Cryptocurrency mining has been all the rage over the past few years. Bitcoin and Ethereum, in particular, have seen massive price increases, which has led to a renewed interest in cryptocurrency mining. Is it still profitable? What are the best mining GPUs? In this episode of the Piltch Point podcast, we take a look at cryptocurrency mining and answer these questions!
Mining cryptocurrency is a process of verifying and recording transactions on the blockchain. In order to mine cryptocurrency, you need a powerful graphics card or ASIC chip. Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently the most popular cryptocurrencies to mine, but there are many others out there as well.
Cryptocurrency mining is an incredibly competitive field and requires a significant amount of time, energy, and money to be successful. If you're looking for cryptocurrency mining GPUs or cryptocurrency ASIC chipsets, there are plenty of options available on the market today.
When looking for cryptocurrency mining GPUs or ASIC chipsets, it's important to keep the following in mind:
The short answer is no - probably not anymore (unless you're willing to put up with some serious heat). In order to mine cryptocurrency effectively enough that it's actually worth your while, you need a graphics card with at least two gigabytes of video memory and any kind of CPU from Intel or AMD. Mining cryptocurrency is no joke! You also have to consider how much power these cards consume when running at high clockspeeds. That's why cryptocurrency miners are always on the lookout for new, more efficient hardware.
There are a few newer GPUs that offer some good mining performance, but they come at a significant cost premium. But, with chip shortages causing the availability of graphics cards to be reduced, the costs have gone up as availability has gone down. Mining rigs have made the problem even worse, and some manufacturers have gone so far as to prioritize mining because they buy in bulk. If you're not too worried about getting the absolute best performance, there are plenty of other options out there as well.
Even if you can get a card (or two or three) for a decent rig, it can take years to break even. Tom's Hardware has created estimates on how long a rig will take under optimal conditions to pay for a single video card at retail rates, and the results aren't great. For most cases, it will take nearly 18 months. In most cases, it's several years.
But, you have to remember that these cards are not designed to be running at 100%, 24/7. Even if you were running an intense videogame and switching out players every few hours, running the computer all day every day, the card would still not be under these intense conditions. As such, cards can wear out in a year or two when mining, meaning they're dead long before you break even on them. So, while it might appear that you're making money, you're in the hole even before you begin.
So, in essence, if you are thinking about getting into the mining game right now: Stop. Turn around. Go home. There's nothing for you here.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.