Best Ethereum Mining Hardware (2018 Updated)

Last updated on April 2nd, 2018 at 10:14 am

Ethereum’s Ethash algorithm quickly set itself as one of the go-to GPU mining algorithms on the cryptocurrency market. It’s currently the driving algorithm behind many coins like Ethereum, Ethereum classic, Musicoin, Pirl, Ubiq, Expanse, Ella and growing, most of them are forks of the original Ethereum code with different specifications.

The Basics of Ethereum Mining

If you’re new to mining Ethereum, there are 4 important things you should know:

Proof of Stake is Planned

Ethereum has been planning to switch to Proof Of Stake using an algorithm called Casper. This switch will either make Ethereum mining not possible or severely decrease the rewards, but this applies to only Ethereum. The other coins using Ethash will not be affected and so your cards will still be able to function properly on another coin.

Sufficient VRAM is Required

When looking at an Ethash coin to mine you need to check on something called the DAG, the Ethereum Directed Acyclic Graph. This gets stored in the VRAM of the GPU and so to be able to mine this coin, your GPU must have enough storage to load the DAG in.

Currently you can only mine Ethereum with cards that have at least 3 gigabytes of VRAM, the DAG increases with every epoch, which is approximately every 30,000 Ethereum blocks. While Ethereum mining is currently not possible with 2 gigabyte cards, you can mine other coins like Ubiq with 2 gigabyte cards until 2027.  So if you’re new to mining and want to try it out with your old card, you are always welcome to do that on other coins.

You can check the current and future status of Ethash coins in here.

Mining Demand Drives Up the Cost of  GPUs

GPU-based cryptocurrency mining in the past few months has reached a popularity level in which the two companies producing GPUs (AMD and Nvidia) are no longer able to supply the demand. This made retailers and secondary market sellers increase their prices.

One of the skills of being a good miner is being able to hunt for deals where GPUs are moderately priced by checking out online stores, offline stores and other secondary market outlets.

There’s more to it than GPUs

While the graphics processor is arguably the most important part in Ethereum mining, your system’s hardware must match a following specification. Here’s what we recommend:

  • For rigs of less than 6 GPUs, a 4GB ram is required. For more than that I recommend getting an 8GB ram stick.
  • A motherboard with enough PCIe inputs, this is a crucial thing to look for in your motherboard. If you are building a multiple GPU rig your motherboard needs to have enough PCIe inputs to hold them.
  • A Powered riser cable for each card.
  • An open-air rig for multiple GPUs.
  • A reliable power supply. The capacity needs to be calculated based on the GPUs you choose, we’ll follow up on this one later.
  • A reliable internet connection.

There’s also the software side and the programs and drivers you’ll need. Some of these are GPU specific so we will list only the general ones here and expand later:

  • Temperature monitoring and overclocking software – this software is intended to be used to tweak your GPUs performance. It will make your GPU mine better (more hashes per second), mine cooler (lower temperature is always good for the cards), and mine more efficiently (use less power). Most miners use MSI afterburner overclocking software and GPU-Z for temprature and power monitoring.
  • Mining software – for mining Ethash coins most people use the Claymore software, it is one of the oldest and most supported Ethash miners. Some other programs have been surfacing in the past year like Ethminer and Phoenix miner.

The rest of this guide focuses on the hardware side. For further help setting up an Ethereum wallet, joining a pool and using your miner read our beginner’s guide to mining Ethereum.

Ethereum Mining Hardware Manufacturers: AMD vs Nvidia

AMD cards are almost always more suitable to the starting miner in terms of price,  as the base mining cards of AMD cost almost 2/3 the price of its Nvidia counter part.  However, this comes at a price. Nvidia cards are almost always easier to use, configure and overclock. So Nvidia cards do not require more time learning how to configure cards, flash a bios or undervolt.

AMD cards also are not as powerful as Nvidia cards. One of the most important advantages of Nvidia cards is that they are better on a lot of other algorithms. While AMD cards are more efficient on the Ethash and Cryptonight algorithms, Nvidia cards beat them on most others.

