Over the last one year, the public interest in cryptocurrencies and related offerings has grown manifold. Irrespective of the falling prices, enthusiasm, and curiosity for digital assets continues to persist
While a majority of individuals are more interested in investing, few move towards other operational activities, mining being one of them. Cryptocurrency mining requires specific high-end hardware and algorithms to solve the mathematical problems which are necessary to approve and authenticate payments on the network as well as for the creation of new tokens or coins.
As the number of mineable cryptocurrencies and digital tokens have increased, the technology to mine them also changed moving more towards devices that could handle more mining power and load to give efficient results.
Understanding the Basics of the Mining Hardware
Bitcoin mining began in 2009 and started more of a hobby of the few tech-savvy individuals. The first low hanging fruits of bitcoins were fetched using a simple computer. But the way these networks were built, every new bitcoin that was mined consumed more power and hence, taking more time to mine.
Bitcoin is mined by solving complex mathematical algorithms. Initially, Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, envisage that each home computer can mine bitcoin but as complexity increased the need for high-end devices popped up.
It was the in 2010 the first codes started emerging for mining bitcoins with GPU, a computing component that until now was employed to play video games. Mining with a single GPU was still accessible but as the difficulty of mining increased a notch higher, more and more of GPU’s were deployed to earn bitcoins.
By 2011, with rising difficult and miners installed power consumption on the rise Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). FPGA’s were more efficient regarding power consumption compared to a single GPU that took almost three times energy than an FPGA.
But the time progressed and the interested started building up among people the FPGA slowly gave way to its evolved version is known as the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) systems.
With the introduction of ASIC, crypto mining that was started as a hobby slowly become a booming industry.
New Era of Crypto Mining
Today with so much evolvement, a variety of options have emerged if one is still interested in mining cryptocurrencies. The possibilities of mining various cryptocurrencies have also opened up, and everything is not just restricted to bitcoin. Some mining algorithms like “CryptoNight” still do not require really sophisticated hardware and can even work efficiently on CPU’s.
A level above them is a bunch of sophisticated popular coins such as ether, zcash, vertcoin, which at a minimum require a GPU to mine. Above them come the cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and litecoin whose mining difficulties are the highest and require ASIC to remain profitable for miners.
As the complexities of the crypto mining industry have increased, it becomes difficult for miners to find the best motherboard or GPU that can support its mining operations, in a manner which is both viable and economical. Hence the below article tries to list down the best options that are available for anyone who wants to set up a crypto mining rig and start mining the cryptocurrencies they like.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is a favorite mid-to-upper range graphics card belonging to Nvidia’s GTX 10-series which are powered by the Pascal architecture to deliver nearly 3x the performance of its predecessors.
It has capabilities of managing a high hash rate of close to 30mh/s but utilizes very less power clearly justifying its strength and the price premium that it comes for. With a Core clock of 1506 MHz, Memory of 8GB GDDR 5 and Power Draw of 150 W, the device could be a really good one to mine Ethereum if coupled with a cloud mining contract such as Hashflare.
AMD Radeon RX580
Another GPU that was initially designed for high-end gaming now finds its place in a crypto miners’ den. RX580 was initially a disappointing performer as it consumed more power and gave the same hash rate as its preceding model the RX 480. But what changed the fate for this GPU was that miners started tweaking its BIOS. By overlocking or underpowering, the GPU worked at its optimum making mining more profitable and economical.
With a robust core clock of 1257 Mhz, memory of 8GB GDDR5 and a power draw of 185 W, the GPU provides a good stock hash rate of 24 MH/s and tweaked hash rate of 29 MH/s making one of the most popular buys for miners.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
One more GPU from the Nvidia’s GTX 10-series, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 is an excellent replacement to its competitor AMD Radeon RX 480, which is usually out of stock due to its low level. While these may not be the best configurations for a crypto mining GPU, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 is still a good buy as it provides decent mining result while being economical at the same time.
An excellent bet to mine Zcash, the GeForce GTX 1060 comes equipped with patented wing-blade fans which can provide max airflow with 105% more air pressure keeps the device much cooler when mining intensifies. Industry’s only GPU which uses Auto-Extreme Technology with Super Alloy Power II has a power draw of 120W with Core Clock of 1506 Mz and memory of 6GB GDDR 5
AMD Radeon RX Vega
It is one of the most potent and value-packed Radeon graphics cards prepared by AMD, AMD Radeon RX Vega has a core clock of 1,156MHz and Memory of 8GB HBM2. With a power draw of 210W, which is higher than its competitors, the RX Vega becomes a pricey option for a mining rig that runs 24/7. But if sheer performance is considered it is a great buy for any miner.
Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti
With capabilities of providing a hash rate of 32 mh/s, the GTX 1080 Ti from Nvidia is one most powerful graphics cards that are available. Placed in an expensive bracket, the GPU is a giant when it comes to performance. One of the latest edition in Nvidia’s GPU offering, the hardware is packed with a memory of 11GB GDDR5X and a massive 11 GB frame buffer the GPU provides a core clock of 1,480MHz. Being expensive upfront and a power draw of 250W, the device could be a costly affair if not deployed or utilized well.
Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti
An upgrade to the fantastic Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, the Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti is an equally powerful device. With some power upgrades and a higher base clock, the GTX 1070 Ti has some pluses. Although these positives come at a cost, as it is expensive than the GTX 1070 and draws more power thus bring the profits levels down and recovery period longer ultimately impacting the ROI. Packed with a Core Clock of 1,607MHz and Memory of 8GB GDDR5, the GTX 1070 Ti is not a thing for a novice to make money in mining.
Honeyminer- Make Your Home GPU a Mining Rig
While these options look great for a professional miner, it’s still a difficult choice for the newbies who have limited knowledge and capital to invest upfront. An entry barrier for someone who wants to try their hand on mining.
Well, this isn’t the case anymore. Honeyminer a new application now allows crypto enthusiasts to use their personal PC’s to mine cryptocurrencies as part of the pool.
Honeyminer envisions to provide a solution to people with crypto mining ambitions by giving them a platform where they can use their consumer laptops to mine cryptocurrencies. It allows people to join a pool of miners who leverage their resources and systems together for mining cryptocurrencies. As funds contributed by each user are in a bundle, it brings down the average GPU to relatively lower levels thus fulfilling the individual GPU shortcomings.
As the demand and supply for crypto mining dwindle in correlation with the prices of cryptocurrencies, mining in a pool could be seen slowly picking up. After all, it’s the world of decentralization which may soon capture the mining industry – where everyone will contribute.