Defining Your Cryptocurrency Mining Goals
The first thing you need to ask yourself is “What are my mining goals?” Seriously. This is important. Is it to make the most profit? Is it to mine the most coins in the shortest period of time? Is it to just have fun? Are you on a limited budget or have unlimited funds? The answer to that question will dramatically change the rig you decide to build.
Mining with Speed (Hashrate) as the Most Important Factor
You can build a rig that costs $50,000 and will mine cryotocurrency with incredible hashrates, but that machine will likely take 3-4 years just to pay for itself and require you to upgrade the electrical panel in your house to feed it. Additionally, with this being an emerging market there is no guarantee the whole game is even the same game in a year. With that in mind, if speed is your only concern then you should only look at the highest hashrate cards below. Power consumption and cost to acquire will not be part of the equation for you.
Mining With Profit as the Most Important Factor
When looking at mining for profits, it should be approached like any other business venture. The best GPU for mining cryptocurrency will be the one that has the best combination of hashrate, price, and power consumption. This is the card that will have the highest return on investment over a certain period of time (usually 6 months). This definitely will not be the fastest card on the market. You’ll also want to consider time of ownership and resale value. Either you will run these cards until they die, or you will replace them annually with faster hardware. Again, all in your ROI equation. It’s super important to do your research and completely ignore YouTube comments, as much of them are completely wrong. You wouldn’t get stock market advice from YouTube comments would you?
Mining with Fun as the Most Important Factor
This is honestly where I think the best place to be is. Don’t get too worked up over the hashrates or the hundreds of combinations of builds. Just buy what you can afford (or in some cases even find) and have fun with it. Try under/over clocking, under/over voltage, etc and just see what you can get your hardware to do. That alone can be great fun. If you happen to make money while doing it then that’s great too! If not, no big deal!
Where did I land?
I finally made my decision to build middle ground between fun and profit. I bought some things I wouldn’t have bought if it were solely for profit. For example I purchased a rather nice open air mining case. That added about $100 to the build. I could have easily made that from scrap wood. I also bought a Noctua silent CPU cooler to reduce the noise to a level I could live with. I did feel the best GPU for mining in my case was the NVIDIA GTX 1060 because of its low power consumption, super low price, and decent hashrate. I’ll make plenty of money on it, but its also a nice machine and showpiece in my office.
The Best GPU for Mining
So let’s take the next step and break it down to the nuts and bolts and decide which is the best GPU for mining in your case.
The Best GPU for Mining: Hashrate
If you want the absolute highest hashrates you can currently get, then the NVIDIA Titan V is the master at a whopping 82 MH/s in Ethereum mining! Of course this card costs a whopping $3000 each. Six Titan V GPUs in a miner would get you a 492 MH/s rate while setting you back a cool $18,000 USD. And with a power demand of 250 watts you’ll be mining for 17 months before you break even. But then you don’t care about profit right?
The Titan V is fast and sexy, and carries a hefty price tag to go with it.
The Best GPU for Mining: Profit
When decided the best GPU for profitability, things take another turn and get interesting in a different way. As mentioned earlier we’re looking for the lowest wattage (lowest power consumption) card that is affordable to purchase and has a decently high hashrate. My current pick for this is the NVIDIA GTX 1060. Many people will disagree and say the AMD RX 580. However, of this writing I can purchase the GTX 1060 for exactly half the price of the RX 580. This is of course due to demand. The best GPU for mining is sometimes the one you can actually acquire at any given time. Demand for the RX 580 has raised the price, making its ROI much worse.
The GTX 1060 has a hashrate of between 22-27 MH/s (Ethereum) depending on overclocking, and which memory brand is installed on your card. The card consumes between 90 and 100 watts of electricity. It can currently be purchased for roughly $250 on Amazon and Newegg. This gives you a break-even time of 3.5 months. Much better than a Titan V!
Best GPU for Mining By the Numbers
Since availability changes, prices change, and you never know what will happen in this brave new world of mining I will list the best GPUs below in order for your further consideration. Take your time and really study the facts before making your purchase.
GPUs Sorted by Hashrate
As you can see the Titan XP is absolute monster in hashrate performance.
GPUs Sorted by Purchase Price
The NVIDIA GTX 1060 is the clear winner in the price wars.
