build your own gpu mining rig for ethereum and litecoin

With Bitcoin and other digital coins such as Ethereum and Litecoin skyrocketing in value over the past year, it is now profitable to start mining again.  If you’re not familiar with what Bitcoin or what mining is, please read my other post about How to Profit from Bitcoin.  Building a mining rig is really like growing your own money tree.  The rig will run and crank away and create wealth (in digital currency) while you sit back and reap the rewards.  It takes a little tech savviness but anyone can learn how to build their own rigs.  

This post covers how to build a GPU mining rig that you can use to mine scrypt-based coins such as Ethereum and Litecoin.  Bitcoin is different and is extremely hard to mine.  You can’t mine Bitcoin profitably without having a large data center full of specialized Bitcoin miners.  But it is profitable to mine Ethereum and Litecoin, sell them, and then buy Bitcoin with the earned income.  A few years ago when you consider the value of the coins, the cost of hardware and the cost of electricity – mining simply wasn’t profitable.  But Either Ethereum hovering above $90 and Litecoin hovering around $30, pay back time is a little bit under 4 months.  And if the value of the coins increases, payback time can be as little as 2-3 months and after that everything mined will be profit.

CoinMama: Buy Bitcoins with Credit Card

Mining Calculator

If you want to calculate your payback time or ROI, use this mining calculator.  You can select a few digital currency and the calculator allows you to plug in things such as hashing power, power consumption, cost per KW/h.

Build Your Own GPU Mining Rig for Ethereum and Litecoin

No Case

First and foremost, if you want to increase ROI and get the most bang for the buck, forget about computer case and fancy frames.  You’ll want to build out your rig in a plastic storage or milk crate.  The plastic crate is cheap and allows you to fit as many as 6 GPUs.  The openness of the crate also allows maximum airflow to dissipate heat.  Of course, things won’t look the greatest but when your mining for profit, you want to save as much money as you can.  Getting a professional mining rig frame or case will tack on a few hundreds of dollars.

Image result for mining rig milk crate

1200W Gold Certified Power Supply

The standard power supply in a computer can be anywhere from 300W-500W.  But when your mining and you are powering up to 6 GPUs, you want to make sure you have enough power.  1200W is what you’re looking for and you want to make sure that it is Gold or better certified for efficiency.  Also, modular power supplies allow you to configure your cables individually which helps greatly when building out your rig.  Here are three I recommend.

Motherboard + CPU Combination

For mining, you want to maximize the number of GPUs your motherboard will support. Most motherboards inside computers can handle 1 or 2 GPUs, you want to use ones that support up to 6.  These are usually hard to find in stores so getting them online will be your best bet.  As for CPU, you just want something basic such as the Celeron G1840.  Mining does not tax the CPU; all of the work is done on the GPUs.

Graphics Cards (a.k.a GPUs)

When it comes to picking GPUs, you want the select the best bang for the buck.  You’re looking for something with high hash rate, low cost and low power usage.  You can start with as little as 1 GPU or as much as 6 GPUs within one rig.

  1. ​​​Radeon Rx 580 – This card can mine at 29 MH/s using only 135 watts of electricity – It is the best all around card for mining Ethereum and Litecoin.  
  2. Radeon Rx 480 –    Second best card for mining. 27 MH/s using only 150 watts of electricity
  3. Radeon Rx 470  –   Third best card for mining. 25 MH/s using only 140 watts of electricity.


Single 4GB DDR3 1600Mhz RAM is all you need.  Nothing more and nothing fancy.  

Powered Riser Cables

In order to mount the GPUs within the crate, you’ll need riser PCI cables to extend the connection from the motherboard.  Get as many PCI Express 1X to 16X Powered Riser Cables as you can to match up with the number of GPUs you have.

SSD Hard Drive

A basic 120GB Solid State Drive for installing the OS and running your mining software.


You’ll need a basic Monitor and Mouse/Keyboard combo to configure all the software and mining settings.

Box Fan

You’ll need at least one box fan per rig.

Operating System

If you’re into Linux, Eth OS is a free 64-bit Linux OS that mines Ethereum, Zcash, Monero, and other GPU-minable coins.  If you’re a windows guy, here is Windows 10.

Mining Software

This is a great guide on how to set up the software for mining Ethereum. For Litecoin, take a look here detailing how to use cgminer.

Step-by-Step Video Assembly

This is a great video I found on YouTube that demonstrates how to build a rig inside a milk crate.

Don’t Forget About Your Wallet

As your mining, you’ll need somewhere to store your coins.  You can store it within a wallet you control on your computer or mobile device or you can use an online wallet like with Coinbase.

In Conclusion

This blog post is vastly different from most of the other posts I have on Flipping Income.  I wanted to show that growing a money tree is possible these days in the form of mining coins with a home built rig.  With Bitcoin over $2300 a coin and Ethereum and Litecoin both skyrocketing, mining can generate serious money and huge profit in your bank.  Good Luck!

CoinMama: Buy Bitcoins with Credit Card

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