Ethereum GPU mining remains profitable, at least until it shifts to proof of stake around January. But there’s more to it than just firing up the software and letting it run in the background, especially if you’ve managed to procure one of the best graphics cards or best mining GPUs. Most of the graphics cards in our GPU benchmarks hierarchy can earn money right now by mining, depending on how much you pay for power. However, you’ll want to tune your graphics card with the optimal settings, and the brand and card model can have a big impact on overall performance and efficiency.
First, let’s note that we’re not trying to actively encourage anyone to start a mining farm with GPUs. If you want to know how to mine Ethereum, we cover that elsewhere, but the “how” is quite different from the “why.” In fact, based on past personal experience that some of us have running consumer graphics cards 24/7, it is absolutely possible to burn out the fans, VRMs, or other elements on your card.
At the same time, we know there’s a lot of interest in the topic, and we wanted to shed some light on the actual power consumption — measured using our Powenetics equipment — that the various GPUs use, as well as the real-world hashrates we achieved. If you’ve pulled up data using a mining profitability calculator, our figures indicate there’s a lot of variation between power and hash rates, depending on your settings and even your particular card. Don’t be surprised if you don’t reach the level of performance others are showing.
There’s also the old saying: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Do as you will, but don’t think that us discussing this will make the situation any worse. The only way this gets better is if profitability of mining plummets, and the more people that mine in their spare GPU cycles, the less there is for the mining farms.
We’ll start with the latest generation of AMD and Nvidia GPUs, but we also have results for most previous generation GPUs. Nvidia and its partners now have LHR (Lite Hash Rate) Ampere cards that perform about half as fast as the non-LHR cards, but the new NBminer release gets that into the 70–75% range. Nvidia is likely more focused on its next GPUs at this stage, Lovelace, which we expect to see in 2022.
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