Compare Ethereum Mining Hardware

Find the most efficient ETH mining hardware.

To get the most profit out of cryptocurrency mining, you'll need effective software and hardware. You'll find it all right here.

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What should I look for in an Ethereum mining rig?

When considering what mining hardware to buy, you'll want to find a provider with a high hash rate (the measure of a miner's efficiency) and low energy consumption. If you're going to be running the hardware in your house, you'll also need to consider the noise and heat it will produce. You can use an Ethereum mining calculator to do this.

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Ethereum hardware mining in 2018.


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

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

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Should I mine Ethereum with hardware?


Advantages

  • You have full control over your mining
  • You take an active part in maintaining the Ethereum network
  • You earn ether directly as your harware verifies transactions
  • It's great fun if you're into building and running tech
  • It's great as a long term investment

Drawbacks

  • The best hardware is expensive
  • Mining hardware produces a lot of noise and heat
  • It takes longer to get ether than simply buying coins on an exchange
  • If the price of ether falls, your profits will drop

The best hardware for mining ether.


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Low
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ETH
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  • High quality products
  • ANTMINER available
  • Full featured app

Frequent questions.


How does Ethereum mining work?

The energy required for mining Ethereum comes from computers solving complex mathematical problems, a process known as ‘hashing’. These computational problems are solved by miners, verifying several transactions at a time bundled into a ‘block’, which is then added to the chain of previous blocks (the ‘blockchain’). The miners who do this job are rewarded with transaction fees (which everyone pays whenever they transfer ether), and then one at random is rewarded additionally with some newly created Ethereum for solving a block (around 3 ether currently).

Why is it called mining?

The term ‘mining’ emerged in relation to Bitcoin and is now used to refer to the verification process across most blockchains. The term originated as a reference to physical mining, as Bitcoin is a finite resource (capped at 21 million coins) and miners expend energy in order to extract coins from the system - except with cryptocurrency this energy is computer power rather than the physical labour associated with regular mining. Unlike Bitcoin, though, Ethereum has no overall cap, so can continue to be mined indefinitely. Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin hinted that if the community votes the proposal, they would consider capping the supply, but this is still hypothetical at this point. The Ethereum governance model was designed to allow for such democratic modifications to be made.

What is Ethereum cloud mining?

Ethereum cloud mining is when many people use the same hardware remotely to mine Ethereum with shared processing power. What happens is that you take out a ‘cloud mining contract’ (which simply means a subscription agreement) with a company offering the services and get profits as the mine generates ether. The best thing about cloud mining is that you don’t have to buy and set up the hardware or worry about the high cost of electricity.

Is hardware mining better than cloud mining?

Frankly, that depends on what you’re looking for. With hardware mining, you have more control as you’re managing the hardware. It’s also great fun if you’re into getting to know the technology and wish to run it yourself. However, that means you have to set up all the required hardware, handle upkeep and any related bills. Cloud mining will only charge you an amount for hashing power and pay you ETH depending on your package. Cloud mining could provide you with more short term profits as you do not have to put down an initial investment in hardware.

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

The resale value of different hardware varies greatly. If you’re going to use ASICs, the resale value might be virtually nonexistent if mining no longer becomes a viable option for profit making, as the hardware is specifically limited to mining coins. On the other hand, if you’re using GPUs, they will continue to have resale value, close to 50-70% their current base price, as second-hand GPUs are frequently bought by gamers or can be used to mine a variety of cryptocurrencies.

What are the main Ethereum mining hardware companies?

The biggest companies that make Ethereum mining hardware include names such as Bitmain, GMO, and RMC. If you are looking to buy the hardware, we have in-depth reviews of each, so make sure to check them out.

What is the difference between proof of work and proof of stake?

Proof of work is the system which miners currently use to verify transactions, and is the system we have been describing here when it comes to hardware mining. It relies on computers spending lots of energy solving complex problems in order to verify each individual transaction on the blockchain. Proof of stake, on the other hand, replaces miners with ‘validators’ who are chosen given the size of a stake they have in that particular blockchain (how much of the cryptocurrency they hold). In such a system, someone who has 5ETH would be more likely to be chosen to verify transactions than someone with 1ETH. The idea is that the stake someone has will incentivise them to maintain the blockchain. Moving from proof of work to proof of stake is a way in which we could reduce the excessive energy expenditure that mining has created in recent years, because of the sheer amount of people racing with increasingly massive hardware to verify transactions on the blockchain.

What is ‘Caspar’?

