mining. you’re probably sick of hearing about it! but it’s in the news. He’s on TV shows. It’s all over the blogs. well, not mining specifically, but cryptocurrency. specifically a certain type of cryptocurrency called bitcoin. to mine bitcoins you need an asic miner. but for many other cryptocurrencies like ethererum they can be mined with gpu cards on normal computers. It didn’t take long for people to realize that you could put 3, 4, 6, or even 12 GPUs in a single computer using PCIe risers. this led to the need for massive power supplies in the range of 1500 watts and above. That is until someone figured out a way to use dual power supplies for mining!
When you stack multiple GPUs in a mining PC you start to use a lot of power very fast! In some cases a single GPU can eat up 200 watts of electricity. However, in most mining PCs the GPUs will only use around 160 watts. Even still, 160 watts multiplied by six is 960 watts. Add a motherboard, risers, CPU, hard disk, networking adapter, etc. and it doesn’t take long to blow past 1100 or 1200 watts.
This can be very frustrating for new miners. A power supply over 1200 watts can not only be very expensive, it can also be very difficult to find in stock. I have a list of the best power supplies for mining equipment that you can refer to for more information.
dual power supplies allow you to use up to 750 watt supplies instead of a single 1400 watt supply, and will likely save you some money in the process.
Setting up dual power supplies is easy, but risky if you don’t know what you’re doing.
how to configure dual power supplies for mining
Using dual power supplies for mining requires a special piece of hardware. however, there are a couple of ways to do it, and I’ll show you both.
using a splitter cable for dual power supplies
Modern ATX motherboards actually control the power supply. This feature can make it difficult for using dual power supplies. Two of the pins on the ATX power connector turn on and off the power supply. If only one power supply is connected to the motherboard the other power supply won’t ever turn on (or even know how) when the motherboard activates the PSU power relay.
To solve this, some really creative guys came up with an atx power cable that splits the relay signal into wires. just connect both power supplies to this cable and then connect the cable to the motherboard. this turns on both power supplies when the power button on the motherboard is pressed. they are a safe, reliable and easy way to use dual power supplies. however, be sure to read the risks section below.
you can get these dividers here!
using a sync module for dual power supplies (or three or more!)
Another great option that becomes exceptionally handy is a power supply sync module. The sync module works by connecting to a SATA port on your main power supply. When it senses power is applied, a relay engages the power pins on the second power supply.
this is incredibly useful for use with three or more power supplies on much larger rigs (12 gpu rigs). you can connect as many of these to your main power supply as you have available sata ports, and then connect the rest of the power supplies to the atx headers on the sync modules. very good idea!
These modules are safe and effective, but be sure to read our risks section below before using them!
You can pick them up here for little money!
risks of using dual power supplies for mining
The use of dual power supplies for mining is not without risk. but they can be completely mitigated if they are connected correctly. all it takes is a little learning.
The problem is that the power between the power supplies is not isolated. this can be very problematic for your computer’s circuitry, especially if the power is out of phase. If you have dual power supplies plugged into different outlets in your house, they may be on a different phase than the breaker panel. they can wreak havoc inside your pc.
To safely wire dual power supplies on a mining rig, you must wire them so that the components are electrically isolated and only signals pass between the two.
To resolve this, you need to ensure that the components are only powered by one power supply. For example, connect the atx power connector and the cpu power connector to the motherboard from the power supply one only. on power supply two, make sure the vga power connector and riser power come from the same power supply.
never connect the riser to power supply one and the gpu to power supply two. this can be an easy mistake to make if you’re not paying attention! try as much as possible to spread the load between both power supplies evenly.