There was a time when cryptocurrency mining with graphics cards wasn’t even a thing as the results were not always profitable. The power-intensive mining process has destroyed many GPUs from the older generations. But things are changing as the hardware manufacturers are coming out with bigger and better hardware that provides sufficient power to make the cryptocurrency mining using graphics cards profitable again.
While Bitcoin mining isn’t possible anymore on graphics cards and requires some serious investments on bigger hardware, Ethereum and its forks are still mineable and are becoming quite popular as more powerful GPUs are launched.
Mining Ethereum and its forks
The reason why the mining of Ether and its forks are becoming popular is that Ethereum’s hashrate has dropped more than 15% over the past two years and currently stands at 256.221 TH/s.
This means Ether is easier to mine and can even be mined using older graphic card models like the Nvidia 1050 Ti, released in October 2016, and the Radeon RX 580, released in April 2017, both of which continue to remain quite popular considering the price of these cards are going down.
The most important reason for ETH mining to have gained popularity is its price, which has more almost tripled since the start of the year, making its mining more profitable.
The question remains which of the latest and semi-latest graphics cards are the best bang for the buck. Both Nvidia and AMD remain the market leaders when it comes to graphics cards, with Nvidia cards having a slight advantage when compared.
However, the most important factor when it comes to graphics card mining is the return on investment factor. Crypto miners must be willing to invest a considerable amount of money before actually thinking of reaping profits.
Obviously one can invest more than $10,000 to bag high-end cards like the Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti with 8 GB or 11 GB of RAM memory, but it’s not feasible for many.
However, there are cheaper alternatives that can help you mine Ether while keeping the cost of the cards below $400 – $500.
AMD Radeon RX 580
The oldest card one can pick up is the RX 580 release back in 2017. The card costs between $180 and $230 and comes with an 8 GB memory. This card is still popular among miners since it consumers very little power.
AMD Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT
AMD’s 2019 cards from the RX series use fin field-effect transistor, or FinFET, technology, making the cards energy efficient when mining. Both provide 8 GB of GDDR6 memory with the 5700 consuming 180 watts and the 5700 XT version consuming 225 watts with a 10% higher base frequency.
The cards cost $400 and $430 respectively.
Nvidia GTX 1660 Super
Another 2019 release, the 1660 super comes with 6 gigabytes of memory and is designed to provide more clock frequency and less power with over a 20% performance jump from the base 1660 model.
The cards fit within the $250 price bracket.
The Nvidia P106-100 “mining edition” is a modified version of the GTX 1060 with no video outputs and no rear panel and a 6 GB memory, designed specifically for mining. However, the product isn’t better than the regular version, performance-wise, but does come $170 cheaper than the GTX 1060.
This makes it a popular choice among miners and provides better value for money.
Nvidia RTX 2060 Super
While this card is not much different from the RTX 2060 besides its 8 GB memory, it uses five different algorithms namely GrinCuckarooD29, GrinCuckatoo31, DaggerHashimoto, X16Rv2, and BeamV2, making it a much more stable option for mining.
The card is priced in-between the RTX 2060 and RTX 2070, with the 2070 costing a whopping $530, while the 2060 super costs just $399.
The best bang for your Buck?
The Nvidia GTX 1660 Super, which costs around $240, can make $0.65 per day and take 12 months to pay for itself.
The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT which costs $400 takes around 8.5 months to pay for itself while bringing in $1.56 per day.
The RTX 2060 brings in $0.92 per day by mining Ethereum and pays itself of in approximately 14 months.
The cheapest in the lot, the Radeon RX 580 brings in almost $0.96 per day and will pay off for itself in just 7 months time.
Meanwhile, the Nvidia P106-100 makes $0.85 a day and will pay off for itself in over 12 months.
The above cards are by far the most popular models in the given price point, but miners must take into consideration that these numbers continue to change as the mining algorithm becomes more complex.
Hence, it is advised that one does thorough research before investing in a mining rig.