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Mining cryptocurrencies has again become a profitable business. In the past few months of 2021, prices of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) have sky-rocketed, however, prices of other cryptocurrencies have also increased. One of them is Monero (XMR), a cryptocurrency that relies on proof-of-work mining to achieve distributed consensus. In this quick guide, we’ll be exploring the best graphics cards for mining Monero in 2021.
Read also: The Best CPUs for Mining Monero in 2021
As a leading crypto coin with focus on private and censorship-resistant transactions, Monero uses cryptography to shield sending and receiving addresses, as well as transacted amounts. However, Monero mining rewards are different from Bitcoin, as Bitcoin’s set block reward gets cut in half every four years, while Monero has a decaying block reward that decreases gradually over time. According to exodus.io, another unique thing about Monero is that it accepts a very small amount of inflation in order to ensure that there is always a security budget – something which Bitcoin doesn’t support. Overall, mining Monero is just like mining any other cryptocurrency. It requires powerful hardware that is able to perform numerous calculations simultaneously, while at the same time be as much energy efficient as possible to be profitable.
For mining Monero you can either use a processor (CPU) or a graphics card. In this article we’ll be exploring the best graphics cards for mining Monero in 2021. Some of these cards are able capable of delivering high mining hashrate at the expense of high power draw, while some of them are able to offer good power efficiency for a higher retail price. Provided that you start mining today, in the near future you might make a considerable amount of money by mining Monero, especially if its price continues to grow at this rate. However, in order to do that, you’ll need to buy a good graphics card. These are our top picks for the best Monero mining GPUs in 2021.
Best Overall: ASRock Radeon RX 5700 XT Phantom Gaming D
Boost Clock: 1945 MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 14 Gbps | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DP, 1 x HDMI
- High mining hashrate
- Very energy efficient
- Low power draw
- No ray tracing acceleration
- Runs at high temperatures
When it comes to mining Monero, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is hands down one of the best graphics cards for this job. Featuring 10,300 million transistors, the RX 5700 XT is capable of delivering 19.51 TFLOPs of FP16 (half) compute performance, and as such can achieve 980 H/s hashrate on RandomX algorithm with a total power draw of only 65 W. The reason why this card is so popular among crypto miners is the fact that it performs extremely good while being undervolted, which means it can deliver great performance while consuming lower amount of electricity. The only major flaw of this fantastic graphics card is the fact that it runs quite hot, so frequent changes of its thermal compound are necessary if you want to avoid any damage to its processing core.
Fastest ROI: ASUS DUAL Radeon RX 480 8GB OC
Boost Clock: 1305 MHz | Memory: 8GB GDDR5 | Memory Clock: 8 Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Outputs: 2 x DP, 2 x HDMI, 1 x DVI-D
- Very quick ROI
- Decent mining hashrate
- Works good when undervolted
- Produces a lot of heat
- Poor overclocking capabilities
Although AMD Radeon RX 480 is now a 5-year-old graphics card, it is still a blast, especially when it comes to mining Monero. Compared to the more recent Radeon RX 580, the RX 480 is a bit cheaper, and as such is able to provide the quickest return on investment (ROI) if you decide to use it for your Monero mining operations. The Radeon RX 480 is very popular among crypto miners due to the fact that it can be undervolted, and can deliver the same performance levels (if not better) as with stock settings. In practice, this means that RX 480 can deliver a 470 H/s hashrate on RandomX algorithm for a total power draw of only 90 watts. That being said, it’s no surprise that this card sells like hot cakes when it’s in stock.
Best Efficiency: MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ventus XS OC
Boost Clock: 1830 MHz | Memory: 6GB GDDR5 | Memory Clock: 8 Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DP, 1 x HDMI
- Fast ROI
- Very good mining hashrate
- Low power draw
- Quiet operation
- Only available with 6GB of VRAM
If you find the Radeon RX 480 to be too old, and want something newer, yet still affordable to mine Monero, than considering purchasing the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660. This mid-range 1080p gaming graphics card is a hidden gem when it comes to mining cryptocurrencies. It features 6GB of VRAM, and it requires only one 8-pin connector to draw power. Being able to deliver 530 H/s hashrate with a total power draw of only 90 W, it is one of the most efficient graphics cards for mining Monero. Just like the RX 480, the GTX 1660 can boast with a very quick ROI, and its retail price makes it quite affordable both to new and experienced crypto miners, despite the ongoing supply shortage. Overall, the GTX 1660 is a fine mining graphics cards, and our only complaint about it is the fact that it doesn’t feature more VRAM.
