Best Graphic Cards for Ethereum (ETH) MiningUpdated on: April 11, 2019
In 2008, a massive storm has hit the Internet, crypto currencies. With the introduction of Bitcoin, a serious development took its start. The digital gold has seen its debut.
The first transaction done with Bitcoins was just a dude buying a pizza for 10,000 Bitcoins. Now, more than 8 years later, a single Bitcoin is worth around $5000 (at time of writing).
Many believe that Bitcoin could even overthrow the central banking system all together, because of its decentralized nature. This leaves us with some serious implications about crypto currency. The most important one is that it is definitely something worth taking a look at and something worth investing into.
Before we jump into more details, here is a full list of graphic cards that you can use for mining Ethereum (ETH):
In its early stages, Bitcoin could be mined with just a simple laptop CPU. It wasn’t worth too much back then. As more and more people got into it, mining became more difficult because of how the Bitcoin’s algorithm is set up. As it reached a certain point, CPUs weren’t enough anymore.
Some smart dude discovered that you could calculate the Bitcoin hash much faster with a graphic card. So people moved to using graphic cards and started investing thousands of dollars into them, to get themselves a bigger KiloHash rate.
This went on for a few years and soon enough, ASICs were developed. An ASIC is a piece of hardware that is made specifically for Bitcoin mining. It was developed for one single purpose. It can calculate the Bitcoin algorithm and mine Bitcoins.
A piece or multiple pieces of ASIC hardware that will get you up to speed with today’s Bitcoin mining standards would cost you at least $2000 up to $4000+. The sky is the limit. Even then, you still have to account for the high electricity upkeep of Bitcoin mining. So unless you have a lot to invest into your mining adventure, you’ll have to look for some alternatives in order to make a good buck off crypto currency. Since many of us definitely won’t be willing to invest thousands into ASIC hardware that has to be replaced after a year or two, we’re left with switching to crypto currencies alternative to Bitcoin.
We have written this content piece to help our readers better understand the concept of mining Ethereum. You can also see what hardware works best for mining and how much they cost. With this, you can get a pretty clear idea of how much you can make with how big an investment. But you can’t know it precisely, since the cost of Ether constantly fluctuates. The current price of Ether is $236.85. That’s a lot of scratch. So it is definitely worth investigating and investing.
Without further ado, let’s get down to the good stuff!
So What is Cryptocurrency and What is Ethereum?
The concept of cryptocurrency is like God’s word to some people and utterly confusing for others. A crypto currency is a digital asset that can be transferred from individual to individual without having a bank, government, company or any third party playing the role of the middle man. You can make a cryptocurrency transaction without a third party intermediary.
Cryptocurrencies are organized through an online network called Blockchain. It keeps a record of each transaction that happened within the network and keeps it securely on numerous computers within the network.
At the heart of every cryptocurrency, there is a mathematical problem to be solved, which process is called mining. It is done by high-end GPU cards that carry out these mathematical processes incredibly fast. Every time you solve one of these mathematical problems, you earn a unit (or multiple units) of the specific cryptocurrency.
The difficulty of the mathematical problem that people have to solve depends on the strength of the network they’re in. As more people join the network and mine for the currency, the more the algorithm raises the difficulty, thus making it harder and harder to mine. As the number of people in the network increase, the more high-performing hardware is required to mine.
It’s hard to foresee the price of a cryptocurrency and the best even the smartest people can do is guess and rely on the facts of the past few years. If you look at the fact that Bitcoin was worth about $1750 less than 3 months ago and now it’s worth $2620, you can make some good guesses where the thing is going. It is also the reason why many people seek to jump into the crypto currency right now and why many cryptocurrencies got created.
There are a lot of cryptocurrencies out there, such as LiteCoin, DoGeCoin, Dash, BlackCoin and Ethereum.
A lot of these have aimed to make it possible for people to use their Graphic cards for mining crypto currency once again.
Ethereum is one of them and it has been on the rise for quite some time now. A lot of people who have thrown their mining graphic cards aside because the release of ASIC hardware have jumped back into business and they’re making a decent buck out of it.
Ethereum is a platform for decentralized applications which runs smart contracts. These smart applications run the way they are programmed, without leaving any possibility to fraud, downtime, censorship or any kind of interference. It handles value tokens, Ethers and other custom assets. It also offers a powerful arsenal of tools for developers around the world. People are able to make highly secure transactions of valuables online, without having to deal with any kind of middle man, such as a corporation. The system keeps tracks of any pledges made and any agreements created as a condition of the transaction. But its core function is running programs that can’t be hacked. It also lets us have websites that are completely owned by their users and lets you make deals without having to worry about frauds or being fooled. It creates a safe system.
