The Best GPUs For Ethereum Mining, Tested and Compared

Test Results: Power Consumption For Mining & Gaming

Compared to previous GPU generations, AMD's and Nvidia's 14nm/16nm offerings dramatically improve performance at every given power target. In short, they're far more efficient than anything that came before.

Power consumption means everything to a graphics card, since it affects performance, noise output, and reliability (which is directly tied to operating temperature). The hotter a graphics card is allowed to get, the more stress its components are forced to endure.

This, in a nutshell, is why all modern GPUs will throttle before crossing a manufacturer-defined threshold. By pulling back on voltage and frequency, performance is sacrificed. But that's better than compromising the board's health. 

In an effort to quantify the behavior of modern graphics cards, we combine the data-collection capabilities of Powenetics, logging in GPU-Z, and a handful of workloads able to utilize GPUs in different ways. The polling rate for our Powenetics measurements is 2ms (0.002s), while GPU-Z reads every 100ms (0.1s). The workloads comprise the following:

  • Average (Game): We run Metro: Last Light at 1920x1080 and measure the average of all readings while the game's benchmark is rendering (no title/loading screen). We run the benchmark once to allow the graphics card to reach a proper operating temperature before proceeding with our measurements.
  • Peak (Game): We use the same settings as above, only this time we take into account the single peak wattage reading that our equipment records.
  • Average (FurMark): We run FurMark's Stability Test at 1600x900 resolution with 0xAA, measuring the average of all readings during a 10-minute period. FurMark applies an unrealistic GPU load, though it does represent a worst-case scenario.
  • Peak (FurMark): Same as above, only we record the peak wattage reading during our 10-minute test.
  • Average (Mining): We use Claymore's Dual Ethereum AMD+Nvidia GPU Miner to mine Ether for 10 minutes, and measure the average of all readings. We usually conduct two tests, one with the graphics card at stock clocks and one with settings optimized for mining.
  • Peak (Mining): We note the peak power reading during our 10-minute mining session. As mentioned, we usually run two tests, one with the graphics card at stock clocks and one with optimized-for-mining settings. At least to start, though, we have only stock configurations.

For all measurements, we maintain an ambient temperature around 70°F (21.1°C) with a humidity level close to 35%.

The GeForce GTX 1060 6GB maintains low relative power consumption, needing ~100W during our mining workload. In comparison, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition registers the highest use in every test, exceeding the Nvidia Titan Xp's power consumption. Finally, the Galax GTX 1080 EXOC hits the highest peak power consumption at 270.37W, during FurMark.

If you want to keep power consumption low, you'd ideally have several GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition graphics cards installed. With each needing only one PCI Express connector, you can install up to six with a good 850W PSU or 10 with a 1.2kW PSU (and enough PCIe connectors). When it comes to mining, the GeForce GTX 1080 isn't particularly power-hungry. But as you'll see on the next page, its hash rate is low. You're better off with a GeForce GTX 1060, GTX 1070, or GTX 1070 Ti. (If you can afford it, the GTX 1080 Ti is an option, as well.)

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

This thread is closed for comments
24 comments
    Your comment
  • Stevemeister
    We should be reporting that the worst cards for mining are high end graphics cards . . . .maybe then demand will drop and prices come back to earth. . . . . . I've seen GTX970's selling used for more than I paid new a few years ago . . . .something is wrong
  • japjit1
    Please give more info on the "optimizations" done to Vega 64/56 & 580/570
  • Myrmidonas
    Any article about cryptocurrency, that helps miners further, is against gamers since it promotes cryptocurrency and affects prices go higher and drop availability of GPUs.

    As a gamer, I do not like that.
  • MxMatrix
    Stop it!!! #nomorecryptocurrencycrap ...
  • salgado18
    These articles are a disservice to the gamer community.

    On the other hand, it's their business to speak about hardware in every area, not just games.

    As sad as it makes us, that's just Tom's doing their job. We shouldn't pick on them, we should pick on miners and maybe manufacturers (who don't make specialized hardware and let gaming cards take the price hit).
  • yoncenmild
    Gamers complaining about crypto mining need to reevaluate their perspective. You can either complain that the situation is unfair and demand that someone else do something about it. Or you can accept the situation as reality and figure out a way to use it to your advantage.

