When it comes to cryptocurrency and mining, the population is basically divided into two factions. GPU vs ASIC. To better understand the difference between the two, we first define both:
In GPU mining, we use Graphic Cards or GPUs to mine cryptocurrencies. The GPU can be used singularly or combined with other GPUs to form a rig and increase the mining capacity of a mining operation. Keep in mind that GPUs can be used for many other purposes and mining is not their main thing. So, the mining capacity varies with different GPUs. In a sense, when it comes to crypto mining, GPUs are quite limited.
ASIC or Application-Specific Integrated Circuits are built for a singular purpose, MINING. As the name suggests, ASIC miners are built for a singular purpose only. That is why, ASIC miners are more efficient (relatively) and in certain regions, have greater profitability when it comes to mining. The only thing to know about ASIC miners here is that an ASIC miner can only mine a specific coin. Therefore, we have separate variants for Bitcoin and Ethereum. One ASIC can only mine one cryptocurrency. While this greatly increases the efficiency, it decreases the versatility that GPUs provide.
We are going to be answering some frequently asked questions about GPU mining and ASIC mining and the differences between the two.
Which technology is used in ASIC miners?
ASIC miners are basically purpose-built circuits for singular tasks such as mining. In our case, ASIC miners only do mining and they do it very fast. They do not have any other functionality other than mining. This is the reason that they have very high hash rates.
Since their circuits are designed for only one thing, they are extremely efficient comparing to GPUs and rigs. This is the major advantage of ASIC technology.
Difference between Graphic card Rig and ASIC Miners
There are a lot of differences between GPU rigs and ASIC miners. Just like everything has its advantages and disadvantages, GPU rigs and ASIC miners also have pros and cons which can be compared and suited to your preferences before starting any mining operation.
Hash rate is almost the most important thing in mining. I say almost for a reason and you will see why in a minute.
Hash rate is the no. of hash functions performed by a miner in a second. Higher the hash rate, the greater the profits excluding the energy and power costs.
The efficiency of any miner is defined as the amount of energy used for producing the required result. In this case, the amount of power used for mining a single block. When compared with GPUs, the ASIC miners are definitely very efficient. While a powerful GPU or a GPU rig can draw a lot of power and yield lesser results when compared to ASIC miners.
This is a contest where ASIC miners are the absolute winners. ASIC miners are literally plug-and-play machines. There are no extensive configurations or software you need to understand and manipulate. Just plug in the power and ethernet and start mining.
GPU rig on the other hand is a relatively much harder nut to crack. You need to know the ins and outs of your motherboard on which you are to connect the GPUs. Making a GPU rig is in itself a mind-boggling task. Once done, you need to know your way around various other technicalities and software through which you need to start mining a specific coin.
Do we need extra hardware for ASIC miners?
The bottom answer for this question is NO, other than the fact if your ASIC miner does not come preinstalled with a suitable power supply. Almost all the ASIC miners come with their required power supply. If that is not the case, you only need to buy a power supply for your ASIC miner. Other than that, there is no hardware required for ASIC miners.
You will only need extra hardware if you are going to connect multiple ASIC miners. In that case, you only need off-the-shelf hardware which is readily available.
Which are more profitable? Graphics card rig or ASIC miners
The profitability of a GPU rig vs ASIC miner is also a debatable factor. The profitability of your mining largely depends on the size of your mining operation. In terms of speed, stability, ease of use, and power consumption, ASIC miners are preferred over GPU rigs. But there are some other factors that govern profitability.
One of them is the cryptocurrency market. As cryptocurrency is a highly volatile and unstable market, it constantly changes. And with it, the coins also change their value. One minute you are earning high profits by using an ASIC miner and the other you cannot even pay the electricity bills those ASIC miners caused because the value of the coin dropped.
This is where GPU rigs come into play. Since you can mine all the cryptocurrencies with a GPU, you can easily shift your operation from one profitable coin to another while analyzing the market.
There are other factors that you have to keep in mind while mining any cryptocurrency.
How much electricity is consumed by ASIC miners?
The power consumption factor depends on what coin are you mining and how big is your operation. A single altcoin ASIC miner can draw up to 800 W of power. and some of the latest ASIC miners can draw well above 2000 W at full capacity. This also questions the worthiness of the mined coin. If the mined coin can still earn you profits, then it is worth the power draw.
GPU rigs on the other hand have very flexible power consumption. There are GPUs that can draw very low power in return of reasonable profits. But the question remains the same, if the mined coin can earn you profits, it is worth the power consumed by your machines.
ASIC miner for Ethereum and Bitcoin
As mentioned earlier, ASIC miners can only mine one coin. So, there are separate ASICs for Bitcoin and separate ASICs for Ethereum and so on for other coins. Many manufacturers have come into the game and there are many models available. Each ASIC miner for a specific algorithm. We have listed some of the Best ASIC Miners For Mining Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Altcoins.
Why use ASIC miners over graphics card rig?
This is probably the most important and debatable question about GPU vs ASIC miners. And the answer to this comes by analyzing multiple aspects of both the types and the nature of your mining operation and goals. By comparison, ASIC mining is way faster than GPU mining. But ASIC mining should only be preferred if you have a big budget because the medium to large mining operations can cost you from thousands to millions of dollars in prize and electricity and cooling bills.
The only reason to prefer ASIC mining over GPU mining is if you live in a place with a cold climate and a vast supply of ridiculously cheap electricity. Because these are the only factors that are going to help you gain huge profits in mining. That is not to say GPU mining is useless. Because you have diversity in mining using GPU rigs, GPU miners are relatively more profitable when you are not mining big cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. Other than that, GPU mining is always better.
How much can we earn from ASIC miners?
Now, ASIC miners have a range of profitability depending upon the coin you are mining. Since the crypto market is constantly changing, and new coins are constantly being added in the market, the market analysis and projections scores become the key. If you have a multi-million dollar set up and you want to mine Bitcoin or Ethereum, only ASIC miners can earn you huge profits.
Some of the top miners right now have the per day profitability of up to $6000 and the profitability keeps changing on the basis of your electricity costs and the value of the coin you are mining. But the estimates are quite good up to this point. And you can earn a lot by mining Bitcoin and Ethereum by using some of the best miners from various manufacturers such as Bitmain, Innosilicon, MicroBT, etc.
Where to buy ASIC miners?
After the mining and in China, there has been an exodus of ASIC miners all over the globe. Preferably colder regions or the regions with extremely cheap electricity. USA, Canada and most of Northern Europe are the optimum places for ASIC mining as the electricity costs is ridiculously low and there is no need for extra cooling systems.
As to where to buy ASIC miners, you can either buy directly from the manufacturers such as Bitmain, Innosilicon, MicroBT, or you can find amazing deals on Amazon, Bestbuy, and even can source them out of China which is the hub of ASIC miners manufacturers.