On the contrary to Bitcoin, Ether isn’t designed to serve as a global digital currency that you can use to buy goods. It can only be used to pay for specific kinds of actions performed within the Ethereum. Users receive Ether for lending their computing power to the network, which is used to validate transactions and for the contribution of its further development.
Although, you can buy Ether with Bitcoin and other currencies, it didn’t develop in the same fashion as Bitcoin’s market did. Bitcoin developed consistently, demanding better and better hardware as more users joined the network. Bitcoin has a stable set of rules, which leads to 25 Bitcoins being given out every 10 minutes each day. The Ether network doesn’t have this consistency yet and it has been announced that the networks rules will change soon as well. It will follow an in-development consensus algorithm’s, Casper’s rules.
How Will Ethereum’s Price Change?
Ethereum’s network currently operates on a proof-of-work based algorithm, which rewards computers (users) who contribute to the network. With this network, miners create 5 ETH about every 20 seconds.
When Ethereum changes to the Casper algorithm, a proof-of-stake protocol, the rate will change as well. People will only be able to validate transactions if they pay a security deposit up front. This makes the network much more secure since it weeds out the possibility of users producing anything invalid. Any user producing anything invalid will be kicked out of the network.
In short, the Ether network will definitely change, but it still aims to provide value to people.
So, is it worth mining Ethereum?
Anybody who is trying to tell you whether it’s worth to mine Ethereum or any other cryptocurrency is trying to be smart. Nobody knows whether it’s worth mining or not. Nobody knew about Bitcoin either. Like I said, there’s a lot of guessing involved and jumping in always poses a risk. You should definitely do a lot of research and know exactly how much you have to invest and how much your ROI would be. To help you with that, we made this guide.
Let’s look at a basic setup and how it would look in a mining operation. The six most important factors to look at are:
- The Price of the Mining Equipment
- The Hash Rate Your Setup Can Produce
- The Difficulty of the Network
- Price of Ether
- Power Consumption
- Price of Power in Your Area
An active example:
Estimated Price of Mining Equipment
Here’s a pretty powerful mining rig.
- 2x XFX R9 390X Graphic Card = $1200 ($600 each) (new)
- A power supply 650W 80+ EVGA = $120
- Additional Parts for the Rig = $60
Total Cost = $1380
The XFX R9 390X Graphic Card operates on 27.5 Mh/s. So in this case your hash rate with two of these graphic cards would be 55 Mh/s. You can upgrade it to 82.5 Mh/s if you buy an additional graphic card, making your mining equipment much faster and much more profitable.
The current difficulty of the Ethereum network is 0.121 TH in 2017/6/27. It is constantly rising so it’s important to keep eyes on it and adjust accordingly. You can see the network’s difficulty chart at EtherScan.
Price of Ether
The price of Ethereum is something you constantly have to keep an eye out for as well, because it fluctuates every minute. Right now, 1ETH is worth $471.
By using 2 GPUs, 1 CPU will usually use up about 850W.
The cost of power in California is $0.21 while it’s 14.5 cents/kwh in Utah. So it completely depends on where you live. I don’t think you would move to Utah for the sake of mining, so you’ll have to invest some time into knowing how power pricing goes in your area.
Another Good Way To Calculate
An easy way to calculate how much you are able to earn with the amount you invest is by using an online calculator like:
- BadMofo’s Ethereum Mining Profitability Calculator
- EtherScan’s Ether Mining Calculator
These calculators require you to type in your Hash rate (MH/s), how much power your hardware consumes and the cost per KW/h in your area. If you have these three variables, they can easily give you a fairly accurate figure of how much money you can make. Use all three of them to get the most accurate figure of how much you could make with your investment.
Choosing Your Mining Hardware
During the past 16 months, mining Ethereum has become very popular. People mainly use graphic cards to mine it, so a lot of Bitcoin miners have blown the dust off theirs and a lot of people started to buy new ones.
This is good and all, but for this reason, a graphic card that regularly costs $200 has gone up to something like $600 or $800. Some even go higher. Since people see them as money making machines, the prices will probably go higher. There’s even a shortage of a couple of models that are very good for mining.
So it’s good to look at good graphic cards that produce a mean MH/s rate and still have reasonable pricing. One of which is the XFX R9 390X Graphic Card, which we’ll get down to in a bit. So, without further ado, let’s see the core devices of mining the all so popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum!
