The Best GPUs For Ethereum Mining, Tested and Compared

Compared to previous-generation graphics cards, modern cards serve up significantly more performance per watt. But this doesn't change the fact that, in a high-end gaming PC, most of the time your graphics subsystem uses more power than any other component.

In the past, enthusiasts really worried about what their GPUs were doing in that vein only in games. Now, however, power also plays a primary role in determining the profitability of cryptocurrency mining. No matter where you're located geographically, power consumption factors into your calculation of whether (or what) to mine.

According to research from Digiconimist, Bitcoin's power consumption relative to total global electricity use is as high as 0.25%, and according to this IEA report, overall mining power usage could be ranked 48th among the power consumption of all countries worldwide! Like it or not (and we don't), a not-ignorable part of this planet's energy resources is being consumed by cryptocurrency mining. So, we have to take a more detailed look at GPU power consumption not only in games, but also other intensive workloads, notably mining.

Of course, nowadays, the big dog among cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, is mined mostly using ASICs, hardware dedicated for that purpose. It's consequently of no interest to anyone mining on GPUs. So, for the purposes of our power-consumption analysis, we're starting with current-gen Nvidia cards (AMD's latest will follow soon) and comparing power consumption to performance while mining Ethereum (ETH), the No. 2 cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin in market capitalization. The main advantage of ETH is that its algorithm, called Ethash, is ASIC-resistant. (It's memory-bandwidth-intensive, making it difficult to accelerate using purpose-built chips.)

At this point in time, the Directed Acyclic Graph file stored in graphics memory is larger than 2GB, rendering older cards useless for mining Ether. In the not-too-distant future, 3GB cards won't work, either. So, to account for the future, we're running our benchmarks at a DAG epoch of 190, which is fine for 4GB cards and up. If you want to take a look at the current DAG size, visit this page. Note: There are still other Ethash-based coins with DAG sizes smaller than 2GB. So if you do own an older graphics card, you can find opportunities to mine currencies such as Musicoin, Expanse, Ubiq, and Soilcoin, among others.

We're starting with performance results at stock settings, plan to add AMD's cards next, and then roll in data from configurations optimized for mining.

MORE: Best Graphics Cards

MORE: Desktop GPU Performance Hierarchy Table

MORE: All Graphics Content

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  • 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