It is no secret that Monero is by far the “friendliest” cryptocurrency to mine, especially for those who cannot afford heavy equipment but still want to earn a living through working on cryptocurrency networks.
In a world where Bitcoin mining equipment can cost thousands of dollars and collectively use an amount of electricity that could power a small country, Monero’s relatively cheaper mining equipment, and energy usage seems like a product of a different world altogether.
However, the fact of the matter is that the cost-effectiveness of mining Monero is very real and remains so due to the network’s daring moves of eradicating ASIC mining from its operations completely.
With a hard fork upgrade that was the center of much publicity, Monero made ASIC mining ineffective on its CryptoNight based network to make the process of mining fair to individuals and not just remain beneficial for larger companies and mining pools.
The move caused an uproar from mining giants such as Bitmain, which by the looks of it will be licking its wounds due to Monero’s action of rendering its latest CryptoNight algorithm-mining equipment to be obsolete through its upgrade. Especially after Monero moved forward with the update days after Bitmain had announced the release of the said miner, Antminer X3, into the market.
Even the outcries from these large corporations and multiple new cryptocurrency hard forks – such as Monero Classic – were not enough for Monero to change its decision, which at the end of it all now remains an ASIC-free network, where people with high-efficiency CPUs and GPUs can perform mining operations just as effectively as their large-scale competitors did in the past.
This also means that miners do not have to invest into equipment that is used for nothing but mining cryptocurrencies pertinent to their operations, but they can just go ahead and buy GPUs and CPUs that are multipurpose and can be traded off easily with people belonging to other segments such as the gaming and graphics industry.
The move also alludes towards the ease of use that Monero miners will now have towards the purchase process of said hardware, since they could now just walk into a store or order their multipurpose hardware online from any popular computer vendor instead of having to reach out to a few specialized companies, that mostly have to export their products to the end user from a different country which adds to shipping cost and time.
However, since such miners who had ASIC equipment would not be able to mine Monero efficiently anymore, these upgrades have also caused newfound questions of finding the best mining equipment for Monero that complies with the network’s upgraded state.
While the new form of the upgrade supports general hardware including GPUs and just-CPUs, the best results have so far been observed from using CPUs with GPUs since the latter allows overclocking past a certain point and provide some of the most beneficial results to Monero miners.
Since the upgrades are new and the information is scarce on this topic, we thought to put together a helpful list of GPUs that would help you find and select the best option for mining Monero.
Non-ASIC Mining Equipment for Monero
Due to the aforementioned updates, mining Monero with high-power GPUs is trickier now than it had been before the hard fork, but to make the process of finding the best equipment easier, we will be looking at the predicted hash rate that some of the most powerful GPUs return for mining Monero.
The mining programs in which the reported statistics were observed include popular applications such as Minergate and XMR-Stak.
Speaking of which, while Minergate remains a popular choice, more and more people are now turning towards using the XMR-Stak mining program.
It is because XMR-Stak not only provides some of the best results from a single GPU which is what most starting or individual miners can afford or stick to continue using, but it also provides exceptional outcomes when it comes to using multiple GPUs in a single rig.
XMR-Stak sets up auto-configuration for every equipment, but it also provides users with the option to set up their own configuration, and that feature has proven to provide some of the best hash rates after the Monero hard fork was implemented.
As always, it is advised that you first do your own research about Monero mining from your own perspective and determine the process, the equipment and electricity cost and the time consumption that the process will levy upon you before delving into this method of profit generation for yourself.
Since the hash rate of a GPU directly correlates with the profit you can generate out of a mining equipment, you can take the reported hash rates of the hardware listed in this guide and check it in a mining calculator along with your specific electricity costs.
It is also prudent to mention that regardless of the GPU, users should find a CPU that in itself is capable to supplement the GPU’s high power capabilities.
Typically, the following system guidelines would work best if coupled with a high-powered GPU that has its performance proven and tested after Monero’s hardfork.
- A CPU such as AMD Threadripper 1950x or AMD Ryzen 1800X.
- A motherboard that can accommodate multiple integrations of GPUs.
