I’ve been buying some Bitcoin lately and was interested in building a full node so I repurposed some old gaming computer parts that I had lying around.
Here’s the computer specifications and costs of new parts:
* **Intel i5-6500k CPU-** A 4 core CPU that was a good gaming CPU back in its day. (Repurposed)
* ** Zalman CNPS9900MAX-B CPU Cooler – ** Cooler that was on the CPU/Motherboard when it was used for gaming. (Repurposed)
* **MSI Z170A Gaming M5 Motherboard -** A good gaming and overclocking motherboard. (Repurposed)
* **16GB G Skill 2400MHz RAM -** Great RAM for gaming and very fast at the time. (Repurposed)
* **XFX 550w Power Supply (Gold) -** Rock solid power supply. (Repurposed.)
* **Phanteks Eclipse 300A Computer Case -** Good quality case. $59.99 @ Amazon
* **Sandisk SSD Plus 1TB Internal SSD -** Good quality SSD with room to grow with the Bitcoin network. $99.99 @ Amazon
* **TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi Card -** Screaming fast WiFi. $39.99 @ Amazon
* **Windows 10 OS Key -** Couldn’t find the original key that went with the motherboard. $34.99 @ Kinguin.net
Cost of new parts for this computer: $235.00 USD
This computer is way overkill for a Bitcoin Full Node but works really great! I was unsure of what was really required for a computer to run a full node but after having this computer up and running for a few days I have a much better understanding.
It hardly uses the CPU at all. I think that this is why you can run a full node on a Raspberry PI. The CPU on this computer typically runs at less than 5% utilization and more like 2%. It is basically sitting at idle all the time.
I upped the data cache memory available in the Bitcoin GUI (Don’t really know if this works or not?) to 5000 MB. The most RAM that I have used in several days of running has been less than 4 GB. (4000 MB)
Once you get it up and running you need to open port 8333 on your router or it won’t allow other computers to connect to you. Once you have port 8333 open, 20 computers will be able to connect to you and you will be able to connect to 10. There is very little documentation in how to do this (No step by step.) because all routers are slightly different and use slightly different terminology. It is not really that difficult. What you really want to do is called “port forwarding” and you want to find those settings in your router and port forward port 8333 in both directions. (Hope that made some sense. I’m not very good with networks!)
My WiFi network and the connection to this computer is fast. I pay for 400 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up and I have a WiFi 6 router and a WiFi 6 adapter card in this computer. Speedtest says that this computer is connected at 380 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up. I’m about 40 feet away from the router.
The Bitcoin Full Node is always transferring data on the network. It seems to be in small packets/batches but it is always sending or receiving or both. It doesn’t use much bandwidth at one time so shouldn’t cause lag on your network. In my case it typically stays under 500 Kbps but will on occasion spike briefly to 2000 Kbps (2 Mbps).
I was very curious as to how much electricity this computer would use so that I could determine if I could afford to leave it on 24/7 or not. I plugged the computer into a watt meter that you can see in the pics. The computer swings between 32 and 35 watts while up and running on the Bitcoin network. This is like idle speed for this computer IMHO. 35 watts running 24 hours = 840 watt hours 840 watt hours X 30 days = 25200 watt hours or 25.2 Kwhs (Kilowatt hours is how you are charged by your utility) My utility charges $.12 per kilowatt hour so… 25.2 Kwh X $.12 = $3.03 USD per month. I hope I can afford that!
Here’s some pics: [Bitcoin Full Node from Repurposed Parts](https://imgur.com/a/n9jWgNu)