Regardless of the type of mining rig you are building, there’s one thing you’ll definitely need: a mining rig frame. There’s many different types of frames to choose from, each with its own set of advantages and shortcomings. Here’s a round-up of the different styles of mining rig frames available.
Popular mining rig frame options
Stackable purpose-built mining rig frames
Purpose-built mining rig frames became popular during the GPU mining rig frenzy in 2016-2018. Previously most mining rigs relied on creative problem solving, not ready-made frames that could be store bought. Along with the prices of GPUs, mining rig frame prices also soared to silly price levels, especially in 2018. Prices returned to normal levels when Ether and other alt coin prices sunk in the second half of 2018.
Veddha 8 GPU Deluxe Stackable Mining Rig Open Air Frame
Veddha’s 8 GPU purpose-built mining rig frame has airflow built-in: it’s not a case in the sense that it has physical sided an a top, but is an open-air design. The frame provides mounting points for up-to two power supplies, motherboard and optional hard drive on a lower level. The upper stage can accommodate one to eight video cards and up to seven cooling fans. As a mining operation expands, Veddha frames are also stackable.
- Open or forced air by way of computer fans
- Popular for single mining rigs setups to small-sized mining farms
- Usually require some assembly
- Sometimes include cooling fans
- Best for the serious enthusiast planning for growth
Rack mountable mining rig frames
Rack mount frames are exactly what they say they are: mining rig frames that are airflow and components conscious that are also designed to specifically mount in a data center environment. The additional investment in a server rack makes this solution less-feasible for an enthusiast, but highly desirable for large operations.
The Hydra II is a 6U tall mining rig frame that is built to accommodate up to 8 GPUs, one motherboard (which is all you’d ever need) and two power supplies. Cooling is achieved by 6 120mm fans, 3 at each end of the frame. The industrial-grade black chassis is powder coated and has handles to aid in placement and removal.Buy Now
- Forced air cooling by way of computer fans or data-center directed airflow
- Popular for medium to enterprise sized mining farms
- Generally ship ready-to-use
- Usually include cooling fans
- Best for professional miners
Creative mining rig frame solutions
Those new to mining often aren’t ready to spend money on a frame once they’ve tapped out their resources on the required hardware. But, never fear, there’s plenty of creative solutions that won’t break the bank. We’ve seen mining rigs housed in milk crates, shoeboxes and, our personal favorite, cheap wire racks. That’s what we used in our most popular mining rig build.
Examples of items repurposed as mining rig frames
3-Shelf Shelving Unit as a Mining Rig Frame
Inexpensive wire shelving units make great mining rig frames. Mounting video cards and other components is pretty easy. Be sure to use cardboard or another non-conductive barrier between the metal shelf surface and the motherboard and you’ll be good to go. For each 2 wire racks we purchase we can build 3 mining rig frames that will take 6 GPUs comfortably and 8 if we really pack them in.
- Cooling is usually by way of computer or box fans
- Popular for single-rig setups but feasible for small mining operations
- Require assembly and planning to accommodate components
- Consider where additional cooling would be mounted if anticipating the need
- Best for those mining as a hobby
What to consider when selecting a mining rig frame
Mining rig frames seem straightforward at first glance. And, for the most part they are. Just be sure to keep these characteristics in mind when picking the chassis/case for your GPU miner:
- Cooling – Cooling is the single most important factor of mining rig frame design. It doesn’t matter how many GPUs a frame can handle if it can’t keep them cool. Not only should a frame have good airflow, it will also need mounting points for auxiliary fans if your concerned with heat dispersion.
- Modular/Stackable – Most cryptocurrency miners start with one rig then soon find themselves with a half a dozen or more. Being able to stack mining rigs not only saves space, it allows for cleaner wiring and shorter cords.
- Conductivity – Maybe it would be better to say lack of conductivity. While many computer cases and mining rig frames are made of conductive metal, such as steel, that conductivity can become an issue if you bridge connections on live components by way of said frame. This is why you’ll find many frames made of aluminum, plastic and even wood.
- GPU Capacity – The magic number for GPU mining rigs is generally 6 to 8 GPUs per mining rig. Whatever the number of GPUs in your initial setup, be sure to get a rig that will accommodate all the video cards your design is intended to support.
- Mounting – We’re happy to take a cheap shelving unit and zip tie components to it for our builds. Other builders prefer bespoke frames made specifically for cryptocurrency mining. Whichever you choose, understand how the components mount to the frame so you don’t have to take a trip to the hardware store once your components arrive.