Once you’ve built a GPU mining rig and have it producing cryptocurrency it’s hard to shut it off. But, there are a few reasons you should, and dust removal is one of them.
Dust and cleaning your mining rigs
When dust builds up it can impact the performance of your mining rigs and even cause hazards. If your mining rig or rigs are in your home, you’ve probably noticed how quickly dust builds up.
Dust removal = increased performance
That seemingly innocuous dust buildup can actually impact your mining rig performance. It could even bring a rig down. How? Heat. As dust builds up on components two things happen: air flow becomes compromised and components become insulated. When this happens, operating temperatures of critical components, especially GPU components, increase. That increase can lead to decreased mining performance. So, keeping your mining rigs clean is a must. In a home or non-cleanroom setting we recommend a de-dusting every two weeks (give or take).
Cleaner mining rigs with an electric computer duster
We don’t like using ‘canned air’. It’s a one-shot deal (you use it and it’s gone) and it’s horrible for the environment. Although we were skeptical, we tried out a no-name electric computer duster, the XPOWER Airrow Pro Electric Computer Duster. The product and reviews claimed it provided enough high-speed airflow to keep our rigs as clean as other solutions. And, they didn’t disappoint.
We’ve seen significant temperature improvements between a clean and dust-ridden GPU miner. The unit we’re using looks incredibly cheap, but it is simply amazing how much concentrated air pressure it can deliver. For safety’s sake we usually shut-down the miner when cleaning and hold fans steady so they don’t spin while cleaning. Dusting down an entire rig only takes five minutes or so.
Harder to remove dust: Anti-static cleaning wipes
When dust is on a plastic surface and is more stubborn, you can use alcohol and Q-tips to clean it. Another solution we go with are anti-static cleaning wipes. To be clear, this isn’t for cleaning electronic components. This is for surfaces such as the plastic fan blades on a GPU or a PSU’s exterior case.
The anti-static wipes we have been happy with are the anti-static Awesome Wipes that come in the 20-pack. The wipes themselves aren’t the tiny eyeglass-cleaning size; they’re five-and-a-half inches square. After we’ve hit a set of rigs well with the computer duster we’ll wipe down the fan blades and exterior parts with stubborn dust buildup.
Static-shock prevention: Anti-static wrist straps
The worst thing that could happen while trying to do preventative maintenance is frying a component with static electricity. It might seem like overkill, or a bit intimidating if you haven’t used these before, but like a hardware wallet, it’s a type of insurance policy to protect the value of the equipment that you’ve bought for your mining rig.
As you are building or working on a rig, one of the biggest risks is a static electricity discharge affecting or destroying your motherboard, GPUs or other components. When you’re cleaning your GPU miner (or touching in any way, actually), the same risk is present. This simple wrist strap makes that impossible and is well worth the few dollars that you will pay for it.
The wrist strap above (Rosewill ESD Anti-Static Wrist Strap) is dirt cheap, and compared to the inflated costs of the video cards mining your cryptocurrency a bargain safety item.
Mining room air purification
Most of what we have read about air purifiers isn’t all that promising. However, one line of air purifiers in particular has caught our attention. Why? A few miners with with in-home (or garage) setups as well as ASIC and GPU miners using small warehouse spaces have recommended them.
Blueair Blue Pure Air Purifier with Particle and Carbon Filter
Beyond the word-of-mouth we’ve heard, Blueair units have very high ratings. And, depending on the size of the room your mining rigs are in, they can be relatively cheap. Blueair’s 411 unit is right around a hundred dollars. That unit is intended for spaces that are under 175 sf, however. In our case, we’re more interested in the Blueair Pure 211+ and 121 as we have some partitioned spaces to test these out.
The Blueair Blue Pure line has three filtration methods. There is a fabric pre-filter, a particle filter and finally a carbon filter. This system of filters comes together to capture 99% of PM 2.5 airborne pollutants, including dust. The pre-filter is washable, but the particle filter and carbon filter do have to be replaced periodically.
The 211+ is good for up-to 600 sq. ft. The 121 claims 700. Between the two, the 211+ seems like the better price-to-square foot buy. We’ll do a follow-up and and let everyone know our results.
Keep those mining rigs dust free!
Dust is one of the few challenges miners face one their up and running. Whatever route you go, for maximum longevity and productivity keep your mining rigs as clean and dust-free as you can!
Image ‘Computer‘ by Petur R, used in accordance with its Creative Commons License. Source: Flickr.com