Mining cryptocurrencies requires attention on several points, from the hardware used to aspects such as which coin to choose, for example. Video cards like the RTX 3090, from Nvidia, and the RX 6900 XT, from AMD, are the ideal models for those who want to get high profitability in the business – but, taking into account these models, the costs can be quite high. Because of this, it is also important to do the math and see if it pays to enter this market. Techidence has put together a series of tips to help you understand how this process works and assess whether or not it is worth it.
Processor and Motherboard
If in a PC for common use the processor can be a decisive factor for performance, in a machine for mining the CPU has a supporting role. Even entry-level products can be used in a mining machine since the heavy lifting is left to the graphics card. There are even chips with integrated GPUs, but these do not tend to offer adequate performance for mining.
The motherboard, on the other hand, is more relevant. After all, you can buy a product with support for multiple GPUs, which will give you a substantial gain in your hash rate (the speed at which your machine can process data). Miners tend to prefer models that have two, three, or even four PCIe slots to use more than one video card.
Finding the right GPU
Unless you have an unused high-performance card at home, or even if you intend to turn a gamer’s PC into a mining machine, investing in a new GPU that can perform well in hash calculations will require a large investment. This is especially true if you only want to use one GPU – after all, for the process to be profitable in this way, the product must have a very high-performance level.
The graphics cards that offer the best performance for mining are the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080, from Nvidia, with hash rates in the region of 90 points. The models were released recently and still have a high cost. Some models of the RTX 3080 are offered for around $699, while the RTX 3090 has few versions available, with starting prices of around $1,499.
AMD’s Radeon VII and RX 6900 XT also do well, with 83 and 64 points, respectively. While the Radeon VII can be found starting at $679, the RX 6900 XT has a cost of around $1,499.
Mid-range cards like RX 580 and GTX 166, for example, have a hash rate around 30 points, which can make mining not very worthwhile, since the power consumption will be very high – and the return, low.
Even for those who intend to invest in new cards, the high cost can make this payback take a long time. After all, even mid-range cards are currently very expensive.
Which cryptocurrency to start with?
For those who want to start mining, it is interesting to consider cryptocurrencies that offer the possibility of faster returns. Bitcoin, for example, is no longer so viable, since it requires very high processing power.
Among the most interesting options for beginners are the cryptocurrencies Ether, ZCash, and Monero, which, while not offering the same profitability as Bitcoins, allow you to use more modest machines for mining.
Mining on Laptops
For good mining performance, the hardware needs to be pushed to the extreme for a long period, which may not be an ideal scenario when thinking about laptops. A laptop needs to have a suitable clock according to its thermal solution – while its power supply tends to offer a much lower amount of power compared to desktops.
The same GTX 1060 chip, for example, tends to mine less on a laptop, since its maximum operating temperature must be reached very quickly, leading to reduced performance to lower the temperature. Also, the laptop’s power supply may not provide all the power demand for good mining performance, which makes the process unprofitable.
Why do mining farms make more sense?
Mining farms bring together a large number of boards and GPUs, which makes the gain scalable. While a home PC in the best case scenario might have a hash rate of around 90, a mining farm has machines that alone can exceed 400 points.
Besides, mining farms are usually set up in locations where electricity rates are lower, which directly impacts throughput. With a very high investment, but achieving impressive mining rates, these locations still make sense for those who invested in the necessary hardware in a scenario where prices were more affordable.
Is it worth it?
Possibly, with only one home PC mining, the earnings obtained should not even be enough to pay for the operation of the equipment. Moreover, investing in the hardware required today will generate a very high cost, which greatly compromises the profitability of mining in the short and medium-term.
Even for those who have high-performance video cards lying around, it is probably more interesting to consider selling them, given the high demand for this type of component. This is because starting in mining will require a lot of energy and time for little substantial gains.
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