Ethereum and Ethereum Classic Mining Hardware GPUs and ASICs

January 30, 2018 by Headshot Jacob Tuwiner

Ethereum Logo

Here’s the deal:

Ethereum mining in 2018 is significantly more profitable than mining other altcoins.

However, not all Ethereum mining hardware was created equal.

Lucky for you, this guide provides you with the three most profitable Ethereum mining hardware GPUs!

Ethereum Mining Hardware to Maximize Your Profits

PIC GPU Yearly Return Buy
Radeon R9 295 X2 $1,454.18 Compare Lowest Prices
Radeon RX 480 $719.62 Compare Lowest Prices
radeon hd 7990 Radeon HD 7990 $869.12 Compare Lowest Prices

Ethereum Mining Profitability

Before you spend money on an expensive mining GPU, you probably want to know if you’ll see a good return on your investment (see our guide on Ethereum mining profitability).

Look no further. We are here to tell you that if you use the above mining GPUs, you’ll see a great return on your investment.

However, you can’t use any GPU. Some are better than others when it comes to mining. For example, the GTX 1060 is a great GPU for gaming, but it’s not the best mining GPU on the market in its price range.

Ethereum Mining ROI

As you can see, the above graph shows the return on investment of the Radeon R9 295X2. As stated previously, you’ll make over $1,000 annually per card each year.

If you invest in multiple cards, you will make even more passive income.

Ethereum Mining ASIC?

Ethereum does not support the use of ASIC hardware. This is because the Ethereum development team purposely designed Ethereum to be ASIC resistant.


Generally speaking, ASICs tend to centralize a currency that was once intended to be completely decentralized.

Let me explain:

ASICs are quite expensive, and the average person probably can’t afford to spend several thousand dollars on one. Generally speaking, only whales can afford to buy them.

When they do, they buy a whole lot.

This is why a majority of Bitcoin mining takes place in China with thousands of ASIC miners housed in a warehouse owned by wealthy investors.

When a currency (Ethereum) is resistant to ASIC mining, the average person can afford to buy a GPU if they don’t already have one. This allows everyone to verify the network instead of a select few with lots of power.

Watch Out for VRAM!

Currently you’ll need at least 3GB of dedicated video memory (VRAM) to mine Ethereum.

The amount of VRAM required to mine Ethereum steadily increases, and it’s expected to reach 4GB in late 2018.

DAG Size

The Ethereum Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) file is stored in the GPU’s VRAM.

It increases proportionally to mining difficulty. If you plan to mine with a GPU that doesn’t have at least 3GB of VRAM, you won’t be able to!

If you’re considering the purchase of an Ethereum mining GPU, make sure it has plenty of VRAM in order to be future proof.

Both the Radeon HD 7990 and the R9 295X2 are great choices!

The Best Ethereum Mining Hardware

Radeon R9 295X2 - $600

By far the most powerful Ethereum miner, the Radeon R9 295X2 has a hash rate of 46 MH/s, drawing 500 W from the wall. This means you’ll see a yearly return of $1,454.18 USD annually per card. That’s right, over $1,400 per card. Some might think the GTX 1080 is a more powerful alternative, but they’d be wrong. If you want to generate serious revenue by mining Ethereum, the R9 295 X2 is your card of choice.

Read our Review

Radeon HD 7990 - $350

A powerful alternative to the R9 295X2, the Radeon HD 7990 has a hash rate of 36 MH/s. It consumes 300 W at max load. This means you’ll save money on power consumption. You’ll make over $700 USD annually per card!

Read our Review

Radeon RX 480 - $300

Never underestimate the power of the Radeon RX 400 series. The Radeon RX 480 is not only the cheapest GPU in this list, it is also easily the most economic GPU. This card has a hash rate of 25 MH/s while only drawing 150 W at max load. You’ll make over $700 USD annually per card! Comparitively to the RX 580, this card is an awesome Ethereum miner!

Read our Review

Finding the right GPU for mining Ethereum can be difficult. It is important to balance the power of the GPU with the cost of the GPU and the cost of electricity.

As we have seen with other popular cryptocurrencies such as Zcash, ZenCash, Monero, Dash, Litecoin, and Bitcoin, mining profitability is always directly related with these factors (see our guide on Ethereum mining profitability).

Check out our top picks for the best mining GPUs on the market!

Ethereum Mining Rigs

Proof-of-work is the method used to mine Ethereum. Essentialy, your mining hardware is cycling through every every single possible solution until the correct solution is eventually found.

Here’s the catch:

Finding this value is next to impossible.

That being said, the more powerful your mining hardware is the more likely you are to successfully mine Ether, and in turn generate a profit. If you use one of the three GPUs mentioned above, you’re off to a good start.

Ethereum Mining Rigs

Of course, the more GPUs you employ in your rig, the more money you’ll make.

