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):
- one PSU
- one motherboard
- one CPU
- one 4GB RAM
- one SSD (60GB+)
- 4 or 5 GPUs, e.g. ASUS GTX 1060 3GB
- misc power cables/adapters
- 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.