    I've never been able to justify spending too much on the GPU for my personal rig. I only play an hour or so a week and mostly older RTS games.

    I've been able to upgrade my GPU for free several times just by mining crypto overnight. I went from a R9 290x to a RX580 4GB to dual 580 8GB for free. I purchased the 290X used for $213 before the mining craze really took off so I basically got my 580s for $111.5 each and I'll be upgrading to a pair of Vega 64s before the end of the year.

    Buy an "overpriced" GPU mine with it overnight and it will eventually pay for itself. Or just complain about how unfair it is, your choice.
  • justin.m.beauvais
    Just as an experiment, I'd like to see how the Titan V mines. The thing is a monster, and very power efficient.
  • theyeti87
    105109 said:
    Gamers complaining about crypto mining need to reevaluate their perspective. You can either complain that the situation is unfair and demand that someone else do something about it. Or you can accept the situation as reality and figure out a way to use it to your advantage. I've never been able to justify spending too much on the GPU for my personal rig. I only play an hour or so a week and mostly older RTS games. I've been able to upgrade my GPU for free several times just by mining crypto overnight. I went from a R9 290x to a RX580 4GB to dual 580 8GB for free. I purchased the 290X used for $213 before the mining craze really took off so I basically got my 580s for $111.5 each and I'll be upgrading to a pair of Vega 64s before the end of the year. Buy an "overpriced" GPU mine with it overnight and it will eventually pay for itself. Or just complain about how unfair it is, your choice.


    Not everyone is in your situation, though. To say "I only play 1 hour of RTS so I don't need a fancy GPU" is your personal perspective. "Mine overnight, things will pay for itself" - seriously doubt your claims here.
  • thequn
    Why no optimization for nvidea?
  • casgon2018
    are you sure RX570 is just over 25mh?? My pair of msi rx570 is running 29.6 each.....
  • Aris_Mp
    Do you use a custom Bios, especially for mining? Because only with that those cards go so high.
  • bit_user
    The prices are nonsense, but that's what you get for linking to a specific product, instead of taking some average selling price.

    Newegg has 4 GB RX 570 from $240 (after MIR), 8 GB RX 580 from $330, and Vega 56 from $575 (after MIR).
  • poppajoe512
    great the graphic card prices are finally getting close to normal and you stir the bit coin guys up again with this stupid review thanks a lot !!!!
  • kyotokid
    ...please stop encouraging this. Like others have mentioned it is a disservice to us enthusiasts who enjoy games and/or are involved with 3D CG rendering.
  • cangelini
    2717368 said:
    Please give more info on the "optimizations" done to Vega 64/56 & 580/570


    Radeon RX 580 had its core voltage pulled back 200mV, its power limit pulled back -15%, its core clock set at 1101 MHz, memory at 2250 MHz.

    Vega 64 had its core voltage dialed by -200mV, power limit pulled back -25%, core clock set at 852 MHz, and memory at 1150 MHz.
  • cangelini
    963687 said:
    Why no optimization for nvidea?


    These are coming next!
  • chris.ridpath
    Pull this garbage down. No one that reads your website should be in support of this. It only hurts gamers. We want prices to come back down.
  • zodiacfml
    Don't hate. It is those large scale farms that are to blame for the shortage and high prices.

    On the article, it wasn't bad at all with updated information. I guess, someone from the team is mining.

    I have to disagree with the GTX 1060 though, it is weak with mining unless you get a good price for it which it is currently is. If you don't need more powerful graphics, the 1060 is the best to get for gaming.

    I recently bought an expensive Sapphire Pulse Vega 56 but found that it just draws power as much as an RX 580 while mining Ethereum if you bring down the GPU clock as low as possible. However, I can't bring down the HBM2 voltage. There are some users claiming they can bring this down and get more than 1000 MHz frequency.
  • test_purch1
    Test Automation comment 1526642901443
  • ageorgan
    “Radeon RX 580 had its core voltage pulled back 200mV, its power limit pulled back -15%, its core clock set at 1101 MHz, memory at 2250 MHz.

