Thanks, whats a decent motherboard to use? As far as cpu and memory doesnt have to be anything fance right since the GPU does all the mining? Do you recommend a linux based machine or windows?
Well motherboard depends on how far you want to take things. If you want just one rig with 3 cards for example I would go with:
- An inexpensive mother board with 2 x 1 slots and 1 x 16 slot (remember to pre-order extenders) don't get an intel board because you want the inexpensive processor.
- Buy the cheapest 3 core processor, when the sales person trys to mock you (in a subtle way) smile inside he's an idiot. At work I have old 2 core computers that have been running for years. It only has to be really fast if you use that speed.
- I have occassionally had problems with only 4 gig of ram. You can try buying 4 only; but don't be surprised if you need 4 more.
- When I first built my rig I was a linux virgin. I loaded Mint and had it hashing in about 4 hours. The linux version of cgminer downloaded from the GIT was not compiled for scrypt and I was lucky and found a guide showing how to compile it (that may have changed with the latest version). I do think though if your not familar with it and don't have good computer skills spend the money on windows and get hashing. Also alot of people are throwing away old computers with XP on them (and the windows sticker) I have several windows computers running with a free computer licence legally given to me when someone gave me a gift of an old computer. Linux will run off a USB if you don't want to buy a hard drive. I think microsoft has avoided allowing this; although, it might be possible with windows 8 (I do not know)
- buy good video cards (this is where you want to spend your money). I may build a rig soon with 7970s; but, feel right now they are over priced.
- with the new version of cgminer and 3 7950s I broke through 850 watts (I was at 842 watts before the new version). I have a quality 850 watt power supply and it's holding it's own. That said I would recommend a 1000 power supply single rail. Also make sure it has 6 pci-e plugs (although there are work arounds). If you decide you want 3 7970s you might want a bigger power supply (If I get around to building a new rig I will come back and edit this info).
If you see a single hardware error your configuration is to aggressive or just wrong. I run my cards slower than what others claim. My intention is that my card be hashing still this time next year. My 7950s currently hash at 530 kh/s and below 70 degrees. I can push them harder; but, will I be applying for a warranty return if I do? If I have a card fail before that year is up I will come back and edit this post.