If you’re mining Bitcoin to the level you have a mining rig, our hat’s off to you. Heavy-duty mining rigs can have thousands of watts of power, making them loud and risky machines to run. Before you set out to make your crypto fortune, you may want to look into soundproofing these ear-shattering machines. Because of how hot Bitcoin mining rigs can get, you need to be VERY careful with the soundproofing materials you use.
Read on to hear our expert advice on soundproofing a Bitcoin mining rig and what materials to use.
How To build cool and quiet Bitcoin Mining Rig
Your Bitcoin mining rig is going to be very hot. They can easily reach temperatures over 125 degrees. Anyone who has run multiple rigs in a room or touched the exterior of a bitcoin mining box knows these things put off serious heat. You can’t just let the thing run in your house. These rigs have extremely loud fans installed that make a high-pitched noise in order to cool down the machines. A “high-pitched noise” doesn’t even do this bloodcurdling scream justice. It’s like an aircraft engine had a baby with a finger on a chalkboard, and is attempting to murder you. Luckily for you, there are solutions for both cooling down and quieting your Bitcoin mining rig.
- A well-designed mining box will get you 15- 20 decibels of noise reduction when closed
- Line your mining box with a fire rated, sound absorbing material can reduce the noise level by an additional 5-10 decibels
The fire rating of the sound absorbing material is EXTREMELY important due to how hot the box can get. You do not want to put highly flammable materials inside your mining rig.
Our Recommendation: MegaZorbe melamine foam
There are a bunch of at-home Bitcoin mining boxes, but the one we tested is the Upstream Data’s Black Box. Although this box reduces noise by a huge amount (up to 20 decibels), Bitcoin mining rigs are so loud and that you still may be annoying your neighbors and/or hear the mining rig inside the house.
Lining the inside of your Bitcoin mining box with Mega Zorbe as shown in the pictures below will provide an extra 7db noise reduction. This should get you down into the 55-60 decibel range, below where noise complaints typically occur. Mega Zorbe is a hydrophobic melamine foam that is rated up to 350 °F and is Class A fire rated. Those awesome specs are why it’s used in the aerospace industry.
Cut to fit with a utility knife. Peel and stick Mega Zorbe to walls/lid. Keep 2" from a heat source. Results: 7 db reduction
Using MegaZorbe as a Heat and Sound Neutralizer for Bitcoin Mining Rig
- Highly Absorptive: At ½” thick, it’s thick enough to absorb a high percentage of mid and high frequency sound. If you have more space for material, you also can upgrade to Mega Zorbe Pro (1” thick) to absorb even more low frequencies noise.
- Class A Fire Rated: It’s approved for commercial buildings and aircraft, because it’s hard to make the material burn. We’ll take our mining box in the “non-flammable” variety please!
- High Temperature Rating: Mega Zorbe is rated up to 350 °F, and includes an optional high temp peel & stick backing for easy application.
- Thermal Insulation: With an R-value of 4.16 per inch, the outside of the box will be much cooler wherever you have Mega Zorbe installed. By keeping the walls cooler, the overall system should stay cooler as the warm air is exhausted out.
- Water Resistant: Even though you’re keeping the mining box outside, it shouldn’t get water inside it. But if it does… Mega Zorbe will repel the water instead of helping trap it inside the rig.
Do NOT Use Cheap Products off of Amazon for heat reduction in a bitcoin mining box
It is easy to buy a sound absorbing product on Amazon that is a TERRIBLE addition to your Bitcoin mining rig. Here are some VERY important specs to look out for.
Polyurethane Foam Should Never be Used in a Bitcoin Mining Box
Polyurethane foam is extremely flammable, and has been at the center of some awful fires that changed the way we approach the fire code in commercial buildings. This stuff lights on fire very, very easily. It is a HUGE hazard to have polyurethane anywhere near your Bitcoin mining rig.
Always check the fire rating of the products you buy in a high heat application like a bitcoin mining rig. There are plenty of reputable sellers out there, but there are also false claims on products that could create some extremely hazardous situations.
Class A Fire Rated
When covering a wall or ceiling in a commercial building, you need Class A fire rated materials to be up to code. Local building codes have exceptions in some situations, but it’s a good general rule. The shortest summary of why is this:
Class A = not flammable
Class anything else = flammable
There are cheap polyester panels on Amazon that advertise being “fire retardant”, but when you read the fine print, they are Class B fire rated. Class B fire rated DOES NOT mean fire retardant. It means flammable! Under no circumstances would we install this material in a mining rig.
How Thick is the Sound Absorbing Material?
If the material is very thin, it’s not going to absorb much sound outside of higher frequencies. The thinnest sound absorbing material we will sell is 0.5” thick due to the steep drop off in performance for materials thinner than half an inch.
The polyester panels you see on Amazon advertise an NRC rating that is equivalent to a 2” thick polyester panel. But they are only 0.35” thick polyester! How is this possible? Prepare to be shocked… we’ve found false information on the same Amazon listing.
If you also have a server rack that you want to soundproof, I'd recommend reading our DIY soundproof server rack article. If you have any more questions about how to soundproof a Bitcoin mining rig or any other queries on soundproofing materials and projects, feel free to reach out to one of the experts at Second Skin!