The Best Graphic Cards for Ethereum Mining
Let’s cut to the chase here. You probably don’t care much about the gaming performance of these cards, so we’ll only give some basic insight on their gaming performance. Having such high-end gaming graphic cards have their own benefits when it comes to entertainment purposes. This you probably know.
The most important thing for us to consider here is the perspective ROI of the mining rig that can be built with these graphic cards. Namely, the number of Mh/s they can work with.
Most of the setups you would invest into will return your investment in about 6 months. So hopefully you’ll already be making some profit in the 7th or 8th month and continue making more in the following year.
As we mentioned above, the two core factors of a graphic card you would use for mining is the amount of power it consumes (W/h) and number of MH/s it has. These metrics can only be known with thorough testing, so it’s hard to show accurate values about them. They are not shared on any of the product descriptions, meaning there’s a lot to look into.
Now that we know what we’re focusing on, it’s time to get down to business!
1. XFX Double Dissipation R9 390X 1050MHZ
Sapphire Radeon R9 390X is one of the most powerful GPUs within reach. It comes at the reasonable price of $600, which is somewhat less than other high-end graphic cards’ cost right now. It’s a high-end gaming GPU that brings 4K gaming and virtual reality to your gaming experience. You can enjoy the most high quality image and the smoothest gameplay with this beast thanks to its processor speed being 1055MHz, having DDR3 SDRAM and a hard drive size of 8192 MB. It was designed for gaming above full HD (1920×1080) resolution. It’s really a device that has hit the sweet spot with high performance and good pricing. But it is definitely noisier and a bit slower than other, more expensive GPUs. Though, it is a pretty good option when it comes to mining.
The R9 390X 8GB GPU has been battle tested in the field of mining lots cryptocurrencies and Ethereum as well. It produces a solid hash rate of 27.5 Mh/s and consumes about 275w as it mines. Its wattage is 750 watts so it doesn’t go easy on the electricity bill. Still, it is capable of producing a profit of $6.88/day and $206/month in many countries. Of course, this number varies depending on the cost of electricity in your area.
It was tested on Windows 8.1 Pro, which is provided in the package.
If you’re looking to make your debut into Ethereum mining on a budget and still produce a solid hash rate or just want to enjoy super high quality gaming, this graphic card is for you.
2. Sapphire Radeon R9 295X2 8GB
Now, I’m not going to use the already overused phrase “one of the best” here. The R9 295X2 is the fastest graphic card in the world! It has 8GB of VRAM and operates with 11.5 teraflops. It is also among the few of its kind, because it features two graphics chip. This machine was built for some truly hardcore 4K gaming and is ready to wreck any task you throw at it. The R9 295X2 is the champion in the graphic cards arena and will cut down anyone who opposes it. It is made to provide the most high-end gaming experience a gamer can have. But it is definitely a top competitor in mining Ethereum as well.
During its tests the R9 295X2 produced a rock solid 61.5 Mh/s Ethash. It operates on 430 Watts so it consumes more than the model mentioned above. Being a truly powerful device for Ethereum mining, it is often out of stock on Amazon. People just grab it when they see that it’s available. A rough estimate of the profit it makes per day would be around $4 per day and around $118 per month. It does indeed have power consumption between 430 and 450 watts, but it pays off.
Once you bought this model, you can expect to work its price off within 150 days, so you’ll get your ROI after 6 months of mining.
The Sapphire Radeon R9 295X2 8GB is a true beast and it’s definitely ready for some hardcore gaming and to make you a solid profit!
3. Sapphire Radeon R9 290 4GB
Finally, we have a high powered graphic card that cuts corners in its price. It is a more inexpensive yet very powerful option for both gaming and Ethereum mining purposes. This device was designed for budget conscious people who are very enthusiastic towards playing games in ultra-high resolution and in multi-monitor configurations, supporting up to 4 displays. The R9 290 graphic card is definitely worth its price and delivers stunning performance in AAA games and Ether mining. It is equipped with 4GB of the highest performing GDDR5 memory. It can be clocked at 1300 MHz and can deliver a very high bandwidth.
Even under heavy load it stays much cooler than other models on the market, thanks the Tri-x cooling technology. It keeps cool under a consistent heavy load of mining Ether. It produces 32.6 Mh/s on windows 10, which is decent and was very consistent during the test. It has a power consumption of 300 W which is half of what the above mentioned 8GB graphic cards consume. This will also cut your power cost in half for all of the graphic cards you implement. If we calculate 0.8$ for its daily power consumption and a daily return of approximately $2, which means that it will pay back the price you invested after 7 months.
Whether you want to enjoy high-end gaming or want to double down on Ether mining, this graphic card will do both at a reasonable price.
