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Cryptocurrency mining was originally performed using CPUs, or Central Processing Units. However, its limited processing speed and high power consumption led to limited output, rendering the CPU-based mining process inefficient.

Enter GPU-based mining, which offered multiple benefits over the use of CPUs. A standard GPU, like a Radeon HD 5970, clocked processing speeds of executing 3,200 32-bit instructions per clock, which was 800 times more than the speed of a CPU that executed only 4 32-bit instructions per clock.

The good part about GPU’s is that unlike ASIC miners, they can mine any algorithm (although some more successful then others). So switching gears is not as difficult as one might think and we should see future coins using the Proof of Work model.

It is this property of the GPU that makes them suitable and better for cryptocurrency mining, as the mining process requires higher efficiency in performing similar kinds of repetitive computations. The mining device continuously tries to decode the different hashes repeatedly with only one digit changing in each attempt.

What is GPU Mining?

GPU mining setups allow a regular CPU to perform the high-level diversified tasks for managing the whole computer, while the GPU is in charge of the video functions of which it is a specialist. A CPU will perform the function to open a video file in Windows Media Player, but once the file opens, the GPU takes over the task of displaying it properly.

In 2009 the first bitcoin miners used standard multi-core CPUs to produce BTC at a rate of 50 per block. If you had a couple computers lying around with decent specs you could have earned about five dollars a day. The difficulty of mining (amount of computing power necessary) was so low then it was worth it for hobbyists and crypto nerds to participate.

Mining bitcoin on a single GPU took very little technical skill. Nearly anyone with a few hundred bucks could could do it, and computational requirements were still low enough to make it worthwhile. That would quickly change however, as cryptocurrency began to catch on the community started to get some big ideas on mining hardware.

In 2016, Bitmain broke all conceivable record by surpassing Nvidia and AMD to become the second-largest chip manufacturer in the world. It also clocked in a revenue of $10Bn, beating Nvidia by almost 40%. Bitmain sells Antminer bitcoin mining rigs that can cost several hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars each. The company also operates “mining pools” in which participants collaborate on bitcoin mining in order to cut costs. As a result, it can be estimated that Bitmain has unto 70-80 percent market share in bitcoin miners and ASICs.

Since GPU mining, and mining in general, draws huge amounts of power, one really doesn’t want to be running a Miner in a place where electricity is quite expensive. It would defeat the whole purpose of mining for reward. However, if one is exposed to discounted electricity or is able to build a farm where the sheer number of miners make it profitable to mine inspire of the high electricity costs, it’s a great GPU mining. GPU miners run very hot, perhaps the hottest on the mining machines list. For that reason, we recommend a cool climate which, will help save cash on extraction units.  

Let us now look at some of the best chip sets out there that will give you there best buck for you investment:

Calculating the ROI of using GPU Miners:

When mining with GPUs, there are 2 important factor. How long will it take for you to get a return on investment (ROI) and how profitable is your mining operation. It is important to be conservative when doing these calculations as your GPU mining rig will become less profitable over time as the mining difficulty increases.

Calculating the percieved ROI can be very easy and simple.One has to take into consideration how Many days will it take to mine and attain profits which ultimately bring back you cost on investment.

Here is a simple way to calculate the ROI

Hardware Costs: $3000

Total Hashing power: 230 MH/s

Total Power Consumption: 800W

Price of Coin: $xyz

Daily profit: $12.25

Best GPU Cards Out There

1. AMD Radeon VII

Price: $599

Core Clock: 1,400MHz

Memory: 16GB HBM2

Memory Clock: 4Gbps

Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin

Power Draw: 300W

Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0

2. AMD Radeon RX580 

Price: $199

Core Clock: 1,257MHz

Memory: 8GB GDDR5

Memory Clock: 8Gbps

Power Connectors: 1x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin

Power Draw: 185W

Outputs: 1 DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0

3. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 

Price: $250

Clock: 1,506MHz

Memory: 6GB GDDR5

Memory Clock: 8Gbps

Power Connectors: 1 x 6-pin

Power Draw: 120W

Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, DL-DVI

4. AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 

Core Clock: 1,156MHz

Memory: 8GB HBM2

Memory Clock: 1.6 Gbps

Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin

Power Draw: 210W

Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0

The Best of the Lot

  1. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 – Cheap for large scale use

As with the card its replacing, the GTX 1060 isn’t the most powerful GPU. However, it delivers very good mining results without being ridiculously expensive. Plus, it’s an excellent gaming graphics card for gaming as well, which is handy if you want to use your mining equipment for other purposes.

  • AMD Radeon RX Vega – Expensive but Handy

The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 is one of the best value-loaded graphics card on the market right now. Benchmarks confirm that it runs faster than the Nvidia GTX 1070 and, thanks to the Bitcoin mining craze, it’s also cheaper to boot. Again, it can be a tricky GPU to track down, and it’s power consumption means it might end up being an expensive GPU to run 24/7 in a mining rig. Still, it’s excellent at mining, so if you can find one, it’s definitely a worthy contender.

As the cryptocurrency and blockchain blog Bitdegree.org noted, “ultimately, the best GPU for mining will depend on your exact circumstances. Do you live somewhere that has expensive power? Do you want to run many units next to each other and are concerned about the heat? Do you have a lot of capital and wish to heavily invest in crypto mining?”

Best Coins to Mine with GPU

To find the best cryptocurrencies to mine, you will want to actually keep up on the latest cryptocurrency news. You’ll want to watch the technologies that are being developed behind the cryptocurrencies, and work on mining those specifically. That way, your mining before they’re popular, and then you can sell out at a substantial rate when they go up in value.

  1. DogeCoin
  2. Ethereum
  3. Litecoin Merged Mining with DogeCoin
  4. Monero

We hope this guide was informational for our readers. Please note that always consult several sources before finalizing the machine or card of your choice. It is also a good practice to compare several profitability reports and conduct research of the coins to mine before buying a rig for yourself.

Please have a look at the other posts on mining and mining equipments provided by us for better decision making.

Note:

  1. Cost – Per unit cost of the mining machine as mentioned on their respective websites
  2. Hashrate – The computation power of each machine. 1 TH/s = 1 Trillion hashes per second (1,000,000,000,000 per second)
  3. Electricity usage – The amount of energy consumed by each machine. The unit is denoted in Watts (W)
  4. Each GPU has been carefully analyzed to give the best information available to the reader. The website does not guarantee the legitimacy of the information provided. The information is for educational purposes only. 
  5. All pictures are provided by their respective websites

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Sudarshan M

Sudarshan M is a long time crypto-enthusiast. Pulled in by bitcoin early on, it didn’t take long for Sudarshan to divert all of his academic attention from business studies to blockchain by doing his Masters and eventually pursuing his PhD in the subject. He is currently a researcher at the University of Nicosia. He is also the author of two research papers and a book on Blockchain’s future in Education titled: An Academic Overview of Blockchain - Applications in Educational Institutions. Sudarshan is an entrepreneur, blogger, educator, researcher and an avid proponent of Dogecoin. Such coin, Much wow.

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