Mining is a function of mathematics in many ways than one. While your mining rig helps to squash hash-generating mathematics, it, in turn, generates the need for another kind of calculation: measuring your rig’s power consumption.
Most miners cringe when they finally get to count the costs of powering their rigs, after skimping on this side of the equation all along. Electricity is often times a miner’s third-biggest expense, ranking after computer components and rent costs. As a miner, you’re looking to run a profitable business. You don’t want to miscalculate your profit margin or even taxes by not properly accounting for your mining rig’s power consumption. But there’s no point in getting jittery over it. It’s easy to measure and minimize your rig’s power consumption.
To this day, computer hardware is yet to come with inbuilt apparatuses which measure the whole system’s power consumption. However, there is installable software that can take rough readings of power consumption. But even these require calibrations supplied by a power meter.
There are a number of instrument-based methods for measuring a computer system’s power consumption. What follows is a rundown of the three main types.
As the name implies, this product was not initially designed to serve in cryptocurrency mining. But because of its portability and ease of use, it’s gained popular use among miners. You don’t need to plug this type of meter directly into your rig to take measurements. It needs not come into contact directly with the wires which it measures. It’s therefore easy to take the power consumption reading of multiple mining rigs using clamp-on meters as you need not plug and unplug the meter at every turn.
However, the meter comes with a disadvantage: it does detract regular monitoring in the long run, in spite of its portability advantage. It’s not designed to monitor power consumption over elongated periods of time. Furthermore, it cannot be used to monitor for updates on any of your rigs from a remote location.
Kill-a-Watt models of in-line electricity monitors are perfect if your mining foray is confined to just one mining rig. You can get accurate readings by simply plugging the in-line monitor to a socket and plugging the mining rig in the monitor. In addition to supplying you with accurate meter readings on demand, this type of electricity monitor offers projections for electricity use over various periods of time for forwarding planning.
In-line electricity monitors provide estimates for future daily, weekly, and monthly and even yearly consumption. However, the electrician-type clamp-on meter holds the flexibility advantage over the in-line electricity monitor. There’s no way to take the readings of multiple rigs with an in-line meter without interrupting mining in the rigs being monitored.
These smart plugs are no-brainer solutions for remote monitoring. These monitors, which can be controlled from a smartphone, come with a number of awesome functionalities that can be operated on remotely, including booting and rebooting. This might come as a great instrumentation especially if your mining rig buckles, locks up and needs to be rebooted while you’re away.
However, smart plugs are susceptible to notorious glitches. But there are some products that come with highly reliable functionalities which trump this vulnerability.
It’s imperative to know the rate at which each of your mining rig’s components consumes electricity. Your graphics card is obviously the heaviest power consumer. Next are your GPUs, followed by your base build, which comprises the motherboard, CPU, PSU, and RAM. If you can cut down your graphics card’s electricity usage, either by under-volting it or otherwise, you can significantly reduce the whole rig’s consumption. There are also ways to reduce your GPU’s consumption rate.
You might be thrilled to see these reductions accompanied by an increase in your mining’s hashing rate. In fact, you don’t lose out in any way when you minimize your mining rig’s power consumption. However, to do this and a number of other important things, you need to have a dependable instrument for measuring your rig’s power consumption first.