4. VisionTek AMD Radeon 7990 6GB
The Radeon 7990 sure is a top competitor when it comes to gaming, but a huge competitor in Ethereum mining as well. It has an engine clock of 950 MHz paired with 6GB (3 GB per GPU) of the latest GDDR5 memory. You can easily leave your single monitor configuration behind and add another monitor or even 3 more to your setup. You can enjoy gaming at ultra-high resolutions and enjoy the upcoming gaming titles in their purest form during the upcoming years. This graphic card can handle a heavy load and stays cool and quiet during operation.
The most outstanding thing about the Radeon 7990 is that, it is the 5th most powerful Ethereum mining graphic card out there, capable of producing 44 Mh/s. It is powerful and reliable all the way and will definitely make you a solid buck if you use it consistently. What makes it even better is that it consumes around 300W. Many graphic cards consume the same amount but produce 10 Mh/s less.
So, if you pay around $0.8 to $1 per day for power and get approximately $3 per day, it will pay itself off within 180 days (around 6 months).
The Radeon 7990 is definitely a worthy venture if you’re looking to do some serious mining. Buy two of these babies and you’ll be set up pretty well. If you’re interested in the updated pricing, you can check it out through the link we provided.
5. MSI GAMING Radeon RX 480
One of MSI’s most powerful creations, it was created for budget conscious gamers who would like to enjoy a powerful ultra-high resolution and a multi monitor setup. It is the cheapest VR ready gaming graphic cards out there. The Radeon RX 480 supports 4 displays offering a truly high-end gaming experience and works really well for Ethereum mining too.
This card is a major leap forward towards the next generation, offering much higher performance but at almost the same power consumption. This means that it gets a big yes from many Ethereum miners out there who have to balance power consumption and the produced hash rate.
The Radeon RX 480 produces a 25 Mh/s hash rate and consumes only 150 Watts! That’s a really low power consumption which will definitely give a major boost to your mining operation. So to speak in money terms, you can actually make profit somewhat faster with this beautiful piece of technology.
The graphic card itself will cost about $460. If it’s power consumption costs you about $0.4 per day and you get a return of $2.5 or $3 every day, then it can pay itself off in less than 3 months! Those are some nice numbers there. So if you want to jump into mining Ethereum and don’t want to invest a lot right away, you can start out slowly. The Radeon RX 480 is an excellent option for that.
6. ASUS ROG STRIX Radeon Rx 480 8GB
Yet another exceedingly powerful graphic card that is capable of pushing the limits of all modern games, offering ultra-high resolution and peak gaming performance. You can enjoy a 4 display setup and a solid mining performance. The 4-pin GPU-controlled headers ensure that the card stays cool at all times making it 30% cooler than its predecessors. It has 8GB of memory and will handle just about everything you throw at it.
If you want to go all out with a 4 monitor setup, you can do it seamlessly with this baby. It will work in your computer with a quiet, peaceful hum and ensure that you can enjoy peak performance all the way. The XSplit Gamecaster lets you tweak the GPU according to your liking and help you get the max out of your games.
The STRIX Radeon Rx 480 would be an awesome addition to your mining rig as it produces an average 28 MH/s with a power consumption of 150 Watts. It will require a cost of about $0.4 per day just for the power, but will return approximately $1.5 each day. It will take it more than 6 months to reproduce its price, since it went sky high right now. You can buy it for $750 and start making money with it. You’ll be making a good profit in about 7 or 8 months, which is quite good.
7. ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 570
Another powerful graphic card that clocks to 1310 and has 4GB of memory for accomplishing the entire heavy load you throw at it. It offers a solid gaming and Ethereum mining performance. Spreading its nearly endless spectrum of colors onto your screen; I mean onto all of your screens, because this beast supports an unlimited number of displays. Although it is one of weakest graphic cards among its powerful brethren but can still be 30% cooler than its brethren and be much quieter as well. It is powerful and reliable all the way, which makes it worthy of becoming an addition to your mining rig. Although, I do have to mention that there are other models out there which come at the same price but offer better performance. The RX 570 is a little bit weaker than the RX 580 but it still produces a pretty awesome hash rate.
With an electricity consumption of 225W, it is capable of producing 27 Mh/s. This gets close to as much you would expect from a high-end graphic card but this mid-range one seems to do the job pretty well too.
With the power consumption costing about $0.5 per day, it makes you about $3 profit for each day, eventually returning your initial investment within 6 or 7 months. That works quite well from an investment perspective. So, if you don’t want to jump into the Ethereum mining business with massive loads of money, and would rather start out slow and steady, than the Radeon RX 570 graphic card will definitely serve you well!
