No matter what kind of crypto-currency you’re trying to mine for, it all comes down to the same factor, power. The power you need while mining is going to be coming from your GPU, or graphics card. The hard choice here will be deciding between the two major players in the graphics card industry, Nvidia and Radeon.
The Nvidia GTX features the GTX 1070, GTX 1080 and the GTX 1080 Ti series. The Radeon features the RX Vega 56, RX Vega 64, and the RX 400 and 500 series. While each of these cards are considered good and powerful, there are different factors for all of them. We’ll be looking at those factors such as power usage and price, so that we can weigh out the pros and cons to find the best cards for their price tag.
Before getting into this article, you may want to refer to our previous article outlining the differences between GPU and ASICs mining. It may be more worth it to go with ASICs mining if the conditions suit you better. It’s a mining method meant for risk takers, but provides three times more profits than GPU mining. It also produces more heat and noise so you’ll need a whole separate room for mining. GPU mining is safe because GPU’s hold their value, so on the off chance that mining stops being profitable, you can sell your GPU for at least half the value, whereas ASICs have no value.
Should You Start Crypto-Mining Now?
The answer to this question really depends on a lot of factors. These factors include your situation, such as electric bills, budget and tolerable noise levels. Another important factor is which currency you’re mining for. Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are extremely volatile. The price could explode upwards or downwards at any moment. As previously stated, graphics cards will hold value no matter what happens, so they’ll be easy to resell if needed. If you can build a rig and reach your ROI point, then you’ll be in the positive. Mining is less risky than investing in Bitcoin, but remember, the lower the risk, the lower the reward.
What Should You Look for in a Graphics Card for Cryptocurrency Mining?
Durability: There are two kinds of cards. There are gaming cards, and dedicated mining cards. Dedicated mining cards are much more durable than gaming cards, but we still don’t recommend you using one. There is no present display port, so you won’t be able to play games on them. This means that if the cryptocurrency bubble pops, there won’t be any resale value. They also have a significantly lower warranty period. (One year instead of three.)
Mining Hashrate: A mining GPU should always have a good mining speed. After the ROI has been reached you’ll be making profit.
Energy-Efficient: A GPU should consume less energy while it’s mining. If electricity cost is high in your area, you’ll be paying so much for electric that it’ll be hard to make a profit. Check how much you spend per kWh and keep track of how much profit you make versus what you spend on electricity.
GPU Brand and Resale Value: Before you purchase a card it’s always important to check the warranty period. The longer this period, the better. This is typically not a problem with the higher end cards, such as Nvidia and Radeon. It’s also important that your card holds value if the crypto mining bubble pops, they can still be resold. Dedicated mining cards won’t offer any value to be resold, but gamers are always looking for cheap cards to purchase. Nvidia cards have a better resale value as well because gamers prefer Nvidia.
So What Graphics Card Should I Buy?
Hopefully this guide hasn’t overwhelmed you up to this point. I’m presenting you with a ton of information, but at the same time trying to narrow it down to just a few solid choices. For this part, I’m going to make it fairly simple so that you can make the right choice for you. There are two major companies that produce Graphics Cards, Nvidia and AMD. There are people on each side of the fence with these companies. You have die-hard Nvidia fans, and die-hard AMD fans. There are also third party manufacturers such as ASUS, EVGA, Zotac, MSI and Gigabyte that acquire rights from Nvidia and AMD to make their own versions of cards. They sometimes tweak things like the cooling or GPU performance to try and enhance it.
So, the main question, what graphics card should I buy if there’s so many options? It depends on your budget and what currency you’re mining for. Generally AMD Cards perform better for mining Ethereum, Ubiq and Expanse. Nvidia is better for mining ZCash, Zencash and Bitcoin. AMD cards are more power efficient but Nvidia has much better resale value.
So, if you’re looking for an AMD card, your best options are these:
If you’re looking to buy Nvidia, your best options are: