GPU mining utilizes a gaming computer’s graphics processing unit, and it can be used to mine Bitcoins, along with other types of cryptocurrencies called Altcoins. Additionally, this was a viral method of mining Bitcoin several years ago, yet to this day, there’s still quite a bit of a buzz floating around the web that eludes to the idea that this is still a viable option for you.
As a result, the demand for mining continues to grow which creates a lot of tension between miners and gamers to compete for purchasing these types of graphics processing chipsets.
What Is GPU Mining? GPU mining is a process of solving complex math problems to verify electronic transactions using computer components – in this case, a graphics card. Miners who participate can either create digital coins or get paid for their processing power in a cryptocurrency.
However, the world that revolves around what Bitcoin Mining is these days has become very fast-paced, and if you do not have the latest Bitcoin miners to help with the highly complex calculations process of mining cryptocurrencies, you are going to get left in the dust. Meaning you won’t make any money, however, that doesn’t mean graphics card mining is dead.
So for the primary purpose of this guide, I wanted to go more in-depth about GPU mining and how it all works so new miners can get a better feel for it all. By the end of this guide, you’ll be a pro at understanding the complexities of mining with a GPU. However, before we begin, there are a few things you should know about GPU Mining these days. Let’s get started.
The Truth About GPU Mining Bitcoin These Days
In 2013 ASIC or application specific integrated circuit miners took over the Bitcoin Mining scene causing many miners to switch their “obsolete” mining graphics cards to Scrypt-based “altcoins” such as Litecoin and Dogecoin. The rush did not last for long, as companies rushed to develop Scrypt ASIC miners as well. As a result, Scrypt-based altcoins tumbled, messing up the ROI.
Moreover, in 2018, cryptocurrency mining of many other significant cryptocurrencies was carried out predominantly using ASICs. Therefore, anyone mining these coins today using a GPU or CPU is trying to compete against large mining pools.
These types of pools use ASIC hardware that is specially customized to solve the complex cryptographic puzzles generated by these mining algorithms. So, going up against them using a GPU is virtually pointless and highly unprofitable. Thus, the massive shift of miners toward ASICs is easily justified.
ASIC miners are built strictly for mining and are considered one of the most efficient types of mining chipsets to date. For example, a single application specific integrated circuit(ASIC) miner has the equivalent computing power of several hundred GPUs.
Even though GPUs give lower computing processing power than these more advanced miners, they can still get utilized for mining cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Zcoin, Grin, and Ravencoin, to name a few. Nvidia and AMD make the most well-known mining graphics cards as they offer a practical method to go into the cryptocurrency mining space without having to spend a ton of money.
Furthermore, since GPUs are relatively cheap while being flexible, you can run multiple cards on the same motherboard while mining different cryptocurrencies simultaneously. A user can also reconfigure their machine to hash various coins based on what the most efficient coin to mine is at a given point in time with little downtime or trouble.
Currently, GPUs have become the norm when it comes to at-home mining ever since CPUs became out-of-date for mineable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Getting started with GPU mining is comparatively easy, particularly if you already have a computer equipped with a gaming card. Building a mining rig is the main expense, as these can cost thousands of dollars as well, depending on the type of miner choose to build.
What Is Graphics Cards Mining?
Before we can begin breaking down the GPU Mining process, it’s essential to explain momentarily what cryptocurrency mining is. In straightforward terms, mining relates to the method of utilizing a CPU, GPU, or ASIC processing abilities for the hopes of hashing blocks and validating transactions on what is known as the blockchain, which is nothing more than a public ledger of all past transactions.
You see, whenever you start mining, your hardware used for mining receives tiny bits of information from the blockchain network, which it then performs processes on. This process is known as hashing or proof of work, and your computer power is used to help solve complex mathematical problems, which ultimately earns you rewards.
Therefore GPU mining in this example is the means of calculating transactions and recording them to whatever cryptocurrencies public ledger your mining on while attaching them to all past transactions also known as proof of work. This record of retired transactions is known as the blockchain as it resembles a chain of blocks in a digital form. The blockchain helps to confirm transactions to the rest of the chain as having taken place.
What Are GPU Miners Paid?
Mining is also the tool used to disperse new digital currencies into the network: Miners get compensated for any transactional fees accrued as well as a “bonus” of recently created coins for each block properly hashed. The purpose this serves is two-fold.
- Distributing new coins in a decentralized fashion
- Motivating miners to provide security for the network
As more users join the network, the rate at which block creation happens gets increased. As the rate of block generation expands, the difficulty increases to counterbalance this effect, which can then push the rate of block production back down. Any blocks attempted to get created by malicious miners that do not meet the specified difficulty target will be refused by every miner on the network and thus will be rendered virtually useless.
The mining network difficulty of any given GPU mineable cryptocurrency is a measure of how difficult it is to solve a new block, and this gets compared to the easiest that it can ever be mined.
Furthermore, mining difficulty readjusts every so many blocks, which varies from blockchain to blockchain, to a value that is measured based on how fast or slow the previous set of blocks get generated given that everyone’s been mining at the current difficulty. The purpose of this is to control the rate at which new blocks get created and provides a fair playing ground for all miners to win mining rewards. It also ensures that blocks don’t generate fast, which would cause inflation to the currency.
At the time of writing this, an Ethereum block is currently worth 2 Eth, which is valued around 360 dollars USD. The miner or mining pool that hashes the block correctly first wins the block reward for participating in verifying transactions across the network. This is what miners get paid.
Why Is GPU Used For Mining And Not CPU?
At the beginning of it all, mining with a central processing unit(CPU) on a Laptop or Desktop was the only option to mine cryptocurrencies and was done using Satoshi’s original mining software.
However, throughout the journey of continuing to secure Bitcoins network and earn more coins, miners began innovating faster software and hardware, and for years now, CPU mining has been relatively trivial. These days you could mine Bitcoin for centuries using your laptop’s CPU without earning a single coin. Nonetheless, CPU Mining is still utilized in some of the mineable cryptocurrencies.
Simply put, GPUs are much faster and more efficient for mining coins like Ehthereum when compared to mining with a CPU. A CPU architecture is designed to be more of a swiss army knife with the ability to do a lot of different tasks.
Whereas GPUs are engineered primarily for rendering graphics, thus making them extremely restrictive in their abilities. Due to the nature of their architecture, GPUs are only effective for intricacies that can be solved utilizing graphics processing as the hardware can only be employed in particular ways.
This is what makes Graphics cards so efficient at solving complex algorithms necessary for cryptocurrency mining for the same reason they are good at rendering games on your computer screen. GPUs are capable of carrying out relatively straightforward computational duties but doing heaps of them all at the same time. And that my friend is what makes them so suited for mining cryptocurrencies.
What The Heck Is A GPU Mining Rig?
Mainly a mining rig can be a regular at-home gaming computer or built custom for the specific purpose of mining. That’s right; you can use your regular at-home computer to mine cryptocurrencies, although you won’t be able to use it for much else while it’s hashing away. Building a dedicated server is the better route to go for maximum efficiency and profits.
If you’re interested in learning how to build a GPU mining rig, then ideally, you’ll want to construct your rig using the latest GPU mining hardware so that your rig doesn’t become outdated in a few years. Because GPU mining rigs are much like an ordinary computer, they require computer components such as graphics cards, motherboard, CPU, RAM, PSU, and several other components.
You can even build Mining rigs with multiple graphics cards and dedicated GPUs. When appropriately configured, these cards can give you unprecedented performance. Don’t worry if your not all that savvy with computer parts as all you need to do is hop in our discord, and we can gladly help you out.
What Is The Best GPU To Mine With These Days?
There are a few aspects to take into consideration when deciding the best GPU for cryptocurrency mining, but the most critical one is hashrate. Although it needs to be offered at a price, one can afford so that you have a fighting chance of getting an ROI. Lastly, it’s power consumption needs to be low enough to ensure your not spending more on electricity than what you’re earning.
Three Factors to consider when buying a GPU for mining:
- Hashrate(the speed at which it can mine)
- Price(needs to be reasonably priced to see ROI)
- Power Draw(preferably low wattage to save on electricity)
Remember, the more electricity a GPU needs, the more costly it is to operate, which can ruin any chances of you making a profit. When it comes to which is better, AMD or Nvidia, there is some debate to be had there.
In the end, the best GPU to mine is continuously changing, so be sure to check out our current list of preferred cards to use.
GPU Mining Coins
Until recently, the go-to answer for the best coin to GPU mine has always been Ethereum when referring to GPU mining. However, this coin was invaded by ASIC miners in 2018, which make competition in finding a block slightly unfair. The good news is that these days, the crypto mining space has a plethora of other Altcoins that one could choose to mine with a GPU.
Grin is among the top contenders of best coins to GPU mine with its unique algorithm and unlimited supply. This coin utilizes the Mimble Wimble protocol, which is said to be an equal opportunity for both ASIC and GPU miners while being extremely private by grouping its transactions into a single output. Additionally, Beam is another great choice as it has similar properties as Grin.
