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Of course, there are lots of ASICs out there with exponentially more hashing power. But I'm not yet ready to invest and dedicate to one coin. Is there a mining solution in which one can set up an external GPU enclosure and use those to mine? If so, how would one go about setting it up? Thanks!

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    This question appears to be overly broad because it's asking for a hardware recommendation, which will go out of date incredibly quickly. – Nick ODell Nov 6 '14 at 18:34
  • Agreed, this is too broad and has essentially been asked before. This is basically asking how to start mining, and this question has been answered here: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/1433/… – morsecoder Jan 6 '15 at 4:40
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You would likely spend as much buying a couple of decent GPUs as you would buying a small mining rig for sha256/scrypt (i.e. Bitcoin/Litecoin).

You can use "riser cables" to connect a PCI-E GPU to your computer's motherboard without it being inside the case but there is a limit on how long these can be (safety / fire risk).. I think 12-15" is about as long as they get realistically.

FYI: GPU mining doesn't need a powerful computer, any old computer will do so long as it has suitable PCI-E ports and a few Gb of RAM.

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