Best mining rig 2018: the top pre-built mining rigs for Bitcoin, Ethereum and more

With the prices of graphics cards rising due to the cryptocurrency gold rush, it’s now more sensible to buy a pre-built device for mining cryptocurrencies, which is where our best mining rig 2018 list comes in.

Unlike the best mining desktop PCs, which can be used for other day-to-day tasks as normal PCs, mining rigs are specially-designed for one purpose only: to efficiently and effectively mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

This means you won’t be able to use a mining rig for other tasks, but it does mean you’ll be getting the very best mining results thanks to the best mining rigs being designed to eke out the maximum return when running.

If you still want to build your own mining rig, check out our guides on the best mining GPUs, best mining CPU, best mining motherboards and best mining SSDs to help you get started.

1. Shark Mini

A great compact mining rig

Graphics cards: 6 x Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB | Warranty: 90 days

Warranty is short

Shark Mining is a well-regarded company that makes some excellent pre-built mining rigs. Its Shark Mini is a compact rig that comes with four GPUs. The base model comes with GTX 1070 GPUs, but your can configure it to have a 1070 Ti GPU, which could net you an extra 10% profit, and you can also add a touchscreen display for keeping an eye on the rig. Shark Mining estimates a profit of $600 a month if you mine ZCash or Bitcoin, and up to $400 a month with Ethereum, though of course that could change.

2. Bitcoin Gold GPU Miner 2000 H/s

A good return on your investment

Graphics cards: 6 x Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB | Warranty: Default factory warranty

Good profit rates
Customizable
Not too clear on warranty

The Bitcoin Gold GPU Miner 2000 H/s from Ethereumminer.eu  is a pre-built mining rig that offers the potential of a pretty excellent profit. While values may fluctuate, you could see this rig paying for itself after not long at all. Especially as it has recently had a price cut – something of a rarity with mining devices which usually see price rises! This rig can also be customised to suit your needs and budget.

3. Antminer D3

ASIC miner

Graphics cards: N/A | Warranty: Contact MineShop for details

More affordable
ASIC mining rigs can be more complex to use

Application-specific integrated circuit chips (ASICs) differ from other mining rigs as they don’t utilize GPUs to do the mining, which means price and power consumption is reduced. They can also solve Bitcoin blocks faster, which means they are definitely worth looking into. This ASIC miner from Mineshop.eu is a good mid-range miner that has a hash rate of 19.5 GH/s. Definitely one to consider if space is at a premium.

4. Shark PRO

A great mining rig for professional miners

Graphics cards: 6 x Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB | Warranty: 90 days

Great build quality
Can be configured

Shark Mining has another entry in this list of best mining rigs, this time with its Shark PRO mining rig. Like the Shark mini, this is a well-built device for mining that comes with a range of configuration options. The base model comes with six GTX 1070 cards, but these can be upgraded to GTX 1070 Ti or GTX 1080 Ti GPUs. It’s an expensive rig, but the build quality and potential profit makes it a very tempting choice if you’re serious about mining.

5. PandaMiner B5 Plus

An excellent compact miner

Graphics cards: 8 x AMD Radeon RX 460 | Warranty: 108 days

Very powerful
Great build quality
Often sold out

The PandaMiner B5 Plus is a brilliantly put together miner that’s compact and attractive, while also being excellent at making profits when mining for cryptocurrencies. However, it is very expensive, and due to its popularity it can often be sold out. Luckily Pandaminer has a number of different models to choose from.

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FSP CMT510 Tempered-Glass Case Review

Announced back in November, the FSP CMT510 mid-tower ATX chassis features RGB-lit fans, tempered-glass side panels on three of its six sides, and an asking price of just $90. What’s not to like? Let’s find out.

RGB lighting and tempered glass are all the rage these days, so it seems only fitting that FSP’s latest mid-tower case has an abundance of both. It’s obvious that the company designed this chassis to showcase your system build, but the sheer amount of factory-installed RGB fans suggests a focus on cooling performance, as well.  But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at the exterior of the CMT510.

The first thing you will notice about the FSP CMT510 is its sleek, stylish design. This mid-tower ATX chassis is constructed of steel and tempered glass and is painted black inside and out. The case measures 448x208x491mm (HWD), and it weighed in right at 16 lbs.

The top of the chassis features a fan-mounting location in the rear portion of the panel that can accommodate 120mm or 140mm fans, but the 1.1” of space above the motherboard is too narrow for most all-in-one coolers and radiators. At the leading edge of the top panel, you will find two USB 3.0 ports, microphone and headphone jacks, power and reset buttons, and an RGB controller switch.

