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Tutorial: Ethereum Mining Rig Part 3 (building the rig)

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How to build a Ethereum mining rig diy tutorial part 3: step by step pc assembly guide / tutorial!

I’m very excited to share this tutorial with you. I spent some time taking pictures of every component you’ll be working with and every action you’ll be performing. This means that you don’t need to be a guru in order to follow this tutorial’s steps and create your own Ethereum mining rig.

I’ve tried my best to describe every step in a simple and clear way. My goal is to help you avoid any kind of confusions or misunderstandings. Nevertheless, if you’ve got any questions, feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to help you.

This is the third part of our Ethereum Mining Rig Creation Guide, and here we’ll see how to assemble your rig in 9 simple steps.

Step 1: Components and Tools

2016-06-03 14.07.45

Make sure that you’ve got the following components:


1. Motherboard (
2. PSU (Power Supply Unit) (
3. RAM module (
4. One or more GPU’s (up to 6 Video cards) (
5. CPU module (Processor) (
6. SSD/HDD (
7. Power and reset switch cables for the motherboard (
8. USB risers (
9. Keyboard and mouse (
10. Thermal compound paste (
11. Ethernet cable (
12. Rig frame (building the frame tutorial)
13. Automatic screwdriver (
14. Watt usage monitor like “Kill a Watt” (
15. Two angled aluminum bars (5 inches / 12,70cm each)
16. One wooden stick 41cm /16 inches long
17. Four “legs”, made either of wood or thick density rubber (will be used as a support for the motherboard)

Hardware with prices

We will be using three pieces from our previous tutorial, which are the two aluminum bars and the wooden stick we’ve just mentioned. We need to attach the two aluminum bars to the rig frame, facing downwards. The bars need to be on the opposite sides, facing perpendicularly to the frame they’re attached to.

Make sure that the two bars have the exact distance from their respective corners. Then we need to attach the wooden stick to the tips of these bars, as shown in the pictures.

Make sure that the two bars have the exact distance from their respective corners. Then we need to attach the wooden stick to the tips of these bars, as shown in the pictures.

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Step 2: Unboxing and preparing the motherboard (AsRock H97 Anniversary)

Now that the box is ready, carefully place the motherboard on the bottom (which is made of wooden bars). Make sure the board doesn’t touch any metal pieces. Every motherboard comes with a slim red foam carpet. I totally recommend you placing that carpet under the board.

Some furniture comes with plastic/wooden/rubber legs. Personally, I’ve used some of those as a support for the motherboard. It works like a charm. Use at least six of those. Make sure that they have the same height.


Un-box the RAM module and carefully install it on the FIRST slot of the motherboard. If you never installed a RAM module before, follow these three steps:

  • Make sure that the RAM orientation is right. Also, the first slot is the one that’s closer to the CPU port.
  • Unlatch the two plastic latches, so you can place the module easily. If the module doesn’t enter reasonably easy, don’t force it. Instead, take a look at the latches and make sure that they’re completely open.
  • Once the RAM module is installed, latch them back.


Installing the CPU:
  • Locate the CPU slot (image 1)
  • Pull the small metal bar to open it (image 2)
  • Remove the black plastic cover by pulling the spot that says “remove” (images 2 and 3). NOTE: pull it only from the spot that’s marked.
  • Unpack the CPU and carefully place it in the slot. The CPU chip has a tiny marker (either a circle or a triangle) in one of its corners. Make sure that it aligns with the same kind of marker on the port.
  • Once you’ve placed the CPU chip, close the cover and push down the metallic bar. (image 3)
Installing the cooler:
  • This step is essential, no matter if you’re using the stock cooler or a third-party one. First of all, we need to remove the stock thermal compound. Use a dry towel or soft paper; avoid using water or any other cleaning substances.
  • Now that the surface is clean and shiny, let’s apply the new thermal compound (image 1). The thermal compound needs to be applied to center the CPU metallic surface. You’ll notice that the thermal compound syringe has some circles. Those are meant to help you to apply the right amount of compound. Once “circle” of compound is enough.
  • Place the cooler on top of the processor and move it a little, so the paste can be evenly distributed between the two surfaces.
  • Attach the cooler and then plug in the fan cable to the motherboard.

