Guide: Build your own Litecoin Mining Rig

Want to get into mining digital currency (bitcoins, litecoins, and/or other altcoins), but have no idea how to go about it? This guide will take a complete beginner through the various steps involved in building your own power-efficient ~1900 kH/sec litecoin mining computer.

Guide: Build your own Litecoin Mining Rig

4/06/2017: This guide is nearly four years old. While the Windows and Linux setup portions are still somewhat useful in a general sense, please don’t attempt to buy any of the hardware recommended in part 1—it’s quite obsolete! If you’re looking for information about modern GPU mining, please click here for my updated 2017 guide on Ethereum mining.

Click the image or heading in each section to jump to that piece of the guide.

Part 1: Hardware

Part 1: Hardware

Learn what components give you the best bang-for-the-buck when it comes to litecoin mining. See what you’ll need to pack multiple GPUs into a single computer for maximum efficiency.

Then, follow a step-by-step guide on how to assemble everything into a plastic milk crate to facilitate airflow and cooling.

Part 2: Linux Setup

Part 2: Linux Setup

Follow a detailed set of instructions that will have you up and running with Linux on your litecoin mining rig in about an hour.

The guide is tailored to the complete Linux beginner and includes every single command that you’ll need to input—no guesswork or incomplete steps!

Part 3: Windows Setup

Part 3: Windows Setup

If Windows is more to your liking, we’ve got a guide for you, too. Covers a complete installation from start to finish: BIOS settings, drivers, mining software, auto-startup, remote admin, and more.

For more advanced users, undervolting your GPUs (to save power) is also included as an optional step in the guide.

Part 4: Optimization

Part 4: Optimization

After you’ve got your litecoin mining rig running, check out the optimization guide for tips on getting the best performance possible from your GPUs via overclocking and cgminer tweaks.

Also learn how to set up an automatic failover mining pool, so that your rig will continue mining even if your primary pool becomes unavailable.

Part 5: FAQ

Part 5: Mining FAQ

Read the rest of the guide, but still have some questions? Chances are it’s covered in this FAQ.

133 Responses to Guide: Build your own Litecoin Mining Rig

  1. Gary says:

    My monitor won’t detect any video input

  2. Stephen Webster says:

    Hey bro, I’ve been mining for about a month with great success. I now have some crazy problems. I build another rig, getting massively insane hardware issues. On my first rig the engine and memory speed is locked and I cannot change it. Does anybody have any clue as to what is going on. I’ve changed bat files, re-installed drivers, blah blah done everything in every forum on crypto on google. No results just fail.

    • Will says:

      Try plugging your monitor in to the GPU that is reading the lower clocks. If you are running certain GPU’s such as the hd series you’ll probably need to create dummy plugs for the vga outputs on your GPU’s.

  3. Matt says:

    This is the most awesome website I’ve run into! Just ordered 3X GIGABYTE R9 280X from newegg… Can’t wait to go hands on! As soon as I get some coins, tip is in order!

  4. Allan says:

    Excellent site/tutorial helped me a lot on building my first rig. Keep up the excellent job. Thanks Cryptobadger!

  5. […] a significant savings on your electricity bill if you’re running a 3×7950 rig (like the one in my guide) 24/7. Unfortunately, the AMD Radeon drivers in linux don’t allow voltage control, so the only […]

  6. Matty says:

    Hey, first, your guide ROCKS. I have almost everything coming in by monday, and I’m hoping to get things going ASAP. Second, you should take a look at putting together a Dogecoin wallet. I know a lot of folks are using your article, and the community loves tipping… hinthint 🙂

  7. velniukas says:

    Hi everyone,

    has ever someone of you experienced repeated breakdown of the motherboard ASRock970 Extreme4 – I used the same rig as described in your guide with 3x Sapphire 7950 and a Corsair/Seasonic 860 W PSU. 5 out of 8 boards crashed independently after a coupe of days and do not power on again. The PSU is working with another board – so it’s not the PSU. any ideas???

    • ezpacer says:

      Velniukas, my first suspicion is that your supplier is peddling damaged boards, possibly from improper storage conditions. At any rate, my asrock 970 ex4 has been working without problems for 8 months. Good luck in finding your solutions!

    • Edwardf says:

      velniukas,
      The RSRock 970EX4 mobo has a CLEAR CMOS botton on the front next to the USB ports and also a RESET button next to the power on button on the rear of the board. There is an explanation of the use of these buttons on page 27 & 30 of the manual that comes with the mobo. I have used these to solve problems with power on and blank screens, etc. with my two rigs from time to time. I do not know exactly why but they seem to work to cure problems when nothing else works. It is very unusual to have that many defective moboards. I have read that some people have forgot to connect the 12v cpu 8 pin power cord to the mobo also which would cause the mobo to appear dead.

