How Can I Identify The Best GPUs For Bitcoin Mining?
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bitcoin miningQuite recently, I wrote an article revealing the disadvantages to Bitcoin mining What Disadvantages Are There To Bitcoin Mining? What Disadvantages Are There To Bitcoin Mining? Several times since the beginning of this decade, Bitcoins have been slowly but surely been causing a (good) disturbance in the way people think about currency. If you don't know yet what Bitcoins are, then... Read More . More precisely, a major disadvantage to the actual Bitcoin mining process is the cost vs. revenue battle, where you may be spending more money on generating bitcoins than you are earning with the bitcoins you have mined. This can vary based on the hardware you use for mining as well as the current value of a bitcoin.

However, even if you have read about the disadvantages to the process and have read our Bitcoin guide, you may have still decided to go for it and build yourself one or more Bitcoin mining rigs. The CPU What Is A CPU and What Does It Do? What Is A CPU and What Does It Do? Computing acronyms are confusing. What is a CPU anyway? And do I need a quad or dual-core processor? How about AMD, or Intel? We're here to help explain the difference! Read More does not matter for any bitcoin mining machines as the GPU(s) will do all of the work. As this page explains, GPUs can do a lot more number-crunching than CPUs can, which leads to faster mining.

We also wrote another article which highlights differences between CPUs and GPUs What Is the Difference Between an APU, a CPU, and a GPU? What Is the Difference Between an APU, a CPU, and a GPU? Over the last five or more years, there have been a number of different terms swirling around to describe computer hardware. Some of those terms include but aren’t limited to APU, CPU, and GPU. But... Read More without a focus on bitcoin mining. Therefore, even the cheapest AMD CPU will do just fine, as you will want to save the most amount of money. Choosing the best GPU, however, is a bit more difficult, so you will have to look at a number of different stats about them.

Important Stats

There are three different numbers about a GPU which will be of major interest to you, namely MHash/s, MHash/j, and MHash/s/$. Respectively, these are hashes per second, hashes per joule, and hashes per second per dollar spent on the GPU.


bitcoin mining

MHash/s describes to you the amount of number-crunching the device can do while bitcoin mining. If the number is higher, than the faster it will go through hashes. The more hashes you can process, the less time it will take before you come across a 50 Bitcoin chunk. With better hardware, your chances do not necessarily increase, but you will be able to go through more hashes in less time.

This can often be seen as a pure power statistic, although it does not indicate efficiency.


gpu for bitcoin mining

MHash/j describes the amount of hashes the GPU can process with 1 joule of energy. This is a good statistic for the amount of work it can do with a certain amount of electricity, so a higher number indicates that it is more efficient at number-crunching. If you plan to keep your mining operation running for a long time, then you will want to find a GPU with a really high number in this category.

Usually, the high upfront cost will be worth all the savings later on. Plus, if you are building many of these rigs, it will help prevent fuses from blowing.


gpu for bitcoin mining

Last but not least there is MHash/s/$. This is a good indicator of how well the GPU crunches numbers based on the cost of buying it — this does not include costs related to electricity for running the GPU (see MHash/j). A high number in this statistic means that dollar for dollar the GPU is better at crunching numbers.

If you choose a GPU that has a high number for both the MHash/j and MHash/s/$ statistics, then you will be running a very cost-effective card for what it is capable of doing. However, do not forget to at least look at the MHash/s statistic, because it can ultimately still be a very weak card.

Other Tips

bitcoin mining

You are never going to find the perfect card that boasts the highest values in all three statistics, but you can mix and match to find the card that seems best for you. If you are a fan of nVidia, then I’m sorry to say that you will need to go with an AMD GPU for your mining rig. nVidia cards do not have MHash/s values even close to as high as AMD cards. You can find these statistics on this page, which gets continually updated as new GPUs come out.

If you are still completely unsure about which would be a good card, may I recommend the AMD Radeon HD 5970 or AMD Radeon HD 5850? The 5970 has a very high MHash/s value as well as a decent MHash/j value, and the 5850 is decent at the MHash/j statistic and does fantastic with its MHash/s/$ value.

Do you have bitcoin mining rigs, or have you considered building one? Do you have any tips for aspiring miners? Any recommended graphics cards? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credits: hegemonx, Ron Dauphin, Mukumbura, Forrestal_PL

Explore more about: Bitcoin, CPU, Video Card.

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  1. natoshi
    March 28, 2018 at 12:59 am

    i wouldn't advise you not to mine coins for yourself but if you want an easy way out on how get more coins such as bitcoins,ether and alt coins then contact me cybercoins01 @ gmail . com i assure you that you're going to get a great deal

  2. Vic
    September 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    What are your thoughts on this butterfly labs card

  3. Eric
    May 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Would you recommend a Beowulf cluster for bitcoin mining? And which cpu would be the least power consuming?

  4. Scott M
    April 16, 2013 at 10:15 am
    • Danny Stieben
      April 29, 2013 at 3:29 am

      Pretty cool! Thanks Scott!

  5. Sazid Anik
    April 15, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    solo mining might cost more than the investment... making a block is getting difficult as many powerful rig mining out there... a gpu is very much power consuming also...mining in pool might earn little some quickly...

    • P Pete
      May 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Engrish please!

  6. UD98
    April 15, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I hate to break it to you, but it is not worth it to get a rig with GPU. Thanks to ASICs, mining power is higher than ever.

    • James Bruce
      April 16, 2013 at 7:36 am

      Came here to say this. But here's a link for anyone interested:

    • Danny Stieben
      April 29, 2013 at 3:27 am

      I've never heard of them before. How much more cost efficient are they?

      • Zane
        May 24, 2013 at 5:54 am

        BFL has pretty much turned out to be a massive scam. They haven't shipped pretty much any of their orders(in the thousands) for over a year. Used the money from their orders for R&D. Have some of the worst customer service i've ever seen; one of their reps was on the Bitcoin forums calling people idiots and retards and pieces of shit etc.

        With that being said, ASICS will phase out gpu's once they actually ship. Avalon is another company that seems to be more reliable.

        • Achraf Almouloudi
          June 10, 2013 at 1:25 am

          I have heard that they're currently shipping the 5 Gh/s rigs, could you please research more.

  7. MP Hodson
    April 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Be careful, if you down load any software, There is malware out there that takes over your GPU for Bitcoin mining, and has damaged video cards. Look out for a file "iehighuyil.exe and a folder " "C:\Temporary"... Delete both if you find it....

  8. Chris Marcoe
    April 15, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    My instructor has me setting up a machine at school to start mining. We are using it for the emerging tech class. These articles you have written are incredibly helpful. Thank you for all of them.

    • Danny Stieben
      April 29, 2013 at 3:23 am

      No problem, Chris! I'm glad they're helpful! :)