Caspar is the protocol being worked on by Ethereum’s developers in order to introduce proof of stake into the Ethereum blockchain. It’s uncertain when exactly Caspar will be launched, but it is expected to come out before the end of 2018. The current plan is to maintain proof of work on the Ethereum blockchain but introduce a few transactions verified by proof of stake, but it’s possible that the developers will plan a more revolutionary change. Bookmark this page and we’ll keep you updated.

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

The central factor is the hash rate of the hardware. This refers to how quickly it can solve the computation problems involved in mining: the higher the hash rate, the higher the revenue you get. But you also want to consider environmental factors such as the noise (because of the rotating fans) and heat (due to the energy required) it will generate. Also consider how energy efficient the hardware is, as there’s no point in mining more Ethereum if the profits will be wiped out by the electricity bill.

Can I mine multiple cryptocurrencies with my hardware?

Sometimes. Different coins use different algorithms for mining so hardware isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. If you’re going to use ASIC hardware, you can’t use it to mine many other coins. On the other hand, GPUs tend to be very flexible, but better suited to some coins than others. You can use them to mine coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Bitcoin Gold, and Monero.

Is Ethereum mining an environmental concern?

At the moment, this is one of the primary concerns with cryptocurrency and is one of the reasons why Ethereum’s developers are considering a move from proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake algorithm (which is much more energy efficient). Ethereum mining rigs tend to consume large amounts of power, which is why it’s constantly racing against electricity costs to remain profitable. But there have been increased interest in using green technology, something that gives miners hopes of increasing their profits by cutting the electricity costs.

Is Ethereum mining legal?

In the UK yes, and also in the vast majority of countries, including Australia and the US. Ethereum mining is only illegal in countries in which owning Ethereum is illegal. Make sure that you check the law in your country before you start mining.

How do I choose between the different hardware mining technologies?

We have narrowed down the best hardware mining technologies and reviewed them for you to help you get started. Have a look at our comparison table too to help you make your decision between them. When looking at these technologies, what you need to be considering goes beyond simply the price. What you want it a piece of hardware with a high hashrate and low energy consumption, as this is what will affect the profitability of your mining rig in the long run.

How much technical knowledge do I need to have?

Not a lot, really. Mining can sound very complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. You can buy a ready-made ASIC miner through Bitmain, which is simple to use. But if you want to use GPUs, you will need some to go through a fair few steps to set them up and configure the Ethereum client in order to start mining. Scroll above to look for our guide on this.

How quickly will I start to turn a profit?

This is quite a tricky question to answer because of the many factors involved. Many factors change the profitability of mining, such as: the cost of purchasing the hardware, the electricity cost against the amount of ether you will generate, and not to mention the current market price of the coin. You might not get decent profits in the early months as you’d be recovering all the costs you incurred, but in the long run, it could be a lucrative venture, particularly if the cryptocurrency market continues to grow.

How much should I spend on mining hardware?

The only ASIC hardware (Antminer E3) has been released by Bitmain and costs £610. As for GPUs, the most common options are: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, AMD Radeon RX580, and Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti, which go for around £500, £250 and £800 respectively. Lastly, remember that to get a decent hashrate, you need to connect several GPUs together, so this translates to more costs, as you will need to spend roughly £2,000 for about four to six of them.

What is a hash rate?

This is the rate at which a miner works, measured in Mh/s (megahash per second) and Gh/s (gigahash per second). The higher the hash rate, the more profitable a miner is. When determining the efficiency of a miner, W/Gh (watts per gigahash) and W/Th (watts per terahash) are the measurements used. A good miner is one that has more processing power without consuming a lot of energy/electricity.

What are ‘uncles’ in Ethereum mining?

The term ‘uncles’ in terms of Ethereum mining refers to blocks that never become part of the blockchain because they were solved just after the correct block header was found (in relation to Bitcoin, such blocks are referred to as ‘orphaned’). Think of it like a real family tree: your uncle is genetically similar to your dad, but he is not your dad. Ethereum offers a percentage of block rewards to people who just miss out on the block reward: to the people who create ‘uncles’. This encourages more people to mine Ethereum and stops mining becoming overly centralised in large pools - something the Ethereum network has always been committed to combatting.

What do GPU and ASIC stand for?

GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit, whereas ASIC stands for Application-Specific Integrated Circuit. Ethereum mining predominantly uses GPUs for mining, and many people involved in the network try and limit the efficiency of ASICs on the Ethereum blockchain to stop mining power becoming too concentrated.

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