- 6-8 GB of RAM – preferably DDR3 or DDR4.
- A cooling system and preferably an open air rig structure.
- Essentials such as storage disks including SSD or HDD as well as connector cables and PSUs.
Top 3 GPUs for Monero Mining
Now that we have the basics all clarified, let’s go ahead and check out the top 3 GPUs combinations for Monero mining, sorted by their recently reported hash rate.
1. 10X VEGA 64 Register OC
The AMD RX Vega 64 is a powerhouse of performance when it comes to gaming, and it tends to be just as effective when it comes to mining Monero.
Sporting 8 GB of RAM with a 2048-bit high bandwidth memory (HBM2), the Vega 64 works best when it is supplemented by a cooling system. The GPU is built with overclocking in mind and thus remains customizable for most mining programs.
Through XMR-Stak, the aforementioned configuration of Vega 64 returns the following results and power consumption statistics as reported in May 2018.
Hash rate/second: 20051
Power Consumption: 1950 W
OS: Windows 10, x64
Mining Program: XMR-Stak
2. Sapphire Nitro RX 580 4GB
A relatively cheap and affordable equipment, the RX 580 4 GB with Sapphire Nitro has proven to be a surprising high-performer in XMR-Stak. The reported stats are for a single unit, but just like the Vega 64 combo mentioned above, users can use multiple GPUs here to get the most out of their RX 580.
The GPU comes equipped with 2 95mm fans along with 2 8mm and 2 6mm heat pipes, with up to 31% less power consumption as compared to other GPUs of its stature. It comes with an engine boost clock of up to 1411 MHz, with a memory clock of 1750 MHz with a 256 memory bus on a GDDR5 memory type.
With custom settings, the Sapphire Nitro RX 580 4GB has shown the following stats as of May 2018.
Hash rate/second: 800
Power Consumption: 100 W
OS: Windows 10
Mining Program: XMR-Stak
3. GTX 770 + GTX 760 + GTX 670
This powerful combo of three older but effective GPUs has also proven to be an unexpectedly tremendous solution for Monero mining. Once again, the reported and tested stats of this combo are for a single unit for each model, but they can be enhanced by users adding multiple GPUs to create a 2x or 3x combo.
With a DDR5 RAM of 2GB each while sporting overclocking features, these GPUs have shown that good things do come in small packages, especially when they are coupled with the right application.
As of the first week of June 2018, the trio has shown the following stats for Monero mining with Minergate.
Hash rate/second: 894
Power Consumption: 200-300 W
OS: Windows 10 x64
Mining Program: Minergate 8.1
Again, while these have been the latest statistics of some tried systems against Monero, users can build their own custom rigs with multiple GPUs to get a higher hash rate, since only a hash rate that is in thousands can seem to be doing the trick when it comes to profitability in Monero mining these days.
Monero’s value has gone down lately with it currently being traded at a price of $158.77 from where it was valued at $280.45 on April 23, 2018, and this has had a massive effect on the ROI as compared with power consumption costs.
However, since fluctuation is a part of the cryptocurrency industry, Monero might just see a spike in its value in the future which would allow users to earn more from their mining operations.
One thing that users need to keep in mind is that profitability while mining cryptocurrencies depend largely on their local power consumption.
For instance, if your power consumption remains at more than $5 per day and you are only mining about as much in Monero or in cryptocurrency each day, then it would barely make you break even at the end of the month. Furthermore, when you compare the costs annually, then you might be paying out of pocket to upgrade your equipment or have it serviced at the end of each year.
That is why, it is important that users also find power solutions that do not break the bank for them and which allow them to keep running their mining operations at minimal costs. One such solution would be to join a mining pool such as Minergate, SupportXMR or Nanopool.
With that being said, with these tested statistics for cryptocurrency mining, interested users can have an idea and basic guideline of how they can go about building their own rig for mining Monero.
Needless to say, it is advised that individuals that are interested in mining Monero check the latest statistics for Monero mining that have been dated within or after May 2018 in order to ensure that the equipment was tested well after the Monero hard fork upgrade and that they are not going by obsolete figures in hopes of higher performance only to be thwarted by reality in the end.