About CryptoBadger

A wild cryptobadger!

A wild cryptobadger!

I’m a 30-something  software engineer, technology enthusiast, and general all-around-geek living in the greater New York City area.

I became interested in Bitcoin in late 2010 after discovering the bitcointalk forums. The idea of a decentralized, quasi-anonymous, secure payment system with its own built-in method for gradual distribution of currency was fascinating to me. I dabbled in mining a bit, but didn’t have the foresight to take it seriously until much more recently.

Today, I follow cryptocurrency news on a daily basis and run a small mining operation out of my basement. Through this site, my hope is that I can share some of the knowledge that I’ve picked up over the last few years, as well as provide a consolidated source of major digital currency news.

If you’d like to send me a private message, click here.


21 Responses to About CryptoBadger

  1. david g says:

    Great guide to building a rig. Im getting ready to make the jump and hope you can help with a few questions.
    What changes in hardware would i need to make to run 5 GPUS?
    What changes would I need to make to run 7970’s?
    Do you see an advantage/disadvantage to either?
    I live in NYC, I’d love to pick your brain or just show my thanks with a killer bottle of wine if youd like.

    • CryptoBadger says:

      To run more than 3 GPUs safely, you need to be aware of a couple things – check out my FAQ on that topic. Essentially, if you want to use the hardware listed in the guide, but expand to 5x 7950s, you’ll need to use at least 2 powered risers (the other 3 can be unpowered if you want to save a bit of money), and you’ll need to upgrade to a ~1250 watt PSU or bigger.

      I don’t usually recommend 7970s for mining. They’re fine GPUs, and properly configured they’ll get slightly higher hashrates than 7950s, but the speed advantage is usually canceled out by the larger power draw. They’re also about 30% more expensive up front.

      I’m in Fairfield county, but perhaps I’ll hit you up next time I’m down in NYC with some time to kill. =)

  2. david g says:

    Yeah I’m the ass who doesnt read FAQ before emailing you…. Sorry, thanks.

  3. david g says:

    Another question for you.
    If I adjust the rig to run 4 GPU’s, Can I use 2 for litecoin & 2 for bitcoin?


    • CryptoBadger says:

      Yes, you’d need to use the cgminer –device|-d switch and run multiple instances of cgminer (eg: one instance mining litecoins on 2 gpus, and another instance mining bitcoins on 2 gpus). You can see more info on the –device switch here in the cgminer documentation. Just remember that your devices start at zero (eg: passing –device -d 0 -d 1 would tell cgminer to use your first two GPUs in that instance).

  4. david g says:

    SO Im taking your specs and spending more as I have a pretty good electric rate and In the hopes of LTC going up in value ill spend a bit more up front to be able to get more.
    Im looking at the following:

    AMD Sempron 145 2.8GHz Single-Core Processor

    ASRock 970 EXTREME4 ATX AM3+ Motherboard

    2x’s G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

    Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

    4x’s Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card (3-Way CrossFire)

    SeaSonic X Series 1250W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply

    Ive ordered 2 powered and 5 unpowered risers so I have extras.

    What am I missing? What are your thoughts? How is being awesome going for you? Thanks for all your help I will donate to the cause once im running.

    • CryptoBadger says:

      I’d stick with 7950s – they’re far cheaper, use less power, and only give hashrates a little less than what 7970s will give you.

      But if electricity costs aren’t much of a concern, 7970s aren’t a terrible choice either. If you do stick with the 7970s, you might want to upgrade the PSU a little bit, since the 7970s will pull more than 7950s will. A 1400+ watt model should be plenty.

      Otherwise everything else looks good!

  5. Ayoria says:

    You’ve convinced me to invest.

    I’ve got everything picked out and sitting in my shopping cart but I wanted to get a recommendation on a power supply unit that would be good enough to handle 5x msi 7950s

    I was recommended SeaSonic as a brand by you and reddit but what kind of wattage would I be looking at? somebody said about 200~ per card and 150-200 for the system but $250 for a 1250 seasonic psu isn’t cheap if it ends up not being able to do the job

    as a side note you wouldn’t happen to have screenshots of your hash rates running off of the powered risers on the x1 pci-e slots would you? I’m curious how the single lane effects productivity

    • CryptoBadger says:

      I pull right around 700w with 3x 7950, so a 1250w PSU should be fine for 5x 7950s, assuming you’re running Windows and plan to undervolt. If you’re not going to undervolt, then you might be pretty close to the PSU’s limit running five GPUs. You may want to step up to a 1400+ watt PSU just to be on the safe side.

