Thread: Can you give me general advice for buying PC parts?

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  1. #1 Can you give me general advice for buying PC parts? 
    Senior Member Karim D. Ghantous's Avatar
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    Quick background: I'm a Mac user who also has a couple of old laptops, one with Windows and one with Linux, and I'm familiar with all platforms. I do important stuff only on the Mac. However, I do want to build a mining rig, and I do need some advice on a few things.

    The mining rig will run Linux, which is the easy part. The rig will initially be a CPU miner, although I do want the option of adding up to half a dozen GPUs. The calculations for hashes per watt will take some research, but I'm most of the way there. What I don't know about are power supplies.

    I'm pretty sure I won't need more than 500W. Maybe 600W to be safe. Power supplies have ratings, so gold is the most efficient. But if a PS has no rating, can it still be good? The simpler question: what PS should I buy? Tell me!

    As for CPUs, I'm going to wait for the new AMD generation. Which of course will probably involve new mainboards. Those newer CPUs are imminent, and anyway, I'm not going to buy anything for at least a month.

    I'm going for efficiency, not outright performance. Recently I benchmarked an old Dell PowerEdge rack mount server, with dual 6-core Xeons and two 15,000rpm Cheetah drives. I tested both Ethereum and Monero. It drew over 300W while mining for each coin. This is perfectly fine for the colder months, as you are basically earning coins (or fractions thereof) while heating your house. But that entire system is way less efficient than just one GTX 1060, which can draw as little as 87W for up to double the hashrate.

    Any general advice would also be welcomed.
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    Senior Member Chad Lancaster's Avatar
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    I'd check on a mining forum to get the best answer. There are power supplies that the fan will turn off in low consumption but I'll take a wild guess that the ratings are probably like car mpg ratings where it's part marketing and part truth and if you want the most efficient then you'll have to check reviews with specific numbers.
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    I reckon if you're considering building a mining rig in 2019 you might be a bit late at it?
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Karim D. Ghantous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Peterson View Post
    I reckon if you're considering building a mining rig in 2019 you might be a bit late at it?
    It's never too late to build a miner. When coin prices are down, you'd be better off buying the coin, but miners are useful as they add nodes to the network.
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  5. #5  
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    I guess you're a lot more bullish about this than I am.

    Anyway, I highly recommend using https://pcpartpicker.com/

    Not only does it have recommended builds you can follow, but also it can check for any compatibility issues, and point you in the direction of the cheapest prices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karim D. Ghantous View Post
    I'm pretty sure I won't need more than 500W. Maybe 600W to be safe. Power supplies have ratings, so gold is the most efficient. But if a PS has no rating, can it still be good? The simpler question: what PS should I buy? Tell me!

    As for CPUs, I'm going to wait for the new AMD generation. Which of course will probably involve new mainboards. Those newer CPUs are imminent, and anyway, I'm not going to buy anything for at least a month.

    If you're adding half a dozen decent GPUs then no way in hell is 600W going to be enough!

    When it comes to PSU ratings, *AVOID* if it has no certification. That is a recipe for trouble. Avoid if it is "white" certified (as that is next to meaningless).

    As for AMD's next generation of Ryzen, nah, they're sticking with the same socket. AMD has even promised last year to stick with the same socket all the way through to 2020! Unlike Intel which never even says such a thing, let alone doing it.

    I just did a new PC build myself (literally, I'm waiting on the parts to arrive... should arrive today), and one of the reasons I went for AMD (other than them being the best value!) is because AMD also serves you well in the long run when it comes to upgrade paths. (and this has been true for a loooooong time, even over a decade ago or more, then AMD still treated their customers better than Intel when it comes to keeping future upgrade paths open)
    Last edited by David Peterson; 04-09-2019 at 09:27 PM.
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