Compare Bitcoin Mining Hardware

Find the best mining hardware for sale.

Getting energy efficient and good value hardware is a must when it comes to mining cryptocurrency. We've reviewed all your options.

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What should I look for in cryptocurrency mining hardware?

The main things you want to pay attention to when choosing bitcoin mining hardware are the efficiency of the hardware and its environmental effects. Find the miner with the highest hash rate in relation to its energy consumption, and think about the amount of heat and noise it will produce, especially if you're setting up at home.

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Bitcoin mining with hardware in 2018.


What is bitcoin mining hardware?

Just as the name suggests: it’s hardware that is used to mine bitcoin. There are numerous different types of hardware you can use, such as GPUs, ASICs or FPGAs, and each has its own advantages and drawbacks. This page explains everything you need to know.

Where can I find the best bitcoin mining hardware?

Right here. We have found and reviewed all the options available and only narrowed down to the best bitcoin mining hardware to get you started. Check our comparison table for the best option.

What are the different options?

There are various types of mining hardware. During the early days of bitcoin, mining was nothing more than a hobby for the nerdy cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Back then, the only hardware required was a regular computer. You could even use your laptop and mine bitcoins. However, things changed as mining difficulty increased. More powerful and specialized hardware was needed to do mining. The most common forms of hardware today are:

ASICs

These are the hardware where all the action really is. The ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) are specifically developed to mine bitcoins quickly with relatively low power consumption. They work at incredible speeds, generating more hashes per watt of power. The best thing about them is that they are almost ready for use when they arrive. You can just plug them in, and with a few configuration settings they are ready to go. But because these units are specifically designed for bitcoin mining, their resale value is low. Some of the most common ASICs hardware in the market includes Bitmain Antminer S5, Antminer T9, AvalonMiner 741, and Bitmain Antminer D3.

FPGAs

The FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array) are the former kings in the world of bitcoin mining before the ASICs were introduced. They offer significant improvements over GPUs, and the single chip FPGA can guarantee approximately 750 Megahashes/second. Compared to ASICs, these units are not very effective since they consume a lot of electricity to produce their power.

GPUs

GPUs were used in the early days of bitcoin mining and are still an option today. Their effectiveness makes them good at solving the SHA-256 hashing mathematics that is necessary for verifying blocks on the bitcoin blockchain. Unfortunately, because of the increased difficulty of bitcoin mining, GPUs have become ineffective. Only those who want to do mining for fun or are interested in the technology behind it often use GPUs. But because GPUs are multi-purpose, they have a high resale value if you ever wanted to stop mining. GPU manufacturers such as Nvidia and ATI are also committed to developing GPU cards that are specifically honed for bitcoin mining so there could be a resurgence in GPU mining soon.

Why can’t I just mine with my computer?

Because it isn’t nearly powerful enough; mining would likely break or damage it. The difficulty of bitcoin mining as of now is so great that it requires a very large amount of processing power and energy to solve the computational problems involved, beyond anything a regular computer could cope with. You need to use mining-specific hardware.

How do I set up my own mining rig?

You mostly don’t have to. Most manufacturers will sell rigs already set up and ready to go. Sometimes you might be needed to download software or a bitcoin client, which can take hours to days depending on the speed of your machine, but usually, that’s it. If you want to enjoy the thrill of building your own rig, you can set up a GPU and experience it yourself, but it’s not necessary in order to mine.

Can I set up a mining rig in my house?

You can, but you will have to bear the heat and noise generated by the mining rig. Because of a large amount of energy being used, mining hardware generates a lot of heat. To cool down the heat, the units have fans that rotate at incredible speeds, which ends up making a lot of noise. You can set up the units in a secure garage or away from your main house or even consider renting some space, but before setting up a mining rig give some thought to where you can put it.

Do I need to download any software?

Yes, while the actual mining is handled by the hardware itself, you will have to download the software required to run it. This software is referred to as a ‘mining client’ and connects your mining rig to the bitcoin blockchain or mining pool (if you’re part of one). Different products will require different software, with each specifically designed to be compatible with Linus, Windows, or Mac OSX. Some of the common software options include CGminer, BFGminer, BitMiner, and BTCminer.