GPUs Sorted By Power Consumption
Again the GTX 1060 is the clear winner in power consumption.
Final Thoughts on the Best GPU for Mining
As you can see it takes some time and some decision making, depending on what your goals are. If you’re purely profit motivated, there’s a much different choice to make. Of course, if profit is everything you might just consider purchasing Ethereum rather than mining it in the first place. At its current growth rate it might just be a better investment than the hardware. Of course it could also go bust. Any investment or business comes with a certain amount of risk. All of these GPUs and numbers are based on a modest overclocking. See my article on overclocking GPUs for mining rigs for more information.
Take your time and decide what your priorities are, but most importantly just have fun and ignore the haters!
Nailed it Geekman! So many miners have no clue about business. Just because they are smart at technology doesn’t mean they made a good business decision. The GTX1060 payback time is so much shorter than other cards right now. This makes it the perfect low power and moderate hash card. Return on investment is crucial if you are doing this to make money.
It amazes me how many people build these rigs with 1080 or 1080ti cards! The payback on those might actually never even happen! The 1060 is the best card to buy right now. Of course that could change tomorrow, as the RX580 was THE card until the prices skyrocketed.
Well miners are not looking at mining only etherium but other alt coins also. So 1070 or 1080ti is better as the difficulties of hashing increases.1080ti still be solid card and it will be still be able to mine decent profit levels and its much better also at other algorithms.
The 1080ti is a very solid card, But it only makes sense if you can buy it for around $400 each. Otherwise, the math says you’re better off buying something else. The coin is mostly irrelevant in that equation. ROI is simple business calculation in this regard.
In my country, gtx 1080ti is 1000$
well mining gtx 1080 ti make close to 8$/day on nicehash.com or follow this dude updates best coin to mine to keep mining at close to 10 $ a day. And 1080 ti will have better resale value than gtx 1060.
I agree. Etherum is not the most profitable coin to mine. Some of the altcoins have surged to a profit of 10$ a day mining with a 1080ti. That will cover the price of the card in 3-4 months. All you have to do is wait untill the coin your mining spikes up and Trade for Bitcoin or whatever floats your boat. I consider mining as investment not an immediate source of income and a way get more Bitcoin without spending more cash.
1060 3gb or 6gb?????
Haters incoming in 3.. 2.. 1.. Seriously, there’s going to be a lot of AMD RX580 religious followers who are going to really trash this. Because they’re too stupid to realize that making a profit is more important than their AMD religion. And of course, if the RX580 prices were reasonable it would be the best pick. But there is no doubt for anyone with a brain that the GTX 1060 is the king right now in price/payback ratio.
Will the upcoming release of the gtx 2000 series with GDDR6 not render the gtx 1000 cards unprotifable? I thought most mining algorithms are bottlenecked by memory bandwidth
Why would it render them them unprofitable?? It’s not like you GTX 10XX card will stop working the day those come out. They GTX 20XX might be more (or less) profitable. There is too much unknown right now. If the GXT 2060 costs three times the price of the GTX 1060 and only hashes 50% more then the GTX 1060 will still be more profitable. Of course, if the price of Ether quadruples then almost any card could become relatively profitable. This is a game of four numbers: hashrate, card price, card power consumption, and coin price. Bottom line: The rig you build today doesn’t magically stop working when new hardware comes out.
I have no experience with rig mining, so I don’t know how fast cards become obsolete due to increasing difficulties and low hash/kW compared to newer cards. It was a genuine question!
“I also bought a Noctua silent CPU cooler to reduce the noise to a level I could live with.”
it is so quiet 🙂
Do you want the most memory on the card for mining? There is a big difference in 1060 between the 3 and 6 gb models.
Great article as always.
Yes. Don’t get anything less than a 6GB card.
Hi Mike, thx for your experience. How much did u get after overclocking GTX 1060? How many Mh/s? Thx Ondrej
I am new to this whole thing but am happy to hear someone who talks about it in a manner that I can understand!
I am looking to invest in a mining rig with my family and we are setting aside$1,000 USD to get started. Would you be so kind as to give us your opinion in doing so?
December 22, 2017
Six Titan V GPUs in a miner would get you a 492 MH/s rate while setting you back a cool $18,000 USD. ROI 17 months.
