The R9 280X was once one of the most desirable mining cards out there. It was reasonably priced, but churned out a solid amount of crypto. The card was perfectly viable for a long old time, too. Things may have started to change for the 280X over the last few weeks. ETH returns have dropped to no more than about 14MH. Worse still running up at around the 250w mark, in countries with expensive power, this card really burns through those KW.
Here in the UK, if you’re getting 13p/KW, then you’re doing well. A lucky few maybe get it power as low as 10p, but that is rock bottom as it gets here. So that’s 78p/day to run one of these cards. So, assuming you’re on ZEC, running claymore stably you’re probably sitting at around 280H/S. Maybe if you’ve optimised a lot you’re getting past that mark, but 280 is probably about average. Today that works out as $1.74/day, or jumping back to pounds that’s about £1.35. So let’s hand 78p of that right over to the power company, and we can hang on to 57p. Okay, so per day that’s not terrible, it works out as a profit over a 31 day month of £17.67.
You can pick these cards up on Ebay at around £90. That’s 5 months to get your money back. Okay that’s not bad really. Plan for more than 8 month by the time you’ve included the math for supporting hardware- assuming you’re doing 4+ card mining rigs.
The problem is, that now ETH is no really viable on these cards, ZEC is the only choice. ZEC won’t stay profitable forever, so the question becomes will there be another coin that suits the 280X? It’s still a power house of raw processing power. However if you’re hitting up Ebay, maybe the 290X is a better option. After all, that card is still suitable for ETH. Okay it costs more to buy upfront, but it’s more likley to stay relevant for a longer time.