I'm planning to set up a computer to mine Ether, with up to 3 way CrossFire cards. here are my questions

  1. would the choice of OS affect mining performance (i.e. Linux vs Windows)?
  2. can I add a non-crossfire card (basic graphic) to boot off of?
  3. if I did boot off one of the CrossFire cards, would that affect the mining performance?
  4. if I ran some virtual machines off this computer, would it affect mining performance?
  • It is preferred if you can post separate questions instead of combining your questions into one. That way, it helps the people answering your question and also others hunting for at least one of your questions. Thanks!
    – q9f
    Jul 7, 2016 at 8:56
  • 1
    And regarding crossfire: Mining does not utilize crossfire bridges, they use the cards directly, so you can go well with or without or with a mixed setup.
    – q9f
    Jul 7, 2016 at 8:58

1 Answer 1

  1. Perfs are almost identical but your ROI will be much better with Ubuntu as it's a free OS. I assume you won't run Windows without a license. Personally I prefer Linux as it's much more easy to setup and configure and works without maintenance. It's also easy to script. Use Ubuntu 14.04.
  2. Yes you can mix non crossfire and crossfire cards. Just take care to have all cards ships of the same founder. Don't mix AMD and nvidia cards, you would have problems with drivers.
  3. Booting on one of the mining cards it ok. If you use Linux, it doesn't impact performances if you don't run 3D things while you mine. I don't know about Windows.
  4. You can run VM as it mostly use the CPU and mining is more on the GPU but be aware that anything will heat instead of just GPUs, so you'd better have a very good cooling system.
  • thanks @Nicolas.<div>1. I may go the route of Ubuntu as well from your suggestion</div><div>2. I'm assuming you meant I can have a basic low-cost AMD card on an alternate PCI/e slot for booting and terminal/windows functions which would not cause problem for the system if I have 2 or 3 other AMD PCIe cards</div><div>4. good suggestion on cooling -- have to look into it to see how much heat it generates</div>
    – soler
    Jul 7, 2016 at 15:18
  • Don't waste a pcie port for a small card. Use a strong card for screen display and also for mining. Screen display will consume less than a percent of your GPU power. Use Ubuntu gnome classic that have a better footprint. For the cooling, server grade case is nice. Otherwise use an open rig and fans. The cheaper is the better for your ROI. Jul 7, 2016 at 16:56
  • thanks @Nicolas. I ended up getting a Dell T7910 to support other work (containers, etc), which will support up to 2 graphic cards so will investigate gpu options (RX 480 is at the top of the list although I'm a little worried about the power consumption issues)
    – soler
    Aug 12, 2016 at 13:57

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