Although mining crypto is less profitable than in the past, it still can be for mining devotees. It's pretty expensive and non-ecological, database consuming. But still a way of earning crypto and providing the world with Bitcoin. Almost all blockchains have moved to the Proof-of-Stake model, but other top PoW coins still can be mined.
What Is a GPU?
GPU mining utilizes one or several GPU (graphics processing unit) cards for mining cryptocurrency. GPUs can process hashes much faster than CPUs, but ASIC is slower. GPU mining is typically reserved for mining altcoins due to the high mining difficulty of bitcoin.
GPU vs. CPU
Standard computers are equipped with a Central Processing Unit (CPU), an essential processing device for the whole computer system. It has control functions based on the logic of the operating system and the software installed on the computer. Typical functions—like saving the file, printing the spreadsheet, or running the video in VLC Media Player—are controlled by the CPU.
As for the GPU, the computer's part is responsible for its video rendering system and 3D graphics. It is in charge of graphics-intensive tasks such as video editing, gaming display, and decoding and rendering 3D videos and animations.
This division allows the CPU to perform high-level tasks for managing the whole computer while the GPU handles the video functions. A CPU helps you open a video file on your computer, but the GPU displays it properly once the file opens.
Why Is GPU Used For Mining?
GPUs are in demand because of their ability to mine cryptocurrencies. That happens because CPUs can only run one code in series, and GPUs can mine different segments of a cryptocurrency's blockchain simultaneously and collaboratively operate with different algorithms. How does it work? A specific software offers the same mathematical problem to both our GPU and the other miners connected to the network simultaneously; the first mining node to solve it gets a reward in the cryptocurrency being mined. The higher the hash rate (computational power) of the graphics card or a group of cards, the more chances it has to solve the mathematical problem (algorithm) and get the corresponding reward.
Tips to Choose GPU
What to consider when choosing a GPU? Here are some essential things to take into account before buying one.
The Hash rate of a GPU is a number of hashes per unit second, and that is the graphics card mining power extracted to write or verify blocks on the blockchain network.
Cost is even a crucial element to think about before making a purchase. In other words, you could evaluate the GPU's value by creating a cost comparison of various versions based on their primary attributes.
Electricity is the next critical factor in optimizing GNU mining profitability. Most GPUs are not for crypto mining and regularly consume excessive electric power rather than their hash rate.
In selecting the graphics card, the critical target might be mining a lot of cryptocurrencies as much as minimum electricity consumption.
The RAM's value for every version is another thing to remember. Mining cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH), you might want not less than 3GB of RAM. Other cryptocurrencies, such as Zcash, might be mined for GPUs of less memory value.
AMD cards are affordable and productive but take a lot of electric power. Putting those elements into perfect consideration can make the mining operation in the long term.
Best Graphics Cards For Mining
There are two leading manufacturers of graphics cards — Nvidia and AMD. While choosing the brand and model, consider the return on investment (ROI). That's about time to recover the money you invested in the GPU. For counting this, use a mining calculator in the GPU. Here are some of them: Mining Profit Calculator and Probability Calculator.
Now, look at some examples of well-known and popular graphics cards.
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is one of the most powerful graphics cards. Don't let its low price of 399 USD fool you: it does not mean low quality, but quite the opposite. Based on NVIDIA's latest Ampere architecture, it is ideal for mining cryptocurrencies and enjoying video games.
This card is estimated to start providing an actual return on investment in around 225 days. It doesn't have the highest earnings or the fastest hash rate but can offer a stable monthly income with relatively low energy costs.
Power Consumption: 350 W
Hashrate: 125 Mh/s
Profit per day: up to 15 USD
- AMD's Radeon RX 580
Among all the RX400 and the RX500 series models, AMD Radeon RX 580, released in April 2017, is the graphics card that offers the highest profitability. Moreover, it has an affordable price of around 300 USD. This card is mainly used for Ethereum mining but can also mine Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Expanse (EXP).
AMD's Radeon RX 580 is a GPU and is a good decision if you will not earn a fortune. An optimized configuration will get a hash rate of around 28MH/s, which is pretty good at 185W.