The left, right, and front panels on the CMT510 are all 4mm-thick tempered glass. The left and right side panels are held in place by rubber-coated locating pins and thumbscrews. The plastic feet on this chassis have a simple yet effective outcropping on the top that acts as a support for the glass side panel and prevents the panel from being accidentally dropped. The front glass panel is held in place by four thumbscrews that thread through the frame from the inside into brackets that hold the panel about 10mm away from the frame.  We find it odd that, unlike the side panels, there is nothing keeping this panel from falling once the last screw is removed. Extra care is warranted when removing the front panel.

The bottom of the case has two filter-covered holes, one for the power supply, one for hard drive ventilation, as well as four large, rubber-coated plastic feet. The rear of the chassis is home to seven card slots, a motherboard I/O area, and an opening for a bottom-mounted PSU.

The fan filtration system on the CMT510 is basic, but, for the most part, it serves its purpose. The included filters will keep pet hair and larger debris out of your computer but do little to prevent finer dust particles from entering your system. Also, cleaning and maintenance require turning the entire chassis on its side to remove the filters on the bottom.

MORE: Best Cases

MORE: All Case Content

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Twitter boss seeks help with online abuse

Twitter has asked for help in devising a “health check” to measure its contribution to public conversation.

It said it hoped to work with “outside experts” and is inviting proposals.

Its chief executive, Jack Dorsey, said the platform’s “instant, public, global messaging” had “real-world negative consequences” that Twitter had neither fully predicted nor understood.

Twitter has repeatedly been criticised for the amount of abuse and propaganda posted by some of its users.

In support of its new stance, Mr Dorsey tweeted a link to an organisation called Cortico.

It identifies “shared attention”, “shared reality” (which it describes as “using the same facts”), variety of opinion and reception to different views as indicators of a healthy public conversation.

Lisa-Maria Neudert, from the Oxford Internet Institute, said it was a positive step to see Twitter prepared to share its data with researchers and fund their work, but questioned how the measurements might be made.

“I’m not sure if you can measure health of a discourse,” she told the BBC.

“If the shared topic of discourse is a terrible propaganda message that’s not very healthy.”

‘Not proud’

However, Ms Neudert said it was a good move for Twitter.

“This is Twitter’s way of saying ‘we realise our platform has problems and we have to do things about it’,” she said.

“It’s not just propaganda and meddling but there is also a hostile community on Twitter.”

Mr Dorsey admitted that the firm had found it difficult to manage the way its platform was used.

“We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough,” Mr Dorsey wrote on Twitter.

In a series of tweets he said that the firm had focused on removing offensive content rather than trying to encourage “more healthy debate”.

Explaining Twitter’s decision to seek a health check, he said: “If you want to be able to improve something, you have to be able to measure it”.

Twitter has seen a variety of high profile accounts closed, often by celebrities, because of persistent trolling.

The Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones left in 2016 after a barrage of abuse following the release of the remake of the movie, which attracted criticism because of its all-female cast.

She has since returned.

The singer Ed Sheeran has been another example of someone famous abandoning Twitter.

On Thursday, British chef and activist Jack Monroe left Twitter “for the good of my mental health”.

“I have been in enough abusive relationships to recognise gas-lighting, coercion and bullying, and my personal relationships are suffering as a result of what I experience on here every day,” Monroe wrote.

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Microsoft joins forces with Intel to beat Spectre

In a fresh move to further shore up security, Microsoft is providing Intel’s Spectre fix for PCs with Skylake processors running Windows 10 – with further patches to be delivered for older generation CPUs in the future.

Of course, Intel is already pushing out Spectre (and Meltdown) patches itself, with numerous processor families seeing microcode updates released in the past few weeks; but Intel doesn’t supply these directly to end users.

Rather, they’re given to hardware manufacturers, who must subsequently incorporate these fixes into their firmware updates, test them, then release them to the actual consumer. In the case of some smaller manufacturers, that process could take some time, so what Microsoft is effectively doing here is offering another route to protect yourself.

If you haven’t got the patch through from your hardware vendor, then you can grab it directly from Microsoft instead. The current caveat is you need to be running the latest version of Windows 10 (Fall Creators Update), in which case you can snag the first patch – which covers ‘some’ Skylake devices – from the Microsoft Update Catalog (it’s update KB4090007).

Microsoft doesn’t specify exactly which Skylake PCs will be able to apply the update currently, but coverage will broaden in time, and indeed the company will start to offer Intel’s patches for other Core processors, too.

