Cryptocurrency is a hot topic right now, allowing anyone to use their computer to "mine" for digital assets, which can then be used just like cash to buy things. It sounds simple, and setting up to start mining is, but doing so efficiently enough to make it worthwhile is becoming ever more difficult.
In order to generate currency, your computer's resources are used to process transactions. Doing so is very energy intensive and therefore the mining needs to be as efficient as possible to be worthwhile. Choosing the right hardware can make all the difference; in particular, your choice of graphics card is key. Get your setup wrong and mining could cost you more than the currency you are managing to generate.
Over at HotHardware, they decided to focus in on mining Ethereum and figure out the best graphics card to use. Remember, this is all about how much a card costs and its energy draw offset against mining performance rated in millions of hashes per second (MH/s).
In terms of performance, AMD's Radeon RX Vega 64 and Vega 56 came out on top, managing 36.48MH/s and 35.22MH/s respectively, but both cards draw around 400 watts under full load. The top Nvidia card HotHardware tested is the MSI GTX 1080Ti Gaming X 11G, which managed 34.15MH/s and draws 333 watts while mining.
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The sweet spot right now looks to be the GeForce GTX 1070 Founder Edition. It achieves 31.079MH/s when optimized and draws 225 watts. Running a PC 24/7 for mining using this card works out to a profit of around $1,676 per year taking power costs into account. However, that doesn't include the initial hardware costs and of course the volatility of the market that sees the value of Ethereum regularly change.
If you're interested in mining, the best advice is to do your homework first before spending any cash on hardware or mining any coin. It can be profitable if you make the right choices.