Explainer Side Notes

A Personal Blog from Joe Rodgers

My New Journey

On March 1st I started a new job on HPE's Marketing team. I studied marketing in copllege and have been somewhat obsessed with digital marketing for the past decade. In m y current role, I'll be responsible for all our field marketing efforts for the Telco space. In other words, I'll see you at MWC Americas! I am on day 3 and can tell that this job is going to be like a crazy juggling act as I'll be runnung many events simultaneously and driving HPE awareness for our champion products. I'm really excited and feel a new sense of pride in my contributions to the company. I am very thankful for my role in sales and have learned a lot about myself and how the company operates. I will especially miss my partners, teammates and friends. The good news is that this is not over, I am just getting started. This industry is too small and I know I will work with many of them again in the future. I'll keep you posted on this journey. Thanks for stopping by.

liquid error

This is a test to see if a new post will cancel out the liquid error.

Mining Rig Update 5 - I spoke too soon

After 12 hours of running with all the cards loaded, I experienced continuous crashing and BSOD.

I troubleshooted to the best of my ability by reloaded drivers, swapping cards on PCI slots, and even botting 1 card at a time to see where the problem was originating.

After all that work, my conclusion is that my power supply (1000w Platinum) can't handle all the cards under 100% load.

On a side note, I ordered a XFX Vega 64 today.... pretty cool shit. Awesome hashrates from my research.

I am now considering my next move... is it an additional rig or scale out this one.

Also, I am not sure how the Vega card is going to play with my 1070 ti's.

We'll just have to wait and see.

My dream rig would be to have a proper frame with an all Vega build out but I don't know how I can get my hands on that many cards.

I will keep you posted.

P.S. So you're probably asking yourself what I'm doing with that extra 1070ti... I loaded it in my personal desktop and my 43" 4K TV is running games at ultra without hesitation. Not sure if i will load up Claymore to run over nite but that probably makes sense.

Mining Rig Update 4

It's been one hell of a holiday. I have not done any newsletter posts and I feel a bit guilty about that but it's not like I didn't think about cranking out posts. I did manage to pick up a few more graphics cards and after 12 hours of troubleshooting the rig, I have it running decently.

I'm seeing 178 Mh/s on Claymore Dual miner after adding thge two new GPU's.

I purchased (2) NVIDIA GTX 1070ti straight from NVIDIA's website. They set me back quite a few bucks but it's been a learning experience.

For one, the NVIDIA cards required no additional "bios flashing" out of the box. I downloaded drivers, plugged in cards, and booted and everything was recognized. I hopped in MSI afterburner and cranked up memory and BAM! I'm getting 31+ Mh/s per card.

Here's the bad part, I can't get the AMD cards back up to 30 Mh/s. I've played with every setting I can get my hands on but i get BSOD whenever I start mining.

I'll figure it out because I need to see 180 Mh/s on this rig because it's so close.
I think I want to max out this board for my next step, but I need additional risers and power supply. My frame will easily accomodate 4 additional cards but 6 will probably be pushing it. I think I'll push it to the max just to say i did it.
Cable management is not a word in this rigs vocabulary.

Mining Rig Update 3

Like a drug addict, I wanted more. Every moment I was awake my mind was on it. My dreams were filled with desire, I wanted what I did not have.

I gave in.

I went to Microcenter and got a couple more GPU! I need that Mh/s BUMP!

Monday I went picked up (2) of the MSI RX 580 8GB OC Armor. I read good things and MSI is a reputable brand. They set me back $300 per card + I bought the 2 year protection plan. I brought them home and had no problems installing the first card into my rig.

Then I added card 2. Radeon recognized it and I thought I was ready to continue mining. I fired up Claymore and was getting 19 Mh/s on the new cards. Fine I thought. After a minute or so my PC crashed.

I started questioning what I had done wrong. I only messed with basic OC in Radeon control panel, I hadn't touched the BIOS.

I restarted the rig and watched the new cards in Radeon. One of the new cards fans wasn't spinning faster than 139 RPM. This was causing the card to overheat and when that happened the rig crashed.

I called into tech support at Microcenter and after fiddling around with them we determined the card's fan motor wasn't reporting back to the chip properly. I was advised to return it.


Back to Microcenter last night.

I still didn't have my fix. I wanted more power. Chris @ Microcenter pointed me towards the PowerColor Red Devil RX 580 8gb. He said they've been around a long time and will do well in my rig. So I bought two. They cost $29 higher each than the MSI Armor cards.

When I got home and unboxed the Red Devil's I was blown away at how massive and heavy these cards were. The MSI Armor cards looked like little baby farts compared to these big red giants.

They installed with ease. Both good cards, Radeon recognized them and I was getting 19 Mh/s out of the box. Not too bad.

