In 2018, it’s almost impossible to go anywhere without hearing something about Bitcoin. This insanely popular cryptocurrency was booming throughout 2017, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon – it’s constantly reaching record prices. Now everyone wants a piece of the action. So, if you’re considering mining for cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Bitcoin, it would be prudent to take a look at some of the best mining GPUs available in 2018.
We’ve created this guide in order to go through and rank all of the best mining GPUs. Plus, thanks to our exclusive price comparison tool, we’ve found the best deals on every single GPU so that you can get to mining – and profiting – as soon as possible. Don’t wait too long though, the popularity of cryptocurrency mining has caused the prices for the best mining GPUs to skyrocket.
Don’t worry too much though, with TechRadar by your side, you’ll avoid any obscene price hikes. We’ve also created a guide to the best mining motherboards, so be sure to check that one out too.
The idea behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum is that they’re generated and transferred between individuals, without relying on central authorities, such as traditional banks or governments. Part of the appeal of mining for cryptocurrency is that you can use a regular PC to do the mining. Many cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, use memory hard-hashing techniques, and therefore a PC with a decent GPU with a good amount of graphics memory is required.
So, when looking for the best GPU for mining, you'll want to bear in mind the amount of memory a card has, as well as cost and power consumption. Using your GPU for mining won't yield huge amounts of cryptocurrency at first, unless you're willing to invest a lot of money on multiple GPUs. That means you'll want to minimise your initial outlay and running costs to maximize your profits.
So, that's why we've created this list of the best mining GPUs, as not only have we looked into the specific requirements a mining graphics card needs, but we've also included our Hawk price comparison technology to bring you the very best prices.
Before you start mining for Bitcoin, Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies, make sure you read the following articles so you know everything you need to before you begin.
1. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
Low power draw, high hash rate
Core Clock: 1,506MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR5 | Memory Clock: 8Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 6-pin | Power Draw: 150W | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, DL-DVI
Nvidia's GTX 1070 isn't just a great graphics card for gaming, it's also an excellent mining GPU. This is because it manages a high hash rate of around 30 mh/s without needed too much power. Remember, the more power a GPU requires, the more expensive it is to run, which will eat into your cryptocurrency profits. As with many recent Nvidia GPUs, the 1070 is on the pricey side, so you will have to take an initial hit when starting up, but if you're into cryptocurrency mining for the long run, the 1070 is easily the best mining GPU currently available.
2. AMD Radeon RX 580
AMD's GPU is a mining winner
Core Clock: 1,257MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR5 | Memory Clock: 8Gbps | Power Connectors: 1x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin | Power Draw: 185W | Outputs: 1 DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0
The AMD Radeon RX 580 is one of the very best GPUs for mining, and in fact is a bit of a victim of its own success, as it can sometimes be difficult to find. However, its popularity is warranted, as it offers an excellent hash rate of 29 mh/s, while also keeping the electricity consumption low as well. It's also cheaper than the GTX 1070, and if you don't mind tweaking a few settings, you'll be very pleased with this card's mining performance.
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Nvidia GTX 1070
3. AMD RX 480
An older GPU, but still great at mining
Core Clock: 1,120MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR5 | Memory Clock: 8Gbps | Power Connectors: 1x 8-pin, 1 x 6-pin | Power Draw: 150W | Outputs: 1 DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0
If you want a low cost of entry into the world of mining, then the AMD RX 480 is an excellent choice. This is because it is a bit older than the AMD Radeon RX 580, so prices are lower - when you can find one in stock. Yep, this is another AMD card that can be difficult to track down thanks to its mining ability. However with 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, it achieves a decent hash rate of 28mh/s, and again doesn't require too much power. There are also versions available with 4GB of GDDR5 RAM, if you're looking for an even lower cost mining GPU.
4. AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
Punchy graphics performance above its weight
Core Clock: 1,156MHz | Memory: 8GB HBM2 | Memory Clock: 800MHz | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Power Draw: 210W | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0
The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 is one of the best value-packed graphics card on the market right now. Benchmarks prove it runs faster than the Nvidia GTX 1070 and, thanks to the Bitcoin mining craze, it’s also cheaper to boot. Again, it can be a tricky GPU to track down, and it's power consumption means it can end up being a pricey GPU to run 24/7 in a mining rig, but it performs very well at mining, so if you can find one, it's definitely worth considering.
5. Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti
A brilliant, yet expensive, GPU for mining
Core Clock: 1,480MHz | Memory: 11GB GDDR5X | Memory Clock: 11GHz | Power Connectors: 1 x 6-pin; 1 x 8-pin | Power Draw: 250W | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0
The Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti remains one of the most powerful graphics cards in the world, and is our recommendation as the best graphics card for 4K gaming. However, as a mining GPU, it is also an excellent choice, but there are a few considerations that prevent it being higher up this list. First of all, it's still an expensive GPU, and the power consumption is high compared to other cards. This means the return on your investment is less, and will take longer to cover your costs. If you don't mind splashing out on this GPU (or you're going to also use it to play games with), then you'll be very happy with the results, especially as with a bit of tweaking you can get a hash rate of 32 mh/s.
6. Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti
A recent update to the 1070
Core Clock: 1,6070MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR5 | Memory Clock: 8GHz | Power Connectors: 1 x 6-pin; 1 x 8-pin | Power Draw: 180W | Outputs: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0
While the GTX 1070 sits atop our list of the best mining GPUs, its follow up, the GTX 1070 Ti, is another fantastic mining graphics card, and with a number of power upgrades, such as a higher base clock, the 1070 Ti does a very good job. However, there are a few reasons why it's listed lower than its older sibling. For a start, as it's newer it costs more than the 1070, which will dent your profits from mining. It also has a higher power consumption, which makes it more costly to run. Finally, there have been incidents of a bug in the driver software which makes this GPU hash lower than expected, but an upcoming fix should sort that. If you're prepared to tweak a few settings, however, this is an excellent mining GPU.