Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have already established their place in the market. And with the rising popularity of digital currencies, mining has also become a well-known term. Several crypto enthusiasts and hobbyists are already reaping huge profits by mining high performing virtual coins. However, almost every crypto miner still faces a dilemma of choosing between ASIC or GPU.
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At present, there are two main choices for mining cryptocurrency: ASIC mining and GPU mining. If you’re also interested in mining cryptocurrencies then the question of whether to use ASIC or GPU may popup in your mind. Both GPUs and ASICs are the highly preferred mining hardware but a battle of mining supremacy still exists. So, if you’re also unable to choose the best mining hardware, this post may help you make an informed decision. Here we’ll take a look at ASIC and GPU miners to find out which is a better option.
What is the GPU?
Before ASICs and GPUs, mining was initially performed with regular Central Processing Units (CPUs). Later, GPUs were used to solve the complex algorithm. The Graphic Processing Units, also known as GPUs, were primarily developed to enhance the productivity of the graphic cards of computers. The GPU is basically the chip on the graphics card that performs repetitive calculations. It is used in computers for processing graphics and to develop high-resolution games. The GPUs are designed to quickly execute repetitive calculations when rendering video games, graphics, or 3D video.
When mining with CPU became unprofitable, dedicated mining individuals started using these cards to mine cryptocurrencies. In general, a GPU mining rig comprises a number of GPUs working in a computer setup. As the number of GPUs rises, the hash power also increases. GPU mining offers flexibility because it is possible to mine multiple cryptocurrencies with GPUs. The graphic processing units can efficiently mine altcoins, especially Ethereum.
What Is ASIC Miner?
ASIC means Application-Specific Integrated Circuit. It is a microchip specifically designed to execute a hashing algorithm. An ASIC is a computing device that can solve the most complex tasks quickly. The ASICs are the most powerful hardware available today as they can calculate hashes 100,000 times faster than even the best CPU. ASIC miners are of varying sizes and the latest devices have the complexity of over 100 million logic gates. In ASIC, Application-Specific implies that this particular microchip is intended to perform only one specific task. These miners typically consist of multiple chips on a circuit board, a fan, ROM, RAM, and other building blocks.
ASIC is considered more efficient and powerful than CPU and GPU miners because it is custom-built for a single hash algorithm. However, this means that you need to buy different ASIC for each coin you want to mine. As far as performance is concerned, the ASIC-enabled mining equipment can outperform other equipment.
GPUs vs. ASIC Miners
Now you know what ASIC and GPU miners are, it’s time to understand which one is better. When it comes to choosing between ASIC and GPU, you need to consider a few things. First, you need to think about what coins you are going to mine. The mining hardware you pick largely depends on your particular needs and budget. You should also think about electricity consumption and noise factor.
The main difference between GPU and ASIC is that of a card and chip. An ASIC miner uses a chip to solve complex algorithm while in a GPU, a graphics card is used for mining cryptos. The main advantage of GPU mining hardware is easy availability. Also, GPUs are more flexible in their application than ASICs. They can also be used for gaming, video editing, and other heavy processing purposes. However, on the downside, a GPU cannot perform on its own. You need to invest in a CPU case, wires, a motherboard, RAM and SSD to build a fully functional mining rig.
With the launch of Bitmain’s powerful Antminer series, traditional GPU miners’ profitability suffered a setback. The efficient ASIC chips can quickly solve the SHA256 algorithm which has made GPU less profitable. Since these microchips are designed to mine only a particular coin, ASIC miners are highly efficient. As an algorithm-specific device, it is also quite easy to set up a mining rig and start mining. In the early years of launch, there were concerns about energy consumption. But now the latest ASIC miners consume much less energy and are more efficient per hash because these are optimized for one particular coin.
A graphic processing unit needs special skills to assemble the rig. Also, it takes more space to set up this complex rig. ASICs, on the other hand, are small in size and do not require any additional maintenance. However, noise can be an issue. So, the choice of your crypto mining equipment depends on what’s best for you and your situation. Your crypto mining objectives, electricity cost, space availability, and skill determines which hardware is right for you. However, if you have access to affordable electricity and you are willing to stick to one coin for the long run, then ASIC mining is by far the best choice.