Cryptocurrency remains a good way to stockpile currency on the side by using nothing more than your gaming PC while you’re away from the keyboard. It’s easy to set up something like NiceHash on a PC and have it automatically use your best graphics card to mine cryptocurrency and earn some pocket change for doing absolutely nothing.
- Best overall: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti — 60MH/s, 8GB GDDR6, 200W TDP
- Runner-up: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT — 47MH/s, 8GB GDDR6, 230W TDP
- Best hash rate: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 — 121MH/s, 24GDDR6X, 350W TDP
- Best value: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 — 36MH/s, 8GB GDDR6, 225W TDP
- Best budget AMD: AMD Radeon RX 580 — 28MH/s, 8GB GDDR5, 185W TDP
- Best budget NVIDIA: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER — 31MH/s, 6GB GDDR6, 125W TDP
What is the best GPU for crypto mining?
Bitcoin may be down considerably — so is Ethereum and most other cryptocurrencies — but that doesn’t mean you cannot utilize the best graphics card for mining to stash some away and hope the price bounces back yet again. This isn’t as simple as choosing the absolute best GPU for gaming, which is where this guide will come into play.
There are numerous factors to bear in mind when shopping around for a graphics card to either double up as a gaming and mining machine or for dedicated cryptocurrency mining. The former should focus on gaming as that’s more important than digital currency, but if you’re really wanting to mine some crypto, it’s all about efficiency.
The best recommendation for gaming in my mind would be the NVIDIA GeForce 3060 Ti, which is excellent for 1080p and 1440p resolutions. This GPU is also superb at being efficient for mining cryptocurrency, namely Ethereum. It won’t come first for hash rate, but for the more affordable price tag, you’re looking at a cheaper card that will pay for itself faster.
The hash rate is essentially a measurement of how many calculations the GPU can process each second. The higher this number, the better suited it is to crypto mining and the higher rate of return you’ll be able to enjoy. Higher hash rates are usually offset by increased GPU cost and power draw. It’s all about finding the right balance.
But if the RTX 3060 Ti doesn’t quite fit the bill for gaming or crypto mining, there are countless other cards out there that are worth considering. The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is a fantastic GPU from Team Red that’s only slightly behind the 3060 Ti for speed, making it ever-so-slightly less efficient.
How much should you spend?
It’s not required to spend a specific amount in order to mine cryptocurrency. You can effectively mine currency in pools with barely any power. Of course, the higher the hash rate, the more you’ll get in return. This will also increase power draw, which in turn will drive up the cost of electricity each month.
When looking at a GPU (and PC build or mining rig), it’s important to consider just how much running everything will be monthly and deduct this from estimated earnings. If you break even, that’s great news as you’re getting cryptocurrency without spending anything overhead. (So long as the stored currency doesn’t fall in value!)
It’s also dependent on what you want from mining cryptocurrency. Do you believe in the idea and want to see if skyrockets over time or do you simply wish to sell as you earn to make a small amount on the side? The cryptocurrency market should be considered finance and like the stock market and fiat currencies, it’s extremely susceptible to media coverage and human emotion.
This is why I’m not recommending only the most powerful (and expensive) GPUs available today. That doesn’t make sense in the current climate, but it’s also outright bad advice for those new to the wonderful world of mining digital currency. Unlike gaming, where only the best GPU you can afford will do, choosing one for crypto mining is a little more challenging.
1. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti: Best GPU for crypto mining
My thoughts: The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is one of the best gaming graphics cards and it’s also one of the better value cards for mining cryptocurrency if efficiency is prioritized.
Hash rate: 60MH/s | VRAM: 8GB GDDR6 | TDP: 200W | Power input: 1x 12-pin PCIe (FE only) or 1x 8-pin PCIe
The NVIDIA RTX 30 series of graphics cards are brilliant for playing the latest PC games and the 3060 Ti is one of my favorites. This is primarily thanks to its great value. It’s not the best performing GPU from NVIDIA, but it’s also not the most expensive. The same goes for crypto mining.
With a hash rate of approximately 60MH/s, it’s great for running inside a PC when you’re not actively using the GPU. The 200W TDP means you won’t be burning too much electricity for those who reside in areas with high energy prices, and it shouldn’t require too much in the form of cooling once optimizations have been applied.
Founders Edition cards have the weird NVIDIA 12-pin power input, but aftermarket cards will come with standard 8-pin connections, allowing you to use most power supplies out there for a more affordable PC build. It’s definitely the best GPU for gaming at 1080p or 1440p and saving some money. Being able to mine crypto is just a bonus.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
While not sporting the best hash rate around, the 3060 Ti is a great balance between performance and price, allowing you to make some money on the side while still being able to enjoy games.
2. AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT: Runner-up crypto mining GPU
My thoughts: The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is effectively Team Red’s answer to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. It has similar specifications and performance, which roughly translates to a slightly cheaper mining card with a slight hit to the hash rate.
