The Minimum Hardware Specifications for ZCash Mining


#1

I am in the interest of developing a new mining rig dedicated to mining ZCash. As the genesis block has recently been mined, there are currently minimal studies on which computer graphics cards and processors have the most viable hash rates. For those more experienced than myself on this subject matter, I would be interested in knowing what recommended computer specifications should be desired for ZCash CPU & GPU mining rigs; specifically of the following components:
* RAM
* Processor
* Graphics Card
* Motherboard
* Operating System (only for non-Linux mining solutions)

Thanks for reading.


#2

ETH mining rigs seem to be well suited for Zcash as well. So you're going to want to find a motherboard that has a minimum of 6 PCI Express slots, single lane (1x) is fine. You're going to want 8GB of RAM, an SSD, and a decent CPU, preferably an i3 or better (I've had some trouble with Celeron). You need a big power supply, and definitely don't cheap out here; go with a Gold or Platinum rating with 1200W or higher. You'll also need PCIe riser cables, the powered USB ones are the best.

Finally your GPU's will be by far the biggest cost and the most important decision. If ROI is your main concern, then go for 470s or 480s. You could also buy used GPU's for a fraction of the cost, so you'll have to do some research into comparing the performance of various cards. Unfortunately, there's no pre-compiled list for Zcash, but this forum is the best place to start.

I have 2 rigs with the following components:

6 x RX480 MSI Gaming X 8GB
ASRock H97 Anniversary ATX Motherboard
Intel Celeron G1840 CPU
G.Skill 8GB RAM
Samsung 750 EVO 120GB SSD
EVGA G2 Supernova 1300W PSU

Getting about 180 Sol/S per rig with Genoil's miner on Windows 10.


#3

Very good info here. Do you notice any benefit from 8gb vs 4? I only got 4 for my mining rig with G1840 CPU. What issues did you have with Celeron vs i3? I3 is so expensive I can't imagine it's worth it over getting another GPU.

If you're going to mine with more than 4 cards on Windows, you should go for Windows 10 (Code 41 issue, even with the 6gpu fix). Otherwise 7/8 should work fine.

Also, avoid Skylake motherboards. Several of them have issues running 6 or 7 cards. I got an MSI Gaming 5 Z97 and it runs 7 cards with no problems (just had to set PCI-E mode to 8/4/4 in BIOS instead of default 16/0/0).


#4

@somestranger On my Windows machine, G1840 wouldn't run with the first few versions of Genoil's miner (something to do with AVX2, but it's been fixed). It also can't handle multiple threads per GPU, as some people are starting up to 3 miner instances per card. On my linux machine I'm running zogminer, but it can't even handle 2 miner instances per card. From what I've seen on these forums, I'm not the only one having problems with Celeron.

As far as 8GB vs. 4GB goes, I don't think there's much of a difference. I bought all 8GB cards for resale value and longevity; they won't become obsolete as quickly. Will it be worth the extra $50? Probably not.


#5

Re 8/4GB I meant the system RAM not the card memory. 8GB is better for e.g. 470/480 because it has higher clocks. Not so sure that more system RAM helps though.


#6

Ah, I misunderstood. You're right, 4GB is sufficient. I got 8GB because I got a good deal on RAM, but there's no increase in performance.