January 4th 2018, same stats ROI is now 307 days or 10 Months. 2 weeks, 7 Months less
Right, and in 6 months the price of the Titan V will be half what it is today. Bad investment.
Is it titan V or titan X because the link of amazon is titan x ?
All these people in the bitcoin forums pushing 1080ti and Vega 64 are literal morons when it comes to business skills. You buy the cheapest card with the fastest hashrate that has the fastest return. Anything else is stupid. You’re the first honest blogger I’ve seen on this subject. +1 Subbed!
Glad to have you here! That’s the thing I tell newbies constantly. And its even harder because the equation changes literally every few days as card prices change. Yesterday I bought 6 AMD RX580s because I got a smoking deal on them. It all just depends on the economics of the moment. Its still really hard to beat the performance/energy/price ratio of the GTX 1060 though.
well Andy, if you do that your wasting time …1080 ti earning is only 20 percent less than 3 gtx 1060. now you want to have like 100 gpus running … than 1080ti all the way in nvidia. So serious miner go for 1070 or 1080 ti. Any lower is waste of resource like space,riser cable,psu,motherboard,etc. You need count them also in when considering ROI. Not just ROI of the Card. even though with gtx 1060 profit percent is high ,its just 3.5 -4$ per day. with ti you roll at 10-12 $ a day. market favorable that even 15$.
english is not my first language.
Saiko, this is how companies go bankrupt. You don’t understand the basics of business and ROI calculations.
Mr saiko, you need to understand that just because it is faster does not make it a better value. Your going to lose your ass in power costs using those 1080ti!
you seem to only be concerned with hashrate. The power consumption of the 1080ti is close to double that of the 1060. When you add that you have to pay 3X for it on top of that the 1060 is definitely the better value for a business venture in mining (at least at today’s prices).
It really depends on the currency you mine, how cheap you can find the GPUs for and the cost of electricity in your area. The other overhead costs that you mentioned, such as cables, space etc. may play an important role if you’re building a huge number of mining rigs (e.g. tens or hundreds of GPUs). In which case, you should also add the cost of labor to put together all that equipment.
The quality of the equipment would also play a role. E.g. if you buy the cheapest versions of either a 1080ti or a 1060, they’re going to be more likely to fail. Is it more cost effective to buy more-robust GPUs at a higher price that will last longer? Or is it better to keep replacing cheap ones more often? Difficult to answer, since GPU prices are crazy.
But let’s keep it simple. Comparing the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) of the Founders Edition versions of these cards (yea, right ☹), the 1080ti costs ~2.33 times what a 1060 6GB costs and it consumes ~2.08 times the electricity. Assuming that the higher the hash rate, the more money you get. Then in theory, for currencies where the 1080ti consistently yields over ~2.5 to 3+ times the hash rate of the 1060, you may be better off with the ti. Again, this is making some wild assumptions.
We all know that all the parameters change daily, sometimes a few times a day. So, I think that’s why some people like to play it safe with a 1060. BTW, right now the only Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition (reference card) is selling at Amazon for $481 *used*. A 1080ti FE is going for $1025 *used*. So much for MSRP.
I personally bought six EVGA 1060 cards just last week for $229 each from NewEgg. That’s 4.5X less than the 1080ti.
Vega 64 is great for mining coins based on Cryptonight.. When you were able to get the Vega 64s at MSRP they were beyond good. RX550 was also a steal of a deal. Right now the RX550 is much better than the RX580.
“Business skills” as you put it just takes calculations. It isn’t difficult and the miners who are intelligent enough to write their own code can probably run circles around “business people”
And that’s why there are a bunch of bankrupt tech startups.
I know lots of poor nerds living in their mom’s basement and lots of “business people” who are rich as hell.
With Free Power and Electricity, what GPU would you recommend to mine Ethereum ?
Looking to build multiple 6-GPU mining rig
Hey Mike can you link too the specific EVGA 1060 GPU you just bought for $229 – cannot seem to find them on NewEgg? Thanks bud – great article btw.
It’s linked above in the article.
:/ lowest price at your amazon link is $481.99 and highest is $599.19
Am I missing something or did prices like skyrocket recently?