Comparing the Best Hardware for Ethereum Mining

We’ve compiled stats on the best available cards, which should help you decide which one to pick. Here’s a brief explanation of these terms:

Name

The name of the chipset produced by Nvidia or AMD for each card remains the same (such as RX 480). But there will always be variations of the same model produced by different companies, each of them will be known for their pros and cons. For example, the MSI Gaming X variation is known to consistently have one of the best cooling systems of all, but one of the highest price tags as well.

Some variations can also have out of the box better performances as they can come factory overclocked, but this can be compensated by using an overclocking software.

Price

The initial price you pay will determine how long it takes for your card to pay for itself, based on your mining profits. The current earnings can be calculated by an Ethereum mining calculator. The calculator takes into account only on the current earnings and does not take into account difficulty increases or price increases.

Hashrate

The rate the card achieves under ideal mining conditions. This will be given as a range, which can be reached by overclocking, underclocking, flashing a BIOS or undervolting.

Power Draw

This power draw is the amount of electricity a card consumes while mining, which is measured at the outlet.

Efficiency

You can determine the rating for efficiency by dividing the hashrate by the power consumption. Newer cards are usually more efficient. This rating is of prime importance—given that electricity is a fixed, ongoing cost. In other words, the more efficient your card, the more profitable it will be once you’ve received the ROI.

AMD Cards

To get the most efficient mining from AMD cards, you will need to download the AMD blockchain driver. Without this driver you will see massive degraded performance from the new and old generations with the increase in DAG.

Most AMD miners also edit and flash their card’s BIOS to achieve much better mining power with much less energy costs. This is an advanced operation so you should do this only once you are mining and comfortable with it but this process can increase performance by up to 50% at times so its rewarding to know how to do it. There is a guide on the Ethereum forum that thoroughly explains the process.


AMD RX 470/570

Increased Price: $250-$550

Regular Price: $200-$270

Power Draw: 80W-200W

Hashrate: 20-30 Mh/s

VRAM: 4 and 8GB GDDR5

AMD RX 470/570

Pros: This series is by far the most energy efficient series out there. Using proper memory overclocking and core underclocking and undervolting techniques, you can get this card to run on only 70-80w and still have it push out upwards of 30 Mh/s.

Cons: Due to it being a very good series for mining, its frequent to find them overpriced by sellers at almost twice their price, making them have weaker ROI periods. They are also not very good at most other algorithms, so if you want the freedom to mine other altcoins then this series may not be for you. If something was to happen to Ethereum mining (e.g. move to Proof of Stake), expect this series to flood the market with undervalued prices.


AMD RX 480/580

Increased Price: $250-$550

Regular Price: $250-$300

Power Draw: 100W-250W

Hashrate: 20-30 Mh/s

VRAM: 4 and 8GB GDDR5

AMD RX 480/580 Pros: This series is the bigger brother of the RX 470/570 series. It has an almost exact hashrate but with more power usage. It’s also better on a few other algorithms leaving you with the freedom to choose more altcoins to mine.

Cons: It has basically the same cons of the RX 470/570 series, but it has a slight advantage of mining more algorithms. So if something were to happen to Ethereum mining, you could still mine other coins like Zcash and Monero with them.


AMD Radeon RX Vega series

Increased Price: $800-$1200

Regular Price: $450-$700

Power Draw: 150W – 250W

Hashrate: 30 – 45 Mh/s

VRAM: 8 GB HBM2

AMD Radeon RX Vega series

Pros: This is the newest series from AMD. It includes the RX vega 56 and the RX vega 64, both of which are 8gb RAM and are very close in mining performance. They have great performance for the power they consume and they can be resold for more as they are the newest generation. They are also really good at other algorithms like mining Monero and Zcash.

Cons: They are pretty expensive and so the ROI period can be much more than the older RX series. They run a little bit hotter than the older series and they are very rare to find at a good price.


Nvidia cards

Nvidia cards are more expensive than their AMD counterparts. They are easier to use and don’t require any tech-savvy skills. Just get the card, download the drivers and you’re good to go. Even when you want to overclock them (for Ethash), you’re mostly going to just be increasing the memory clock and decreasing the power limit.

