Where can I find the best Ethereum mining hardware?
You can find it right here. We have narrowed down the top Ethereum mining hardware and reviewed them for you. Have a look at our comparison table to see which is the best option for you, or keep reading and we’ll guide you through everything you need to consider.
What is Ethereum mining hardware?
Just as you’d expect: it’s the hardware used to mine Ethereum. There are currently two types of hardware that are used for the process: ASICs, which were made available in April 2018, and GPUs, which have been used for years for mining Ethereum.
What are the different options?
The two types of hardware that are used for mining Ethereum are:
GPUs (graphics processing units) are a form of hardware designed to provide better video and image resolution than CPUs (central processing units). For this reason, they’re commonly associated with the gaming community, but in the world of mining, these units go far beyond basic graphic control. GPUs can be used to compute algorithms at a faster rate than CPUs, thus making them more efficient at mining.
Most of Ethereum mining happens on GPUs for two simple reasons. Firstly, unlike the ASICs, they can be used to mine any algorithm, making it possible for you to switch from mining Ethereum to another cryptocurrency, such as Monero. Secondly, GPUs maintain a good resale value due to their popularity amongst gamers.
ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) are more popular for their use in mining for Bitcoin. Bitmain have only recently started selling their Antminer E3 unit which allows for the mining of ETH with ASICs. Introduced in July 2018, the availability of using ASICs for Ethereum mining has been met with a wide amount of community backlash due to the increased risk of centralisation, as there is a fear that the vast amount of mining power could be concentrated in too few hands.
Why can’t I just mine with my computer?
Because it won’t have enough processing power. Not only will it not be profitable, it will likely damage your computer because of the large processing power required. Ethereum mining is competitive so you need to be willing to invest in proper hardware to see good returns.
How do I set up my own mining rig?
If you’re going to use an ASIC mining rig, you won’t need much help in setting it up because they come already assembled so all you need to do is find space for it, plug it in, and install the software.
However, if you’re interested in using GPUs, then there are several steps to go through:
- Equipment. In addition to having several GPUs (around 4-6), you will also need a computer motherboard, a CPU, cooling fan/s, a hard drive, RAM, a power supply unit, a dual power supply adapter, M2 to PCI adapters, a watchdog, and PCI-E risers.
- Setup. Once you have the hardware, start by attaching the CPU to the motherboard, and then connect the cooling fan, RAM, and hard drive (using a SATA cable). Connect the power supply unit to the motherboard and attach the power cables to the CPU power and hard drive. Plug in the PCI-E risers and plug in power from the power supply. Attach the GPU to the PCI-E power riser card, a keyboard to the motherboard, and an HDMI monitor to the GPU card. Plug the power cord into your power supply and turn it on. It’s recommended that you start with one GPU until it starts working before adding another one.
- Software. Once you’ve launched your rig, go to BIOS and update it (currently at 0812). You can use Windows, or Linux to run the mining rig, but the EthosDistro mining operating system is the most commonly used because it boots to a screen that’s more user-friendly. Once the screen is up, you will see the IP address and all details of your mining rig. Once your GPU starts working, you can now add more, adding one at a time and rebooting each time.
Can I set up a mining rig in my house?
Absolutely. However, mining is a process which creates a lot of heat (due to the energy expenditure) and noise, which might not make this a viable option for you. Alternatively, you can choose to set up a rig away from your home, perhaps in a secure garage or through a remote rented space if you have larger plans.
Do I need to download any software?
Yes, you will have to download the software required to run the hardware you’ve bought, and different products will require different software. This software is referred to as a ‘mining client’, and serves as a communication hub, linking you to the Ethereum blockchain while coordinating your entire set up. Some of the most common Ethereum clients include Genoil, Ethminer, Dual Miner, and OneETH.
Is Ethereum mining profitable?
