Introduction and Top Choice
Whether you’re building a single cryptocurrency mining rig or their entire farm, the graphics card is the most important component for determining performance. Although mining is not a 3D workload, GPUs do most of the hard work. A fast graphics card can help you tap more money, faster but if it drinks juice through a fire nozzle, you’ll spend all your income on the power company.
To make a small profit from your mining business, you need to buy a graphics card that is both powerful and power-saving. To help you choose, we tested more than a dozen different cards, running them through a series of performance tests while measuring how much electricity they use and the heat they generate. These are our five favorites.
AMD’s Radeon RX 580 is a popular choice for cryptocurrency miners because of its excellent stock performance and (relatively) affordable price. Maximizes card efficiency by overcoming its GDDR5 memory, reducing its core voltage, and restoring Power Limit settings in an adjustable utility such as MSI Afterburner.
AMD Radeon RX 570
The Radeon RX 570 launched at a price of $170 (£160), about $60 (£40) cheaper than the Radeon RX 580. However, in addition to the box, it offers about 90% of the Ethereum hash rate of 580. In fact, an optimized Radeon RX 570 is even faster than an older 580 (with lower power consumption). Despite being sold at a much higher price than AMD’s original MSRP, the Radeon RX 570 remains the top choice for cryptocurrency miners.
GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
Nvidia’s Pascal architecture shines when compared effectively and it’s mainstream GeForce GTX 1060 6GB is particularly striking. While not as fast as AMD’s mid-range Radeon in in-line form, our data shows that GeForce uses a fraction of its competitor’s power, resulting in a big performance advantage per watt measured as soon as it is shipped. Just make sure to buy the 6GB version. Lower-level 3GB cards won’t be useful for exploiting Ethereum much longer.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
Not inferior to the expensive GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and Titan XP, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 is the fastest tapping card in its desktop category (equivalent to 1070 Ti, but more expensive). The 150-watt panel capacity rating sounds high, especially since it requires a power supply with an additional eight-legged PCIe connector. However, exceptional performance and performance compensate for this, which delivers the best performance per watt available from Nvidia cards.
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
The absolute best extraction performance from a desktop graphics card comes from AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 56 and 64, in part because of their 8GB HBM2 memory on the 2048-bit bus. But those two cards are also the most serious power consumers (although optimizing their voltage, clock speed and temperature limits help a lot). Despite its tendency to be a top favorite because of its brute force, the optimized Radeon RX Vega 56 actually delivers superior performance per watt and at lower prices.