GTX 1060

Increased Price: $260-$400

Regular Price: $170-$270

Power Draw: 60W – 150W

Hashrate: 18 – 25 Mh/s

VRAM: 3/6 GB GDDR5

GTX 1060

Pros: If you’re aiming for Nvidia cards then this is the base card you’re going to be looking at. It’s relatively cheap and it is very good at Ethash mining. It also doesn’t face any degradation of performance as the DAG increases.

The card can be found in 3GB and 6GB configurations, while they won’t have a lot of differences in the mining hash power, the 3GB card is not going to be able to mine Ethereum in mid 2019. So if you want to mine Ethereum you should probably get the 6GB version. The card is also good at mining Zcash and has extremely low power  usage.

Cons: Their prices have been bumped up quite a lot in the past few months so they may not be as money efficient as buying their AMD counterparts. Also their mining density, the Mh/s per motherboard, will be the lowest of all the other cards.


GTX 1070

Increased Price: $550 – $700

Regular Price: $370 -$450

Power Draw: 150W – 225 W

Hashrate: 25 – 32 Mh/s

VRAM: 8 GB GDDR5

GTX 1070

Pros: A very good all around card. It’s not only great at Ethereum mining, it can also mine Zcash, VTC and many other coins. This is one card that won’t have any degraded performance if Ethereum mining stops as a whole, it has plenty of other choices.

Cons: Like almost every other good card, their price has increased dramatically in the last few months. If you can find them at a good price, don’t hesitate.


GTX 1080ti

Increased Price: $900-$1200

Regular Price: $750-$850

Power Draw: 150W – 250W

Hashrate: 35-40 Mh/s

VRAM: 11 GB GDDR5

GTX 1080ti

Pros: This card is the power house of mining. It is the most expensive, most powerful GPU used regularly in mining and it has the highest mining density. A full rig (6) of these would cost almost as much as 3-4 full rigs of the RX 470 series. This card is suitable for almost every GPU mineable coin out there.

Cons: Mining Ethereum with this card might not be the best decision, as its hash rate isn’t much higher than the gtx 1070 for almost double the price. But you’ll find that mining other coins with this card is much more profitable than mining Ethereum.


Conclusion

Whichever card you decide on, be prepared to spend a lot of time researching various retailers and resellers. Only then can you hope to find a “fair” price. Mining has really inflated GPU prices across the board, which is a good indicator that GPU mining is still profitable—if you play your cards right. You will also need to pick out a power supply that is able to fit your entire rig’s power and more, some mining rig use double power supplies as the high capacity ones are usually much more expensive, for a 6-card rig of RX 470s a 1200w power supply will probably be more than enough, while a 6-card rig of gtx 1080ti might need two of these.

Bitcoin Video Crash Course 

Know more than 99% of the population about Bitcoin. One email a day for 7 days, short and educational, guaranteed.

Leave a Reply

34 Comments on "Best Ethereum Mining Hardware (2018 Updated)"

avatar
 
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Travis
Guest
Travis

32Mh/s is spot on Currently running 6 1070’s in my Rig
getting 194.1xx Mh/s

System
EVGA 850W BQ PSU
TB-250 Motherboard
Celeron CPU
2TB HDD (1.5TB allocated to STORJ)

Afterburner Settings
65% Power 760-770W from the wall
Temps 51-54C
Core Clock +50
Mem Clock +775

cikurk
Guest
cikurk

i use this driver. got ~ 57mh with my gtx 1070 aero oc

Mark Johnson
Guest
Mark Johnson

wooo, thank you very much. right now i doubled my profitability in this hard times

pbzrpa
Guest
pbzrpa

I think this guys is definitely a salesperson from Nvidia. I get 28Mh/s out of my RX 580 8GB Strix with the standard “GPU Tweak II” asus software in “Gaming Mode”. Card is running at 56 Degrees Celsius and rig is really not doing much. I paid $613 for the card.