Frankly, it depends. Early on, it used to be very profitable since you could just use your regular computer to do the mining. Today, however, with the increased competition you must invest in expensive hardware like GPUs or ASICs, which means that recouping initial costs could take time. Ultimately, Ethereum mining could still be a good investment, especially when done for the long-term. Here are some concerns you need to factor in to determine the profitability of this venture:
- Cost of mining hardware. As cryptocurrency mining has become more popular, the hardware used for the process has risen in price. Most of the GPUs usually range from around £400 – £700, but you can find others such as Nvidia GTX 1080ti going as much as £900.
- Electricity costs. Ethereum mining rigs consume a large amount of electricity because of the huge energy required for mining. This means that your electricity bills will be higher than normal.
- Cooling costs. Considering that mining rigs use a lot of energy, they release a lot of heat, which needs to be cooled down. This means that you will need to set it up in a cold area or get more equipment such as additional fans to help with the cooling.
- Mining pool fees. Mining pools usually charge around 1-4% to all the users who are part of them. This means that there will be a small impact on the profits you make.
- Popularity of mining. As more miners join the network, the difficulty of mining tends to increase, and hence the amount of Ethereum that you receive for each unit of energy your GPU expends.
- Ether released per block. Currently the reward a miner receives for verifying a block on the Ethereum blockchain is 3 ETH, but this is likely to drop in the future as more miners join the network, which will affect profits.
- Fluctuations in the value of ether. The fluctuation of Ethereum prices makes it hard to determine the mining will be profitable. If the price of ether falls, then mining might not be as profitable as expected (however, if it rises, your profits will increase).
That’s a lot of factors, how do I figure out if it will be right for me?
You can figure this out using one of the plenty of Ethereum mining calculators on the internet. You will be asked to enter some information, which include hashing power, power consumption (w), cost per KWh, and pool fees (if you are using a mining pool), and the system will give you some estimate on how much ether you’ll make.
A possible future change in the Ethereum mining process may happen if the community decide to switch from a proof-of-work (the system described here which is currently used by both Bitcoin and Ethereum) to a proof-of-stake algorithm. This new development in Ethereum is referred to as the ‘Caspar protocol’.
If this were to happen, then people would be chosen to verify blocks through how much they have invested in the network, and relying on powerful hardware would be a thing of the past. Nothing is yet set in stone, and if Ethereum were to make this change we’d be the first to let you know about it, so bookmark this page to be kept up to date.
Do I need to have a wallet before I start hardware mining?
Yes, you’ll need a wallet where your ether will go after you’ve mined them. There are many different types of wallets you can get, including mobile wallets, online wallets, hardware wallets, and desktop wallets. Our guides talk you through all the options available and their advantages, so be sure to check them out.
What is a mining pool?
A mining pool is a group of Ethereum miners working together to solve blocks, increasing their chances of one receiving the block reward, and then sharing profits between them. Because of the numbers of people now mining Ethereum, miners band together in pools to increase their computer power and try to guarantee a steady income from their mining operation.
When ether are generated and earned by the miners, each is paid according to the percentage of hashing power they are contributing. It’s a bit like if a large group of people playing a lottery together and agree to split the winnings (although with a much higher chance for winning and lower amounts of money being paid out).
Why shouldn’t I just mine on my own?
If you mine on your own, you have minimal chances of making decent profits, even if you set up multiple GPUs. This is because you can only get the main block reward by solving the block – this is more likely to happen if you are part of a larger operation, where the profits could potentially be split. Joining a mining pool is almost like working together with a lot of people to play the lottery and agreeing to split the profits if the chance of winning was higher and the subsequent rewards were less.
Should I get involved in Ethereum mining?
It’s up to you. If you love the thrill of setting up hardware from scratch and are into the technology of Ethereum, hardware mining is a great and fun thing to pursue. You could even create profits in the long-term, provided you are willing to put down an initial investment.
Alternatively, you could consider cloud mining if you simply want to pay for hashing power and are not worried about having control over your setup. This way you will not have to worry about the maintenance cost of your hardware or the associated electricity costs, which is usually higher than normal. In regards to whether you should look at ASIC or GPU mining, it would be safer to go with GPU, as ASIC mining is relatively new and untested.
How do I get started?
Start by checking out the products and reviews on here and buy the hardware that suits your needs. We have reviewed the most popular options to ensure you get the best hardware.