      • velniukas says:

        Hi Ezpacer, Hi Edwardf,

        thanks for answering – the clear cmos button or resetting it by shortcutting the Pins as described in the manual didn’t work. I have two boards that are running really fine in the same configuration >2 month(however only with Seasonic PSUs). I think, the corsair AX860 PSU gets a little too hot at 800 Watt at the wall. I had the PSU first in the crate directly next to the board. For the remaining rig I now put the PSU out of the crate to further ease heat dissipation. I think it was bad boards and thermal load in combination – however normally this should not have happened.

        velinukas

  8. Max says:

    Hi,
    I build the rig following the guide with 3 Sapphire hd7950 about 2 months ago and it has been running 24/7 ever since. I few days ago I’ve had a couple of power problems which I though was due to S/W or USB stick. But yesterday the mobo would not start properly so I inspected the rig and found PSU cable partially melted in ATX Power Connector (connector 9,10,11 with 10 particularly black). I have cleaned up the connectors, and the rig is up and running again but would like to know if anyone has experienced this. Should I use powered raisers to lower power flow through mobo connector? I would like to avoid having to buy a new one in the very near future.
    Thanks
    Max

  9. scrypty5000 says:

    Awesome guide! I used this one and the one at http://www.ltcminingcontracts.com/DIYRig.aspx to help me get my rig up and running. I used 5 sapphire 270 gpus for a 2.2 mh/s rate

  10. Johndoe says:

    Hi
    I have two rigs on Xbuntu 12.10 each with two Sapphire 7950. Please see below the specs. Interestingly, I get only around 250-300 Kh/s for each card.

    Rig 1
    ——-
    AsRock 970 E4
    Seasonic Platinum 860
    2 x Sapphire 7950 (SKU: 11196-19-20G)

    Rig 2
    ——–
    MSI 970A-G43 AM3
    Rosewill CAPSTONE-1000-M Continuous 1000W
    2 Sapphire 7950 (SKU: 21196-00-20G)

    I followed Crytobadger instructions word by word. would like to know if anyone faced the same issues. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  11. Johndoe says:

    Adding CG Config Information

    Rig 1
    ./cgminer –scrypt -I 19 –thread-concurrency 21712

    Rig 2
    ./cgminer –scrypt -I 20 -g 1 -w 256 –thread-concurrency 21712 –gpu-engine 1050 –gpu-memclock 1250 –gpu-vddc 1.087 –temp-target 80 –auto-fan

  12. Noob Saibot says:

    FWIW I want to assert some appreciation for this site. Kudos to the author for the appearance of clean organization and the presentation of what appears to a newb as credible information. Kudos to the community for what also appears to a newb as the relaying of credible information. Acts of selflessness; you all should be proud.

    Thank you all!

    Furthermore, I have some questions. I am not a newb in regards to IS in general, but I am a newb in respect to systems built for the sole puropse of mining. I’ve casually researched the topic only on a handful of occasions over the past few months, but I have recently began looking to build a rig.

    Perhaps some of you will be so kind as to shed some light about the current state of GPUs in the way of their prices and their availability? I seem to have came in at a time when GPUs are twice the price that they were roughly 6 months ago. Can any of you enlighten me as to what is coming down the pipe for the nearish future? Are there well-founded expectations for a new generation of GPUs with a lower price tag? If anyone here has good intel on this topic I’d love to be witness to it.

    Moving along, can any of you offer a predictable rate of change for the difficulty factor in mining litecoins? I’ve seen and attempted to read some charts but I have not knowingly found a reliable calculation or black-and-white percentage for difficulty change. I am plainly wondering if a box that I build for Y dollars will be able to pay for itself (and a second rig?) if it performs X kH/s. If said rig pays for itself, (considering that the value of litecoins remains flat, for example) when should I expect the payoff to occur? Again, I am looking for a change in difficulty calculation if such a thing exists.

    tl,dr – With the current prices of rig HW and value of LTC, will a newly built rig with 2 7950s pay for itself before being squashed by the growing rate of difficulty? Can the rate of change of difficulty be measured? If so, how do I do so?

    Pardon moi if my newbishness is overwhelming…
    Thanks

  13. flagit says:

    find some pools, then find their irc channels. they will be better able to direct you.

  14. babu says:

    great tutorials and we also wrote about mining rig topic

    Meet The Litecoin Hillbilly Mining Rig

    http://letstalkpayments.com/meet-litecoin-hillbilly-mining-rig/

  15. delsol7 says:

    Does any know if graphic card companies honor warranties even if the card was used for mining?

  16. BigW says:

    I returned a card to XFX that failed within the first few days. I had not overclocked it so it likely would have failed even if I was using it for something other than mining. Anyway, I don’t really think it’s any of the graphics card companies’ business what I do with my card whether it be play games, watch porn or mine with it. They sell it for my use whatever that may be. On top of that, they are making a ton of money selling graphics cards for mining. They should be happy with the increase in business and with that comes an increase in warranty claims.

  17. delsol7 says:

    Has anyone got this message on cgminer?

    Error -6: Creating Command Queue.
    Failed to reinit GPU thread 2

    I have no clue how to resolve this…. I am at normal setting on GPUs. Barely any overclocking and TC is also in 8000s. (I don’t remember exact number.) I goggled and saw someone saying something about TC being high but this particular rig has been running over 2 month without problem. Out of no where this error shows up and graphic card shows as DEAD on cgminer. Yet, if i plug in monitor, it displays fine. hum……

  18. I think it would be nice to build a hybrid system or farm with both GPUs for Script mining and Bitcoin Mining. Checkout the latest pci-e bitcoin mining card technology from CoinTerra http://cointerra.com/product/gsxi/ .

    You can drop these in a rig just like a GPU.

  19. Kurtis says:

    We’re a gaggle of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your site offered us with valuable info to work on.

    You’ve performed a formidable process and our entire neighborhood shall be thankful
    to you.

  20. fridgeman says:

    So if i went for a mining rig with 5 x radeon R9 290’s that i will leave 24/7 to mine.
    is it still worth it in this economy? or have i missed my chance?

    what do you guys think?

  21. velniukas says:

    serious breakdown of HD7950 Sapphire Grafic cards:

    Hi everyone – a while ago I reported in this forum a strong breakdown of ASROCK Extreme4 Motherboards – however I was mistaken – instead I have a significant breakdown of my grafic cards. I use Sapphire HD7950 OC Boost cards with the rig of cryptobadger. After some days/weeks the cards break down in the form, that they are shortcut so the psu power supply breaks down. changing the broken card in the rig and everthing works fine again. Temp not beyond 74C, GPU-Clock: 1025 – 1050 MHz, Mem: 1250 MHz, Volt: 1.084 -1.125V – Power consumpton of the rig: 750 – 820 W, PSU: Corsair AX860W so everthing in the right range – but 7 out of 28 GPU-Cards are already down!!!
    Any idea where the heck to problem lies?

    • CryptoBadger says:

      Wow, that’s some bad luck.

      Are the rigs plugged into any kind of surge protector/battery backup/power conditioner? Make sure that you’re using a quality surge protector at the very least. If your power isn’t that reliable, consider a UPS.

      Did you buy all of the GPUs at once? Unfortunately it’s possible that you were unlucky and received a bad batch. For example, I’ve used several dozens of MSI 7950 cards and I’ve only had to RMA 7 of them. All 7 that went bad were purchased in the same batch (I bought 9 cards total, so nearly all of them died), all within the first 6 weeks. Luckily the warranty on GPUs is generally very good, so while dealing with the RMA process is a minor hassle, hopefully you’ll have much better luck with the replacements.

      • velniukas says:

        Hi cryptobadger,

        thanks for your comment – unfortunately it seems to be a systematic problem. I’m living in Stuttgart, Germany and I assume, that the power is here around very reliable. – I experience the same problem also in France where I have a small bureau to save on my electricity bill. (9 ct per kWh instead of 28 ct (euro, not dollar)).
        It is always the first GPU and it always happens, when there is a small cold breeze, eg. window opens, door opens, ventilation to the outside starts, etc…
        I’m now trying to run the rigs only with 2 GPUs to see, if it is related to the PSU load. So far, all cards where from one supplier – however exept 3 cards I bought all from this supplier in one row. With one HD7970 I also have a breakdown (after 3 months) but the error is different.

        As long as I dond’t find the problem, I haven’t got a stable system… and with this Litecoin-prices and electricity bills I’m far of profitability.

        cheers

  22. Chris Conner says:

    Does anyone have experience with the H81S2 motherboard? No one seems to be using it yet, but it might be a more cost effective alternative to the H81 Pro BTC. Specs here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I8IJOD0

  23. Jess says:

    Copied batch file to start folder but doesnt start cgminer upon computer restart. Any ideas on how to resove this issue?

  24. Walt says:

    I am using a ASUS HD7970 DirectCU II GPU. Do I still need to install the Catalyst drivers and SDK for this card and if so – would you please advise which version or link me to it?
    Thank you and regards

  25. Chuck says:

    Thanks for this guide! very useful! I have one request, could you add on “How to install scryptN miner” along side cgminer? My GPU rig cant compete with the asics so I want to switch over to VertCoin, SpainCoin, etc…

    Thanks!

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