Before 2009, there was no concept of cryptocurrency.
However, as technology progressed to meet the growing demands of the modern world, cryptocurrency mining quickly became a phenomenon for many.
Across the past couple of years, it won’t be wrong to say that the process of mining has become far more efficient with the use of better hardware.
If you didn’t know, GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) have been involved in the mining process because they’re known to be a lot more efficient than their counterparts.
Finding the best graphics cards can be quite overwhelming, especially if you’re new to cryptocurrency mining. Since it’s where you’ll be spending the bulk of your upgrade budget, it’s definitely something you need to give considerable thought to.
In this blog post, we’ll go over a few specifications and features you can expect from the latest releases of NVIDIA and AMD and see how they compare to each other. Later, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of ASICs. GPU and determine which of the two is better for crypto mining.
New Releases of AMD and NVIDIA
Satoshi Nakamoto was the first person ever to implement PoW (Proof-of-Work) via the Bitcoin Blockchain.
The idea behind this was that miners would use the power of their CPUs in order to mine new coins. They will then be rewarded with new Bitcoin to compensate for their time, effort, and electricity.
However, due to high-power consumption and limited processing speed of CPUs, CPU-based crypto mining soon became inefficient and GPU mining rose in popularity because it was found to be a lot better suited at solving these hashes.
GPUs come equipped with a large number of ALUs (Arithmetic Logic Units) that are responsible for carrying out mathematical computations.
Since the process of mining requires higher efficiency to perform the same kinds of repetitive computations, these ALUs allow the GPU to perform more calculations, resulting in an improved outcome for the cryptocurrency mining process.
Not long after the use of GPU for mining became commonplace, FGPAs followed that allowed for even faster mining. And then came ASIC miners that are known to be a lot more powerful as opposed to GPU when it comes to streamlining the mining process.
If you’re in search of the best new mining graphics card, you can place your confidence in the RTX 3080, especially if spending roughly 700 dollars on a graphics card is more your speed.
With NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX series now revealed and the first two of them officially launched, the ball is now in AMD’s court.
It’s worth noting that the RTX 3080 and 3070 seem to be priced quite reasonably and their demand is surprisingly high. However, AMD is known to enjoy a reputation for offering more affordable graphics cards than their immediate competitors, but we can’t say the same for Big Navi with certainty.
According to a recent leak, the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (a rumored name) is expected to have around 16 GB of GDDR6 VRAM and 5120 SPs on a 256-bit memory bus.
But even without hard numbers, you can have a fairly good idea of what you can expect. If AMD plays its cards right, Big Navi can put AMD’s high-power consumption behind it once and for all.
Moreover, AMD is also expected to drop a 4K-ready graphics card that can handle ray tracing. With these recent revelations, it’s safe to say that 2021 is expected to be an exciting year for graphics cards.
RTX 3080 – Already a Hit with Crypto Miners
Even though gamers around the world are looking forward to the release of NVIDIA’s next generation of GeForce chips, it appears that the so-called Ampere’s raw performance, as well as graphics processing units, have also attracted crypto miners.
With the rumor about stock shortages on the rise, it can be expected that crypto miners are highly anticipating the release so they can grab these GPUs, which could significantly limit supply.
It’s important to note that mining with GPU has made a comeback because these new chips are known to have superior performance. Not only that, the technical changes have also caused a spike in the transaction fees.
Since NVIDIA’s GTX 3080 cards will have 10 gigabytes of memory, miners may be compelled to purchase them instead of opting for cards that are specifically designed for mining.
If you thought the days of crypto-mining were soon to be over, it may come as a surprise to you that NVIDIA’s Turing GPUs, like the RTX 2060, has seen an increase in demand for cryptocurrency mining in China.
According to the leaked crypto mining benchmarks, the RTX 3080 could potentially be a powerful graphics card for miners who are interested in mining Ethereum.
It’s expected that the GeForce RTX 3080 will deliver almost 75 MH/s under Dagger-Hashimoto and the performance may jump to 93 MH/s when overclocked.
The performance of the RTX 3080 is also said to surpass the performance of the RTX 2080 Ti. Moreover, the GPU is said to be twice as fast and the raw specifications show that gains may be even higher even though the price is set to remain at 700 dollars.
GPU vs. ASIC Mining 2021 – Which One Is Better for Crypto Mining?
A popular question nowadays is whether miners should choose GPU mining or opt for ASIC mining instead.
When you consider classic proof-of-work mining, you can easily rule out CPU hardware because it not as efficient as well as FGPA hardware because it comes at exceptionally high costs.
When ASICs first entered the market, most people believed that GPUs would soon become obsolete.
However, time revealed that GPUs have what it takes to hold their own in the mining industry. Let’s go over the pros and cons of GPU vs. ASIC mining so we can help you determine which one is better for crypto miners.
ASIC Mining: Application-Specific Integrated Circuit
ASIC mining essentially involves a microchip that’s specifically built to execute a hashing algorithm as quickly and efficiently as possible.
To give you a general idea of how powerful they can be, a Bitcoin ASIC can execute hashes around 100,000 times faster than the best CPU you can find.
Since ASIC is more advanced than GPU mining, it has a significant edge over other devices in the crypto mining industry.
It’s worth mentioning that ASIC-enabled mining equipment can outperform other equipment both in terms of computational power and speed in finding blocks. No wonder ASIC miners are making greater profit.
Moreover, ASICS are custom designed for a single hash algorithm which means miners need to purchase different ASIC for each coin they wish to mine. There are many companies like Canaan and Bitmain that build ASICs.
Due to their niche application, ASICs are more expensive and relatively difficult to obtain. If you’re looking for high-end hash power, you can expect to spend the upwards of 3000 dollars on a single ASIC.
Furthermore, computing trillions of hashes every second also comes with a few downsides. ASICs tend to give off a lot of heat and require fans for proper cooling that are known tomake a lot of noise.
And there’s no denying that with great power comes greater energy consumption. Still, it’s important to note that even though they will cost a huge amount in electricity bills, they’re a lot more affordable to operate than GPUs.
Another downside of ASICs is that they come with a shorter lifespan and even a minor change in the hashing algorithm can make them inefficient overnight. They also come with a short warranty, only a few months, whereas GPUs typically have a warranty of 2+ years.
Even though GPUs aren’t as powerful as ASIC, they are a lot more flexible in terms of application.
They can be used for gaming and video editing as well as for mining cryptocurrencies. A GPU mining rig usually involves a group of GPUs running in a computer setup. The more GPUs you use, the more hash power you’ll be able to generate.
Most importantly, one of the primary benefits of GPU is that they can be used to mine multiple cryptocurrencies, unlike ASICs. They’re also more readily available and a lot easier to purchase.
Not only that, they come with a great resale value. Since they consume less electricity and operate at lower levels of noise, you can easily set them up in your home computers and avoid the added expense of cooling equipment.
One major downside of GPUs is that they’re difficult to configure and they can’t perform on their own, which is why you’ll have to build a fully functional computer before you can get started with mining cryptocurrencies.
Now that you’ve learned about the pros and cons of GPU vs. ASIC mining, you can choose the right type of mining equipment depending on the cost of electricity you can bear, your level of expertise when it comes to mining, and your familiarity with computers.
If you want the freedom and flexibility to mine multiple coins, GPU mining is more suitable for you. However, if you have a large budget and you’re comfortable with sticking to one coin, then ASIC mining is, hands down, the best choice for you.