Best GPUs for Crypto Mining

Whether you're building a single cryptocurrency mining rig or an entire farm of them, the graphics card is the most important component for determining performance. Though mining is not a 3D workload, GPUs do most of the heavy lifting. A fast graphics card can help you mine more currency, more quickly but if it drinks juice through a firehose, you'll be sending all your earnings to the electric company.

In order to turn a tidy profit from your mining business, you need to buy a graphics card that is both powerful and power efficient. To help you choose, we tested over a dozen different cards, running them through a bevy of performance tests while measuring how much electricity they use and heat they generate. These are our five favorites.

AMD’s Radeon RX 580 is a popular choice with cryptocurrency miners for its excellent stock performance and (relatively) affordable price. Maximize the card’s efficiency by overclocking its GDDR5 memory, dialing down its core voltage, and pulling back on the Power Limit setting in a tuning utility like MSI Afterburner.

The Radeon RX 570 launched at a $170 price point, about $60 less expensive than the Radeon RX 580. Out of the box, however, it offers about 90% of the 580’s Ethereum hash rate. In fact, an optimized Radeon RX 570 is even faster than a stock 580 (with lower power consumption, too). Although it sells at a massive premium compared to AMD’s original MSRP, the Radeon RX 570 is still a top choice for cryptocurrency miners.

Nvidia’s Pascal architecture shines in comparisons of efficiency, and its mainstream GeForce GTX 1060 6GB stands out in particular. Although it isn’t as fast as AMD’s mid-range Radeons in stock form, our data shows the GeForce using a fraction of the competition’s power, leading to a big advantage in performance per watt measurements right out of the box. Just be sure to buy the 6GB version. Lower-end 3GB cards won’t be useful for mining Ethereum much longer.

Short of the uber-expensive GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and Titan Xp, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 is the fastest mining card in its desktop portfolio (the 1070 Ti is comparable, but more expensive). A 150-watt board power rating sounds high, particularly since it requires a power supply with an extra eight-pin PCIe connector. However, exceptional performance and efficiency offset this, yielding the best performance per watt available from an Nvidia card.

The absolute best mining performance from a desktop graphics card comes from AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 56 and 64, due in part to their 8GB of HBM2 memory on a 2048-bit bus. But those two cards are also the most egregious consumers of power (though optimizing their voltages, clock rates, and temperature limits help immensely). While it’s tempting to favor the flagship for its brute force, an optimized Radeon RX Vega 56 actually serves up superior performance per watt, and at a lower price.

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

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  • Stevemeister
    We should be reporting that the worst cards for mining are high end graphics cards . . . .maybe then demand will drop and prices come back to earth. . . . . . I've seen GTX970's selling used for more than I paid new a few years ago . . . .something is wrong
  • japjit1
    Please give more info on the "optimizations" done to Vega 64/56 & 580/570
  • Myrmidonas
    Any article about cryptocurrency, that helps miners further, is against gamers since it promotes cryptocurrency and affects prices go higher and drop availability of GPUs.

    As a gamer, I do not like that.
  • MxMatrix
    Stop it!!! #nomorecryptocurrencycrap ...
  • salgado18
    These articles are a disservice to the gamer community.

    On the other hand, it's their business to speak about hardware in every area, not just games.

    As sad as it makes us, that's just Tom's doing their job. We shouldn't pick on them, we should pick on miners and maybe manufacturers (who don't make specialized hardware and let gaming cards take the price hit).
  • yoncenmild
    Gamers complaining about crypto mining need to reevaluate their perspective. You can either complain that the situation is unfair and demand that someone else do something about it. Or you can accept the situation as reality and figure out a way to use it to your advantage.

    I've never been able to justify spending too much on the GPU for my personal rig. I only play an hour or so a week and mostly older RTS games.

    I've been able to upgrade my GPU for free several times just by mining crypto overnight. I went from a R9 290x to a RX580 4GB to dual 580 8GB for free. I purchased the 290X used for $213 before the mining craze really took off so I basically got my 580s for $111.5 each and I'll be upgrading to a pair of Vega 64s before the end of the year.

    Buy an "overpriced" GPU mine with it overnight and it will eventually pay for itself. Or just complain about how unfair it is, your choice.
  • justin.m.beauvais
    Just as an experiment, I'd like to see how the Titan V mines. The thing is a monster, and very power efficient.
  • theyeti87
    Anonymous said:
    Gamers complaining about crypto mining need to reevaluate their perspective. You can either complain that the situation is unfair and demand that someone else do something about it. Or you can accept the situation as reality and figure out a way to use it to your advantage.

    I've never been able to justify spending too much on the GPU for my personal rig. I only play an hour or so a week and mostly older RTS games.

    I've been able to upgrade my GPU for free several times just by mining crypto overnight. I went from a R9 290x to a RX580 4GB to dual 580 8GB for free. I purchased the 290X used for $213 before the mining craze really took off so I basically got my 580s for $111.5 each and I'll be upgrading to a pair of Vega 64s before the end of the year.

    Buy an "overpriced" GPU mine with it overnight and it will eventually pay for itself. Or just complain about how unfair it is, your choice.


    Not everyone is in your situation, though. To say "I only play 1 hour of RTS so I don't need a fancy GPU" is your personal perspective. "Mine overnight, things will pay for itself" - seriously doubt your claims here.
  • thequn
    Why no optimization for nvidea?
  • casgon2018
    are you sure RX570 is just over 25mh?? My pair of msi rx570 is running 29.6 each.....
  • Aris_Mp
    Do you use a custom Bios, especially for mining? Because only with that those cards go so high.
  • bit_user
    The prices are nonsense, but that's what you get for linking to a specific product, instead of taking some average selling price.

    Newegg has 4 GB RX 570 from $240 (after MIR), 8 GB RX 580 from $330, and Vega 56 from $575 (after MIR).
  • poppajoe512
    great the graphic card prices are finally getting close to normal and you stir the bit coin guys up again with this stupid review thanks a lot !!!!
  • kyotokid
    ...please stop encouraging this. Like others have mentioned it is a disservice to us enthusiasts who enjoy games and/or are involved with 3D CG rendering.
  • cangelini
    Anonymous said:
    Please give more info on the "optimizations" done to Vega 64/56 & 580/570


    Radeon RX 580 had its core voltage pulled back 200mV, its power limit pulled back -15%, its core clock set at 1101 MHz, memory at 2250 MHz.

    Vega 64 had its core voltage dialed by -200mV, power limit pulled back -25%, core clock set at 852 MHz, and memory at 1150 MHz.
  • cangelini
    Anonymous said:
    Why no optimization for nvidea?


    These are coming next!
  • chris.ridpath
    Pull this garbage down. No one that reads your website should be in support of this. It only hurts gamers. We want prices to come back down.
  • zodiacfml
    Don't hate. It is those large scale farms that are to blame for the shortage and high prices.

    On the article, it wasn't bad at all with updated information. I guess, someone from the team is mining.

    I have to disagree with the GTX 1060 though, it is weak with mining unless you get a good price for it which it is currently is. If you don't need more powerful graphics, the 1060 is the best to get for gaming.

    I recently bought an expensive Sapphire Pulse Vega 56 but found that it just draws power as much as an RX 580 while mining Ethereum if you bring down the GPU clock as low as possible. However, I can't bring down the HBM2 voltage. There are some users claiming they can bring this down and get more than 1000 MHz frequency.
  • test_purch1
    Test Automation comment 1526642901443