When I built my first mining rig I was really worried about the noise it would create.
I'm going to cover the sound levels you can expect to hear from a 1 card mining rig, 6 card rig and having multiple rigs.
It all starts with what's called a logarithmic calculation which is really useful to know before you start planning your crypto mining operations - let's investigate.
As mentioned I was pretty worried about the noise level from my first mining rig - I really did not know what to expect. At the time before I started the build I was a member of some beginner bitcoin mining facebook groups and there was an admin who was actively trying to talk me out of building a mining rig. She stated it would cost too much, be too hot and noisy.
Luckily I did not take her advice and went ahead with the build.
If you've read any of my other posts you'll be aware that I've got a 3 card rig system sitting on a wooden frame.
The GPU's are exposed to the open air (1080ti's). And the noise level is very acceptable. They were not like this straight out the box though - there are some tweaks that I mention below on how to reduce the noise from a mining rig.
Logarithmic addition to work out noise
When I put this post together I did not really have a clue on what type of noise would be generated as you increased the amount of GPU's on a rig. I'm sitting at 3 now and will soon be upgrading to 6 GPUs. Sometime in the future, I'll have more than one mining rig so I too was looking for an easy way of predicting noise levels.
The first rule of thumb is that all GPU's have different noise levels under load. Your best bet is to plan ahead and do research on how noisy your new GPU is rated at. Here's a useful table:
As an example 2 of the GPU's in my rig are Nvidia 1080Ti Founder addition cards. A quick google tells me that the average noise level of such a card is 41db under load.
You do have to remember to search for the noise level under load - when your mining your graphics card is always under load.
Now that we have a figure of 41db we can plug that into our logarithmic addition calculator.
This is how multiple sound sources are calculated.
As an example, 3GPUs at 41db is now 41+41+41=123
In a logarithmic addition, it looks like this
I'm not a mathematician and it's been a long time since I used formulae like this! Luckily there are calculators that make the whole thing easier.
This is by far the best calculator I've found: Sound Sources Calculator
1 card system
As mentioned in our 1 card system the GPU under load is going to be creating 41db which is in comparison similar level to a fridge freezer.
3 card system
A 3 card system would create 45.7db - this is equivalent to a conversation in your home. Bit of a strange equivalent but that's all I could find. Basically, it's like someone constantly talking in the same room as you (assuming your rig is in the same room like mine is)
6 card system
Adding another 3 cards take the DB level-up to 48 which is still at the conversational level. Where things start to get interesting is when you multiply the number of rigs you have.
Let's say for example we have our 1080Ti rig - 6 cards creating a noise level of 48db. Bump that up to 6 rigs then the noise level is almost at 60db. This is similar to an air conditioning unit at 100 feet away. Still acceptable - in fact, heat's going to be the bigger issue if you had 36 GPU's working away. Noise is secondary.
How to reduce mining rig noise.
As mentioned I've reduced considerably the noise of my GPU's they fans are never above 50% and that's with a full load using nicehash. The secret to this is undervolting your graphics card - handy article to know about as this will not only reduce the speed the fans have to spin but also the power consumption by your GPU. Which in turn reduces the heat output.
The other obvious thing to consider is the actual room temperature and where you've got the mining rig situated. Having a well-ventilated room is going to help - fan are not going to have to work as hard and you'll be pumping out fewer decibels.
If you've got the space a garage or garden shed would be the perfect place for a rig but not everyone has these luxuries and there's also the security aspect to take into consideration.
You could, of course, water cool your mining rig. This I think is really only something you would do on a smaller scale as it brings with it added the expense of reservoir/pumps etc. Would be a cool project though!
Avoid ASCI miners.
Finally, if you are concerned about the noise level of a crypto mining rig avoid ASCI miners. Stick with GPU's. In my research prior to putting together this article all I could find was lots and lots of forum posts with people that had purchased their first ASCI miner and complaining about the noise.
There have been some good attempts at ASCI enclosures to seal off the noise but really - it's not worth the hassle in my eyes.
If you are still worried about how much noise a new rig is going to make I'd suggest buying one or two graphics cards as a test. Then increasing - I've had no trouble what so ever with the 1080Ti'sI've got and they are sitting right next to me. Of course, not everyone's got the cash to stump up for 1080ti's that's where a pair of these awesome noise-cancelling headphones might help!
Thanks for reading.
I'm just a poor crypto miner trying to make a living by blogging. If you found this article helpful please consider sharing. Papa bless.
SCOTT MILLAR // IT Rockstar