Crypto mining's pivotal point is memory, and this one has 8GB of GDDR5, which is excellent for running NiceHash and other mining solutions. Bear in mind that the rate of return is slow.
Power consumption: 150 W
Hashrate: 13.98 Mh/s
Profit per day: 2.85 USD
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
The RTX 3090 is considered the most powerful NVIDIA RTX 30 series card. It's ideal for setting up an Ethereum mining rig. This card, built on Ampere architecture, is one of the most efficient in terms of daily profit. It allows the mining of various crypto coins and tokens such as Ethereum (ETH), Swap (XWP), Ravencoin (RVN), Grin (GRIN), and more. It has 24 GB of VRAM and 10,500 CUDA cores for gaming.
This card is the "best performance" awardee. It's skyrocketing in gaming, pushing boundaries in 4K, and, as a matter of fact, crypto mining. Despite AMD that undoubtedly cut into NVIDIA's attempt to steal the GPU throne with its Radeon RX 6000 cards, the top-level option still belongs to Team Green.
For gaming, DLSS 2.0 and 2.1 are some of the most whopping features that come standard with this GPU. It has dedicated Tensor cores to run AI rendering in real-time, effectively enhancing frame rates and making frames come out at a much higher resolution.
Overall, the RTX 3090 has some actual specs for mining, including a 24GB of GDDR6X VRAM and 10,496 CUDA cores.
Power Consumption: 350 W
Hashrate: 125 Mh/s
Profit per day: up to 15 USD
- Nvidia GTX 1660 Super
NVIDIA's GTX 1660 SUPER is a unique GPU. It has the same Turing architecture as the RTX 20 series of GPUs but without dedicated ray-tracing cores like DLSS. It's a budget-friendly graphics card with enough power to process the latest games at 1080p.
This option is placed down on the earnings chart with a hash rate of just 26MH/s but with a power draw of around 125W, which is great if you have high electricity costs.
Other highlights of the GTX 1660 SUPER include 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM and high memory bandwidth at 336GB/s.
So, it is cheap, has low power consumption, and has strong efficiency. Nvidia GTX 1660 Super allows you to compensate for your investment relatively quickly. It will enable you to mine Ethereum (ETH), Ravecoin (RVN), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Aeternity (AE), and BitTubeCash (TUBE). The main drawback is its low VRAM of only 6 GB.
Power consumption: 120 W
Hashrate: 31.74 Mh/s
Profit per day: 0.74 USD
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 is great for gaming and an excellent option for value mining rigs. You can enjoy up to 40MH/s for the hash rate, which should get you considerable passive income with a power draw of around 225W.
If you stop mining, this GPU can be resold at a price surpassing your initial investment. But if you fancy building a gaming PC, it also can manage even the more recent collection of PC games. You can even add water cooling with blocks to it.
Power consumption: 175 W
Hashrate: 40.27 Mh/s
Profit per day: 6.73 USD
Can You Use a Second-Hand GPU?
Worries about buying used graphics cards will show poor performance, and the GPU will fail sooner than expected. Generally, that's not the case. Mining GPUs doesn't have that dramatic level of reduction in capability. Why? Here are some reasons:
As a rule, experienced GPU miners cut off the power draw and underclock their GPU to make the graphics card more efficient. They only increase memory performance.
Contrasted to that, a gamer will want to overclock the GPU. That's quite risky.
Although miners run their graphics cards 24/7, this can also help minimize the heat-up/cool-down cycle that is stressful on silicon.
Thus, the major problem for GPUs is heat. There could be issues if the cards were used for mining in an exceedingly hot environment without proper airflow.
That's it — different types of mining need different hardware, and the best way to find the best hardware for your needs is to DYOR and ask some experienced miners for advice. Visit special chats and forums where crypto miners share their thoughts and experiences to listen to various points of view. Never hesitate to ask questions to those with more experience who can help you with advice.
What is the best mining GPU for you? Share your opinion on the best graphics cards for mining in the comment section below!