Steven Hay
Member
Trusted Member
Steven Hay

Well, I sure wouldn’t want to be a salesperson for AMD right now with their vulnerable processors…

jose
Guest
jose

rx 580 asus dual oc with bios mod i still get 29 Mh per card, i have a rig with 6.

Please do not lie!

cris
Guest
cris

I am getting 31.2 out of rx580 8gb gigabyte gaming

spykerhond
Guest
spykerhond

is this copywriting again with general card specs in stead of actual card tests. Cheapscate article. Does not reflect user demmo’s out there. These watt figures are guessed.

mx miner
Guest
mx miner

worst article ever, get your fact right, you state different speeds for the same card (RX vega 64) and clearly you dont have a clue, i mine with rx580 and my hashrate its 30 with bios mod and propper patched drivers for mining

Steven Hay
Guest
Trusted Member
Steven Hay

It’s not one of my best, fair enough. I’m not really a mining guy and I don’t use Ethereum. Rates were given for out-the-box cards.

buttcoin
Guest
buttcoin

its fud so new ppl that read this article wont buy rx series so the price can stop going up already…

too bad its too late for that now

chunfly
Guest
chunfly

the hashrate of my rx 580 is 20 Mh / s and you say it will go down. There’s a solution?

Steven Hay
Guest
Trusted Member
Steven Hay

Hey Chunfly,

Not as far as I know… If you use the -benchmark xxx switch in the Claymore ETH miner, it’ll give you an estimate of your expected mining performance for that epoch (current one is 165).

Igor Sumonja
Member
Igor Sumonja

miss information. rx 570 – 580 get 22.5 mh/s with stock settings, if you put the correct drivers. correct drivers for the windows are the last one, but you need to change gaming -> compute to go mining. this will increase from 17 to 22.5. then after bios u can get 29-30

Steven Hay
Guest
Trusted Member
Steven Hay

OK.

kings
Guest
kings

lol dude, i am also using RX 580 cards… i have 9 of them and they get 28MHs each… dont know where this ’18MHs’ story comes from..

chris
Guest
chris

easy they use and old driver not the crimeson BETA.
I had the same problem, after that i get 25 and now i have 31mh/s with the mod!

defrisselle
Guest
defrisselle

My R9 380 with just an overclock is getting 20.3 Mh/s.

Lawz
Guest
Lawz

What is this nonsense?
I’m mining eth with rx570 cards and I have 31,1mhs stable on each of them.
?!?

chard
Guest
chard

what software or mining pool you guys been using for ethereum mining?!

Steven Hay
Guest
Trusted Member
Steven Hay

Hi Chard,

In our ETH mining guide, we recommend Nanopool or Ethermine. 2Miners.com pool has a lot of additional mineable coins however.

MoparPorsche
Guest
MoparPorsche
One of three things is going on here, either the person really does not know what they are talking about (e.g. hashrates for RX 400 & 500 series, the R9 only coming in 4gb, etc), or they are advertising for Nvidia, or they are attempting to get a sell off for AMD cards. I don’t mind because I have been able to get some good prices on AMD cards lately with one guy even saying that he was selling cards he just purchased brand new in December because their technology was becoming obsolete. Probably read this article and took it… Read more »
Steven Hay
Guest
Trusted Member
Steven Hay

Hey MoparPorsche,

There is a fourth possibility; which is that I missed the AMD driver update which fixed the speed problems for RX cards. I will do some more research and update the article. Thanks for pointing out the error though.

MoparPorsche
Guest
MoparPorsche

If you can be clear about what exactly do you mean by RX cards speed problem that would be helpful. And, when you post in 2018 that and RX 580 is getting 18 MH/s and falling fast, what is this information based off of.

Steven Hay
Guest
Trusted Member
Steven Hay

That’s the out the box hashrate for some RX 580 cards. You can improve it with various bios mods, mining drivers and overclocking. Epoch age seems to degrade performance of these cards in particular.

rjk
Guest
rjk

also mentioning R9 has only 4g memory was confusing as that card is listed at 8g memory, just fyi