What to choose for mining cryptocurrency: ASICs or video cards

asic_vs_gpu_choosingDuring the Spring - Summer of 2019, everyone can observe an intensive recovery of the cryptocurrency market, and along with the rising cost of crypto assets, the interest in mining cryptocurrency is growing. Therefore, many novice miners are increasingly beginning to wonder: "Where to start?". If we consider classic POW (Proof-of-Work) mining, then today the main tool for POW mining is video cards and Asic devices, since CPU mining is of little relevance and expedient  only for botnet networks, and FPGA miners are extremely expensive and practically inaccessible to the average customer. Therefore, all who are going to engage in mining cryptocurrency stop on the choice of these two options - Asic or video card. And this choice is not as simple as it may seem at first glance, and will depend on many factors, which we will try to make out below. Also at the end we will consider the payback factor of equipment, which many mistakenly put in the first place in the choice of mining hardware.

As we have already said, let's go through all the factors that will help you decide on the choice between ASIC and GPU mining.

1. Purchase mining hardware

ASIC: The purchase of Asic miners is complicated because of the unavailability of this equipment in large retail chains, which in fact causes all the main difficulties. This is either a purchase for order from abroad or a purchase through ads from small companies or from individuals without any guarantees from their side. Buying from abroad directly from the factory of a manufacturer or a major supplier will be hampered at least because of customs duties, but as a maximum of complete confiscation when trying to import a non-certified product. The purchase of Asic miners should be considered seriously if you have the opportunity to purchase the product personally and test it before purchasing, in order to exclude all possible deception.

GPU: The purchase of computer components for the assembly of the Mayning Rigs is completely transparent and safe if you buy new equipment in the retail chains. At this stage, there may be difficulties with the selection of components, because There is a huge amount of computer hardware and the main thing here is not to make a wrong choice. If you are experiencing difficulties in this matter, then this material will help you: Mining on GPU - detailed guide for beginners. When buying with hands on GPU ads, mining rigs will be the same recommendations as for Asic - check before you buy.

ASICvsGPU: It is much easier to choose an asic miner for purchase than video cards and all other components. If you are not well versed in computer components and at the same time you have the opportunity to personally check the asic and buy them at an affordable price, then the possibility of buying asic should be considered more carefully. If you do not have the opportunity to buy ASIC without leaving prepayments and without the possibility of checking the goods, then give preference to video cards.

2. Hardware Warranty

ASIC: The guarantee for ASICs is usually 180 days from the date of shipment to the buyer, therefore, when buying from resellers, the factory warranty will already be less for the period that this equipment has already lain in the warehouses of the local seller. But often sellers either do not give any guarantees at all, or give a minimum guarantee of no more than 1 month and often without any supporting documents. Therefore, with ASICs and their warranty, everything is very individual and will depend on the particular seller.

GPU: When buying computer components in stores, but under warranty, you will have documents (checks and warranty cards) for which the guarantee comes from the moment of sale and usually equals 2 years. In this case, there are general civil laws on the protection of consumer rights, thanks to which you will be able to exchange defective goods for the same or receive the money spent during the warranty period.

ASICvsGPU: Warranty on equipment is important if you buy in bulk, because it will be quite problematic for you to organize a check on site or within the first few days after purchase Also, the guarantee will be useful for those who are going to engage in extreme overclocking of video cards or asikov, because of which there is an increased wear of equipment. Under normal temperature conditions of work and with constant maintenance (cleaning from dust, fan lubrication, replacement of thermal paste), video cards, like Asic, can work much longer than the warranty period. If you prefer to play it safe with a longer hardware warranty, then choose a GPU at this point. When deciding to buy a used GPU , you most likely will not have such an advantage with a guarantee; in this case, the purchase of an ASIC or GPU will be equivalent.

3 Build and configure

ASIC: Setting up asic miners comes down only to connecting them to electricity and to the Internet. Further, in a special menu, you set your parameters for the mining pool you have selected, after which the Asic setting is considered complete.

GPU: To prepare a GPU rig for working in mining, you must first assemble it, and for this you need a frame on which you need to hang the motherboard (with processor, memory), SSD drive, risers, power supply and the video cards themselves. In order to collect everything correctly, you need to have at least an idea about the assembly of computers, and it is even better to have at least some kind of experience in this matter. Even if you have successfully coped with the assembly, the second stage of installing and configuring the operating system, drivers, miners can cause no less problems than the assembly of the hardware itself.

ASICvsGPU: For those who deal with computer equipment  and are familiar with their assembly and configuration, we can recommend to stop the choice on GPU farms, although asic will not cause you any problems. For a unexperienced PC users, it is better to stop your choice on GPU devices, since You protect yourself from a lot of problems not only during initial assembly and configuration, but also in further operation, in which GPU farms deliver as much more trouble than asic.