In a blog post, Microsoft noted: “We will offer additional microcode updates from Intel as they become available to Microsoft. We will continue to work with chipset and device makers as they offer more vulnerability mitigations.”

Getting your fix

Following Intel’s revamped Skylake fix – which was overhauled to resolve issues that could potentially cause system instability – the chip giant pushed out rejigged fixes for Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake CPUs, and then most recently for Broadwell and Haswell processors.

So logically we can expect coverage from Microsoft to come in the same order, going forward.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is still patching its Windows operating system against these vulnerabilities, as this is a two-pronged effort: both software and hardware need to be patched up.

And hopefully all the holes will be covered before Meltdown or Spectre exploits are let loose in the wild (which may not be too long, given that white hat security experts have already formulated a proof-of-concept exploit which was successfully used on a MacBook).

Via the Inquirer

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How to Delete WhatsApp Messages After the Time Limit

Deleting a sent WhatsApp message is really easy. You just tap and hold it, then tap the bin icon that appears in the top bar and say Ok to the message that pops up asking if you really want to delete it.

What you probably want to know, though is how to delete that message so the recipient cannot see it either. And that’s simple, just select the ‘Delete for everyone’ option.

This is possible for up to seven minutes after a message has been sent, although naturally only worthwhile if they’ve not actually read it yet.

You’ll know by whether or not there are two blue ticks – this means it’s been read, whereas two grey ticks simply means it has been delivered. (If they have read it on a smartwatch or on the lock screen as a notification there’s a possibility that they will have read it but the ticks won’t be blue.)

When a message has been deleted it will be replaced with a message notifying both parties that a message has been deleted, which could lead to some awkward questions.

Delete for Everyone works with all types of WhatsApp messages, whether they are text messages, videos, images, GIFs or documents. It will also work on both iOS and Android.

How to buy yourself more time – Delete WhatsApp messages after 7 minutes

If you’ve sent a WhatsApp message, immediately regretted it, and now find it’s too late to use the Delete for Everyone feature (because seven minutes have already passed), there is a workaround to extend this deletion period.

• Turn off Wi-Fi and mobile data

• Go to Settings, Time and Date settings and roll back the date to a time before the message was sent

• Open WhatsApp, find and select the message, tap the bin icon and choose ‘Delete for Everyone’

Thanks @AndroidJefe for the tip!

Follow Marie Black on Twitter.


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Don’t get your hopes up about seeing Nvidia’s next-gen graphics cards this month

Previous speculation has pointed to Nvidia being set to launch its next-gen graphics cards later this month, but a new rumor is claiming that this won’t happen – and indeed we may not see a hard launch (i.e. products actually becoming available) until July, or possibly even later.

This comes from Tom’s Hardware, which cites ‘multiple independent sources’ in the industry saying that the successor to Nvidia’s current Pascal-based GeForce cards won’t get a full reveal at Nvidia’s Graphics Technology Conference (GTC) as previously rumored, or indeed GDC (the Game Developers Conference).

What may happen – although even this is far from a sure matter – is that there might be a brief teaser reveal, or ‘appetizer’ as Tom’s describes it. So likely something pretty airy just pointing to the existence of the new cards. Whatever it is, we will be at GDC later this month (the conference kicks off on March 19) to witness it.

Of course, this is still just another rumor, but it certainly makes sense in some respects. Particularly considering the current climate in which buying a graphics card is a tricky and unnecessarily expensive matter, thanks to a combination of extra demand from cryptocurrency miners, and constrained supply due to video RAM shortages on the manufacturing side.

These issues are not predicted to ease any time soon, and the chatter we’ve seen online indicates that these pressures won’t start to see some relief until later this year (barring some major disaster of a cryptocurrency implosion, which seems unlikely).

Price pressures

So when you consider this, launching a graphics card earlier in 2018 and straight into this storm of problems, doesn’t seem like a particularly sensible idea. It could also lead to Nvidia having to put some pretty high recommended prices on the new GPUs (given that it wouldn’t make any sense for them to be cheaper than Pascal graphics cards, which have had their prices driven through the roof of late due to the aforementioned supply and demand reasons).

Neither does Nvidia have to worry much about losing ground to AMD’s Vega, seeing as those GPUs are still thin on the ground. In short, there are numerous reasons why Nvidia doesn’t have to rush this launch.

Tom’s Hardware does some further investigating and cites other sources who believe that the mass production of next-gen GeForce cards won’t begin until mid-June, so actual cards launching won’t happen until July at the earliest.

