Best GPU for crypto mining Windows Central 2021
Cryptocurrency mining is a heavy process for the GPU, requiring the component (and your PC) to be running hard for prolonged periods of time. While it's possible to choose the best graphics card and start mining, this may not be the best value route, especially when considering power draw and electricity tariffs. The RTX 3080 is an amazing GPU, but there are other cards worth considering for crypto mining. Here are our favorites.
- Best overall: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
- Runner-up: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
- Best value: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
- Best performance: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
- Best budget AMD: AMD Radeon RX 580
- Best budget NVIDIA: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER
Best overall: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is a monster of a graphics card. Usually, we'd class a $399 GPU as something reserved for budget PC builds or for those who want to enjoy games on a 1080p monitor. The 3060 Ti switches all that up, based on NVIDIA's latest Ampere architecture. This card is wild for both gaming and mining.
Despite being priced at somewhat of a bargain, it bests the RTX 2080 SUPER in raw performance for 1080p and 1440p gaming. That's mighty impressive, and it's likely going to be extremely popular for anyone who's not too interested in 4K gaming. The same goes for mining, besting the 2080 SUPER in performance and efficiency.
It won't win awards for the highest earnings nor the fastest hashrate, but if you want a stable income per month with relatively low energy costs, this is about as good as you can get.
- 60MH/s hashrate
- 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
- 4,864 CUDA cores
- Affordable RTX 30-series GPU
- Awkward 12-pin connector
Runner-up: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 is a great GPU for gaming, but it's also a great option for value mining rigs. So long as you can locate one at a decent price, you'll be enjoying anywhere up to 40MH/s for the hashrate, which should bring in considerable passive income with a power draw of around 225W.
The best part is should you choose to stop mining, this GPU can resell at a price that will recuperate your initial investment. But if you fancy building a gaming PC, it'll also be able to handle even the more recent collection of PC games. Because it has been around for a while, you can even go one step further with your mining setup and add water cooling with blocks.
- 36MH/s hashrate
- 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
- 2,304 CUDA cores
- Good value
- Older generation
Best value: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
AMD made a large leap with the RDNA GPUs like the RX 5700 XT. It's based on a 7nm manufacturing process and makes even the company's own older Radeon cards look ancient and power-hungry. While, again, the RX 5700 XT isn't the latest and greatest from AMD, it's actually one of the best value propositions for crypto mining.
It's good enough for 1440p gaming, just like the RTX 3060 Ti, and is very good at mining. While AMD cards miss out on some of the gamer-focused features like DLSS 2.0 and the same level of ray tracing like in NVIDIA GPUs, it's mining where this GPU really takes off. Its average hashrate is just shy of 55MH/s, which isn't far off the 3060 Ti, and these cards are found at considerably lower prices.
If you want to start mining, the RX 5700 XT is a worthwhile choice to consider.
- 54MH/s hashrate
- 8GB GGDR6 VRAM
- Great value
- Efficient performance
- Some instability issues
- Lacks latest-gen AMD features
Best performance: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
It's an obvious choice for "best performance," but the RTX 3090 from NVIDIA truly is in a class of its own. It's incredible at gaming, pushing boundaries in 4K (and some even mention 8K if you can believe it), and crypto mining. While AMD has undoubtedly cut into NVIDIA's claim to the GPU throne with its Radeon RX 6000 cards, a few of which are included in this roundup, the top-tier option still belongs to Team Green.
For gaming, DLSS 2.0 and 2.1 are perhaps some of the impressive features that come standard with this GPU. It employs dedicated Tensor cores to run AI rendering in real-time, effectively boosting frame rates while also making frames come out at a much higher resolution. Because ray tracing can be detrimental to performance, DLSS is the perfect pairing.
The RTX 3090 has some beefy specs for mining, including a whopping 24GB of GDDR6X VRAM and 10,496 CUDA cores. You could easily pull well into the three digits each month, and that's after taking into account electricity (depending on your area).
- 121MH/s hashrate
- 24GB GDDR6X VRAM
- 10,496 CUDA cores
- Great performance
- Amazing for gaming too
Best budget AMD: AMD Radeon RX 580
AMD's Radeon RX 580 is a GPU that may not be near the top of mind for gamers and miners alike, but if you're just wanting to earn a few pennies here and there, this graphics card will do just that without issue. Running an optimized configuration will see a hashrate of around 28MH/s, which isn't too bad at 185W (that, like other GPUs, can be dropped considerably).
Crypto mining is all about memory and having 8GB of GDDR5 is great for running NiceHash and other mining solutions. The rate of return is slow, so don't go buying a bunch of these if you have the expectation that mining earnings will continue at current levels well into the future.
- 28MH/s hashrate
- 8GB GDDR5 VRAM
- Lower rate of return
- Higher power draw
Best budget NVIDIA: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER
NVIDIA's GTX 1660 SUPER is an interesting, unique GPU. It's built on the same Turing architecture as the RTX 20 series of GPUs, but it doesn't have dedicated ray-tracing cores or fancy features like DLSS. It's designed to be a budget-friendly graphics card with enough power to handle the latest games at 1080p.
For mining, the story is the same. You'll find it far down on the earnings chart with a hashrate of just 26MH/s, but this is at a power draw of around 125W, which is great if you live in an area with high electricity costs. Leave this little puppy running continuously, and you'll bag yourself some income to spend or save.
Other highlights of the GTX 1660 SUPER include 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM and high memory bandwidth at 336GB/s. Not bad if you can find one at a reasonable price!
- 26MH/s hashrate
- 6GB GDDR6 VRAM
- 1,408 CUDA cores
- Low power draw
- Lower rate of return
Choosing the best GPU for crypto mining
Mining cryptocurrency requires different priorities in a GPU to gaming, and the most powerful cards on the market aren't necessarily the most expensive. Going alone and mining cryptocurrencies yourself is a daunting task, which is why it's better to be part of a mining pool. We've written up a guide on how to mine cryptocurrency and earn passive income with your gaming PC.
Generally speaking, you'll get the best all-around results with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, although the AMD RX 5700 XT is a worthy alternative if you're on a tighter budget. That is if you can locate any GPU in stock. Both of these GPUs are great at solving the algorithms and earn some passive income.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.
Richard Devine Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore, and Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming.
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