Best Power Supply Units For Cryptocurrency Mining

Best Power Supply Units For Professional CryptoCurrency Mining

Pro miners are more extreme users with systems installed in dedicated spaces (farms), many of which lack air conditioning. We have to anticipate higher ambient temperatures as a result (as high as 40ºC in some cases!). Even if a farm is equipped with HVAC, imagine how hard it is to maintain comfortable temperatures, given the massive thermal output of 10s or 100s of fully utilized GPUs. This is why, for our professional mining category, we only accept PSUs equipped with ball-bearing fans. Any FDB-derivative fan is bound to fail quickly because its lubricant evaporates under such harsh conditions. Since mining farms are typically isolated from where people eat, sleep, or work, noise isn't as much of a concern. In fact, we embrace aggressive fan profiles; they're often what keeps a PSU alive under full load in a hot room.

Best PSUs For Professional CryptoCurrency Mining

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The more stringent requirements tied to our professional classification limits the number of models that qualify for this top tier. Ball bearing-equipped fans and higher capacity levels are simply must-haves.

These are the requirements and recommendations we're defining for professional-oriented cryptocurrency mining PSUs:

Requirements

  • 1.2kW or higher capacity.
  • 80 PLUS Platinum or Cybenetics ETA-B efficiency (or higher, if possible).
  • Lower than 50mV ripple at +12V under full load at increased operating temperatures (>45°C).
  • Double ball bearing fan. All other types are excluded.
  • Two EPS connectors.
  • At least eight 6+2-pin PCIe connectors, or 10 6+2-pin connectors on PSUs with over 1.45kW capacity. 
  • At least four 4-pin Molex connectors on two cables, or six 4-pin Molex connectors on three or more cables for PSUs with over 1.45kW capacity. In case the PSU has more 6+2 pin PCIe connectors than what we require, we are covered with four 4-pin Molex connectors on two cables, regardless of capacity.
  • All peripheral cables should use 18-gauge wires minimum.
  • For 1.4kW and stronger PSUs, a C19 coupler is required, while an AC power cord with 14AWG wires should be used. For lower-capacity PSUs, an AC power cord with 16-gauge wires is required. Ideally, every PSU with 1.2kW or more capacity should use a 14AWG power cord and C19 coupler. 
  • Support the essential protection features (SCP, OPP), including over-temperature protection.
  • Over 17ms hold-up time and an accurate power-good signal, which has to be at least 16ms. The power-good signal has to have at least a 1ms delay, dropping at least 1ms before the rails go out of spec.
  • Complete EMI filtering stage (minimum components: 4x Y caps, 2x X caps, two CM chokes, an MOV), along with inrush current protection (an NTC thermistor is required, which ideally should be supported by a bypass relay).
  • Impeccable build quality, including quality MOSFETs and high-quality bulk/filtering capacitors (105°C rating and a majority of filtering caps on the secondary side must have >5000h lifetime). The use of polymer caps on the secondary side is preferred.

Recommendations

  1. Dedicated cables with 6+2-pin PCIe connectors are preferred. In cases where a cable hosts two PCIe connectors, it needs to have 16-gauge wires for six of the eight pins up to at least the first connector.
  2. Ideally, the peripheral connectors should have 15cm of distance between them.
  3. Ideally, the PSU should be covered by at least a one-year warranty for 24/7 operation under full load at 35-40°C.

The major differences between our home and professional cryptocurrency mining PSU requirements are the capacity, efficiency, and fan specifications. Also, notice that there is no output noise ceiling in this category, and we're also recommending at least one year of warranty coverage for 24/7 operation under full load at 35-40°C. That's going to be difficult to satisfy; we don't know if any manufacturers will be brave enough to guarantee their hardware for continuous operation under full load at 40°C. Usually, only server-class PSUs can withstand those conditions.

It goes without saying that, if you own a mining farm with lots of systems, you'll save a ton of money on electricity using 230V mains. In addition, thanks to higher achievable efficiency, 230V input facilitates lower thermal loads, extending the life of your PSUs.

Best PSUs For Professional CryptoCurrency Mining

PSUs That Didn't Make It (And Why)

The list of PSUs that don't qualify for our list includes four models so far: EVGA's P2 1600, Silverstone's Strider Gold S 1500W and Strider Platinum ST1200-PT, and Rosewill's Tokamak 1500. All of them suffer too-low or inaccurate power-good signals. This is an issue that seems to plague high-capacity PSUs in general. Some units also demonstrate high ripple at +12V under full load. In order to achieve the highest possible efficiency, some manufacturers use fewer filtering components on the secondary side, and this inevitably leads to lousy ripple suppression. It'd be better if those companies used a more advanced platform instead of cheap tricks.

Although SilverStone's Strider Gold S 1500 achieves high power density, it offers fewer than 10 PCIe connectors. Moreover, its power-good signal (and the hold-up time we can safely assume) is very low. PSUs with small dimensions might be easier to install, but in our experience thus far, downsizing can affect certain performance aspects as there's less room for large bulk caps. The most notable entry in this list is EVGA's mighty 1600 P2. Although it uses the same capacity bulk caps as the T2 and G2 models, it looks to have a lower hold-up time and clearly fails to meet our power-good signal requirement.

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  • ihateregister
    I always enjoy reading articles by non technical people. Refurbished Server Power supplies are a much better deal. Costing pennies on the dollar compared to all these overpriced and inefficiently rated power supplies. Crypto miners need a strong 12 volt rail, not a generic PC power supply. Caveat Emptor!
  • Olle P
    1503515 said:
    ... Refurbished Server Power supplies are a much better deal. Costing pennies on the dollar...
    I agree! If making money is the objective you want to spend as little as possible to get something "good enough".
  • Aris_Mp
    Server PSUs lack the minor rails which are essential to any desktop PC to operate, and all desktop PSUs for almost a decade now have a strong +12V rail and as for efficiency, the desktop PSUs are on par with the server ones although they have DC-DC converters, which cost in efficiency, are much more silent and have way better ripple suppression.

    I won't recommend to my readers getting a used server PSU (or a used PSU in general) which can blow sky high once loaded, since you simply don't know how heavily it was used before. On top of that, server PSUs are meant to operate 24/7, so don't expect to find a lightly used one, unless it had a problem from the start and it was sent for repair (and afterwards it is sold are refurbished).
  • Olle P
    1903369 said:
    Server PSUs lack the minor rails which are essential to any desktop PC to operate, ... I won't recommend to my readers getting a used server PSU (or a used PSU in general) which can blow sky high once loaded, since you simply don't know how heavily it was used before. On top of that, server PSUs are meant to operate 24/7, so don't expect to find a lightly used one, ...
    Server PSUs are designed to run hard 24/7 for a decade or so.If it's only a few years old there's no problem, since one can expect the mining operation to last for five years or less.
    As for the minor rails those can be covered by a second, less powerful and way cheaper, PSU.

    Calculating the benefits of power efficiency a simple figure is that 1% difference in efficiency (between two PSUs) translates to a difference in power consumption by about 1.5 kWh/month when using 1 kW 24/7.