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Repurposing components for a Cryptocurrency Mining Rig vs Dedicated storage/PLEX Server


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I am finally replaced my custom built desktop PC after about 5 years. 


Now that I have a retired computer with a decent pair of video cards I want to dip my toe into cryptocurrency mining.  Although I realize the old equipment won't produce as much per watt as newer graphics cards, I already have 2 HD 7870's that will just collect dust if I don't do something with the system.  There are also a few older components lying around so I've been contemplating repurposing my old computer and components to create computers for the following roles:

  1. A dedicated storage server that would also host my Plex media server and backup content locally.  (Yes a NAS box could do this, but I already have PC parts and don't want to spend $1k+ on a NAS box that can accomodate all of my 4TB and 6TB drives).
  2. A cryptocurrency mining rig
  3. A router/firewall replacement


I'm new to mining and know that the mining rig needs graphics cards, but how significant of a difference does the CPU make in a mining rig?  I can either use an Intel Core i7-3770K or an Intel Core i3-3250.  The dilemma is that the i7 should be able to transcode roughly twice the number of simultaneous streams (4) that the i3 can transcode (2+) based on the PassMark scores.  I don't want to mine on the same machine as my Plex server since my previous mining attempt created OS stability problems.


Does memory make a large difference in cryptocurrency mining?  I can either use 32 GB of ram or 16GB of ram.


Lastly, would it be better to combine the storage/Plex server and router/firewall roles into a single computer and run each as a VM?  What do others recommend for this? I've heard about Pfsense and watched a few setup videos, but that appears to be designed to run on a dedicated system.


Thank you in advance to those that have constructive feedback for me.

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My opinion would be to use the core i7 and lots of storage and RAM that you have to make a Plex server/storage/transcoder in one box. That much RAM and CPU would be a waste on a mining rig.
If you wanted to check the power supply and have decent graphics cards (Nvidia 1060 and up) the use as little RAM and slower ( low power) CPU to make a mining rig.
My preference is to keep pfsense stand alone although I know others have virtualized it.

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From a crypto pov, you can tweak the config of the miner so that it uses some or all of the cores, the 3770K is a smidge faster than my straight 3770 should see ~350H/s on Monero algorithm, obviously, you'll have to see how transcoding goes and tweak accordingly, it'd probably net you ~$2 a day, not sure what the 7870's will do, I suspect >400H/s.


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