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Which GPU Is Best for Mining Ethereum? AMD and Nvidia Cards, Tested

What Does The Future Hold?

We know that it's possible to pre-calculate the DAG for a given Epoch. Consequently, we can know in advance how a graphics card will perform in three, six, or 12 months.

We chose to test these cards at their stock frequencies and also with our settings optimized for a given power consumption (indicated on each chart). Last, the Radeons were tested with their original BIOSes and our modified firmware, optimizing the GDDR5 timings.

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Preliminary Observations

  • The GeForce GTX 1060 3GB does not have enough memory starting with DAG Epoch 180 (just months away) to mine Ethereum using Claymore!

Analysis

  • The performance for GeForce cards does not vary, no matter the size of the DAG. And from here on out, Radeons will have the same performance using AMD's Blockchain drivers. This wasn't the case previously.
  • The performance of certain Radeon cards drops slightly with the largest DAG Epoch, particularly when we optimize GPU clock rate and voltage for improved efficiency. The GPU performance of cards like the Radeon R9 390 could therefore prove to be insufficient above a certain DAG Epoch, at which point you'll need to dial in a higher frequency (necessitating higher voltages and more power consumption) to maintain the same hash rate. GeForce cards do not seem to exhibit this behavior, which could be attributed to the larger performance overhead available for these GPUs.

MORE: The Ethereum Effect: Graphics Card Price Watch


MORE: How To Mine Ethereum Now


MORE: Experiment: Build a (Profitable) Ethereum Mining Rig From Spare Parts


MORE: Top 25 Cryptocurrencies By Market Cap


MORE: Best Graphics Cards

  • abryant
    Archived comments are found here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3520934/ethereum-mining-performance-geforce-radeon.html
    Reply
  • kubex.00714
    Do you know why my gtx970 is stuck at 10 Mh/s?
    Reply
  • Integr8d
    I like hot Toms laments the prices of GPUs, due to the mining craze, and then publishes articles like this...
    Reply
  • derekullo
    20677340 said:
    I like hot Toms laments the prices of GPUs, due to the mining craze, and then publishes articles like this...
    If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
    If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
    If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

    Reply
  • WyomingKnott
    Add some workstation cards to the review. If they turn out to be hashmasters, it would relieve the strain on the graphics card market.

    fat chance.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    20677421 said:
    Add some workstation cards to the review. If they turn out to be hashmasters, it would relieve the strain on the graphics card market.

    fat chance.

    A titan V would have handily crushed any of the cards here with its 70+ MH/s Eth rate.

    https://hothardware.com/reviews/nvidia-titan-v-volta-gv100-gpu-review?page=5

    But when it comes to making your money back you use:
    Cost of graphics card / Megahashes per second (Easy to understand formula, real formula at the bottom)

    For the Geforce 1060 that comes out to roughly

    $400 / 25MH/s or 16 dollars per megahash (I was able to buy 4 1060s for about $300 each a few months ago. Score!!!)

    For the Geforce Titan V that comes out to roughly

    $5000 / 82MH/s or 61 dollars per megahash.

    As you can see it would take at least 3.8 times as long for a Titan V to pay itself off, not including the power cost.

    This isn't the most true comparison due to not taking power into account, but still gives an easily understandable way of seeing why a $5000 GPU isn't worth mining with.

    You could have simply bought 3 Geforce 1060s and had a similar hash rate for cheaper.

    The goal here being to make back the price of the graphics cards, then everything else is gravy.



    Ideally I would have used the formula of

    Cost of graphics card / Spreadsheet calculated monthly income taking power and other fluctuations into account.

    to calculate on average how long a graphics card would take to pay itself off.

    You can also use the calculator on https://whattomine.com/ to quickly calculate the "Spreadsheet calculated monthly income"
    Reply
  • aquielisunari
    Sun Tzu
    If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
    If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.
    If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

    Reply
  • aquielisunari
    Bad job Tom's. Just add fuel to the GFX card debacle. Irresponsible and just wrong. First the user must go out and OVERSPEND on a GFX card and then follow this article and start mining and increase the shortages even further. Hm, good job Tom, good job.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    20677582 said:
    Bad job Tom's. Just add fuel to the GFX card debacle. Irresponsible and just wrong. First the user must go out and OVERSPEND on a GFX card and then follow this article and start mining and increase the shortages even further. Hm, good job Tom, good job.

    Tom's gave you all the information needed for you to decide whether to mine or not.

    Let me paint it a bit simpler.

    Lets assume you believe the price of Ethereum is going to stay at what it is today, currently $709, forever.

    Plugging in all that information into whattomine.com gives us:

    https://whattomine.com/coins/151-eth-ethash?utf8=%E2%9C%93&hr=22.5&p=90.0&fee=1.0&cost=0.06&hcost=400&commit=Calculate

    (0.06$/kWh is my power cost in my area)

    Or $38.78 monthly profit or a 309 day repayment.

    If you are confident that Ethereum's price will stay the same or maybe even rise then you could expect to recoup your $400 purchase in at max 309 days.

    If 309 days is too long to wait or you are unsure about cryptocurrencies then stay out of the water.

    Reply
  • WyomingKnott
    @aquielisunari
    I don't think that Tom's is going to advance mining much; our longtime enthusiast members mostly won't get into it and it's widely enough known already. A little extra knowledge for those of us on the sidelines and, who knows, maybe miners will concentrate on the most efficient cards and the price of the rest will go down. Not an issue for me, I'm running a fanless GT430, so what do I care about current prices?
    Reply