/ crypto

"Milk crate" space heater that's also a mining rig

It's cold outside. Time to build another space heater. It's a fun project for the whole family (esp. the kids).

Starting with a milk crate like this (okay, it's a file storage crate from Staples):


Adding a motherboard (a low-end LGA 1151 one, with a couple of PCI-E slots - such as this GIGABYTE GA-H110M-A), an Intel Celeron CPU, 4GB of RAM, and some power. Before you ask why this PSU is "only" 600W - we will overclock and undervolt our GPUs, and will reduce power usage dramatically.


Checking to see if the motherboard works. It does - so we update the BIOS:


Install Ubuntu and add one GPU to configure NVIDIA drivers, CUDA, etc. This part of the process is not always straight-forward, I will be happy to document if someone's interested:


... once everything is up and running, add more GPUs (obviously make sure the system is powered off before making any hardware changes). Here's nvidia-smi output before overclocking or updating power settings - using around 250W while mining XMR (these GPUs can't do ETH due to low on-board memory):


The parts:

  1. one PSU
  2. one motherboard
  3. one CPU
  4. one 4GB RAM
  5. one SSD (60GB+)
  6. 4 or 5 GPUs, e.g. ASUS GTX 1060 3GB
  7. misc power cables/adapters
  8. two PCI-E extenders

Regarding that last item - if you have a couple of these PCI-E extenders, then any motherboard becomes a mining motherboard:


Voilà. Doing over 2,000+ H/s on XMR, while heating a small room.