Therefore the tech site’s conclusion is that Gamescom in August will be when we see a full launch of partner next-gen graphics cards, at which point they will be available to buy.

All of this, once again, is merely the word from the graphics grapevine and not to be taken as gospel, but it certainly sounds a more likely scenario than the previous rumors.

The controversy around the name of these next-gen GeForce cards also continues to bubble, and interestingly, Tom’s believes that they will use the Turing codename, as did a recent Reuters report.

But other sources have theorized that Turing will be the successor to Volta in the high-performance computing arena, whereas the consumer-oriented gaming GPUs will be codenamed Ampere.

At least if there is some sort of teaser launch at GDC, we’ll find out the concrete details on the naming scheme if nothing else.

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Sony Xperia XZ2 vs XZ1: What’s the difference?

Unveiled at MWC 2018, the Xperia XZ2 succeeds the Xperia XZ1 as Sony’s flagship Android phone. It will go on sale in March, though pricing has not yet been confirmed. We expect it to be slightly more expensive than the Xperia XZ1, which you can still pick up from Amazon UK for £439, although its RRP was much higher at £599/$699.

Design

Sony’s phones traditionally have a very ‘Sony’ look: blocky, angular, oversized… and old-fashioned. Sony hopes to change all that with its new Xperia XZ2, which sees a move away from the previous ‘Omnibalance’ design language to the new ‘Ambient Flow’. Both models remain waterproof.

Compared to its predecessor, Sony has reduced the XZ2’s towering bezels and introduced curved glass front and rear. It’s also added an 18:9 display, bringing the XZ2 kicking and screaming into the future, but while this is an improvement over the XZ1 it’s still a far cry from the ‘all-screen’ designs of its rivals.

Despite the smaller bezels, the screen is larger at 5.7in (previously 5.2in) and adds an 18:9 aspect ratio and support for HDR upscaling. So far from slimmed down, the Sony Xperia XZ2 is actually larger and heavier than the XZ1. It measures 153x72x11.1mm and weighs 198g against the XZ1’s 148x73x7.4mm, 156g.

Sony has also moved the fingerprint scanner to the rear of the phone, whereas previously it was found integrated to the power button. It’s now always-on, which means it should be faster to respond.

Less pleasingly, Sony has removed the 3.5mm headphone jack. While USB-C audio is the future for smartphones, we’re still in that awkward stage where no-one has USB-C earphones and carrying an adaptor is annoying.

The new look is very welcome, but still has room for improvement. It makes the Xperia XZ2 more comfortable to hold, but you could argue its now bulging body feels less like a flagship. Fortunately, the design is not the only thing Sony has changed with its latest top-end Android phone.

Sony Xperia XZ2

Core hardware and performance

Sony has swapped out last year’s flagship-level Snapdragon 835 processor for the new Snapdragon 845. It’s the chip every flagship will run this year, and improves on its predecessor with faster performance, greater efficiency and gigabit LTE.

Other core hardware remains the same, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage provided as standard. There’s also support for storage expansion through microSD.

Battery life should already see an improvement over the XZ1 thanks to the processor, but Sony has also upped the XZ2’s battery capacity from 2700mAh to 3180mAh. Unlike its predecessor, the XZ2 now supports Qi wireless charging, which is convenient if not a necessity.

Audio

As we’ve mentioned Sony has removed the headphone jack in the Xperia XZ2, which means you now must rely on USB-C for audio. Until USB-C earphones become more common we prefer the XZ2’s jack, but this will change over time.

Sony has made some improvements for those who prefer unplugged audio, however. The stereo speakers in the XZ2 are 20 percent louder than in the XZ1.

There’s also a new Dynamic Vibration System that supposedly allows you to feel what you hear. This is something we’ll need to test in our lab to see how much it improves the experience.

And, as previously, there’s support for hi-res audio.

Sony Xperia XZ2

Camera

Both Sony phones are fitted with 19Mp single-lens cameras, but Sony has made some enhancements in the Xperia XZ2 thanks to a new image signal processor, developed in partnership with Qualcomm. It says the new camera offers reduced noise, better colour reproduction, and improved contrast when compared to the XZ1.

This is the world’s first phone (okay, along with its Compact sibling) to support 4K HDR movie recording. It also supports full-HD slo-mo recording at 960fps, whereas the XZ1 maxes out at 720p.

But while Sony has improved the primary camera, it’s cut back on the selfie camera. Previously a 13Mp lens it’s now rated at just 5Mp.

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