When we get asked about what the best GPU is here at HotRate, we’re most often hearing from dedicated or curious gamers looking to create the perfect rig (or at least the best rig for their budget), but a GPU isn’t just useful for gaming or for creative work like graphic design. As cryptocurrency mining starts to enter the popular imagination, more users are looking for information on how to build a killer machine that can produce efficient results.
The GPU is arguably the most important key to creating a great PC for mining Ethereum, Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. We’re going to run you through 10 of the best models and then help you understand what you should be paying attention to when shopping for the best GPU for mining.
- 10 Best GPUs for Mining
- GPU for Mining Buyer’s Guide
10 Best GPUs for Mining
1. AMD Radeon RX580
AMD is known for their ability to produce quality mining GPUs at a price well below what NVIDIA offers, and if you're seeking out the best GPU for mining cheap, the AMD Radeon RX580 is definitely a contender. You can pick up this GPU for right around $200, and those savings will continue in the long term since this GPU can run at peak capacity even at low temperatures.
ASUS has made some smart decisions that put this model among the best mining GPUs too. The dual-fan cooling keeps things running quieter and cooler than even the standard GPU model offers, while GPU Tweak II allows you to optimize your performance without causing long term harm to your GPU.
2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
If price is no object for you, the one best GPU for mining in terms of sheer performance is the upgraded Ti version of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080. Just keep in mind that you can't just calculate the overhead cost. The power consumption on this GPU is through the roof. But with a little tweaking, the NVIDIA GTX 1080 can clear a hashrate significantly over 30 mh/s, which is otherwise unheard of.
Because of that, this GPU is best used for people who know what they're doing. If you know you're serious about mining Ethereum or another cryptocurrency and you have a cool space so you don't have to worry about overheating, this is going to be the best mining GPU around.
3. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
The 1070 Ti is an improved version of the standard 1070 from NVIDIA, and while it can't hit the frankly absurd hash rates of the 1080 Ti, it hits a nice sweet spot in terms of overall performance. That's because it bears a price tag that's over $200 cheaper than its big brother and offers some great efficiency.
The hashing here is actually pretty impressive. It won't hit the peak that you'd find in the 1080 Ti, but it does come close to 30 mh/s. Combine that with the pretty impressive power usage and you're left with one of the most well balanced pro level mining GPUs on the market.
4. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
If you want the best value out of a GPU card, the NVIDIA 1070 is a worthy choice. In most of the key categories, this GPU actually comes close to the 1070 Ti in terms of performance, and it manages to do so at a much cheaper price point. You won't get quite the same level of performance in the long term, but it's certainly close, and the barrier to entry is much lower.
This is an instance where the improvements made to the Ti don't add a whole lot for mining and an indication that a good mining GPU isn't always directly proportionate to the price. For most miners, we'd recommend this more basic GPU over its more powerful Ti edition.
5. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
If your biggest concern is how much GPU mining is going to cause your energy bills to spike, your best choice for mining may be the NVIDIA 1060. It promises power consumption levels of just 160 watts, and you can pick it up for slightly over $200, so you can more easily get a return on your investment even if you're in an area with high bills for power consumption.
Gigabyte has improved on the performance of the core features of this GPU with the smart design of their graphics card. You can achieve overclocking with a single click (meaning it can double pretty effectively as a gaming graphics card), and it makes use of a 3D active fan to make sure your GPU doesn't overheat even in extreme conditions.
6. AMD Radeon VII
Are you looking for the best of the best mining GPU? The best case is made for the AMD Radeon VII. For many major currencies - and Ethereum in particular - it blows all of the competition out of the water, offering double or more the hash rate of what you'd find in lesser mining GPUs. And while power consumption is high, it's not nearly as high as you'd expect for such a powerful GPU.
And to their credit, PowerColor has done a great job of making the most this GPU has to offer when transforming it into a graphics card. This graphics card comes with three dedicated fans to make sure that extra power draw doesn't burn like an oven and potentially fry your hardware.
7. AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
The AMD Radeon RX Vega is easily one of the best AMD cards on the market. And while it can't keep up to pace with the truly best in class Radeon VII, it still manages to outperform practically all the competition for Ethereum mining and cryptocurrency mining in general, and it delivers that without making you pay an arm and a leg for the privilege. And the efficiency of the RX Vega 56 is some of the best around - boasting a low wattage for some of the best performance available.
And the AMD cards these GPUs are packed into are pretty impressive as well. MSI has invested this graphics card with Air Boost technology and a pretty meaningful cooling system. That means efficiency not just at mining but with gaming as well.
8. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Given the reputation NVIDIA has in the graphics card market, it's interesting to see it play a distant second fiddle to the Radeon VII. Not only does the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti not offer hash rates that can compete with the Radeon VII, but it also comes with a higher price tag. And there's no doubt that the Radeon is probably your best choice for a pure mining rig, the RTX 2080 easily offers some of the best performance for other GPU applications.
And ASUS's ROG brand has definitely pulled out all the stops with the design of these graphics cards. RGB lighting can fully be controlled with free software, while the GPU Tweak II software gives you a lot of options to customize it to the specifications of your mining operation (or even your favorite games).
9. Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
The 2060 continues the reputation for performance in the GeForce RTX series. It's designed essentially to be comparable with the RX Vega 56, and it mostly succeeds in that respect: with both the pricing and the hash rates coming in within a very small ball park of one another.
And this is another GPU that's a very viable solution for mixed use. When you aren't looking to mine, there's a bevy of cool gaming features to take advantage of. MSI has also packed in both a traditional fan and a dispersion fan blade in conjunction with a heat sink for some of the best heat dispersion around.
