This article was last updated on July 11, 2022
Cryptocurrencies have taken the world by storm. Over the past couple of years, they have become the dominant topic of conversation in all walks of life. The revolutionary new technology has irreversibly disrupted the financial sector and made investing drastically different. However, cryptocurrencies are not only bought and sold. They are also mined. Mining is the process of creating new tokes of a given and requires powerful computer hardware. If you would like to start mining Bitcoin today, you will need to make a serious investment in a top-of-the-line graphics card. However, this highly technical subject can be confusing for many. As a result, we have put together a list of the best graphics cards for mining Bitcoin and similar cryptos.
Table of contents
- What Is Graphics Card Crypto Mining?
- What Do I Need To Start Mining With A Graphics Card?
- What Is Hashrate?
- Best Graphics Cards For Crypto Mining In 2022
- AMD Radeon RX 580
- Closing Thoughts On Mining Graphics Cards
What Is Graphics Card Crypto Mining?
Mining is the process of creating new coins for a given cryptocurrency. It usually occurs when volunteers contribute computational power in order to maintain the blockchain network that a cryptocurrency functions on. Because such networks are often very large, with numerous transactions occurring at once, they require a large amount of computational power.
In reality, miners are the ones that validate and add each transaction on the blockchain network. Because they contribute computational power in order to validate transactions, they receive a compensation of newly created coins in return. This process works a bit like a competition, with miners’ machines all competing to validate a transaction. The first to successfully do so receives the reward. Because of cryptocurrencies’ high values, this field has become incredibly congested and competitive, making successfully validating transactions incredibly difficult. As more miners enter the network, each one’s chances of being the winner decrease.
Today, it is virtually impossible to mine Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or any of the other major cryptos by yourself. Unless you have capital in the hundreds of thousands to invest in hardware, you will always be beaten by commercial miners. As a result, most people nowadays mine in so-called “pools”. Here, smaller miners will pool their resources in a virtual group. This group, in turn, has the necessary resources to be competitive in the race to validate transactions. Once it has successfully validated a transaction, the pool will split up the reward among its members based on the amount of computational power they have contributed.
What Do I Need To Start Mining With A Graphics Card?
While a graphics card is the main component that you will need to start mining most cryptos, you will also need other parts to build your mining rig. These include a central processing unit (CPU), RAM memory, a motherboard, a power supply unit with enough watts to power your GPUs and other components, and enough hard drive space to download and maintain the cryptocurrency’s network.
What Is A CPU?
A central processing unit (CPU) is the brains of the computer. It interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer. A CPU chip comprises two main sections- The control unit (CU) and the arithmetic logic unit (ALU). The ALU performs mathematical and logical operations, while the CU directs the sequence of operations by sending control signals to the ALU and memory.
What Is RAM Memory?
RAM (Random Access Memory) is a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly, meaning that any piece of data can be returned in a constant time regardless of its physical location and whether or not it is connected to the CPU. RAM is used to store information that the CPU needs immediate access to. For example, when you are working on a document in Microsoft Word, the text and images that you are currently working on are stored in your computer’s RAM.
RAM is different from storage devices like hard drives and SSDs, which are used to store information permanently. RAM is a volatile memory, meaning that it only holds onto information for as long as the computer is turned on. Once you turn off your computer, any information stored in RAM is lost. Crypto mining uses up a lot of RAM because crypto mining requires fast access to large amounts of data. Therefore, crypto miners often have several computers with multiple sticks of RAM installed in order to mine quickly and efficiently.
What Is A Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)?
When mining proof-of-work cryptos, a GPU is usually the most important component. This is because the graphics card is most proficient at solving the complex equations that crypto mining involves. While mining with a CPU is technically possible, this method has now become obsolete due to the increased difficulty and competition in the crypto mining field.
A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a type of computer chip that helps to process images. GPUs are commonly used in gaming and video editing, as they can provide a significant boost to performance. However, GPUs can also be used for crypto mining, which is a process of verifying and adding transaction records to a digital ledger.
Crypto mining requires a lot of computing power, and GPUs are well-suited to the task. As a result, many people have started to purchase GPUs for crypto mining purposes. While crypto mining can be profitable, it is also a very energy-intensive activity. This has led to concerns about the environmental impact of crypto mining, as the process can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
What Is Hashrate?
Hash rate, also known as hash power, is a measure of crypto mining performance. The higher the hash rate, the more blocks can be mined in a given period of time. Hash rates are typically expressed in hashes per second (h/s). The term “hash” refers to the process of crypto mining, which is used to verify and validate transactions on the blockchain. In order to mine a block, miners must solve a complex mathematical puzzle.
Hash rate is a key metric for crypto miners, as it directly affects their profitability. The higher the hash rate, the greater the chance of successfully solving a block and receiving a reward. As such, miners regularly invest in hardware and software upgrades to increase their hash power.