2016-06-03 20.34.05

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Now we will need to plug the cables to the PSU. As you could notice, it has several ports, each of which serves for a different purpose. They come marked. We will be using five of these ports, which are:

  1. 24pin – ATX (image 1)
  2. 1 Molex – Peripheral (image 2)
  3. 1 SATA (image 3)
  4. 1 CPU cable (image 4)
  5. 1 PCI-e (image 5). If you have more than one video card, you’ll be using multiple PCI-e ports.

Carefully plug every cable to its respective port, as shown in the pictures. Double check the installation.

Once all the five cables are plugged into the PSU, we can plug in the cables to the motherboard:

  • The 24 Pin ATX port is right next to the RAM slots
  • The additional PCI-E power cable goes next to the cooler fan
  • Make sure that the fan is connected to the motherboard as well

2016-06-03 17.45.53


My SSD came with a SATA Data cable (image 1). I’ve connected my SSD to the motherboard SATA slot (image 2), using the SATA Data cable. Then, I’ve connected the SSD to the PSU though the SATA Power cable. The SATA slot can be located in one of the corners of the motherboard.


Carefully un-box the GPU card and remove the plastic protection (that plastic bar that protects the pins on the bottom of the card).

Then, connect the two riser pieces using the USB cable, plug in the power and attach the largest riser piece to the GPU card.

Now that you’ve got that done, place the GPU inside the rig box on that wooden bar you’ve installed earlier in Step 1. Use a two-sided duct tape to secure the GPU board (make sure it won’t fall down), but don’t screw it yet.

Finally, connect the Molex and PCI-E cables to their slots. The Molex connect the PSU with the GPU, while the small USB riser board goes to the PCI-E slot on the motherboard.

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You’ll have to connect 4 cables, two of which stand for power and two for reset. Reset cables are usually blue and white, while the power ones are black and red. They also have tags on the plastic tips, so make sure that you connect the right cable to the right place.

Those four cables are connected to the last five pins of the 20-pin panel. Those five pins come like this:
Power (Marked as PWR)
Power Ground (Marked as Ground)
-Unused- (leave it empty)
Reset Power (Marked as Reset)
Reset Ground (Marked as Ground – this is the corner pin)

The 20-pin panel is marked anyway, so make sure to take the time to read the markers.


The Ethernet cable connects the motherboard with the router. The ports are easy to find and cannot be confused with anything else. The Ethernet cable usually comes in light blue, light gray or yellow colors.
Oh, and don’t forget connecting the mouse and the keyboard too!

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That’s it, now that everything is set up, we can move to the next part and begin the ethOS configuration for our video card(s). In part 4 you’ll learn how to install and configure the needed software.


If by any reason your PC fails to boot, don’t panic. In most of the cases, one the failure is caused by the malfunction of one of the components. Split-test your components until you find the one that’s flawed. That’s how you do it:

  1. Unplug the keyboard, mouse, HDD/SSD, GPU and try booting again.
  2. If it won’t boot this way, then either the CPU or the RAM is flawed.
  3. Now, if it does boot this way, then the problem is in one of the components you’ve just unplugged. You should start testing them one by one: plug the keyboard first, and see if it boots. If it does, then add the mouse, and keep plugging more components until you find the one that causes the problem.

Note: If the problem is in the riser, try changing the slot from PCI-E 2 to PCI-E 1. If it won’t work, then try replacing the rises. In fact, I ended up replacing mine.

Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.

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Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.

Subscribe and stay tuned for further updates!

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Part 2: Building the frame Part 4: ethOS installation
  • grisp

    Ciao! Your tutorials are really interesting!
    No one ever talks about the noise…You can test the noise of the rig in full operation mode while is mining? If you not have an instrument for the detection of noise, You could use a mobile application as Decibel Ultra (iOS)… Can you take measurements from a distance of 2 meters?