Hash rate: 47MH/s | VRAM: 8GB GDDR6 | TDP: 230W | Power input: 1x 8-pin PCIe, 1x 6-pin PCIe
The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT undercuts the RTX 3060 Ti by a fair margin, allowing you to save even more on a capable GPU that can also do some mining on the side. It’s about the same as the 3060 Ti in terms of gaming performance at 1080p and 1440p resolutions but has even worse ray tracing frame rates.
For mining, you’re looking at a slightly lower estimation at around 47MH/s, but that’s not terrible considering the lower price. This means you will break even at approximately the same period of time as the 3060 Ti, so it really comes down to how much you have available to spend and if you prefer AMD or NVIDIA GPUs.
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
If you prefer to use AMD cards or have a FreeSync capable monitor, the RX 6700 XT may be the better fit for your gaming PC. It’s cheaper but slightly worse at mining.
3. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090: Best GPU for hash rate
My thoughts: The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 isn’t only one of the best gaming GPUs you can buy, but it’s also one of the best-performing crypto mining cards available on the market. If you can afford one, this thing is an absolute monster.
Hash rate: 121MH/s | VRAM: 24GB GDDR6X | TDP: 350W | Power input: 1x 12-pin PCIe (FE only) or 2x 8-pin PCIe
Rocking an impressive 24GB of GDDR6X VRAM, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 is what every PC gamer dreams of owning. This thing is capable of handling video output of the latest games to a 4K monitor without breaking a sweat.
It’s also very good at mining cryptocurrencies, thanks to the impressive 121MH/s estimated hash rate. This makes the 3090 one of the best cards for hash rate, should that be what you’re primarily searching for in a GPU.
The increased upfront cost does mean you’ll need to bear in mind currency fluctuations if you aim to pay the card off within a few years. But really, even if the world’s crypto market crashed tomorrow, would you really be upset with a monstrous GPU waiting for the next gaming session?
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
I only recommend buying an RTX 3090 if you somehow have enough cash to spend and have a 4K monitor to enjoy all your favorite PC games. You’ll have smiles all day long.
4. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070: Best value GPU for mining
My thoughts: While this may be a GPU from the previous generation of NVIDIA cards, the RTX 2070 remains to be an excellent GPU for gaming and mining, especially if you’re searching the used market.
Hash rate: 36MH/s | VRAM: 8GB GDDR6 | TDP: 225W | Power input: 2x 8-pin PCIe
You may be wondering how I can recommend the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 as the best GPU for value to mine cryptocurrencies when I also said the RTX 3060 was an excellent value GPU. This is a GPU from the previous generation, making it possible to score some excellent savings on the MSRP.
The performance isn’t as good as the RTX 3060, both in and out of games, but it’s more than capable of decent frame rates at 1080p or 1440p. The estimated hash rate of 36MH/s is great when you consider the discounted price, especially on the used market.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
So long as you can score a deal on a used RTX 2070, it’s a great GPU for gaming and mining cryptocurrencies.
5. AMD Radeon RX 580: Best budget AMD crypto mining GPU
My thoughts: The AMD Radeon RX 580 is one of the absolute baseline cards you can buy from AMD. It has a mediocre hash rate, isn’t particularly great at high-fidelity gaming, but doesn’t cost much upfront.
Hash rate: 28MH/s | VRAM: 8GB GDDR5 | TDP: 185W | Power input: 1x 8-pin PCIe
You may wonder why one should waste time and money on something like the AMD Radeon RX 580 with a focus on mining cryptocurrencies, but it’s still decent enough to earn passive income. The estimated hash rate of 28MH/s puts it slightly behind the RTX 2070 but costs far less.
It still manages to pack inside 8GB of RAM, which is great for mining. Gaming isn’t too bad either, so long as you don’t mind sticking to 1080p for all your favorite games. The 185W TDP rating also means you won’t have any issues keeping this card running cool.
AMD Radeon RX 580
You won’t win awards for the highest hash rate, nor will you be able to enjoy gaming at 1440p resolutions, but the AMD Radeon RX 580 is all about catering to lower budgets.
6. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER: Best budget NVIDIA crypto mining GPU
My thoughts: Considered a relatively weak gaming GPU from NVIDIA, the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER is an interesting low-budget card that offers impressive savings on a card that can still earn you money on the side.
Hash rate: 31MH/s | VRAM: 6GB GDDR6 | TDP: 125W | Power input: 1x 8-pin PCIe
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER wasn’t designed for impressive visuals at 4K, but it does allow one to comfortably play games at 1080p with decent results. The GPU is also fairly decent at mining cryptocurrencies with an estimated hash rate of 31MH/s.
This is one of NVIDIA’s most affordable GPUs from recent generations and still manages to pack a punch where it matters most, mainly thanks to the inclusion of 6GB of GDDR6 RAM. The 125W TDP rating is but the icing on a sweet cake.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER
If you really want to save money on an NVIDIA GPU that you can use for making a little each month through mining and playing games at 1080p, take a look at the 1660 SUPER.