10. AMD Radeon RX570
The Radeon RX 570 may offer the best value for a gaming card for mining, at least for now. The list price has been more than slashed in half on Amazon. In more analytic terms, that means a GPU that can compete with much higher priced cards for only $150. Without the deal it's still a great deal, but it's a steal on sale.
As for performance, it's about what you can expect from AMD's offerings: a high ratio of value to cost but without the sort of gaming and productivity features that NVIDIA chips offer. This particular card is produced by MSI, and that means that you can expect some of the most efficient and well built design around.
GPU for Mining Buyer’s Guide
Cryptocurrency mining can be a complicated process, and there are a lot of moving parts to consider. The features that make a great gaming GPU aren’t always going to be great for GPU miners, and the type of currency you’re looking to mine can have a definitive impact on how successful any GPUs on the market are going to be. But whether you’re looking to mine Ethereum or another cryptocurrency, we’re here to cover the fundamentals concerning GPUs for mining.
How Cryptocurrency Mining Works
There are whole websites devotes to explain the process of cryptocurrency mining, but we want to run you through the basics before you invest in a mining rig. In essence, when you mine for cryptocurrency, you’re both creating that currency and making sure that it’s secure. Mining rigs accomplish that process by guessing a series of randomized numbers. This serves the process of both encrypting and expanding that currency.
GPUs for mining are typically used for that role because their process makes them better than CPUs (which serve as the brains of a more traditional computer) at the sort of raw, numerical computing that constitutes the totality of the mining process. But complicating things is the fact that graphics cards and GPU manufacturers are in an arms race with the very nature of how most cryptocurrencies are fundamentally built to work.
Currencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin are trustworthy because of both the high level of security that the mining process instills and because of the consistency of its release. Bitcoins are designed to generate on a global level at a consistent rate, and as the power of each mining graphics card becomes more sophisticated, the computational technicality of the mining process becomes more difficult as well.
Since cryptocurrency mining becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on, the standards for what constitutes the best mining GPU are constantly changing. While the graphics card and mining GPU models we’ve highlighted should continue to be the best around for most if not all of 2020, there will be some fluctuation.
The hash rate is the most important spec to pay attention to when shopping for the best mining GPU, but it’s also one of the hardest to actually determine. There’s quite a few reasons for that, and understanding hash rate – and how it works in relation to other factors like the type of cryptocurrency you’re mining and power consumption – is at the heart of understanding how to build your mining rig.
The hash rate is essentially the speed at which a GPU can mine, but things are made trickier by the vast number of cryptocurrencies out there and the fact that mining becomes more difficult the larger the market for that cryptocurrency is. We’ve kept things consistent among our products by listing the hashrates at time of publication for each GPU on the Ethereum marketplace. Using Ethereum as a control variable allows us some level of consistency, but we highly recommend you check out the markets and the individual hashrates before making a purchase, as they can fluctuate.
How much power a card uses is integral to understanding its value. But complicating things is the fact that higher power usage means higher power bills. Breaking even on your Ethereum or other cryptocurrency investment is a matter of factoring in the profit from your hash rate versus the upfront and power cost of your GPU. Fortunately, resources like Minerstat can help you calculate your return based off of your power costs and the current market.
We chose to use Ethereum as the standard for our hash rates for a reason. It’s one of the largest and most stabilized markets around, but that doesn’t mean that Ethereum is the market you should necessarily pursue. Investing in cryptocurrency is a lot like the stock market in that regard. Investing in established markets like Ethereum usually promises steady but diminishing returns, while investing in less crowded cryptocurrencies means higher risk but higher reward.
The markets themselves are too wide a subject to cover sweepingly here, but plenty of writers are out there providing in depth coverage of cryptocurrencies that are up to date. Just like with any investment, you’ll want to do your research before making the investment into mining hardware.
Considering Use Factors
Are you looking to find a graphics card that can just serve as a dedicated mining device day in and out, or do you want one that you can use with your regular PC and mine on the side? The factors that matter for the best mining card is going to be very different from what matters for a gaming PC, but features that are positives for both appear in most cards, and they scale with price.
But in general, we recommend AMD cards for dedicated and exclusive mining efforts and NVIDIA GPUs if you want something that will work for both mining and gaming. Although we generally recommend AMD GPUs for cheap gaming and NVIDIA for higher end gaming rigs, AMD’s current generation of GPUs blow everything out of the water in terms of mining. And they manage to do so while keeping their prices almost ridiculously low. But if you don’t want your GPU to be devoted exclusively to mining, you might be best suited with a NVIDIA.
Frequently Asked Questions
What GPU is Best for Bitcoin Mining?
We find it hard to argue against the Radeon VII. This monster of a mining GPU offers hashrates that blow all the other competition out of the water. And while it’s one of the most expensive graphics cards around, it offers a more than generous amount of return on investment for a lot of miners.
How Many GPU Do I Need for Mining?
That depends on a lot of factors. How much money do you want to make? How much can you afford to invest? What sort of turnaround do you need, and how much power can you afford to use? Perhaps most importantly, what currency are you mining? Fortunately, our above guide helps you learn to calculate your situation.
Is GPU Mining Profitable in 2020?
GPU mining can be profitable in 2020, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require a lot of work. With the variety of block chain currencies on the market, success often means figuring out which one to invest in and how to find a GPU that will maximize the performance in that particular cryptocurrency market.
If you’re looking to buy your first GPU for mining, there’s no need to be intimidated. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your research. Our guide should answer most of your important questions, and our review list should remain relevant for a while to come (and we’ll be sure to update it as necessary). With that information in hand, you can use the resources linked through our guide to figure out the cost and return that works for you.If you liked our article on gpu for mining, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.