With this in mind, it’s time to think about Ethereum mining rigs.

An Ethereum mining rig is a configuration of two or more Ethereum mining GPUs. In most cases a rig consists of four or more GPUs. Obviously they’re more expensive than one GPU, but they also have far superior hashing power.

At the end of the day, they’re well worth the investment. Sometimes, it’s better to buy a few cheaper, less powerful GPUs.

For example, the GTX 1050 Ti doesn’t have a very high hashrate. However, it doesn’t consume much power either. In fact, buying four 1050 Ti’s would cost you the same as buying one R9 295X2 and they have a higher profit ratio.

We know it’s not easy to choose the right parts for a mining rig, especially if you’re new to crypto.

Here’s a list of things you should keep in mind:

  • A motherboard with enough PCI slots to accommodate your GPUs
  • A Riser cable for each GPU
  • DDR4 RAM (at least 4GB)
  • A case that provides sufficient airflow
  • A power supply that can power all of your GPUs (careful, running multiple GPUs consumes a lot of electricity!)
  • SSDs are helpful as they increase read/write speeds
  • The proper mining software

Here are some components to consider:

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is distributed among a public blockchain, much like Bitcoin.

Ethereum has a completely different blockchain protocol than Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s blockchain is based on proof of work. Ethereum’s blockchain, although currently is based on proof of work, is soon to become based on proof of stake.

There are real figure heads who run Ethereum unlike Bitcoin, which is owned by nobody. Ethereum also features decentralized apps. The Ethereum blockchain is the base, and other people can build decentralized blockchains on top of Ethereum.

Benefits of Mining Ethereum

Ethereum is projected to increase in value even more than it already has. Mining is a great way to generate passive income.

Look at it this way:

When you go to work, you get paid for the hours you put in. If you work for a few hours, you’ll be paid for a few hours.

However, with Ethereum mining, if you put in a few hours of work, you’ll be paid indefinitely after that, even after you’ve stopped working.

How does this work?

That’s the beauty of passive income. Once you set up your mining rig, you’ll generate revenue all of the time, as long as you keep it on.

What are Ethereum Smart Contracts?

A smart contract is computer code that is built into the blockchain network that computers execute. Once the code is executed, the ledger is updated.

Ameer Rosic uses ‘if this than that’ logic to explain smart contracts. If we create a code online on the blockchain, and someone puts money into the contract, the next action will be executed. This may be a digital contract being sent to somebody’s email, for example. This trigger may execute something else, so on and so on.

He uses a vending machine as a real life example. You input the code B6 into the vending machine. The vending machine takes this code, and then executes the code. The candy bar labled B6 is then dispensed.

This is an amazing feature of Ethereum that is unique and revolutionary.

How Will Smart Contracts be Useful in Today’s Society?

Ameer Rosic uses this example to illustrate the amazing benefits of smart contracts in the future:

Traditionally, when buying a car, you go to the dealership. Once there, you have to negotiate a price. Then you have to go to the bank and have a guaranteed check or something of that sort drafted. After that you have to go back to the dealership with this guaranteed check.

After all of this, you still have to sign all of the paperwork for the title, clear the check, etc.

This process will take a while. Imagine if instead, this whole process was on a smart contract. How is this possible?

A car could be uploaded to the blockchain. You, the customer, sees the car. You want to buy the car, and since it’s on the blockchain with a smart contract, you can buy it instantaneously. You pay with crypto, and the car is bought in real time. Everything is executed on the smart contract. You now own the title and all information about the car.

It is easy to see how revolutionary this technology is, and how crucial it is to invest in Ethereum now.

Investing in Ethereum

If you’re still reading, I imagine by now you want to invest in Ethereum. It would be a wise choice.

Many people want Ethereum but become frustrated when mining doesn’t yield the amount they had imagined.

The easiest way to acquire Ethereum and Ethereum Classic is to purchase it.

You can purchase Ethereum from an exchange like Coinbase quite easily.

Ethereum vs. Bitcoin

Ethereum is currently the second largest cryptocurrency in the world, trailing Bitcoin.

Interestingly, not only is it growing quickly, it’s also becoming more widely used.

BTC is a way to store value, but because of its fees and slow transaction times, many are turning to ETH due to its better block time and technology.

However, Bitcoin is still the #1 cryptocurrency today, and we believe it’ll stay that way.

Just Looking to Acquire Ethereum?

Don’t get me wrong, mining Ethereum with our suggested mining hardware is very profitable. However, if you just want to get Ethereum, it’s probably not the fastest route.

If you’re just looking to buy Ethereum, you should check out popular exchanges like Coinbase or Gemini. They make it quick and easy to buy Ethereum.

Once you buy your Ethereum, you can exchange it for Bitcoin and other currencies on popular cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance.

How to Start Mining Ethereum