    • Hey Grisp,

      Sorry for the late replay, just tested with a random app and i got the following:

      MIN: 48 db
      AVG: 58 db
      MAX: 70 db

      After i tested with a different i got like 45 db!

      Hope this helps!

      • grisp

        Wow! Wonderful! Thank’s!
        I’m interested for Radeon Rx 480.. And I would start with two of this to mining eth!

        • Yeah, i plan to create one aswell.. 470 are available… have you considered them?

  • mher1

    need help getting my rig to boot up power is on and the CPU fan is going but not able to get any action through my keyboard or mouse. monitor says its in standby mode till it gets movement from those two items and i can’t tell if they are the issue or if something else is going on what should i be looking for?

    • For some reason i missed your comment… sorry for that.. i guess you are good now 🙂

  • Sonny Karan

    quick question, i bought the MSI Z170A GAMING PRO CARBON MOTHERBOARD along with all the other hardware as you suggested in your other tutorial. Out here you suggested 1 Molex – Peripheral from PSU to mobo but I can’t find a slot on MSI Z170A GAMING PRO CARBON MOTHERBOARD for that.

    Thank you so much in advance.. so close to to my first rig

    Sonny Karan

    • Yes, this mobo doesn’t have that like H81 pro btc 🙂

      • Sonny Karan

        thank you. Is there a way, i can talk to you ? online offline skype whatsapp phone? thanks in advance?

      • N. Cheri

        So you can skip this step and don’t use the cable at all? I have the same problem but wth 270A Prime. Can i just skip that cable en turn on the rig because i was afraid to put it on without answer

        • Yes, you can skip that.. if you have powered risers (molex or 6 pin/sata).

  • Clement

    A very big thank you ! I did mine following your tutorial !
    I have a asrock btc pro rev 2.0 and 5 msi rx480 oc armor, i am consuming almost 1000 W ! Is it normal ? I have a 1200w corsair psu and I wanted to add a 6th gpu, do you think it’s possible ? Shoud I plug the power on the riser AND on the card as I am doing ?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi, it looks great.. good job. I have a 5x gpu rig that consume 840w (dual mining), sapphire nitro+ rx 470 4gb oc. Have you downlclock and undervolt all gpus ?

      • Clement

        thanks for your answer. It’s undervolt (900mV) but not underclock. You mean downclocking core gpu or memory ? Will I keep my 29mhs if I do it ? I’m still consuming around 940W after undervolting. Thank you

        • Yes, downclocking will reduce the consumption and the mh/s difference will not be that big.

          • Clement

            hey, actually I know why i was consuming more, i’m in dual mining 🙂

  • Martin reyes

    My rig won’t turn on sure I hv it plugged right n yes the power is on cause the Ethernet light is blinking. I don’t hv a monitor keyboard or mouse connected yet. Just want to hear the CPU power up. Can someone help on solving the problem thanks h

    • It wont boot if gpu doest not have hdmi cabble attached on it. first add monitor and then test.

      • Martin reyes

        Thanks for responding, I’m still not getting a boot. I expected the CPU to at least turn on

        • Martin reyes

          Will it have to do with anything with the motherboard drivers or operating system ? Will the motherboard CPU fan turn on regardless without it

          • i just saw your usb riser slot in wrong pcie, plug that in first pcie 16x. What cable have you used to power CPU ? That looks to be a PCIe cable to me.., please check!

          • Martin reyes

            Is it in wrong slot cause I tried all and now ethos won’t recognize the gpu says hardware failure. The riser is connected to the psu

          • Switch it to next one, the bigger one (16x)

          • Martin reyes

            I got it to work but now I can’t get two+ working?

          • Are you going to use ethOS or Windows?

          • Martin reyes

            Currently I’m using ethos. Should I go with windows?

          • Yes, currently win 10 is the best option to go..

    • And btw you should not put the motherboard on metal like that it can short pretty easy like this.. use the red/black antistatic foam that is in the bag with the mobo, place that under.

