For many miners specialized equipment such as ASIC and FPGA are too hardcore because they only have one purpose, harder to use will be almost impossible to sell when you are done with mining. CPU and GPU mining is easier, and at least miners can use their high-end equipment for other purposes when they decide to stop mining. This is why we are going to talk about graphic cards for mining.
Cryptocurrency mining is still a thing. Of course, there had been better days for miners, but there are still cryptocurrency mastodons such as Bitcoin and Etherium that seem to never grow old. Moreover, new cryptocurrencies are still booming. Some coins offer useful features like increased anonymity and security, for example, Monero or Zcash, and there will definitely be followers who will keep (and some will only start) mining them because there is no real alternative to what they have to offer.
Graphic cards are used for mining various cryptocurrencies that use algorithms like Ethash, Zhash, Equihash, NeoSrypt, X16R, CryptoNight and several others. This allows mining coins such as Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Horizen, Zcash, Monero, GoByte, Ravencoin and others that still prove to be floating in 2020. This, of course, excludes Bitcoin and its forks, but that’s another story.
If you choose to mine with GPU, your options are basically limited to NVIDIA and AMD cards. But which one is better? Both cardmakers have good series and models, so let’s take a look at them and see what they are capable of.
In our comparison we’ll be referring to the cards’ hashrate with Ethash algorithm while using the latest mining software Claymore 15.0 or its analogs.
Our first card is today’s flagman by NVIDIA, GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, which has been around since autumn 2018. It is built using the Turing architecture and features advanced ray tracing technology, artificial intelligence and real-time programmed shading. The card comes with 2x8pin power connectors and uses 260-280W of power depending on overclocking, mining software and coins that you mine.
A younger brother of the previous card, GeForce RTX 2060 is notably less powerful, but also much cheaper than its older brother. It also uses the Turing architecture and supports hybrid ray tracing, which makes it a perfect choice for gamers and, of course, a solid option for miners.
Being an excellent mining and gaming GPU, NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti remains one of the most powerful graphic cards with lots of potential for 2020. It is, however, costly in terms of its purchase price and power consumption, which are both important parameters for mining profitability.
A truly great cryptocurrency mining GPU in terms of price/power balance. It has a much cheaper cost than the previous one in out list, but shows excellent performance not only in mining Ethereum, but also in other coins such as ATCC, Zcahs and others.
A decent graphic card for mining that can be used consistently for a long time given its relatively low cost, low power consumption and fine hashrate shown in mining. It is a long-time partner for many miners that has proven its efficiency over the years.
This GPU is the most affordable among the NVIDIA graphic cards that can be used for mining. Some may call it a compromise option, but it is great for those who have limited budget and still want to have a decent hashrate in cryptocurrency mining. It can be used by both gamers and miners equally well.
This is the first and probably the most powerful GPU from the AMD family of graphic cards. This high-end card shows surreal performance in gaming being able to surpass up to 60 FPS on Ultra settings. Radeon VII is built using the most advanced 7-nm manufacturing process and comes with fantastic high-bandwidth memory of 16 GB.
As for the mining, Radeon VII shows excellent hashrates even without overclocking and can be a great solution for miners despite its notable power consumption.
This card is the second fastest in the RX Vega family. It is safe to say that this GPU would be a classic choice for the miners, especially even you have access to free energy or if you are able to use solar energy for your mining needs, because this card is power hungry. A good cooling system is also a must because the card can get really hot.
Multiple tests show that this card is quicker than its closest competitor, NVIDIA GTX 1070, and the cost of Radeon RX Vega 56 is also lower. Miners say that this GPU is particularly good for mining Monero.
RX580 is a popular GPU that offers decent hashrate, moderate price and relatively low power consumption. This card is quite massive, however, its popularity doesn’t seem to fall off over time even with new competitors showing up on the market. Radeon RX580 graphic card shows best performance in mining on Ethash algorithm.
Radeon RX570 is a mid-range GPU built on Polaris 20 XL graphic processor that supports DirectX 12. Gamers often choose this card because even though it was released back in 2017, it still supports all the latest games on playable settings.
Cryptocurrency miners also favor this card because of its good price/quality ratio.
RX480 was released in June 2016, so it’s safe to say that this graphic card is getting old. Still, thanks to the fact that it’s based on 14-nm process and Polaris 10 XT graphics it supports DirectX 12, which makes it still OK for gamers.
As for the mining, this GPU is known for its low overclocking potential and hence low profitability in mining crypto coins.
RX470 is a mid-range GPU and a younger brother of the previous model. In average it shows 10% decrease in benchmarks compared to RX480, which makes it a questionable decision for both mining and gaming. Its advantage, however, is its stability in various scenarios of use, including cryptocurrency mining under various algorithms.
The choice of the mining cards is quite wide and choosing the right GPU for your exact needs is a real quest. There are several parameters that should be considered, such as type of coins that you would like to mine, software you are using, the cost of electricity and, of course, your budget.
The right choice of the graphic card is a serious task because it directly affects your future earnings and overall profitability of your mining venture. If you are low on budget but want to get a high-end GPU to ensure good profits, a good decision would be to buy a second-hand card to save some money and see how this exact model will add to your mining experience.
There are a lot of mining profitability calculators online that can suggest the most profitable cryptocurrencies for mining given your hardware, software, power cost and other factors. They can be helpful if you have no idea what to mine and just want to earn money.
Choosing between NVIDIA and AMD cards, it’s impossible to say which ones are better. Both manufacturers have decent models that will suit certain mining scenarios and budgets. However, keep in mind that according to the miners’ feedback, NVIDIA cards are easier to operate and adjust to your needs, while AMD cards may cost slightly less if you count the price per hashrate.