Lastly, I’d like to mention Ravencoin as another top choice as it has recently implemented further measures to prevent ASIC miners from mining its chain. The thing that seems to draw miners to Ravencoin is the fact that it open source with alot of development similar to Bitcoin and but with more decentralized characteristics, thus creating a fair opportunity of GPU mining.
As stated early on in this guide, it not at all profitable to mine for Bitcoin no more due to its rapidly growing mining difficulty from the fast-paced development of Bitcoin mining hardware. However their some workaround way in which you can earn Bitcoins with a GPU and even a CPU by using special mining programs.
Mining Software For GPU Mining
Mining software is what makes your GPU or even CPU mine coins. Without the use of the programs, your computer or rig would be pretty much useless for mining. This allows you to easily control, monitor, and connect your mining rig to a coins mining network or pool so that you can quickly start earning coins.
Basically, what these mining programs do is tap into your mining rigs/computers processing power and put it to work hashing on a network of your choice. Additionally, there is software these days that can determine which coin would be the most profitable coin to mine at any given time. This software can take alot of the guesswork out of the equation of knowing you’re getting the most from your equipment.
Today’s list of mining software has evolved way beyond what Satoshi original developed back when Bitcoin mining was first pioneered. To date, there are many ways to go about choosing a program to start earning a profit with some being great, others being bad, and even some in-between.
Out of all the ones that we recommend on our list of Bitcoin mining software, one seems to outshine them all. Cudo Miner was recently developed with the intent of making mining a simple plug and play option for gamers and miners in mind. Although its simple to use, it comes with a boatload of advanced features that even pro miners would be impressed.
GPU Mining Overclocking
Overclocking is a way to increase your mining hardware performance, and when it comes to mining, it really helps with increasing profits. Additionally, it can also be the leading cause of mining rig crashes and freezes, so you need to be careful when attempting to perform this action.
Mostly what your doing is accessing the hardware BIOS and adjusting its clock settings so that it can calculate more processes per second. Most manufacturers of hardware will warn you that this will void any warranty they provide. However, applying modest overclock to your GPU can help increase the coins you can mine in a day while lowering overall wattage of GPU to save on electricity cost.
This can also cause you GPU to run cooler is done correctly. The thing I really want to emphasize here is the fact you will need lots of research if you’re not all that familiar with the process of doing this. The Good news is that if you need help doing this, you can hop in our discord and get some help.
GPU Mining Profitability
Unfortunately, when it comes to how much profit one would make from GPU mining, there is no short easy answer. As with all crypto money-making investments, this one doesn’t come without its own set of risks. With that said, the whole point of mining to make a profit obviously but mining isn’t always profitable. As a quick rule of thumb, never invest money that you cant afford to lose.
The reason it’s not easy to project what your financial outcome would be is the fact that there are many dynamically changing factors. For example, the cost of electricity varies significantly from country to country, and even in the states, it can vary widely.
Some of the other factors include the price of the cryptocurrency you choose to mine, which can also vary significantly from month to month. Additionally, the price you agreed to buy your mining hardware will have a direct impact on when you’ll see an ROI.
The good news to all this is there are websites that can give you an idea of what you could potentially make before you decide to invest in hardware. Sites like whattomine have robust mining calculators that can determine many things like what the best coin to mine with a particular GPU and how much profit you can earn daily on your given electric rate and hardware.
Although I must say, take its projections with a grain of salt as it’s, not an exact science. Use it as a guide instead and maybe even compare stats against other mining calculator sites like coinwarz to determine the route you want to go.
GPU Mining FAQ
Can you game and mine at the same time? Absolutely you can game and mine at the same time, although it’s highly not recommended and could potentially cause your GPU to prematurely wear and tear.
Will mining damage my GPU? Mining with a GPU is relatively safe for the most part. However, their ways in which you can cause damage to the card like using too high of an overclock setting or operating in an environment with high temps.
Can I buy used GPU to mine with? For the most part, I have seen numerous reports of miners buying up used GPUs with much success. Just make sure to stick with the newer released cards that way, you’re not buying outdated hardware.
I hope you enjoyed what you read here and I look forward to seeing all of you in my discord. Remember, it’s never too late to start GPU mining. As for me personally, I really like this method of mining crypto as it’s one of my favorites out of the many ways to do so. The fact is that GPU mining has many opportunities to make a buck, and even if it dont pan out; I can always sell my computer parts to get most of my money back.
As always, your feedback is welcome by posting a comment below. I genuinely enjoy hearing from crypto enthusiasts from all around the globe. Happy Mining!