Best mining GPU 2018: the best graphics cards for mining Bitcoin, Ethereum and more
In 2018, everywhere you look has some mention of Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. Bitcoin erupted in popularity last year, and while its losing its popularity and its meteoric growth has slowed to a crawl – there are still plenty of cryptocurrencies that are booming. So it shouldn’t be surprising that in 2018, everyone wants a piece of the action. If you’re thinking about diving into cryptocurrency mining, it would be prudent to shop for one of the best mining GPUs you can buy in 2018.
Because we live in a cryptocurrency world, we here at TechRadar have created a list of the best mining GPUs you can buy today, so that you can spend less time shopping, and more time profiting. We’ve ranked five of the best mining GPUs on the market, keeping price and efficiency in mind. And, thanks to our exclusive price comparison tool, you can rest assured that you’ll always get the best price. And, seeing how the rising popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led to huge price hikes across 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 concept behind cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin is that individuals generate and transfer them, without the reliance on any central authorities like governments or traditional banks. The appeal of cryptocurrency, at least in part, is that you can use a standard PC for mining. Ethereum, as well as many other cryptocurrencies, use memory hard-hashing methods, which is why having one of the best mining GPUs with a decent amount of graphics memory is needed.
Therefore, when you go out to look for the best mining GPU you can find, you should think about the memory the GPU features, as well as its power needs and cost. It’s important to consider the GPUs value, because when you start mining for Bitcoin or Ethereum, you won’t be yielding large amounts of cryptocurrency to start. You should therefore try to mitigate your initial costs as much as possible to maximise your profits and start making your initial investment back as soon as possible.
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.
- Check out also the best VPN services of 2018 that we’ve nailed down
- Make sure you have the best cryptocurrency mining software installed as well
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
Until either Volta or Turing comes along to replace it, the Nvidia GTX remains and will remain one of the most powerful graphics cards available in 2018. However, as good as it is a gaming GPU, it’s also an excellent mining GPU, but there are a few issues that stop it from ascending to the top of this list. For instance, it’s an extremely expensive GPU, and it draws more power compared to its competition. This means you’ll be getting less of a return on your investment, and it’ll take a while longer to cover your costs. However, if you don’t mind spending the extra cash for this GPU, (or if you want to game with the best graphics card around), then you’ll be happy with the results, as if you do a bit of tweaking you can reach 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.