Best mining GPU 2018: the best graphics cards for mining Bitcoin, Ethereum and more

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These days, you really can’t go anywhere without hearing about Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. Bitcoin took off in a huge way in 2017, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be slowing down anytime soon – the value just keeps climbing. So, it really isn’t surprising that in 2018, everyone is going to want a piece of the action. If you’re thinking about diving into Bitcoin or Ethereum mining, it would be wise to shop for one of the best mining GPUs you can buy today.

Because we’re living in a cryptocurrency world, we’ve created a list of the best mining GPUs you can buy today, so that you can spend as little time as possible researching and the most time making some cash. We’ve ranked five of the best mining GPUs on the market, with efficiency and price in mind. And thanks to TechRadar’s exclusive price comparison tool, you can rest assured that you’ll always be getting the best price. And as the popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led to huge price hikes in the GPU market, you don’t want to spend too much time shopping around.

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 you go out to buy the best mining GPU, you need to consider the amount of memory the GPU has, as well as the power consumption and cost. This is because when you start mining for cryptocurrency with your new GPU, you won’t be yielding huge amounts of cryptocurrency to begin with. Therefore you should try to mitigate your initial purchase and running cost to maximise profits and reduce the amount of time it takes to make your initial investment back.

That’s ultimately why we created this list of the best mining GPUs, and we didn’t just look into the specific needs of each mining graphics card, but we also included our exclusive price comparison tool to bring you the lowest prices from every corner of the internet.

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

Good balance of power and hash rate
High amount of memory
Expensive

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.

best graphics cards

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

Great price
Very good cooling
Often sold out due to its popularity for mining

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

Cheap
Good mining performance
Can be hard to find

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

Very good mining performance
High energy consumption
Runs a tad hot

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

Incredibly powerful
Excellent hash rates
Expensive to buy and to run

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

Nice and powerful
Very good hash rates
Higher power consumption than 1070
More expensive

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.

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