Yes. After I made my video people bought them all. It will take a week or two for Amazon stock to return to normal. That’s The “Geek Pub Effect”. Sorry. 😉
I see that the base clock on some of the Super Clocked 1060’s is the same as a stock 1070. So am I right in thinking these 1060’s perform the same as the stock 1070’s? Regards Kevin
Thanks for the great article Mike !!
I would like to know why more memory is required for mining. I am planning to build a mining rig with 6 Gigabyte 1060 3GB cards as the 6GB cards are so much costly.
Please share your thoughts.
Ethereum is designed to use a lot of memory to prevent ASIC miners from taking over (what happened to bitcoin).
If you use a 3GB card it will be useless for mining ether. Don’t do it.You can’t fit the DAG onto a 3GB card and won’t be able to mine ether.
Future versions of the DAG will be over 3GB..currently it is 2.3GB so it would fit.
Thanks for superb article/guide !
i am checking out both amd rx580 and Nvidia GTX1060, however, there are diff specs within this model with diff brands, like Gigabyte/msi or 3gb ram, 6gb ram, so while you are mentioning these models, which specs you are talking about ? as the prices differ drastically !
Can you pls suggest exactly which specs and brand ?
I am from india. and i usually buy from amazon.in.
Another, thing, i have 3-4 old dell PCs with 2gb ram, intel core 2. 1.8Ghz, do you recommed using these for mining rather than going with these graphic cards ?
sorry i am a noob to all this, soo..pls dnt mind if its a silly quest.
Mike, great article, thank you.
I was wondering wht do you think about the expected Ethereum DAG size will growth and the measure miners schoud take about it. Will 6 Gb card be enough?
Me personally chose 1060 6gb version because of price/energy consumption and availability of 1060 on the market.
TEchnically 2x 1060 have the same Hashrate as one 1080 GPUs but costs half of the price of 1080/ However, in facing the upcoming increase of DAG size, would not it be more more safe to buy 8 Gb GPUs.models instead? What do you think?
Also, I noticed that there are 14 GPU- and 19 GPU motherboards available and I read somewhere that new WIndows software will support it. That must me a huge saving having that one m/b instead of 3-4 as in case of 5-6 GPU rigs.
sorry for the typos in my last post.
It blows me away how many of these people think hashrate is all that matters. I mean when you decided to buy a car for your daily commute did you go look for one that had 500hp and cost $100K or did you look for the one that had the best compromise of features for the price? The 1060 even at today’s difficult is still the absolute best card if you can get it four around $250. Which is what the Geek Pub said he paid for them. I have a source to get mine for $235. You’d be crazy to buy anything but the 1060 at that price.
Hi UK Gamer,
Care to share the supplier of those sweet 1060s?
Another great article from The Geek Pub. All these bawlers keep trying to tell us to buy the most expensive cards. But those will take literally forever to ROI!!!!
What do You think about mining dedicated gtx 1060? p106-100 – Its really power efficient, like You can squizze 24 mh from around 60 watts.
P106-100 i think is not yet out in the market? if you know where to get please share if you dont mind thanks 🙂
For me if Value for money and ROI w/ free electricity go for RX580 8GB, but if your paying you electricity then the best and most Profitable GPU is GTX 1060
Hi, is the brand important, obviously Nvidia ones are out of stock.I was looking at an Asus one. Thanks in advance
Do you have some system for price drop alerts on newegg? The GTX 1060 is back above $400 currently, making it much less attractive than the $229 you snatched. (None of 1070, Rx 480, Rx 580 appear interestingly priced at the moment).
I have a contact at a large wholesaler who can get me a few cards here and there (100% legal and legit). I have to keep it secret though.
Mike can you hook up me up.
How can we get it for a cheaper price?
Since the GTX1060’s have not come down in price do we have some alternatives in the brands that will work as well? PNY/MSI etc?
Hi dear mike. my motherboard is asus h87-pro and i install 16g of DDR3 ram and i decided to buy two graphic cards for my system to start mining ETH or XMR. the electricity is free and if u suggest any gpu please tell me about what power i should buy too. thank u so much dude .
I forget about cpu. its intel core i7 4770. If any card u advise me to buy be under 700 $ better for my wallet. thank u man.
Looks like the AMD RX580 is the cheapest option right now.