Cryptocurrency mining is so wildly popular right now that even boutique builders are allocating graphics cards to the cause. Case in point, Maingear has partnered with Unikrn, an esports betting company, to sell purpose-built PCs for mining.
But before people get mad and say Maingear is contributing to the scarcity of graphics cards for gamers, we spoke to Wallace Santos, Maingear's CEO, about the specifics.
"This is one of the reasons the box isn't available [yet]. We are planning on using mining specific GPUs. We're also not targeting data centers with ACM. This is designed more for the person who wants to get into mining and has no clue what they're doing. [We're] not looking to becoming a mining company at all," said Santos.
We asked about the current market being difficult for gamers, and Santos had this to say:
"[We're not using] off the shelf gaming GPUs. Basically, headless cards made for mining."
Santos tell us that Maingear will not be buying graphics cards used for gaming to use in its miner as not to disrupt the market.
There will be two versions, the Advanced Crypto Miner (ACM) and ACM Pro, both designed to mine Ethereum and Unikrn's UnikoinGold, along with other digital currencies. Maingear is not sharing detailed specs just yet, other than reveal that the ACM will have six graphics cards shoved inside a cube-shaped case, with automotive paint finish options.
The ACM Pro will kick things up a notch with additional expansion and a rack mountable chassis.
"I strongly believe in the future of crypto," said Santos. "With the Maingear ACM and accepting UnikoinGold payments, Maingear is making a strong commitment to crypto a key part of our business going forward."
Part of the draw with these machines will ease-of-use for inexperienced miners. According to TomsHardware, Maingear's ACM buyers will have access to an exclusive mining pool and rates. In addition, gamers can will have an exclusive native link to Unikrn Connect, a service that rewards gamers with UKG for playing ranked matches.
It's not clear if Maingear or Rahul Sood, co-founder and CEO of Unikrn, came up with the idea. Sood, of course, founded Voodoo PC, another boutique builder that was sold to HP. According to Sood, these ACM machines will be better than other miners out there.
"These things aren’t just crazy looking, they will outperform any other miner on the market — it mines Ethereum and every other minable coin. There will be an app that will allow users to acquire UKG as well, with details forthcoming. All of this will generate more users for Unikrn," Sood said.
One thing that is interesting here is that buying a prebuilt system has been about the only way to avoid overpaying for a graphics card. Granted, that doesn't really apply to premium boutique builders, but this could be the start of a new trend. We will just have to wait and see how it plays out.