Maximum Performance: EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra Gaming
Boost Clock: 1800 MHz | Memory: 24GB GDDR6X | Memory Clock: 19.5 Gbps | Power Connectors: 3 x 8-pin | Outputs: 3 x DP, 1 x HDMI
- Very high mining hashrate
- Extraordinary compute performance
- Great for 3D modelling and video rendering
- 35% more efficient than the RTX 2080 Ti
- Requires 750 W power supply
- Lacks certain Titan features
When it comes to mining Monero, nothing can match the power of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090. Featuring a whooping 10,496 shading units, as well as 328 tensor cores, and a staggering 24 GB of super-fast GDDR6X memory, this card can deliver around 2,050 H/s hashrate on XMRIG 6.7.0 algorithm (according to monerobenchmarks.info). The GeForce RTX 3090 is also a fantastic card for mining Ethereum, as it can deliver around 105 MH/s hashrate on Ethash (Phoenix) algorithm, and can generate an impressive monthly income. The GeForce RTX 3090 is also a great 4K gaming graphics card, and is also very useful for performing heavy-duty tasks such as 3D modelling, video rendering and AI machine learning.
Best for Gaming & Mining: ASUS GeForce RTX 2060 Dual OC EVO
Boost Clock: 1785 MHz | Memory: 6GB GDDR6 | Memory Clock: 14 Gbps | Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin | Outputs: 1 x DP, 2 x HDMI, 1 x DVI-D
- Supports ray tracing
- Very fast memory
- Very energy efficient
- Costs the same as some low-end GPUs
- Features only 6GB of VRAM
- ROI could be better
In case you are looking for a mining graphics card that you’ll also be using for occasional gaming, then consider getting the ASUS GeForce RTX 2060 Dual OC EVO. Unlike other, more premium models of the RTX 2060, this one comes with a simple and utilitarian design, as well as with a more affordable price tag. This card also comes with full support for ray tracing rendering, and it supports NVIDIA’s DLSS technology. Besides being well-suited for gaming, this is also a fairly decent GPU for mining Monero. The RTX 2060 is capable of delivering 600 H/s hashrate for a total power draw of 110 W. Such performance makes the RTX 2060 one of the more profitable cards for mining Monero, especially since it costs roughly the same as the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER.
Best for Mining Monero & Altcoins: MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G OC
Boost Clock: 1645 MHz | Memory: 11GB GDDR5X | Memory Clock: 11 Gbps | Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin | Outputs: 2 x DP, 2 x HDMI, 1 x DVI-D
- Incredibly powerful
- Outstanding mining hashrate
- Large overclocking headroom
- Better than GeForce RTX 2070
- Not suitable for mining Ethereum
- Doesn’t support ray tracing
- Very expensive
Last but not least, there is the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Even now in 2021, this is still an incredibly powerful graphics card. Although it lacks ray tracing features, and is really bad for mining Ethereum, this card is well-suited for 4K gaming, as well as for mining Monero and other altcoins such as Ryo (RYO), Firo (FIRO), and BitTubeCash (TUBE). Featuring whooping 11,800 million transistors, and 11GB of GDDR5X VRAM, this card is capable of delivering 1,030 H/s hashrate on RandomX algorithm, with a total power draw of only 160 W. With such performance, the GTX 1080 Ti is still a very profitable mining graphics card, despite the fact that it now retails at 185% of its initial MSRP. Overall, the GTX 1080 Ti is still a fantastic GPU, which despite its flaws, will still remain relevant for quite some time.
Mining has again become a very popular business. Besides Bitcoin and Ethereum, there are other cryptocurrencies worth mining, such as Monero. In order to mine enough Monero blocks and make some money of it, you’ll have to buy a powerful graphics card that will be able to deliver high enough hashrate. Some of the graphics cards listed above are capable of doing that. We hope our buying guide helped you in search of the information you were looking for. If you still feel confused, and need advice about buying, feel free to post a comment below. We will try to help you.