Is bitcoin mining profitable?

It depends. Early on, it used to be a lucrative venture because you could just do it using your laptop. Today, you need to invest in a lot of technology to make decent profits, meaning that it will take quite some time to regain. But if you are looking to do it as a long-term investment, it can be profitable in the long-run, provided you go about it correctly. Here are some factors you need to consider:

  • Electricity costs. These are one of the primary concerns if you are running your own mining rig. Since bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy, the mining rigs consumes a large amount of electricity, which translates to high cost of electric bills.
  • Cooling costs. The side effect of all the electrical energy used is a lot of heat, which needs to be cooled down. Achieving this is difficult and costly since you will need to set up your mining rigs in a cool area and purchase more tools such as extra fans to facilitate cooling.
  • Mining pool fees. Mining pools charge fees for being a part of them, so these will impact the level of profit you will make. Generally most of them will charge you around 1% – 3% of your profits.
  • Popularity of mining. Bitcoin mining is designed to become more difficult as more people do it. As more miners join the network, the block creation rate increases and so does the mining difficulty. This means that an upsurge in miners will lower profits of mining.
  • Bitcoins released per block. As the number of bitcoins approaches the 21 million cap, mining rewards fall. The block reward is halved after every 210,000 blocks, which is roughly 4 years. In 2009, the block reward began at 50 BTC, and in 2018 it’s come down to 12.5 BTC per block. This reward will be halved again in 2020 to 6.25 BTC.
  • Fluctuations in value of bitcoin. It is hard to measure profitability of mining because of the changing value of bitcoin itself. If the price of bitcoin rises, mining will become more profitable, but if it falls then profits will fall or be wiped out. Many people consider bitcoin mining hoping that prices will rise so that they can get considerable profits.

That’s a lot of factors, how do I figure out if it will be right for me?

There are many bitcoin mining profitability calculators around which you can use to get an idea if the venture is really worth it. You can put in all the information and they will give you estimates of how much money you’ll make. You will be asked to enter your hashing power (H/s, KH/s, MH/s, GH/s, or TH/S), power consumption, and the pool fees. For a more accurate figure, there are online bitcoin mining profitability calculators that will need you to enter extra details such as hardware cost and power cost.

Do I need to have a wallet before I start mining?

Yes, if you want to mine for yourself, you’ll need a wallet where all the bitcoins you mine will go. However, if you are joining a mining pool, all your proceeds will be credited in your account, which you can then move to your wallet at a later time (it is advisable to move your coins in this way as it keeps them safe).

What is a mining pool?

A mining pool is a group of bitcoin miners working together and sharing the rewards. Mining pools combine resources and share all their miners’ processing power, splitting the income according to the amount of work each miner has contributed. By miners banding together in pools, they increase the odds of being rewarded for solving a block, allowing them to have more regular returns. Think of it like a large group of people playing betting on different horses in a race and agreeing to split the resulting winnings between them. The rewards may be smaller, but there’s a far greater chance of consistent income.

Why shouldn’t I just mine on my own?

You can, but chances of making decent profits will be very minimal even with a powerful hardware. Joining a mining pool will help you and other participants pull resources together to have a greater hash rate to increase your chances of solving the computation problems and earn the set block rewards.

Should I get involved in bitcoin mining?

Frankly, it’s up to you. If you are into the technology behind bitcoin and see mining a fun, lucrative activity, then it can be a viable investment. Remember though that it’s unlikely to generate huge profits in a short space of time and should be seen more as a long-term investment.

How do I get started?

That’s easy. Check out the products and reviews we have here and buy the right hardware to get started.

Should I mine bitcoin using hardware?


Advantages

  • You're actively involved in verifying the bitcoin blockchain
  • You earn coins all the time the miner is running
  • If you're into technology, bitcoin mining is fun and interesting
  • You have full control over your mining operation
  • It can be a great long term investment

Drawbacks

  • Mining hardware generates a lot of noise and heat
  • Buying bitcoins on an exchange is a faster way to acquire them
  • If the price of bitcoin falls, your profits will go down

The best crypto mining hardware for sale.


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Frequent questions.


How does mining work?

It all comes down to computer power. In the case of Bitcoin, the energy required for mining comes from a network of computers solving complex mathematical problems - a process called ‘hashing’. Large amounts of transactions are combined together in ‘blocks’, which then require miners to solve computational problems. This verifies all the transactions, and after it’s done the block is added to the chain of previous blocks (the ‘blockchain’). All miners get paid transaction fees for their work, and one of the miners who worked on the block is rewarded at random with some newly created bitcoin each time a block is solved.

Why is it called mining?

Because it’s a process that takes power to extract a finite resource, just like with physical mining. And the comparisons also do not end there. As a regular mine digs deeper, it becomes more difficult, requiring more energy and probably resources to extract more minerals. This is the case with Bitcoin. There is a finite amount of bitcoins (21 million), and the only way to extract these bitcoin is through ‘mining’.

What is cloud mining?

Cloud mining is when multiple people remotely use the same hardware to mine with shared processing power. People take out ‘cloud mining contracts’ and get a return on their investment as the mine generates bitcoins. You don’t have to buy and set up the hardware or take responsibility for managing the mine and the electricity costs.

Is hardware mining better than cloud mining?

That depends on what you are looking for. If you go with hardware mining, you will have complete control of your mining activities, but you will be required to manage your units and pay for the electricity cost. With cloud mining, however, you will not have to purchase the expensive mining rigs and pay all the costs involved – you only need to pay for a package and lease hashing power. Both are viable options and it just depends on the reason you want to get into mining.

If I want to stop mining, does the hardware have good resale value?

The resale value depends on the hardware you have. If you are using a GPU, you can sell it on at a good price since it can also be used for video games. If you are using mining-specific hardware such as ASICs, the resale value will be low since it can’t be used for other functions apart from bitcoin mining.

What are the most important factors to look for in mining hardware?

The three things you need to think about are the hash rate, energy efficiency, and the heat/noise of a piece of mining hardware. Possibly the central factor is the hash rate of the hardware. This refers to how quickly the mining hardware can solve the computation problems involved in mining. Basically, the higher the hash rate, the higher the revenue. Most ASIC miners, which are known to have the highest hashrate, come with around 1 TH/s to 12.93 TH/s.

After the hash rate you need to think about the electricity consumption of a specific piece of mining hardware and the environmental factors of having it around. It doesn’t make sense to mine bitcoins and then have all the profits wiped out by the electricity bill, and you need to think about the noise and heat it will generate (especially if setting up at home). If it produces a lot of heat and noise, it’s important you put it in a far location from the main house, probably a secure garage.

What are the main mining hardware companies?

If you’re looking at buying mining hardware, then head over to our page that guides you through all the best options available. The biggest companies include names such as Bitmain, Avalon, GMO, and RMC.

How much technical knowledge do I need to have?

Not a lot. Yes, mining can sound very complicated, and it is, but with the mining hardware being developed today, even people with little know-how about the technology can get into it. You can buy an already made ASIC and start mining without having to assemble anything yourself. If you want to build your own rig, you’ll need to do some research and learn a few aspects about it in order to set up and configure it to start mining, but this is not essential.

How quickly will I start to turn a profit?

It’s a hard question to answer because of the number of factors involved. You’ll have to balance the costs of buying and running the hardware against the amount of bitcoin you are generating and the current market rate. There are online bitcoin mining profit calculators where you can enter information such as hashing power, power consumption and pool fees (if you will use one), and then get a rough estimate of how much you can make. But generally, mining rarely turns a profit in the early months as it takes a while to pay off the hardware costs. However, in the long run a well set up mine can generate steady profits. Moreover, if the prices of bitcoin shoot up, your mine immediately becomes more profitable.

Is Bitcoin mining an environmental concern?

This is a growing concern. The SHA-256 hash that bitcoin uses requires a lot energy to solve, which is why it’s constantly racing against electricity costs to remain profitable. It is estimated that if bitcoin miners were a country, they’d be the 61st most energy hungry nation in the world. There is hope that interest in verifying cryptocurrency fuels investment in green technology, which in turn will increase the profitability of mining by cutting electricity costs.

Is bitcoin mining legal?

It depends if bitcoin is legal or not in your country. In the UK, bitcoin mining is legal and also in the vast majority of countries, including the US, Australia and other nations. Mining is usually only illegal in countries in which owning bitcoin is illegal. Check the law in your country before you start mining.

Why should I mine rather than buy bitcoin?

Mining can seem a roundabout way to get bitcoin when you can just buy it on an exchange. In the short term, it is possible that it won’t be a viable option, but in the long-term mining can be a more sustainable. Also it’s much more fun for those who love technology, and as a miner you have the knowledge that you’re actually part of the bitcoin network. Also if the price of bitcoin rockets up, your mining rig will become more profitable as bitcoin becomes more expensive to buy.

What is a hash rate?

This is simply rate at which a miner works. The hashing power is measured in measured in H/s (hashes per second), KH/s (kilohashes per second), Mh/s (megahash per second), Gh/s (gigahash per second), and TH/S (terahashes per second). The higher the hash rate, the more powerful a miner is.

When it comes to energy consumption, W/Gh (watts per gigahash) and W/Th (watts per terahash) are measurements of how energy efficient a miner is. A great miner is one that puts out a lot of processing power but doesn’t need too much electricity, as this makes it the most profitable.

What do GPU, ASIC, and FPGA stand for?

They stand for Graphics Processing Unit, Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, and Field-Programmable Gate Array respectively.

GPUs (graphic cards) were once the dominant units of mining bitcoin and are still sparingly used today, but with the increase of difficulty in mining, they are inefficient for those who want to make decent profits. Companies such as Nvidia, however, are still working on bringing out more powerful GPUs for mining - but it’s likely they will be used to mine other cryptos that are not as difficult to mine as bitcoin.

ASICs are especially designed for mining a particular cryptocurrency and are currently the top of the line units, able to generate more hashes per watt of power than the competition. However, they have limited resale value as they’re specifically geared to mine bitcoin. If mining bitcoin were to become unprofitable for any reason, it would be very hard to sell a bitcoin mining ASIC.

FPGA was the former king in the bitcoin mining world. The units comprised of an integrated circuit whose function is easily programmed and changed, making it more versatile even compared to the ASIC. However, FPGA units are less efficient than ASICs and have largely been phased out.

What happens when all 21 million bitcoins have been released?

There are as yet no firm plans in place because of how far in the future it will happen (the 21 million cap will be hit in the year 2140). Since all bitcoins will have been produced, miners will be paid from the transaction fees on the bitcoin network. It is likely that the transaction fees generated by miners will be enough to keep the process of mining worthwhile by that point.

How does mining make Bitcoin secure?

Mining is what allows Bitcoin to be completely decentralized and keep payments secure. When you make a payment and it’s confirmed by miners, the transaction is included in a ‘block’, which then gets attached to the previous one. This is where the phrase ‘blockchain’ comes from - it’s literally a chain of these blocks.

The details of any transaction can’t be tampered with or changed at a later date, because that would require changing all the blocks that came after it. Also because mining is a decentralised group effort, if any one miner tries to change a past transaction or make up one that hasn’t happened to enrich themselves, the other miners will all see it is false and reject that addition to the blockchain. In this way, mining keeps bitcoin secure through democracy among its miners.

Can I mine multiple cryptocurrencies with my hardware?

Yes, it’s possible but there are some limitations. If you are using a GPU, you can mine multiple coins with it, but the number of hashes will vary. For instance, a card mining bitcoin (SHA-256) at 10 GH/s will produce fewer hashes when used to mine coins such as Dogecoin and Litecoin that use Scrypt hashing algorithm. On the other hand, ASICs are specifically manufactured for SHA-256 hashing algorithm, so they will not work for other coins using a different algorithm.

How much should I spend on mining hardware?

To have an efficient mining setup it’s worth paying for good hardware. An Antminer s9 (one of the most popular ASIC miners) currently costs around £1,200. Some miners spend upwards of £10,000 on their rigs so that they can combine them for a greater hash power. If you want to have a less costly operation, then GPUs are priced in the £100s rather than the £1000s. For instance, one of the most popular GPU for mining bitcoin – the Asus NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 – is priced around £150. You’ll need to figure out what hash rate you want and find the most cost effective way to achieve it.

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