    Vega 64 had its core voltage dialed by -200mV, power limit pulled back -25%, core clock set at 852 MHz, and memory at 1150 MHz.“

    Would you mind providing the optimized voltage, clock speed, and memory speed settings for the RX 570? Also, how many watts does the RX 570 consume when configured according to the optimized settings?
  • awarmfuzzy
    People hating on people mining with GPU's are missing out on money and how blockchain technology is the next internet. If you have a high end GPU why not make extra $$$ when the GPU you already own is idle 90% of the time? I've made so much money mining on my Gaming GTX 1080 that it paid for itself and now I'm mining with 6 GTX 1080 ti's and they all are 100% paid off in full in under 2 months. The quickest way to "test" earnings potential is to do a test run at nicehash and get paid in Bitcoin.

    The bigger picture is that just about everything on the Internet will be done using Blockchain technology and miners will help validate it all. Just about every song, movie, video, online banking and even video games will soon be part of the blockchain. This technology is here to stay. It would probably be smarter to study it and learn how to benefit from it. Nvidia and other GPU manufactures will catch up with demand very quickly with expanded manufacturing facilities. Because of the massive increase in GPU's being sold the price will drop below what they would have been without mining. Also, because of all the extra money spent, more money is being spent in the performance race. In the end we will have much faster GPU and at a lower price. If you're smart you'll learn how to mine and the mining will pay for your GPU and have extra $$$ in your pocket.
  • Myrmidonas
    2737787 said:
    People hating on people mining with GPU's are missing out on money and how blockchain technology is the next internet. If you have a high end GPU why not make extra $$$ when the GPU you already own is idle 90% of the time? I've made so much money mining on my Gaming GTX 1080 that it paid for itself and now I'm mining with 6 GTX 1080 ti's and they all are 100% paid off in full in under 2 months. The quickest way to "test" earnings potential is to do a test run at nicehash and get paid in Bitcoin. The bigger picture is that just about everything on the Internet will be done using Blockchain technology and miners will help validate it all. Just about every song, movie, video, online banking and even video games will soon be part of the blockchain. This technology is here to stay. It would probably be smarter to study it and learn how to benefit from it. Nvidia and other GPU manufactures will catch up with demand very quickly with expanded manufacturing facilities. Because of the massive increase in GPU's being sold the price will drop below what they would have been without mining. Also, because of all the extra money spent, more money is being spent in the performance race. In the end we will have much faster GPU and at a lower price. If you're smart you'll learn how to mine and the mining will pay for your GPU and have extra $$$ in your pocket.


    You assume too much trying to prove that mining is one way to go. Nobody likes miners except Power providers and GPU and AIB manufacturers. Not to mention the environmental disaster cryptocurrency mining does. Minus 1 from me. Next time be more careful.
  • awarmfuzzy
    1279557 said:
    2737787 said:
    People hating on people mining with GPU's are missing out on money and how blockchain technology is the next internet. If you have a high end GPU why not make extra $$$ when the GPU you already own is idle 90% of the time? I've made so much money mining on my Gaming GTX 1080 that it paid for itself and now I'm mining with 6 GTX 1080 ti's and they all are 100% paid off in full in under 2 months. The quickest way to "test" earnings potential is to do a test run at nicehash and get paid in Bitcoin. The bigger picture is that just about everything on the Internet will be done using Blockchain technology and miners will help validate it all. Just about every song, movie, video, online banking and even video games will soon be part of the blockchain. This technology is here to stay. It would probably be smarter to study it and learn how to benefit from it. Nvidia and other GPU manufactures will catch up with demand very quickly with expanded manufacturing facilities. Because of the massive increase in GPU's being sold the price will drop below what they would have been without mining. Also, because of all the extra money spent, more money is being spent in the performance race. In the end we will have much faster GPU and at a lower price. If you're smart you'll learn how to mine and the mining will pay for your GPU and have extra $$$ in your pocket.
    You assume too much trying to prove that mining is one way to go. Nobody likes miners except Power providers and GPU and AIB manufacturers. Not to mention the environmental disaster cryptocurrency mining does. Minus 1 from me. Next time be more careful.


    Mymididonas, You assume too much trying to prove that mining is not the way to go. Nobody likes pathetic geeky gamers except Power providers, GPU and AIB manufacturers. Not to mention the environmental disaster high end gaming rigs do. Minus 1 from me. Next time be more careful. ROLF