBD. This is something to keep an eye on if you’re interested in mining.
I researched a number of mining options before getting started. I ended up deciding to mine Ethereum using Nanopool.
The UX is simple. Many other options are too but I gravitated toward Nanopool and Nanominer. I found a good amount of info about it online.
The Nanopool and Nanominer setup was simple and it was also very easy to connect to an existing Ethereum wallet.
You can find the latest version of Nanominer on GitHub. Since I started mining with Nanominer, I haven’t encountered any major issues.
Overall, GPU mining Ethereum has been seamless.
There have been a few hiccups along the way though. The biggest issues I ran into involved getting the motherboard and operating system to recognize new graphics cards.
If you run into technical issues, I recommend joining online forums like VoskCoin to ask for advice.
Ultimately, I was able to troubleshoot any issues I ran into when adding new graphics cards by adding them one by one and by following the advice I received from other miners.
One issue to note is that I did receive a DOA GPU when I added my third and fourth cards. After relentless troubleshooting with the mining rig, the only conclusion I could come to was that the card was bad. I returned it and received a new one from NVIDIA that worked perfectly.
I’ll continue to post about my GPU mining experience.
Here’s some key takeaways so far: