(Last Updated on February 18, 2022)
February update – mining profits are reaching up to $40 dollars per day using NiceHash, PheonixMiner, and 4 Radeon 5700 XT at 202mh/s!!
GPU Mining has had a bit of a renaissance and if you try to shop for any of the latest Nvidia or AMD graphics cards the prices will surprise you!
Look on eBay and see crazy high auction bids on older GPU’s like the AMD Radeon 5600 and 5700 series. Some of these cards are going for 3-4x the recent retail prices from this past year. ASIC miners are even more valuable and difficult to find, but that is a whole different story vs. our hobby graphic card mining rigs.
The price spike is due to AMD and Nvidia always running a ‘fixed supply production’ of graphics cards depending on what the current demand each year has been. They mass produce huge runs every half or quarter of a year, then the prices play catch up as supplies dry up. It will take them 4-6 months to respond to increased demand events.
AMD and Nvidia graphics cards are 2-4x retail price during a mining rush!
“In August I decided to jump back into mining as the DeFI craze started to explode.
Ethereum GAS fees went through the roof and GPU miners became seriously profitable again!”
If you want to start GPU mining – do not be scared to buy your cards in the BEAR market, when equipment is cheap and profits are low..
I purchased my MSI Radeon 5700 XTs for $359.99 in August of 2020.
They now sell for over $1,000+ on NewEgg, eBay, and Amazon!
GPU Mining Profitability Thoughts
(Hashrate daily revenue x 365 days) – (12 month electricity expenses) – (initial hardware expenses to start mining) = annual profitability
This can greatly scale with speculation of high prices/fees to give stronger returns but remember as crypto prices rise, mining is more profitable, so more miners will come online and raise the network difficulty. Thus lowering your mining returns.
Historically, most of the time, investing your initial costs upfront in Bitcoin directly- will outperform GPU mining.
Cryptocurrency mining is still primarily a hobby and a fun way to help secure the network while adding KYC free satoshis to your wallet!
GPU mining was pretty stale and boring the past few years up until about August of 2020. In August we saw a new flurry of investor activity over the Ethereum netowrk due to DeFI platforms like Uniswap and Yield Farming exploding onto the crypto scene.
This brought a heavy volume of user load to the ETH network and miner’s started seeing major increases in profits from the HUGE GAS fees needed to handle all the new transactions.
The multi-graphics card, hobbyist mining rig craze is being heavily driven by the skyrocketing Ethereum prices/GAS fees, Decentralized Finance protocols, and future speculation on alt-coins such as Beam (Beam DeFi Cryptocurrency) Veil (Veil – ProgPOW Cryptocurrency), and Grin (Grin – new algorithm POW cryptocurrency).
If you mine thousands of some brand new crypto project – you may 100x that wallet IF that project becomes anything..
The more likely story is it barely achieves any value or is never even listed on an exchange where you can trade for Bitcoin or another desired crypto.
The majority of alt-coins are trash and will not gain value except maybe 1 or 2 hyped, pump and dumps which you need to time perfectly.
So be careful with where you spend all your hashpower!
Now Q4 of 2020 has brought thousands of new members to the cryptocurrency mining community – some purchasing used ASICs for Bitcoin or other established cryptocurrency and 10x more people jumping back into GPU mining targeting ETH or newer alt-coins.
But either way, there has been massive HYPE around DeFI and it needs Ethereum to operate for one thing. So ETH and ETC mining has been the main show this past year. Other alt-coins should most likely be mined and held for longer term speculation.
If you are not familiar with Uniswap – check it out and see the future of Decentralized Finance.. or don’t.
Literally all of DeFi is built on the Ethereum blockchain and utilizes the network for super fast swaps between currencies.
201 MH/s Hashrate with 4 AMD Radeon 5700 XT (stock bios settings)
Consistency is king in GPU mining.
DO NOT RE-FLASH YOUR GPU BIOS if you aren’t willing to:
a) risk losing a lot of uptime trying to gain a few extra hash
b) have a lot of extra time to continue tweaking with bios settings and various graphics drivers
I believe it’s best for beginners, or anyone who isn’t technically inclined for it, to keep your video cards stock BIOS settings.
Consistency = profits long term.
That is the goal.
You’ll be able to reach excellent hashrates and reasonable power consumption on any of the latest cards with the stock bios. This will hopefully ensure you can run your rig 24/7 without a lot of headaches and downtime from hardware crashing.
If you can’t run your rig 24/7/365, it doesn’t matter if you can squeeze a few extra hashpower out of crazy BIOS flashing and wild settings. Usually tons of BIOS re-flashing and attempts to squeeze every hashrate out of your video cards means crashing and possibly sending some cards back for warranty repairs..
My 4 GPU Ethereum Miner Rig Settings:
Windows 10 fully updated – 16GB of RAM with cheap Pentium CPU
1000 watt power supply
Stock BIOS settings and always updated graphics drivers
MSI Afterburner for lower MHZ and power rate
Four MSI AMD Radeon 5700 XT 8 GB video cards on PCI 16x powered risers averaging 50.400 MH/s for a total 201 MH/s average hashpower
Temperatures stay around 55-65c
Power draw is around 127w per card for a total usage around 525-575 watts at the wall
MSI Afterburner settings for my AMD Radeon RX 5700 graphics cards
Pheonix Miner settings
-proto 3 -mi 10 -lidag 1 -gt 16 -dagrestart 2
Now why use NiceHash you may ask?
The less hashpower you have, the less likely it is to solve blocks of any proof of work cryptocurrency reliably solo.
Thus, most GPU and small ASIC operations join pools – to share in the reward and get a more consistent payout schedule.
For low hashpower miners – NiceHash helps produce a higher percentage return by “renting out hashpower” to customers while trading top profitability altcoins (like ETH or ETC) for Bitcoin constantly
Fastest and easiest way for the average multi-graphic card level miner to earn the highest % of daily Bitcoin income.
ASICs have taken over and currently dominate the Bitcoin mining industry. ASICs are “application specific integrated computers”, these are unique computing products that are built specifically to mine SHA-256 and have made GPU mining Bitcoin directly very difficult..
So instead, GPU miners with their “small hashpower” need to find a better, more efficient way, to mine an alt-coin with low network difficulty to then sell for Bitcoin directly.
This used to be done by mining any proof of work cryptocurrency, sending it to your wallet, then transferring to an exchange where you could place bids to sell for BTC.
Now, NiceHash will automate this into a streamlined process where you receive payouts every 4 hours.
The software is constantly looking for the highest % profit from mining an alt-coin and trading directly for Bitcoin. This allows the small hash power of our GPU rigs to get the best return per energy cost and have it all automated. You’ll often see the NH mining software shutdown and restart to mine a different cryptocurrency if it becomes more profitable. This switch is done in about a minute or less, so you’ll maximize the time mining at peak profitability and efficiency.
The calculation for WHAT you will mine is basically the following
Alt-coin price vs. Bitcoin + mining difficulty = which alt-coin to mine and sell for highest amount of satoshis
The expenses of using NiceHash are similar to a mining pool – which average .5% to 2% fees are the standard through the industry.
In 2020 and 2021 Ethereum and Ethereum Classic have been the profitable alt-coins to be mining and swapping for BTC. This bounces around a little bit depending on a few factors.
When is GPU mining the most profitable?
Gas fees go up = Ethereum mining becomes very profitable
-> High transaction volume on Ethereum creating volatile spike in GAS fee costs
-> ETH or ETC prices increase earning more BTC per mining energy spent
In August 2020 NiceHash was earning me 1.1200 mBTC per day primarily from ETH fee spike during the DeFi craze and Uniswap hype at the time.
At current prices that would be about $35 of Bitcoin per day!
What is my daily profit mining today? (January 24th, 2021)
Some of the highest daily totals I’ve seen have been $25-32 dollars PER DAY of Bitcoin!
The past two months have been pretty crazy and with wild UPWARD price fluctuations in Bitcoin and Ethereuem the mining has been really good. The DeFi craze has settled down a bit and overall GAS fees haven’t been as high as summer 2020. But, the skyrocketing prices of Bitcoin and ETH have more than made up for any slack from lower GAS fees.
GPU Mining has become crazy profitable again and people have taken notice with equipment now being almost impossible to acquire at MSRP for well over a year.
Many of the peak months saw AMD and Nvidia GPUs fetching 3 to 4x over MSRP.
Now that difficulty is maxed out and crypto prices are down – we’ll most likely see GPUs continue to become more affordable.
My GPU Mining Rig Hardware List:
4 x MSI Radeon RX 5700 8GB GDDR6 video cards
1 x Gigabyte GA-H110-D3A motherboard
1 x 6 Pack of PCI-E 16x to 1x Powered Risers
1 x EVGA 210-GQ-1000-V1 80+ Gold 1000 watt semi-modular power supply (can support 6 GPUs)
1 x Pentium Processor 3.3Ghz for Windows 10
1 x Dual Ram kit includes 2 sticks of 16GB memory module ram
1 x Kingston 120GB Hard Drive – Internal SSD is cheaper and can be setup easily
1 x NET-DYN USB Wireless WiFi Adapter – AC1200
Wireless routers work fine – you don’t have to be hardwired in for your GPU miner
Don’t be scared off by not having a hard line internet connection for your mining rig.
Nowadays you’ll be fine with a high quality WiFi adapter which are getting ALOT more affordable. Usually it’ll run you about $30-60 dollars for a USB adapter that can handle non-stop cryptocurrency mining.
Location is king.
Airflow and cool temperatures are paramount to longevity of your mining equipment.
You may fry wireless adapters after a year or so of use, but they are a minor cost to keep your rig dialed and in a proper location where it gets adequate airflow.
You’d much rather replace a $50 wireless USB card vs. a $600 AMD or Nvidia graphics card!