Build a Modern Crypto Mining Computer in 2021
This DIY project probably won’t make you rich, but it will help you understand how Bitcoin works
Earlier this year, I wrote an article about mining Bitcoin on any PC and also shared the details of a cryptocurrency mining PC I built in 2018. In mining a little Bitcoin of my own, I developed a much deeper understanding of how cryptocurrencies and the blockchain work (and made over $1,600 in the process).
How to Mine a Little Bitcoin on Nearly Any PC
How to experiment with Bitcoin without the risk of losing your house
What if you want to graduate to the next level, though, and build your own basic cryptocurrency mining PC using modern parts in 2021? I decided to find out, so I enlisted the help of my friend Adam, a computer engineer at a security company. (When I asked how he wanted to be identified for this piece, he requested “Adam the Magnificent,” but let’s just stick with “Adam”).
Adam designed a comprehensive “bill of materials” for a modern, home-built cryptocurrency mining PC using only parts available through major retailers like Amazon or Newegg. I bought all the parts, built the PC, and have been testing its mining capabilities. Here’s exactly how I did it and how you can build your own modern mining PC, too.
Mining refers to the mathematical process a computer performs in order to help create new cryptocurrency coins and to register transactions on the blockchain. Most cryptocurrency mining PCs use a graphics card, or GPU, to perform their mining operations. You can mine with a CPU, but it’s not nearly as efficient.
Here’s the bad news about building a mining PC in 2021: With crypto’s insane price spikes, finding a GPU today can be incredibly challenging, and in the words of The Verge, GPU prices are “utterly out of control.” Prospective miners now pay up to $850 for a GPU that once cost only a few hundred dollars. This guide, therefore, assumes that you’ve either finagled a GPU through some back-alley transaction (don’t tell Debugger the details) or that you already have…