      • Martin reyes

        Thanks for the advice I went ahead and made the changes like you said still nothing

        • David Cg

          You probably already fried the thing by putting it on metal :/

  • Jacques

    Hi, can you elaborate on how you’re powering up your risers ? I’ve read on many forums that you need to be careful on which cables you use and how many risers you power up for each cable, otherwise the cables can heat up and be a fire hazard. I have 6 sata-powered risers, should I use 6 single PCIe-to-Sata cables, or 3 PCIe-to-2-satas cables ? Thanks.

    • Hi, i will be doing a full tutorial for this, based on how i power risers. Long story short, i never power risers via sata, i always power with molex cables only, i use one molex cable to power two risers only.

      • Jacques

        Are you saying not to buy risers with sata, or you mean instead to use a molex cable and molex-to-sata adaptor to connect to my sata riser ?

        • Clement

          i’m also greatly interessted, and if you can join photos please. Thank you 🙂

        • Yeah.. powering via sata is not that good, i prefer v006 with molex so i can power the risers with molex cables from psu. Also good are the new v007 with 6 pin but you will need more pcie cables for that

  • filip

    Hi, I am building my first rig. 6 x RX580 nitro+ (over 0.6m USB 3.0 PCI-E 1x to16x Extender Riser Card Adapter with SATA Power Cable) and not sure how to plug them. I have win 10 now and one of the GPUs in the main slot in of the motherboard. I want to use my hx1200i to power it all but I am not sure if possible ( as I am not sure which cables I can and can’t use.

    1. is 6 x 6pin slots and 6 x 8 pin slots enough to do that?
    2. should I plug them 1 by 1 restarting my pc everytime or should it be okay to just plug the other 5 at the same time and windows will detect them?
    3. if not then I have second PSU 650v and I am wondering if I can use cables randomly, like plugging one 6 pin cable from PSU and 8 pin cable from another PSU?

    Thanks for the answer!

    • Hi, does your risers are powered via molex or 6 pin ?

  • Bosslock

    Hello. I am thinking on investing on mining but am not sure… Is it worth it?

  • Nate Tunningley

    my rig won’t power up, but the Ethernet light is flashing, im using the MSI z710a model you recommended

    • Double check cables and everything.. cpu, memory ram.. atx cables..

  • Jay

    Sorry this is very complicated to me, I greatly appreciate any guidance here.
    I have a couple questions regarding a mining rig I am in the process of putting together.
    First off, I have:
    -EVGA 850 G2 (has 4 “VGA” outputs”)
    -Also bought Corsair rm850i (but I dont think this will work, I will explain later, I can return this if needed) -MSI z170A krait gaming 3x motherboard (7 PCI slots, combination of PCI 3.0 slots: x16, x1, x1, x1, x8, x1, x4)
    -GTX 1080 EVGA FTW (requires two 8 pins)
    -GTX 1070 8 gb EVGA FTW (requires two 8 pins)
    -GTX 1070 8 gb EVGA FTW (requires two 8 pins)
    -Rx 580 8 gb Sapphire nitro (requires one 8 pin and one 6 pin)
    -Rx 470 4 gb sapphire (requires one 6 pin) -Rx 580 8 gb Powercolor (requires one 8 pin)
    -I have several PCI 1x to 16x powered risers (right now I have 3 but I can order more)

    First question: 1) I bought this dual PSU adapter, Raidmax 24 Pin 2 Way Dual PSU Adapter Cable – Control two PSUs with one button ATX Y Splitter ( This thing does not fit into my EVGA PSU? My motherboard PSU slot currently has a an 18 pin and a 10 pin coming out of the PSU. The corsair PSU I also bought is set up the same way. Is there any sort of adapter I can use to use both PSU? Alternatively, I can return the Corsair PSU and suck it up and just buy a 1200W PSU instead but this leads to my second question…

    2) Any PSU I look up does not have nearly enough “VGA” ports ie the 8 pin PSU ports. Most of my cards require two 8 pin connections. Thats why I bought a second PSU in the first place. This does not even take into account the powered risers and what PSU ports I would use to power those.

