How a video card manufacturer affects GPU mining profitability

    With the advent of bitcoin mining ASIC solutions to the market, many experts have argued that mining cryptocurrency using video cards will sink into oblivion just as it did with mining on the CPU.

    However, the growing popularity of altcoins on algorithms other than SHA256 made certain adjustments. Conventionally, mining divided into ASICand GPU segment. Most modern blockchains have ASIC-resistant encryption algorithms: this is true for Ethereum, Monero and other popular coins. At the same time, such an approach is a conscious policy of the developers of the mentioned cryptocurrencies. Thus, they stimulate the “mass character” of mining and lower the threshold of entry into the sphere, involving more and more new participants in the mining process according to the Proof-of-Work principle. But for mining on video cards, it is not enough to buy any card and stick it into the rig: different altcoins are based on different algorithms that affect the production efficiency depending on the architecture of the video card itself.

    Now endless discussions are going on about how to properly exploit video cards, do overclocking, but it’s commonplace that it is more profitable to mine. Practically on any site or forum you will find dozens of discussions on which pools it is better to connect to, where there is less commission, where to withdraw namnennoe or where to get statistics on the state of cryptocurrency blockchains. From the field of view of an ordinary miner, the question arises that NVIDIA and AMD cards have different performance when mining different cryptocurrencies.

    At the same time, everyone has either a friend, or friend, or acquaintance, or they told you about a person who got a few video cards for a pittance, from which he collected a mini-rig, and now thanks to them he mines his beer and public utilities. It creates the false impression that in order to start mining an ETH conditional, any modern video card suitable for mining is ideal .

    Yes, mining on the GPU, compared to mining on the ASIC, has the lowest entry threshold from both technical and financial points of view. At some point, the popularity of Altcoin mining even led to a sadly memorable video card deficit.. At the same time, the purchase of any available video card is not “final”, since from the manufacturer to the manufacturer on a particular blockchain, each card has its own efficiency. The reason for this lies in the differences between the block encryption algorithms.

    Now there are two conditionally basic calculation algorithms on which the Altcoins are based : Equihash and Ethash . Both approach the same task of proving that work is done from different angles:

    • Equihash is based on solving a generalized birthday paradox (cryptographic concept) and Wagner’s algorithm . To find solutions to this paradox, you need a large amount of RAM. Top solutions from NVIDIA, as a rule, have a large amount of memory, which has a positive effect on the mining speed of cryptocurrencies based on this algorithm.
    • Ethash relies on a pseudo-random data block (the so-called DAG) and an attempt to solve some constraint on it , partly determined by the hash header. Generally, the speed of the solution is strongly influenced by the frequency, timings and memory bandwidth. These, key for Ethash, parameters, as a rule, are higher in AMD video cards.

    Thus, for NVIDIA cards, it is now most profitable to mine Hush (HUSH), Zclassic (ZCL), Zencash (ZEN), Zcash (ZEC) and BitcoinGold (BTG). All these cryptocurrencies use Equilhash algorithm. By the way, there is no typo in the list: BitcoinGold is one of the forks of Bitcoin, actually based on an algorithm different from SHA256, which the blockchain team proudly mentions on the official project website .

    If you have a pair of AMD video cards in your hands, then you should consider mining Pirl (PIRL), Ellaism (ELLA), Ethereum (ETH) or Expanse (EXP). Of course, broadcasting is central to this list. The above list is far from final: there are a huge number of lesser-known and popular Ethash-cryptocurrencies, which we simply did not mention.

    Poole whalesburgso far only Ethash-cryptocurrency mining is supported. The plans of our team include support for other coins, at least based on Equihash, but right now the development team is focused on other tasks. At the same time, it is important for us that any miners who connect to our pool, regardless of their capacity, receive the maximum profit, so understanding the subtleties of GPU mining of various coins and informing about this topic is critically important.

    Dig better shovel

    Since over the last year of the new lines of video cards did not come out, solutions that were optimal in terms of price-performance-energy efficiency did not change. For mining cryptocurrencies on the Equihash (Zcash, Bitcoin Gold) algorithm, the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 graphics cards are considered optimal.

    At the same time, it should be understood that the same GTX 1060 is available in at least several variations with different cooling systems, 3 and 6 GB of memory, and .d (basic, gaming and extreme versions). In this case, the GTX 1070 is one and a half times more productive, but also twice as expensive.

    For mining coins based on Ethash (Ethereum, Ethereum Classic), the golden mean is the RX470 and RX480 cards, but both are hard to find on sale now.

    In fairness it should be noted that it is advantageous to mine on the cards of any manufacturer, just the profitability of such mining differs by 7-15% at least, all other things being equal. Therefore, the choice of blockchain mining, based on the available equipment, should be approached responsibly, if you want to get the maximum profit.

    Will my cards turn into a pumpkin?

    In order for the mentioned equipment to become inefficient, one of the following two events must occur: the emergence of efficient ASIC miners for the mentioned cryptocurrencies or the release of fundamentally new models of video cards.

    The appearance of an effective ASIC miner for the same ETH is almost impossible. Yes, some developers claim that they have already created a “shaitan box” for mining ether, but their efficiency is only slightly higher than that of video cards, and the secondary potential of using is zero. In addition, it is ASIC that at any time can turn into a pumpkin after the next patch from the blockchain developers, while the video card easily adapts to such changes.

    Soon the appearance of more powerful and efficient cards at an adequate price is not necessary to wait either. It is possible that something will change with the arrival of new products on the market, but you shouldn’t expect new video cards before the fall: until the announcements of new products are passed until they go on sale. Plus, the first time, the price of them will be inflated with rush demand, in which different dealers and dishonest sellers "warm their hands" every time. So, it will be possible to talk about the global paradigm change and the departure of the card models mentioned by us only in about half a year or a year under the best of circumstances.

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