HiveOS — How to choose a GPU for mining
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How to choose a GPU for mining

There are so many graphics cards available on the market that you can easily get lost. This article will help you choose the right GPU for mining Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

Compared to last year, considering the shortage of video cards and the growth of the cryptocurrency rate, prices have significantly increased. But the profit from mining remains high and largely depends on the suitable device. You should consider a few things prior to the future acquisition. This step will help turn a video card into an effective cryptocurrency mining tool.

Note that the specified hashrates and power consumption levels are statistical averages — your results may vary.


MARKET SIZE AND FORECAST FOR GPUS IN 2020-2025

If one owns a high-performance GPU that can handle high-intensity computer applications, this person can also use it for mining cryptocurrency. Choosing GPUs is the best solution for small-scale or individual miners. Moreover, when one chooses a GPU for mining, they get a lot of space for customization and flexibility and can mine different cryptocurrencies using multiple GPU rigs simultaneously; thus, the demand for GPU mining hardware solutions is increasing. So, nowadays, it is common for vendors to launch GPU mining hardware solutions specifically produced for mining (Technavio, 2020).

GPUs contributed 16.91% to the overall market in 2020 and should increase its contribution to 18.35% of the global cryptocurrency mining hardware market by 2025, according to Technavio. The source mentions that GPUs will have no competitors in the growing segment within the overall market. The forecast is shown in the chart below:

GPU Market size and forecast 2020-2025 ($ million)

GPU Market size and forecast 2020-2025


MAIN GPU SELECTION CRITERIA

So, what criterias should you follow when choosing a graphics card for mining?

  • Price. Look for GPUs at the best possible prices. It will help your investment pay off faster. It is a great idea to estimate mining costs before purchasing a video card. It requires considering the actual price of the equipment, electricity costs in the region where it will be used, and the number of working hours per month.
  • Performance. If you plan to mine specific cryptocurrencies, check the expected graphics card's mining performance. A single high-end card can have the same performance as multiple low-end cards. This might mean you'll require more space, and they will probably generate more heat/noise.
  • Power consumption. Newer, more power-efficient cards will draw less power, but more power-hungry GPUs tend to be cheaper. If you have low electricity costs, you can afford to buy more power-hungry cards. Otherwise, look for GPUs with better power efficiency.
  • Resale value. If prices drop suddenly, gamers are more likely to buy newer GPUs with better gaming performance than the older ones.
  • Hashrate. It is a measurement that demonstrates a graphics card's mining power; in most cases, crypto mining farms are assembled according to this indicator.
  • Cooling system and RAM. It is essential to evaluate these criteria as the lifespan of the graphics card depends on the cooling system's reliability, and the speed of the RAM directly affects the speed at which the device makes a profit. In 2021, the best cooling system is a structure made using components made of copper.
  • VRAM volume. Some cryptocurrencies like Ethereum Classic and Ergo will need at least 3GB of RAM for mining. In 2022, we recommend considering devices with a VRAM volume of 6 gigabytes or more, although mining methods on cards with 4 GB memory or less are still actively used.
  • The strain on the power grid. Keep in mind the strain on the power grid caused by high-powered graphics cards. This factor is often paid little attention to, though even a low-intensity mining process can damage a worn-out electrical system.

RTX 3060 Ti LHR


RTX 3060 Ti LHR

Source: EVGA


Most suitable cryptocurrencies: Ethereum, Ravencoin, Ethereum Classic, Ergo, Zcoin.

The latest RTX 3000 series cards offered an excellent performance to power consumption ratio. Unfortunately, because of shortages in the market, cards without LHR are tough to find. Despite this, the RTX 3060 Ti LHR offers excellent value for money in mining Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies such as Flux, Ravencoin, Vertcoin, Ergo, or Zeno.

To mine Ethereum at higher speeds, typically about 45 MH/s, use a miner that allows you to bypass the LHR lock partially. These include lolMiner, T-Rex, GMiner or NBMiner. Use the latest version of the miner to enjoy top performance. If you're using Hive OS, you'll be able to install any updates seamlessly with a single click from the dashboard panel via the website or mobile app.

The power to performance ratio when mining Ethereum is admittedly not a strong point of this card because of the LHR lock. Other cryptocurrencies like Ravencoin or Flux can be mined on it with full performance, though. So it's worth considering buying this card, especially if you plan on mining cryptocurrencies that are not limited by the LHR lock.


RX 6600 XT


RX 6600 XT

Source: MSI


Most suitable cryptocurrencies: Ethereum, Ravencoin, and Ergo.

Another option worth considering is the RX 6600 XT, the latest generation graphics card from AMD. It provides brilliant performance in mining Ethereum, Ravencoin, and Ergo. And most importantly, with minimal power consumption! When mining Ethereum, this GPU runs at approximately 32 MH/s with a power consumption of 65W. Especially if your electricity costs are high, this can be an essential factor when choosing the best graphics card for mining.

Hive OS supports mixing AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, so don't be afraid to add an AMD GPU to your NVIDIA mining rig and vice versa.


GTX 1660 Super


GTX 1660 Super

Source: Gainward


Most suitable cryptocurrencies: Ethereum, Flux, and Ergo.

According to Hive OS statistics, the GTX 1660 Super is, despite its age, one of the most popular graphics cards because of its reasonable price/performance ratio and low power consumption. Importantly, unlike the RTX 3000 series, the GTX 1660 Super is not affected by the LHR lock. So, this graphics card can mine Ethereum at full speed - around 32 MH/s at 80W. Other cryptocurrencies that this GPU mines well include Flux and Ergo.