      The only rig that I’ve built using 1x risers lives at a friend’s house now. I don’t have screenshots, but he gets pretty much the same hashrates that I do. There shouldn’t be a performance difference for mining between 1x and 16x risers.

      • Ayoria says:

        Ah okay thank you very much for the quick answer! I was planning on running xubuntu but I noticed you saw higher power draw even without a harddrive so I think I may use windows after all

  6. Cisco says:

    CryptoBadger, firstly, many thanks for the super informative website, you rock!

    I will be building a rig based on your guide, but would like to use 4-5 cards.

    I noticed in the FAQ you say “4 GPUs is the limit in Windows.” but two comments up on this page you say “a 1250w PSU should be fine for 5x 7950s, assuming you’re running Windows”

    So is windows able to run 5 GPU or not?

    And would the motherboard in your guide suffice for 5X 7950 ?

    If so, would I be risking damaging the MB by running 5X GPU?

    I guess right now I am battling between two 3X GPU setups and 1 5X GPU setup, please let me know your thoughts.

    Cheers bro!

    • CryptoBadger says:

      Yeah, my comment was kind of confusing. I meant that a 1250w PSU would be adequate for a 5x 7950 setup running windows, because you can undervolt the video cards so that they each draw about 40-50w less. With linux you usually don’t have that option, so stepping up to a 1400-1500w PSU would be necessary.

      However, getting 5 GPUs running under windows is a feat in itself. I have seen a few people on the bitcointalk forums claiming success getting more than 4 GPUs running in windows, but the overwhelming majority seem to end up stuck with 4 GPUs that work, and 1-2 that sit idle. So while 5+ GPUs under windows appears possible, you might be asking for a headache if you pursue it.

      The motherboard I recommend should handle 5 GPUs just fine, provided that at least two of the risers you use are powered.

      I like to limit my setups to 3 GPUs, although expanding to 4 isn’t much more complicated. Stopping at 3 means you don’t have to deal with powered risers, and leaves plenty of space between each GPU, which means you won’t have to resort to external cooling solutions.

      Maybe start with a 3 GPU rig that includes an upgraded PSU? Once you’re happy with how it’s running, you can decide if you want to try adding a 4th (and 5th) GPU – if you don’t get good results adding more into your existing rig, you could always build out a second one.

  7. Cisco says:

    Thank you for the detailed rely, I appreciate it!

    I will take your advice and start with 3 and a 1250 seasoinc PSU, then I will build out to 4 when I have things dialed in. After that I will copy the build.

    The only issue now is I can’t find the MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC anywhere… I am in Hong Kong /Shenzhen area. I can find the Vapor X you mentioned, but I do not want to deviate from the plan because then I am trying an untested combo of MB/settings/FM etc…And I do not have the “know how” or time to tweak settings for weeks trying to make things work.

    Have you built any systems with the Vapor X yet? And do you have any links where I can see successful builds with good temps and hashrates?

  8. Ayoria says:

    Holy boiling biscuits. After a combined total of 11 or 12 hours working on this project I finally have something to show for it (1940 Kh, 1 none functioning usb 3.0 controller, 1 card reaching 101 C and lots of boxes!) I am excited! Just wanted to show my appreciation for you because I ran into so many stupid problems I wouldn’t have been able to solve without this website. I will buy you a friggin 12 pack of whatever you like once the litecoin start rolling :3
    Stay awesome my friend.

  9. TQ says:

    Damn… smart AND good looking!! 😉

  10. Sharon says:

    I think the world needs a CryptoOwl.

  11. Pusker says:

    I am running a 3 GPU (Radeon 7850)rig with Corsair RM Series 750 Watt. I know it’s not the best GPU to have but based on the price at that time I thought that’s suits me. I do have 1 PCIE express left on my MB (1x to 16 x). Now I am thinking to add another GPU (may be 7950) . but before I bought another one I want to make sure my power supply can handle it. My Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor shows me that I am using around (517-525 watt). In this case can my power supply handle an extra GPU and if it does what’s the best option for me? Thanks!

  12. Eugene says:


    Thanks for your great guide! I’ve been running a rig build by using your guide for about 3 months now and it performs just fine.
    I did notice that the last couple of weeks, even though hashrate is the same, it takes longer to mine coins.

    I used to mine 5 litecons at ‘give me coins’ pool in about 8 days. Now it has increased to about 13-14 days. I did see difficulty going up but not substantial. Is there any explanation for that?

    What are your personal thoughts on the Titan miner? Is it still worth inversting 10k in a miner or will the difficulty go up real quickly now that professional miners are entering the litecoin scene?


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