4 Operation of hardware for mining

ASIC: The operation of asic miners cryptocurrency can be called trouble-free, because This kind of equipment is quite reliable and does not require any attention during operation. The only problem is blowing off dust and fan maintenance, which in turn is several times more reliable than those put on gaming graphics cards.  

GPU: Servicing of video card farms will require much more time and skills from you, because besides problems with the mechanical part (poor contact, fan failure, replacement of thermal paste) you will encounter many different nuances in the work of mining software or the operating system. Often the cause of unstable working  of a farm on a GPU is not always easy to detect even by experienced miners.

ASICvsGPU: For large farms with hundreds or thousands of devices, it is better to give preference to Asic, since You will have much lower maintenance costs. As in the previous 3 points, we do not recommend to stop the choice on GPU farms for those who have little idea how the computer hardware works. 

gpu-rig-msi mining crypto

 5 Noise from hardware during mining

ASIC: Very noisy during work. For example, let's say that being in the same room with a working asic miner, you have to talk quite loudly with almost a shout..

GPU: The GPU farm works at a sufficiently comfortable for life volume level, especially if you ensure good heat dissipation from video cards and from the room itself, you can achieve a virtually silent mode of operation.

ASICvsGPU: Few people think when choosing between ASICs and video cards about such a parameter as noise, but this is probably one of the most important parameters, since Asic work creates a very loud noise and we do not highly recommend their use in residential premises. Even if you yourself do not live in an apartment, your neighbors will complain about the noise. There are various immersion baths for silent cooling of asic, but this solution increases the cost of the whole budget by 2-3 times. Purchase of ASICs can be recommended only to those who have the opportunity to install them in non-residential premises (warehouses, garages, etc.)

 6 Mining cryptocurrency

ASIC: This type of hardware for mining can only be used for one mining algorithm, i.e. With the help of ASIC, you can get a maximum of 1-3 cryptocurrencies supporting this algorithm.

GPU: GPU rigs for mining is a universal device with the help of which you can mine any cryptocurrency on any algorithm by downloading and pre-configuring a specialized miner for a particular mining algorithm.

ASICvsGPU: Using ASICs, you can get Bitcoin (litecoin, Dash and others) directly, but on video cards you can only get so-called alt-coins, which in principle can be easily exchanged for the same Bitcoin. Conversely, Bitcoin can be exchanged for another cryptocurrency, which is traded on exchanges. In this regard, the advantage of video cards is the ability to mine a little-known cryptocurrency, which is not yet traded on exchanges and make money on it when the price for it grows with increasing popularity. Another advantage of video cards is the ability to change the mining cryptocurrency at any time, which currently brings the most profit. For Asiki, this choice is very limited by the mining algorithm.

7 Relevance mining hardware

ASIC: Specialized equipment becomes obsolete very quickly. each new generation is several times batter than the previous one. There were such cases that within six months there were new asic, which were 10 times more productive. Accordingly, the period of relevance of Asic usually does not exceed 1 year. After that, such equipment dramatically loses in value or is completely depreciated.

GPU: The relevance of video cards for mining lasts at least 2-3 years, because The performance of new video cards is not growing as fast as in Asic, only by 10-30% per year. At the same time, the price of video cards is also not lost as quickly as asic, because GPUs are in demand in the secondary market among gamers, and 2-3 year old video cards can be easily sold for 20-40% of the original price.

ASICvsGPU: If you want your hardware to be actaul for mining cryptocurrency as long as possible, then stop your choice on video cards. 

8 Payback hardware for mining

ASIC: The payback period for asic miners in the long run usually comes faster than for mining the farms on video cards. But since Manufacturers of Asic often change the prices of their devices, depending on the profitability of mining, so you should not count on excess profits.

GPU: Payback of video cards in mining most often happens longer than that of Asics, especially for powerful expensive cards. But here it is worth bearing in mind that in the short term, on video cards you can get super-profit by digging in a couple of weeks over a profitable currency, which can pay back a large part of the cost of the entire GPU farm.

ASICvsGPU: If you have time to keep track of new cryptocurrencies and constantly switch between them in search of the most profitable mining, then the payback period for the GPU rigs will come to you earlier. For those who prefer to turn on and not touch anything, ASIC miners will be the preferred purchase. For quick calculation of equipment payback, use online mining calculators. How to use them can be found here: Profit-mine mining calculator. How to calculate the income from mining on video cards and ASIC miners.

Conclusion: ASICs will be ideal for those who have non-residential premises and do not have time to maintain and monitor equipment. Video cards, in turn, are ideal for home mining, for those who are well versed in computers and have plenty of time to keep track of their mining farm and profitable coins for mining. If you cannot fully relate yourself to the first or second group, then compare all 8 factors for yourself, select the most important ones for you and on the basis of this data try to decide what you should buy for mining ASIC or a video card. Alternatively, you can consider Cloud mining, which is deprived of almost all the shortcomings, except for an overpriced price and the possibility of closing the service.