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Best GPUs for Crypto Mining

Introduction and Top Picks

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 Radeon RX 580

Good performance
Cheaper than more premium cards
Easy to optimize
Higher power consumption than GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
Price is inflated, due to high-demand

AMD Radeon RX 580

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.

AMD Radeon RX 570

Less expensive than Radeon RX 580, but nearly as fast
4GB onboard GDDR5 still viable for mining
Easy to tune for greater efficiency
Requires significant optimization
Prices well-above MSRP

AMD Radeon RX 570

The Radeon RX 570 launched at a $170 (£160) price point, about $60 (£40) 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.

GeForce GTX 1060 6GB

Lower power than competition
Less heat and noise
Easily tunable for higher hash rates
Price on the rise

GeForce GTX 1060 6GB

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.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition

High-end mining performance
Exhaust blows out waste heat
Best value in GeForce line-up
Price changes frequently
Warmer/louder than third-party cards with larger cooling solutions

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition

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.

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56

Unprecedented performance per watt
Responds very well to undervolting and overclocked memory
Overpriced for gaming
High stock power consumption
Hot-running GPU requires substantial cooling

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56

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

  • abryant
    Archived comments are found here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3675386/gpus-ethereum-mining-tested-compared.html
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • japjit1
    Please give more info on the "optimizations" done to Vega 64/56 & 580/570
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • MxMatrix
    Stop it!!! #nomorecryptocurrencycrap ...
    Reply
  • 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).
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • theyeti87
    20956945 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.
    Reply
  • thequn
    Why no optimization for nvidea?
    Reply