    3) Regarding powered risers, do I also need to provide power to the GPU via the VGA PSU ports? Ie if I have a powered riser hooked up via the molex cable, do I ALSO need to plug in the two 8 pin connectors if I put the 1080 or 1070 on the powered riser?

    Thanks again if you read this far, I am new to this and really appreciate the help.

  • Bryant Renaud

    Any chance you can help me figure out why my rig wont boot? Turning on PSU, I can see power gets to a usb stick, but otherwise the rig is silent. Checked PSU, works fine. Have display hooked up to hdmi slot of gpu which is directly connected to mobo (won’t use risers til I get this to work). Pulling my hair out, plz help!

    TB250-BTC biostar
    Intel celeron g3900 LGA1151
    Ballistix 4gb ddr4 – 2400 udimm 1.2v
    Msi radeon RX470 armor edition

  • N. Cheri

    The molex ti oeriphal cable connector i don’t have that? I have 270a Prime i followed this instruction, but the molex cable i can’t do anything with it. My moo does not have the 4 pin where i can do i like these pictures. This one you said: The additional PCI-E power cable goes next to the cooler fan, i don’t have that

  • mior firdaus

    where to put the bitcoin card?

  • Espion Roy

    A huge thank you to you. Please can you give insight on one ethOS..there is a command called autoreboot..does it work for you?…sometimes my rig would show “GU:3:00 handle lost, reboot to recover GU”…if the smoother knows that..why doesn’t it autoreboot when I have input the command ‘autoreboot 3’ in the nano local.conf?…what’s going wrong?..should I wait longer for it to reboot? How long?..

  • Liam Owens

    I have set up a three card rig, it is not neat like some of the photos here. Cable management is really annoying, Powering risers with indevidual sata cables means there are a lot of spares about. But the 6 pin to sata splits in to 3 female sata connections, would it be worth getting some extensions and using 1 cable to avoid a mess of cables everywhere from my psu.

    I’ve heard bad things about them not being rated to power more than one GPU. Would this be a problem?

  • Hi Ciprian, my monitor only supports VGA but motherboard is DVI.
    Obviously I wasn’t reading enough or bootstrapping too much.

    Question is, can I use a VGA to DVI cable to connect my monitor to the motherboard?
    Will it not affect the performance? I hope I don’t need to buy a DVI monitor.

    I couldn’t thank you more enough! I’m almost done with my 2 GPU rig with GTX 1070 and RX 580. Cheers! 🙂

    • Hi, yes you can use any adapter 🙂 no worries..

      • Just a thought, can I connect my monitor though to 1 of the graphics card through the VGA port so that I dont need to buy the adapter?

        • Yes you can also do that, but iy will have to be to the gpu that is plugged in the x16 slot.

          • Perfect! Thanks Cip!

          • Hi Ciprian. Another question, I’m starting with 2 GPUs – GTX1070 and RX580. Do I need to plug either of the two in the 16x slot or 2 USB risers in 1x is just fine? I’m connecting my monitor with the RX 580 by the way. Thank you

          • You can place either in 16x slot!

  • Sergio Gonzalez Villanueva

    Hello! How are you?
    I had a big problem with my rig…
    I was powering 4 x RX580 with one sata modular x4 like this
    my riser are this and the sata cable was burned now I am scared and don’t know how I have to supply the power of the risers.
    I saw that your cable extension riser it’s molex but I can’t find any riser in amazon like yours.

    What can I do? Thanks

    It’s safe use my riser powering 1 by 1 sata cable?

    • Hi,

      Modular cables are good
      Risers are also good

      Yes, i recommend to power one riser per cable only.

      Make sure you undervolt the gpus and downclock

  • Abhi Pachhapur


    I screwed up my mother board order. Instead of ordering H97 Anniversary by mistake ordered H97M Anniversary. It has only 1 PCIe 3.0 X16, 2 PCIe 2.0X1.

    Can you use this mother board or send it back and order a new one?
    Please advice.


    • You can, but with 3 GPUs only..

      • Abhi Pachhapur

        Thank you. I replaced mobo with H81 now everything boots up but it fails to boot when GPU is connected to the board.

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