To achieve the best performance with the lowest possible power consumption, set Absolute Core Lock. In Hive OS, you can do this easily by specifying the desired value in the overclocking options.


AMD RADEON VII


AMD RADEON VII

Source: Engadget


Most suitable cryptocurrencies: Ethereum, Ergo, Ethereum Classic, Metaverse ETP.

It is probably one of the most well-known video cards for mining. Despite the relatively high price, the model has a lot of fans, given the 16 GB of HBM2 memory, which guarantees the device's long lifespan. Radeon VII beats many graphics accelerators due to its performance-to-power ratio.

AMD engineers have thoroughly approached the issue of cooling the device. An ordinary "turbine" can no longer cope with powerful graphics accelerators. Therefore, the Radeon VII uses a new air cooling system with a large cooler and three fans. This solution will significantly extend the life of the device.


RTX 3090


RTX 3090

Source: NVIDIA


Most suitable cryptocurrencies: any GPU-mineable cryptocurrency.

The RTX 3090 is the most powerful graphics card from NVIDIA. A whopping 24 GB of VRAM makes it possible to mine any GPU-mineable cryptocurrency. Also, the lack of LHR locking means you can mine Ethereum at full speed - approx. 120 MH/s at 315 watts!

Be aware of memory overheating issues, though. This GPU runs hot! Hive OS' AutoFan feature can come to the rescue, allowing you to adjust the fan speed according to the graphics card's temperature. If this does not help, you may be forced to replace the thermal pads or lower the overclocking settings.


RX 6800


RX 6800

Source: Gigabyte


Most suitable cryptocurrencies: Ethereum, Ravencoin, ZelCash, Bitcoin Gold.

RX 6800 is one of the top GPUs in 2021. It has no LHR lock so that you can mine all cryptocurrencies at full speed, including Ethereum and Ravencoin. For the former, the performance is around 62 MH/s at 140W after overclocking and downvolting. It can be tricky because of the number of OC options for AMD cards, but with Hive OS, you can preview the most popular community presets from the overclocking panel, which should make things easier.


NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2070


NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2070

Source: PCGamesn


Most suitable cryptocurrencies: Ravencoin, Ethereum, ZCoin, Grin, Aeternity.

The RTX 2070 is renowned as a profitable mining tool. With a power consumption of 225 W and a memory of 8 GB, the video card shows promising results for mining cryptocurrencies. In addition, the model gives decent Hash Rates on different algorithms.

Like other members of the RTX 2000 line, it is also available in a Super version, aiming at better performance results than the regular one.


RTX 3070 Ti


RTX 3070 Ti

Source: Manli


Most suitable cryptocurrencies: Flux, Ravencoin, and Conflux.

Despite the LHR lock, the RTX 3070 Ti graphics card is one of the top GPUs of 2021 for mining. It offers outstanding performance in mining cryptocurrencies such as Flux, Ravencoin, and Conflux. Using a miner that can partially bypass the LHR lock, you can reach about 58 MH/s while mining Ethereum, but this happens at a relatively high power consumption — about 185W. Therefore, if your electricity costs are not too high and higher power consumption is not a big problem, you might want to choose this GPU.


NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3080


NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 3080

Source: NVIDIA


Most suitable cryptocurrencies: Ethereum, Cortex, Ravencoin, Ergo, Grin.

The RTX 3080 was the first member of the GeForce 30 series family of graphics cards, launched in September 2020. This model is distinguished by the work based on the updated Ampere architecture, which provides truly high performance.

The video card has 10 GB of GDDR6X memory, 8704 CUDA cores, and a frequency of 1.71 GHz. That's more than 8GB for the RTX 3070. Still, significantly less than the 24GB for the RTX 3090, which is the line leader. However, this amount of memory allows you to mine Grin-type cryptocurrencies.

Nominally, the RTX 3080 reaches 80 MH/s. With a bit of effort, the card can be accelerated up to 100 MH/s with a consumption of 240W. In comparison, the claimed power of the device is 320W. That's why miners love this model so much. Extremely high demand, even in the second-hand market.


RX 580


RX 580

Source: ASUS


Most suitable cryptocurrencies: Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Metaverse, Expanse.

RX 580 is a pretty old graphics card — AMD launched it in 2017. Despite that, it is still the most popular AMD GPU for mining. A good price/performance ratio makes it one of the best cards for mining. Unfortunately, because of its age, it consumes a relatively high amount of power — about 120-140W at 31 MH/s while mining Ethereum. It makes it an excellent choice for those who have free electricity.

The RX 580 is available in two versions: 4 GB and 8 GB. Unfortunately, on the 4 GB one, Ethereum mining is no longer possible. However, 4GB GPU mining is still possible with other cryptocurrencies - including Ethereum Classic, Ravencoin, Ergo, and Flux. If you are interested in mining Ethereum, choose the 8 GB version.

To achieve the best performance, you may want to modify the BIOS. Once you've done that, you can flash it via Hive OS.


Conclusion


There are many great graphics cards for mining. 2021 has taught us that a lot depends on pricing and availability. Non-LHR GPUs are already sold out or very expensive in most places.

It is recommended to use specialized operating systems that can help organize your cryptocurrency mining processes smartly and efficiently. Hive OS will help a miner control mining programs' settings, processor overclocking, and wallet operations. Hive OS displays all the necessary information in a web interface, making monitoring more comfortable and easy. The system even helps track the temperature and fan speed statistics of your video cards, and if the hardware overheats, it automatically reboots the device. In addition, with the help of Hive OS, you can track the power consumption and malfunctions of your video cards. Install Hive OS to manage the mining process and get the best results competently!



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