8. MSI GAMING Radeon RX 470
As we move down the scale, we can see less powerful graphic cards that still manage to do the job, although they don’t offer stellar performance. I introduce to you the Radeon RX 470. A solid tool for any gamer or Ethereum miner who would like to enjoy the performance of a strong, mid-range graphic card. It aims to take the crown as the best graphic card that offers Full HD resolution at 60 FPS and manages to do so by being at a low price.
The RX 470 has 4GB of memory and features factory OC configuration that lets you boost it up to 1242 MHz. Cooling is pretty good and it stays cool if you use it for mining 24/7. It operates on 210 Watts and produces 21 Mh/s. People on some forums suggest that you should install a bios mod and boost this baby’s performance up to 28 Mh/s, which suddenly makes it a much better deal. With or without that mod, it won’t be the most powerful mining tool you ever added to your rig, but it will definitely produce you a good, consistent income. If you install another one or two more, you’ll have yourself a powerful mining operation.
It has a modest hash rate, so it won’t be bathing you in money, but you can still earn a steady income. It will consume about $0.4 for power and earn you around $1 or $1.20 a day, providing you with an annual income that moves between $400 and $440. That’s pretty solid. You’ll have your initial investment back within half a year and the rest goes into profit.
If you want to catch on to the Ethereum mining buzz, you can move in for the RX 470 and start earning! You can check it out through the link we provided!
9. EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 took the world by storm and brought some innovations and upgrades along. It is a top-tier graphic card with a price, but it is definitely a promising investment in the field of Ethereum mining. It is also a graphic card to be placed into the ultimate gaming platform, packing some serious horsepower, thanks to the next generation 11 Gbps GDDR5X memory and its insane 11 GB frame buffer.
Not to mention that it will be an awesome addition to any mining rig as well, since it has a lot of potential. It doesn’t perform equally in every algorithm but it definitely does good work with Claymore’s Ethereum miner, producing a solid 32 MH/s hash rate.
It can be jacked up to work on 300W and perform better, but you should definitely install some additional cooling, otherwise it will be problematic in the long term. If you don’t want to stretch its limits and would rather go for consistency, then use it on the base 250W. It has only one cooler, which isn’t much, so you should definitely lock the speed of your fans to 100%, to ensure that the heat doesn’t go overboard.
GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition costs around $700 depending on where you choose to buy it. It isn’t shy to consume power either and consumes around $0.7 worth of power on a daily basis. To make up for that it almost doubles the return and achieves a profit of $1.3 per day. That’s pretty solid but will require you to do more than a year of mining to get its price back. But once you do, you’ll be making a solid income for the upcoming years. Investing this much into a graphic card or even more graphic cards is a big risk, no doubt about that.
If you’re looking to add one of the latest graphic processors to your mining rig or start mining with it, it is definitely a glorious place to start. Just check the link to see the updated pricing.
10. EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC GAMING
Not much time has passed since the release of the GeForce GTX 1070, a state of the art graphic card with the new Pascal architecture. It has 8GB of the latest GDDRSX memory which provides twice the bandwidth at the same operating frequency. It can grant you serious power for both gaming and mining purposes thanks to the 1595 MHz+ core clock and a 2002 MHz memory clock. The core clock can be boosted up to 1683 MHz which equals a 6% increase in performance.
The GeForce GTX 1070 keeps around 75C under heavy load (60 C during Ether mining) and it operates on 180 Watts, which is pretty amazing. It is a truly worthy investment if you look at how much money you spare on the power, while still maintaining a good hash rate in Ethereum mining. It produces a hash rate of 26 Mh/s which is also quite amazing and guarantees that you’ll get a much faster return on your investment if the Ether market keeps things consistent. But if you tweak it a little and use it in an optimized configuration than it will go up to 32 Mh/s while still keeping the power consumption low.
So with such an energy efficient machine, you’ll see a daily power cost between $0.2 and $0.4 at most and will earn you about $4 or $5 a day. So if things go this well, you’ll get the return of your investment under 6 months!
So be sure to check out the updated pricing of one of the newest and most powerful graphic cards that’s excellent for mining!
There you have it! These are currently the best graphic cards you can use for Ethereum mining. Either of them will earn you a solid buck but you yourself still have a lot of calculation to do beforehand. Once you have found out the cost for a KW/h in the zone you live in and know the amount of money you’re willing to invest into your mining venture, there’s nothing stopping you from making a lot of cash with this awesome technology!