Ethereum Mining GPU Performance And Optimization Tips
Right out the gate, we identified our Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 to be one of our most efficient miners, with attractive temp and power draw numbers. Moreover, the GTX 1070 can be easily tweaked for some significant performance gains. To determine this, we downloaded a free copy of NiceHash mining software for its no-frills benchmark utility, and used the DaggerHashimoto algorithm for Ethereum mining, to find the hashrate performance of each GPU we tested. The higher the hash rate the faster the GPU can solve the algorithm. Miners are rewarded for solved algorithms in the form of cryptocurrency—Ethereum in our specific test case.
*Note: We used NiceHash for its simplicity. It’s great to maximize profit as it will switch between the selected algorithms and crypto-coin types based on current market value, such as those for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. Yet it’s not the most efficient way to mine any one specific coin type. Shop around and do a bit of research to find the one for the cryptocurrency you'd like to mine and for your specific needs.
Ethereum GPU Mining - Of Hash Rates And Power Draw
With that out of the way, let's look at some high level Ethereum hash rates and power draw across a number of current generation graphics cards...
Update, 9/15/2017: We've updated our Ethereum mining hash rate numbers here to include AMD's recently launched Radeon RX Vega 64 and Vega 56 graphics cards. As you can see, Radeon RX Vega 64 and 56 are potent mining GPUs, that is if you can find them on the market for purchase. Due to time constraints, we have not updated the power draw numbers below. However, if you check our power numbers on Radeon RX Vega here in our review, you'll note that AMD's new Vega architecture is power-hungry beast. If power consumption is not a concern, Vega can really crunch the Ether. However, if you have a power budget to keep in check, you might want to consider other GPUs we've listed here.
Looking at the results, we can see why many of these cards are completely sold out, much to the chagrin of gamers everywhere. AMD's Radeon RX 580 and 480 show great performance for their price range. Unfortunately, they are extremely hard to find as a result and are now selling between $500 to $600, as dealers price gouge due to the supply/demand dynamic. In addition, NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1070 is also a beast when it comes to affordable mining, even before we optimized it (more on this shortly). Another option is a Radeon R9 390X, which shows similar strong performance. However, the 390x is a power-hungry card that can still hit your wallet for $600 - $700 as of this writing, which is just nutty. Regardless, what you can see here is that gaming performance with these cards doesn't always directly correlate to Ethereum mining performance. Finally, while the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti may look like the king miner, its power consumption and hefty price tag also make it a less-than-efficient solution.
Tweaking Performance And Power Consumption For ETH Mining
That leaves the GeForce GTX 1070 Founder's Edition as a possibly our most attractive option (again, depending on market price), and with a little tweaking the mid-range card has even more to give. To optimize it we used MSI Afterburner. We kicked up its memory interface clock +650MHz and brought the Power Limit target down to 66% to reduce board power consumption and heat output. GPU temps hover around a cool 66°C, which is down from 77° before made our tweaks. That brought our hash rate up more than 10% to 31.775MH/s from 27.242MH/s. Check the Ethereum calculator below to see our overall monthly available profit and more.