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Which Graphics Card is best for mining?


It’s fairly easy to identify which graphics cards you can safely put to use in the latest mining effort.

With a little bit of research and a bit of shopping around, the Radeon RX 580 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 are very unlikely to cause your PC to run hot and smoke out your fans. And while there are clearly more capable miners out there than there are Radeon and GeForce graphics cards that are suitable for mining cryptocurrency, you will be hard-pressed to find one with a high-quality 3D graphics chip at reasonable prices. A graphic plays an important role in catching the eye whether it is a graphic card or a graphic design on custom boxes.

That said, what are the different miners looking for, and how do you measure up? Here are the factors to consider when choosing a GPU for mining.

Does it have the graphics engine needed for mining?

It’s a good idea to buy a card that has the graphics engine the miner needs for extracting crypto currencies from a block chain. You can find the specs of graphics chips on graphics-card-maker websites, but the ones that are most popular at the moment (and I’d assume that are all you’ll need if you just want to create one crypto currency and stop) are the following:

4GB: This is the minimum amount of RAM required to generate crypto currency.

1560MB: This is the maximum amount of RAM a graphics card can support.

1366MB: This is the minimum amount of RAM a graphics card needs for power savings. The more RAM, the lower the power drains.

For Ethereum, one of the leading currencies for crypto currency mining, you’ll want to buy a card that has 1366MB of RAM. A lot of miners will stick to cards with less, though, since there are some recent developments that make mining more challenging, like GPU pressure, which means the cards’ GPUs are always idling (which means a card that’s not idling will burn through its power, which can create a problem for other parts of your PC).

2048MB: You can use more RAM if you want to unlock additional features, or if you’re running a CPU-intensive crypto currency-mining application.

Radeon RX 580 4GB (left) and Nvidia GTX 1060 (right) cards for mining.

When to buy

Don’t buy a graphics card for mining until you’ve done some research into the specific graphics chipsets you need and have a way to run the tests to verify that the GPU you want is the one that can handle the mining task you want to do. With most cards, you have to pay a significant premium to get the card that’s most appropriate for your mining effort.

If you’ve got a spare graphics card laying around the house that you’re not using, and are willing to modify it for mining, then you could skip the research altogether and just go to your favorite online retailer and buy a graphics card and start mining.

But if you already have a graphics card, you have a couple of options for mining crypto currency, depending on how old your graphics card is. In that case, the easiest way to make money mining is to upgrade your graphics card and then stop mining for a while.

Old graphics cards, like the Radeon RX 480 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 (both of which are capable of mining Ethereum) cost around $130, which is not bad for a graphics card that only has a 25 percent power savings over the new generation cards. If you’re already using your graphics card, you’ll save $65 over the next six months or so when you stop mining crypto currency.

But if your graphics card is newer, you can still mine for Ethereum, but it’s probably going to be harder. Older, pre-Volta graphics cards—like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 970—are not going to run graphics-intensive cryptocurrency mining apps, like Cryptokitties, that have gained popularity since Ethereum’s launch. And even if you can still mine Ethereum on your older graphics card, you may have a higher power draw than your new, more capable cards.

Alternatively, if you’re willing to go the whole hog and get a new graphics card, then it’s a good idea to go for a Pascal-based GPU (like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070) since that will provide the most power-savings benefits for mining, as well as additional cutting-edge features like Virtual Link support.

Still unsure? Do a little research on a popular mining forum to see if someone’s posted a buyer’s guide for the type of graphics card you want to buy. It’s good to know exactly what kind of mining you’re going to be doing and how much power your new graphics card is going to draw.

Mining Software

So, you’ve bought your graphics card. Now what? The vast majority of GPUs come with mining software already installed. You can install it and then start mining right away, or install it before you buy a graphics card and start mining then.

Buying graphics cards and installing mining software are two different tasks, though. The software you need to install depends on the software you’ll be using to store, edit, and display your cryptocurrency transactions. There are a ton of software packages for mining that use different protocols for processing transactions, and many of them also support other kinds of block chain protocols besides Ethereum, like Bitcoin.

Do your research on the software packages available for your mining software and make sure you buy the one that best fits your needs. Most people get one software package for bitcoin and another for Ethereum mining, so it’s worth checking to see if your software is compatible with the mining software you plan to use. If you plan to use a Windows-only software package, check to see if there’s an open-source version you can use instead.

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