AMD Graphics Cards for Mining

A golden age of GPU mining is upon us. So which card should you use to mine with? Perhaps you’re not buying the popular-choice card because you already have an old card you’d like to put to use. This article is written in July 2017, and if you’re reading a few months or years down the line, it may be worth looking for an updated article covering recent cards and trends.

AMD RX 580 & 480, 8gb/4gb
Coin to mine: Etherium
Hash speed to expect: 26-30MHs
Real power use: ~130w
The RX580 is just a re-branded 480 with a few minor changes to clock speed and power use, so I will cover them together. If you can get the 480 version then do, as it will mine at a slightly lower power usage. Broadly considered one of the best things to be mining with, these cards are highly profitable for Etherium mining at the moment. The exact return on income time has been pushed higher than it was a few weeks ago by high card prices and lower Etherium value- but it’s still fairly respectable at around three months. These also benefit from being a great card for gaming with, which should guarantee a chunk of resale value even a year or two down the line.  However watch out for high prices, at the time of writing prices on these have been pushed up by around £100 at most retailers in response to strong demand and short supply- and that extra cost will drop right of the resale value once supply issues are resolved.

AMD RX 570 & 470 4gb
Coin to mine: Etherium
Hash speed to expect: 25-29MHs
Real power use: ~110w
From a pure mining perspective the RX570 & RX470 cards make the most sense to buy- provided you can get them without paying over the odds. Before prices were pushed up, these were sitting at around £100 less than the RX*80 cards, but only hash marginally slower on Etherium. That makes them probably the strongest possible choice in terms of raw return. The draw back with these cards is that they are not so great for gaming- so expect the resale value to fall off them quicker once their useful mining life is up. Don’t pay the inflated £250 price tags for them, but if you can get in a preorder at around £170 and wait it out, they are great value for money and provide a very fast rate of return.  The RX470 in particular is considered the single best mining card money can buy at the moment in terms of price:performance ratio- but don’t get tunnel vision while shopping if other cards are being offered at a more sensible price point.

AMD RX 560 & 460
Coin to mine: Etherium
Hash speed to expect: 10-12MHs
Real power use: 80w
These cards sadly are not really ideal for mining. That being said- there is an argument for them. The demand for them never shot up like it did for the card bigger brothers, meaning prices right now are right down at about £90. Priced per hash, that’s actually quite a bit cheaper than the RX570s currently at their overblown pricing. They are less power efficient, and will cost rather a lot more in supporting hardware as you’ll get a much lower total number of hashes out of a single full motherboard- but if you’re thinking about buying these you’re not totally crazy in the current market conditions. It may be better to hang on and hope for a sensible priced RX570 pre-order to come through. Or bite the bullet and just buy a big cheap pile of these cards.

AMD R9 390X & Fury
Coin to mine: Etherium or ZEC
Hash speed to expect: 28-32MHs Eth, 360-420Hs Zec
Real power use: 280w
The AMD R9 390x & Fury (and nano) series of cards are true power houses. Stick them on either Eth or ZEC and you cannot really loose. They are not the most power efficient cards around, but the sheer hashing power means it doesn’t really matter. They are still pricing on the used market though, so I don’t know i’d go looking to buy these unless you already have them or found a good deal. They should hold their used value pretty well at this stage, as they will be plenty good for high settings on most 1080p games for years to come.

AMD R9 380X
Coin to mine: Etherium
Hash speed to expect: 22-25MHs, 300Hs Zec
Real power use: 280w
There is plenty of life left in AMDs 380X series of cards. They are not very power efficient, but if you can live with them burning through the KW, they’ll churn out respectable hash volumes of ETH. They can also do ZEC at around 300MHs. Don’t buy these at this stage unless you already have them, as the price/hash is beaten by other cards. The 290X is probably a better choice of used cards as they perform pretty much the same but a much cheaper to buy, unless you find the 380X at a great price.

AMD R9 295-X2
Coin to mine: Etherium
Hash speed to expect: 50-60MHs
Real power use: 400w
These 295-X2 cards are the single slot king of mining. That may change soon, but for now you wont find another card that will give you more performance on one slot. They are fairly power efficient, too. Be very careful however with these cards- they have a couple of major drawbacks. Firstly, I was buying these 295X2 cards up on ebay at less than £250 a card just a few months ago, but now the price has rocketed up to around £700 due to miner demand. That means the price will plummet back down if the bottom falls out the mining market, so they may not hold their value. The R9 295X2 cards also have some major bugs in the recent drivers locking them to around 300MHz in windows. This bug is very awkward- and I for one am yet to find a real solution without having to reinstall the OS. So if you do use these cards make very sure you use only the claymore recommended drivers, and windows & driver updates are stopped to stop those drivers being overridden.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.