Required Parts

There's a universal set of parts needed to build computers or rigs, and the vast amount of choices available when you look up parts can get overwhelming quick.

 

Here's a quick overview of the core components needed, a brief explanation of what they do, and a few important notes to keep in mind while browsing. 

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Components

Motherboard (MOBO)


The main board for your components, allowing your hardware to communicate and work together. Matching your motherboard's processor socket type to the CPU you buy is the most important step when picking out these two parts.
If you want to build a mining rig or add multiple GPUs, look for Motherboards that support multiple GPUs with these options:

Enable 4G Decoding
Set PCI-E Lane Speed to Gen 2 or 3​




Memory (RAM)


Random Access Memory is short term storage, holding variables and information being used within applications currently running. Same as the CPU, RAM is insignificant for mining and there's no need to buy expensive or high end parts here.

Most any 8GB RAM will be fine if mining is your main goal. If you want to get personal use for a few years out of the computer, consider going with 16GB. When searching for RAM there are two main things to check. Form factor and memory type.

DIMM is the form factor used for desktops.
DDR4 is the most common memory type and the current standard.

Form factor and memory types are not interchangeble, so double check your motherboard specifications if you are unsure!




Processor (CPU)


The processor (central processing unit) executes instructions to run programs. Intel™ and AMD™ are the main chip makers.
The CPU won't benefit your GPU mining ability, making this a great place to cut costs with inexpensive parts. Just make sure to match the socket type to the motherboard!
If you want to CPU mine with your rig too, AMD Ryzen and Threadripper processors are recommended due to the high number of CPU cores.




Storage (SSD)


This is the permanent storage for files and data on your computer.

For a miner, not much space is needed. 120GB or 240GB will be plenty. For personal use, consider at least 500GB or 1TB if you plan to save media or play games on the computer.




Graphics Card (GPU)



As covered earlier, the main component(s) for how effective the computer or rig will be at crypto mining. For more information, go back to the GPU page!




Power Supply (PSU)


Choosing the right power supply for your parts is critical for the proper and safe operation of your miner.

Most importantly, make sure the combined total watts of your parts stays under 80% of what the power supply is rated for. If your power supply is constantly stressed or can't push out enough energy, you risk damaging parts inside your computer, and in extreme cases can start a fire!

Use an online power supply calculator (such as this one on Newegg) to verify the size of the power supply you need, and finding an 80+ Gold Certified PSU helps for power efficiency.




Case


When building a computer for personal use, make sure to find a case with ample space for all the parts to help make connecting all your cables easy and promote good air flow through the system. Mining rigs are built on open frames, leaving the parts exposed to help hot air dissipate. Good air flow and fans to prevent too much heat on your GPU(s) is essential to keeping your system and your hash rates at their best!




Operating System (OS)


This is the system software that controls the operation of your hardware, allocates resources, executes applications, and provides a user interface to interact with (Windows, MacOS, Linux.). Mining computers typically use either Windows 10 or HiveOS for an operating system.

If you have access to a computer currently running Windows, you can create the Windows installation media on a 8GB or larger USB flash drive. If you don't have access to a Windows PC to create the installation USB, you can purchase a ready to use USB with a product key for Windows here on Amazon.





Builds


With this information in mind, we'll take a look at resources and tools to find parts for your build next.