Mining is the term we use in the world of cryptocurrencies to describe the process by which we obtain tokens from a blockchain network. It sounds easy to say but the reality is that all this hides an infinitely large and complicated world that mixes accounting, programming and finance. In the case of this cryptocurrency, mining Ethereum is one of the most profitable ways to get ether.
How is Ethereum (ETH) mined?
The blockchain system uses a hash algorithm which has the ability to convert a block of data into another group of fixed-length characters. These operations must be executed by powerful computers that can do it in the shortest possible time.
In the case of the Ethereum, the algorithm used is the ethash that is responsible for breaking down the block and condensing it into a number of letters and numbers of a fixed length, all deciphering the metadata of the last data block. For this they use a factor called nonce, which is nothing more than a binary number that determines a single hash value.
Determining the resulting nonce of each operation is like looking for a grain of rice in the desert. Therefore, the only possible alternative is data cycling. What the miner does is to throw a certain amount of possible values until the indicated one hits. The computer that manages to decipher what is the correct value is the one who obtains his proof of work and as a result he will be awarded 5 ether.
How to build a mining RIG for Ethereum and Ethereum Classic
A mining RIG for Ethereum is not economical. It is necessary to make a considerable investment to build a good team with a high hashrate that will generate a good amount of ether a day. These equipments are nothing more than graphic cards connected in a motherboard that allows breaking down the data blocks as fast as possible.
Equipment needed to mine Ether
Data cycling is not a complicated task, the problem with mining Ethereum is that the amount of possible correct values is too broad, which makes it necessary to process a large amount of data to determine it. So we will need a much more powerful computer than we can have on our desk.
To do this, the ideal is to set up a team dedicated specifically to extract cryptocurrencies from a chain of data blocks. This type of equipment is known as RIG and we will show you how it is composed.
It may sound contradictory because we have indicated that a powerful team is necessary, but in the case of an IBC, the workload focuses on other components. That is why when choosing a processor it is not necessary to break your head. With a dual-core processor capable of allowing us to run Windows 10 or Linux is enough.
A graphics card or graphic processing unit is a component manufactured to improve the visual quality of a computer. In the mining process, all the weight of the processing falls on them, so that the more and more powerful the GPU’s of our RIG, the greater the hasrate of it. Currently there are different types of GPUs. For Ether mining we should look at the consumption-power ratio of processing-price at the time of choosing.
The hashrate is the potential of the processing unit, it determines how many hash can process one unit per second. When choosing a GPU to mine Ether, we should look at this value is high, between 20 and 30 MH / s. Currently the most powerful units on the market are the NVIDIA with Pascal architecture or the AMD with Polaris.
Type of memory:
There are several types of GPU, for our miner we will need a card with VRAM GDDR5 memory to mine without problems.
Amount of memory:
Finally we must look at the amount of memory of the graphics unit. Currently the minimum required is 4GB of VRAM. However, as the size of the DAG file is progressive, it is best to have a unit with 8GB of VRAM.
Basing on these characteristics, the available GPUs in the market would be: NVDIA GTX 1070 Ti, AMD Radeon RX 480 or higher. These GPUs give us a Hashrate of 35MH / s and 30MH / s respectively with acceptable energy consumption.
Multi-race base plate:
The motherboard is the one that will be responsible for connecting the entire system. In this case the ideal is to have one with enough slots to connect as many GPUs as we want or are needed. A plate with six PCI Express slots would allow us to insert six GPS like those mentioned above that would allow us to build a team with at least 180MH / S.
As mining has become so popular, there are manufacturers that develop special plates for labor, so they have several PCI Express slots. Some of the most famous are Asrock and Biostar.
A power supply
While Ethereum mining does not consume as much energy as bitcoin mining, it is necessary to have a powerful energy source. The power of the same will depend basically on the number of GPUs of the equipment and the power consumption of the same. For example, for a device with six NVIDIA GTX 1070 cards, a power supply of at least 1200W would be required.
To complete our Ethereum mining equipment we just have to complete some basic components of any other computer. We will need a PCI Express extenders called Riser that will allow us to place the GPUs on the board because its width and size is not possible in most cases placed directly on the motherboard next to each other.
In principle we need a monitor to be able to use and visualize the operating system and the mining software. Also a standard hard disk of about 120GB of storage and a DDR3 or DDR4 RAM with a minimum of 4GB.
The most expensive component of the whole team is the GPU’s. Mining has created a strong demand for these and today they are a bit scarce. If we can achieve them without problems, assembling a three or four GPU’s RIG mining equipment would require an investment of approximately € 1500 / € 2,500.