GTX 1070

Cryptocurrency (and we're not talking Bitcoin here) mining is growing in popularity and is a big part of why graphics cards (GPUs) are so expensive right now. Building a mining rig is different than building a gaming PC, because you need to balance mining performance with how much it costs to get set up and to run.

Mining is an intensive process, and you'll be running the rig at high load for long periods, so things like power draw become crucial. The GTX 1080 Ti is one amazing GPU, but it's also fairly power hungry, so it's not necessarily the best choice for this purpose.

If you're getting into mining, you'll be better suited with one of these.

NVIDIA GTX 1070

GTX 1070

The NVIDIA GTX 1070 is probably the best outright GPU for crypto mining if you can find one and are willing to pay the now-inflated price. You'll be looking at anywhere around $700 and above to get one, but it's a great choice to make a return on. The one linked below costs $800 and comes with a mining rig-friendly GPU riser.

One of the key factors in choosing the GTX 1070 is its balance of hash rate to power draw. It pulls 30 mh/s but even at full load the maximum power draw shouldn't exceed 150W. You've also got 8GB of memory.

If you're planning on more than just a quick mining fix, the GTX 1070 will serve you well for a long time.

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AMD RX 580

AMD RX 580

The biggest problem with the AMD RX 580 isn't price or power draw, it's being able to find one. AMD's cards are excellent for mining, and since they're (normally) priced lower than NVIDIA GPUs their popularity is quick and fierce.

The RX 580 has a hash rate of 29 mh/s and a fairly low power draw, albeit with a higher TDP than the GTX 1070 at 185W.

The RX 580 should be cheaper than the GTX 1070 though, but in the current market that isn't a given. Right now you can score one by XFX for $490, which makes it a decent deal as well.

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AMD RX Vega 56

Vega 56

Like the RX 580, one of the biggest issues with the Vega 56 is finding somewhere they're in stock. But if you can, it has great mining performance and should be less expensive than an NVIDIA card like the GTX 1070.

If you're running it for longer periods the Vega 56 will run hotter than the GTX 1070, though, and it has a higher power draw with a 210W TDP. But in gaming and mining the Vega 56 can outperform NVIDIA's GPU, so the extra power costs might be worth it.

Right now, they aren't cheaper than the GTX 1070, with severe stock shortages pushing prices close to $1,000. If you're in it for the long term you might be able to make a decent return on the investment, but it also might not be the best choice right now.

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