Disclaimer: This Isn't For Everyone
This isn't for everyone. I have purchased tens of thousands of dollars worth of hardware over the years, and have put it to good use. I should've been mining years ago. I was too consumed by everything else around me that I never sat down and put myself through it. I'm spending considerable sums of money because this is what I love: technology. I don't spend money going out to bars frequently; I'm not into sports; I'm a very work hard/family/tech addicted guy. This is a rush for me; the profits are a nice dessert.
Well, I pulled myself up and ran into Ethereum mining - late to the game? Yes. But I make up for it with 1GH/s of Ethereum mining power, which will diminish over time as the difficulty gets harder, and now that everyone is diving into it. I'm riding it right now, but will be diversifying into other cryptocurrencies in the next couple of weeks, including Siacoin and Zcash. There will be future articles covering those separately, and against each other with Ethereum.
I will be moving to AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics cards as soon as I can, taking down a few of my GTX 10 series machines as the new Vega GPU mixed with HBM2 is said to result in "monster cryptocurrency performance." If my sources are correct, Radeon RX Vega is going to be THE graphics card for Ethereum mining. AMD Radeon RX 580s are already keeping up with the GTX 1070 when both cards are not tweaked, and it beats the GTX 1080 without a problem, too. It loses to the GTX 1080 Ti, but the GTX 1080 Ti is almost 2.5x its price.
Global GPU Shortage
The problem is, both sides are selling out of virtually all mid and high-end graphics cards. It started with a huge tide shift of Radeon RX 500 series stock, with the RX 570 and RX 580 selling out. This forced the price of RX 500 series through the roof. It had a follow on effect with the older RX 470 and RX 480, before spreading to every other Radeon card on the market.
Older Radeon R9 290, 290X, 390, 390X cards started increasing in price on the second-hand markets globally, and soon too joined the Radeon R9 Fury range of cards (R9 Nano, R9 Fury, R9 Fury X). The Radeon RX 295X2 was even selling for $1000+ on Amazon and eBay last week, which is bonkers. After the global supply of Radeon cards was in effect, everyone started diving into the GTX 1060s, which were forced off shelves and prices started increasing.
Over two weeks, I went from spending $290 AUD (around $220 USD) for a GTX 1060 3GB to over $360 ($273 USD), for the same product. Radeon RX 570s and RX 580s disappeared from e-tailers sites and flew off retailers' shelves. The GTX 1070 even started rising in price at my local retailers in South Australia, from ~$450 AUD ($342 USD) to $550+ AUD ($418 USD).
Coming Out For Some Light...
It literally feels like I've been down in a mine for a week. I have been doing 15 hour days trying to get this all nailed and at 1GH/s before I wrote another article on it, and here I am. Roughly 1.1GH/s which is a massive achievement. I juggled multiple high-end graphics cards out with freshly purchased GTX 1060s for the perfect mix of lowered temperatures but radically reduced power consumption.
To the point where I could add in 12 x GTX 1060s across just a couple of PCs, all in less than 1200W. This is compared to just two R9 295X2s (dual GPUs, so four GPUs total) which were drawing 1200W-1400W under load. Crazy stuff, but when switched, I went from ~100MH/s between the four GPUs on the R9 295X2s to ~250MH/s on the 12 x GTX 1060s. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
I'm still getting the power consumption numbers together, so expect another article when it's all cleaned up - sorry for the mess, I had to get it working after the near 16-hour downtime a couple of days ago. After that, I'll be doing some FLIR testing with my new thermal imaging camera for some more awesome Ethereum content.
For now, I'm experiencing some sunlight, as it has been a hard slog in the mine for a few weeks. I've been at 1GH/s+ for 24 hours now, and slept after writing all of this article apart from this final paragraph, and my systems are fine. No overheating issues, no crashes, just Ethereum mining goodness. It's getting more difficult by the day to mine ETH, but that's why I'm buying more hardware, right?!
PRICING: You can find the product discussed for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The Ethereum mining @ 1GH/s: 40 x GPUs = $5000+ per month retails for $XXX at Amazon.
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