Now something I've been wanting to do but too scared to do is flash new BIOS onto the cards. After hours of YouTubing and forum reading I downloaded the necessary SW and found .rom's that were respected in the community and flashed all my cards.

Now all my cards average 29 Mh/s. FUCKING UNREAL. This means faster time to value and I will be adding more cards to the rig on the next paycheck!

My next goal is to learn about "undervolting".It helps you significantly reduce power consumption. We have very low power costs here in TX but I still haven't received a utility bill post mining rig activity. I will keep you posted.

Here are some pics of the new cards and a screenshot of the new Claymore results.

a16z on crypto

This is one of the best explainers on crypto. No pun intended.

Building the Rig

I finally built a rig. It’s a personal goal that’s been lingering since last fall. I learned quite a lot in this process. Multi GPU setups and mining software can be challenging. Cryptocurrency is tough, this Ethereum wallet is hard to wrap your head around. But it’s been fun. I will probably pick up some more GPU’s from Microcenter over the next couple months just to fill this bad boy up. 

Here’s the unofficial order of operations for this whole thing:

Parts List:

  • ASUS 19 GPU motherboard
  • Pentium processor
  • (2) XFX RX 580 GTS Black Edition
  • 8GB DDR4 Memory
  • 120GB SSD
  • 1000 Platinum Power Supply
  • WiFi Adapter
  • USB Boot Drive
  • Thermal Compund
  1. Went to Microcenter and purchased all components for mining rig.
  2. Got home put parts together and no boot. I googled the mobo and apparently this thing was rushed to market and there have been many complaints of the drivers. I couldn’t get this thing to boot. Here is my first big goof up, I didn’t purchase a power switch. I had an old case sitting in the corner wo I attached the power switch connectors from the case to the ASUS mobo and it still wouldn’t boot. After a couple hours I gave up, repackaged the mobo and moved on.
  3. Now that I couldn’t build my rig I was sitting here starting at my shiny new RX 580 graphics cards… so I slapped one in my desktop PC and I was off to the races. Once the HW was installed, pulling the drivers down from AMD’s website was a breeze. I setup the cryptocurrency mining software and let it do it’s thing. After tweaking the settings in the GPU management SW, I was able to mine an average of $45 USD per month in ETH. Pretty damn cool.
  4. I returned the ASUS mobo to Microcenter with no trouble and ordered an alternate mobo off Amazon. This time I opted for a more stable mining board, the ASRock H110 Pro BTC+. Definitely the best mobo name I’ve ever heard. I picked up a power switch and a DVI to VGA display adapter too.
  5. That same day, I stopped by ACE hardware to gather supplies to build a chassis. This called for 1x1 wood for the frame and a bunch of angle frame supports. I used a handsaw for the wooden pieces and let’s just say that cutting a right angle is not my strong suit. The frame got built.
  6. I began installing the components and eventually had a PC mounted in the frame. It looks like shit. I powered it up with a single GPU and guess what, it booted right into the Windows installation screen. I plugged in my key and began installation. Then it asked me where to install windows. Oops again, I forgot to install the SSD.
  7. Reboot
  8. Now I am getting black screen. Nothing is showing up. I try using the GPU for display, nope. I go back to mobo display out, nope.
  9. Power down
  10. Uninstall GPU
  11. Reboot, nothing.
  12. Reboot again. Finally Windows installer comes back and I enter key and make sure SSD is installed.
  13. Now I am in Windows. There is no wifi.
  14. Go back to desktop PC and download drivers for TPlink WiFi adapter and install them on rig.
  15. BOOM, now I have WiFi.
  16. Reboot for safe measure and now install Windows critical updates.
  17. Back to the GPU. Get a single RX 580 installed but the drivers are giving me serious heartburn. It’s not showing up in device manger. I search for a solution and can only find articles saying to pull down a legacy AMD software called Catalyst that manages old HW. It works. Now Device Manager sees the GPU.
  18. Reboot.
  19. Install Claymore mining software and fire it up.
  20. It works. I am getting 15 MH/s. I was getting 18.5 MH/s on my desktop. WTF is going on here.
  21. Go to sleep.
  22. Wake up and try to install GPU 2. It won’t show up in device manager. I am so frustrated. This is the GPU that was in my desktop so I know it works. I have Catalyst installed too and it is recognizing the other GPU. Nothing is working.
  23. Download AMD Uninstall program that wipes all AMD SW and Drivers.
  24. Start from scratch. Install AMD Relive and it works. I am prompted to update the AMD SW and do it but get errors. I try this 3 times but the update will not take. So I am stuck on the old version.
  25. Change GPU bios from Graphics mode to Compute mode, and then overclock memory and cpu.
  26. Reboot.
  27. Launch Claymore.
  28. Now I’m getting 40+ MH/s on the rig.


It’s ugly, cable management is nonexistent, but damnit, it’s mine and it’s running and for now, it’s generating money. So weird. Here’s a final pic too.