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Best Graphics Cards For Crypto Mining In 2022
When shopping for a mining graphics card, there are many factors to consider. Some of the most important among these are power consumption, price, and hash rate. While it is natural to think that the latest and most powerful GPUs are the best for mining, that is not always the case. Some GPUs are better optimized to handle the complex process of crypto mining than others. This is because such hardware is not usually designed with such a use in mind.
Here are some of the best graphics cards to use for crypto mining in 2022:
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
Best Bang For Your Buck.
With a $399 sticker price, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060Ti is not your average GPU. This card has been designed with an eye for both gaming and mining performance to take full advantage of its newest Ampere architecture from Nvidia. This means it’s more than capable of meeting even the most demanding mining needs.
The card has a hash rate of 60MH/s and 8 gigabytes of GDDR6 VRAM. All of this is powered by 200W of electricity, meaning that you will get a good deal of computational power at a very efficient rate. Aside from keeping electricity costs down, the low power draw also makes managing heat output much easier. Meanwhile, the 4,864 CUDA cores make the card ideal for all sorts of cryptocurrencies, as different algorithms have varying requirements.
As a whole, the 3060Ti is one of the most affordable options on the higher end of the spectrum. It is a great option for those who are starting out in the crypto mining field. It won’t put too much of a strain on your budget and is also great for gaming. This means that it can be easily repurposed or resold.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
Most Powerful Mining Graphics Card.
When it comes to graphics cards, few can compete with the raw power of Nvidia’s RTX 3090. This is Nvidia’s current flagship GPU and their most powerful card to date. With a whopping 121 MH/s hash rate, the 3090 blows away the competition to reach the top spot. The card also has 24 Gigs of GDDR6X VRAM and over 10,000 CUDA cores. Naturally, all this raw horsepower comes with a significant power draw. With a 350W requirement, the 3090 will cause a significant hike in electricity costs.
As the premier Nvidia GPU, the RTX 3090 requires a significant upfront investment. With a retail price of $1,500, this GPU is not for everyone. However, finding one at that price is almost impossible. Due to increased demand and global chip shortages, these highly-coveted graphics cards are almost constantly sold out. Instead, most buyers are forced to seek GPUs from resellers who often sell them at up to twice the retail price. The high demand and scarcity have even created a whole new market where people buy powerful GPUs with the intent of reselling them.
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
Best AMD Option.
The RX 5700 XT is one of AMD’s best crypto-mining graphics cards and the company’s answer to Nvidia’s RTX 3060Ti. Retailing at the same price of $399, the 5700 offers 54 MH/s of hash power and 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM.
While this might not be as much horsepower for the price, it is a bit easier to find this card at a reasonable price than it is the 3060Ti. AMD’s 5700 also has a total power draw of 225W, which is a bit higher than the 3060Ti but still very good.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
Best Last-Gen Option.
Nvidia’s RTX 2070 is an older model, having come out in 2018. As a last-gen graphics card, it is significantly less powerful than those in the 30 series. However, it still holds up pretty well when it comes to crypto mining. As a last-gen GPU, the 2070 is also much easier to find and comes at a more affordable price.
The RTX 2070 offers 36 MH/s of hash power with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM. This is fairly close to the 3060Ti’s specs but comes at a much cheaper price. With a 225W power draw, the card will also keep your electricity and cooling costs on the lower end and make maintaining your rig easier and cheaper. However, opting for a second-hand option can present a bit of a risk, as many previous owners of GPUs put them through considerable strain.
AMD Radeon RX 580
Best Budget AMD Option.
If you are looking to try out crypto mining with minimal risk, then the RX 580 might be your best option. While the card has only 28MH/s of hash power, it comes at a much lower price than other options. It also has 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM, which is more than enough to run most of the popular mining software suits. It also draws only 185W of electricity, meaning that you can power it with minimal difficulty and won’t have to pay a hefty electricity bill.
The RX 580 has a retail price of $229, which is very affordable in comparison with other options. However, you should keep in mind that this is more of a short-term investment. Because mining difficulty increases over time, the RX 580 will quickly become obsolete. This means that the return on the card is finite, and you can expect a shorter profitability window than other more expensive options. Nevertheless, AMD’s RX 580 is a great option if you want to try your hand at mining before committing a more sizable investment.
Closing Thoughts On Mining Graphics Cards
And there you have it, some of the best graphics cards for mining crypto, based on performance, affordability, and availability. Each one of these has its pros and cons and offers different specifications. As such, you should consider each one carefully and decide based on your particular needs. If you are looking for a long-term operation and have money to spend, then a larger upfront investment will definitely pay off down the road. Investing in the top-of-the-line flagship graphics cards will ensure that your mining operation will be profitable well into the future.
Meanwhile, those on a tighter budget or more risk-averse can invest in one of the lower-end options or last-gen GPUs. This will allow them to get a good sense of what mining crypto is and whether the venture is in their comfort zone. However, investing in less powerful GPUs is a short-term option as they will quickly become obsolete and stop returning a profit.