I'm new to this and I want to get into building an Ethereum mining rig. But everywhere I look it seems that the usually suggested GPUs (Rx 480s, R9 Furys, etc.) for mining ETH are all sold out / unavailable! I've tried the new RX 5xx series but they just crash my computer.

Can anyone suggest a GPU that can mine at average speeds of 20-30 MH/s and be reasonably priced?

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  • > I've tried the new RX 5xx series but they just crash my computer. Is that mining using Geth client only? Try mining with some other client and/or some other coin to try to isolate the root cause of the problem to actually being the GPU on your system. – Stephen Gornick May 27 '17 at 23:44

You and hordes of others are trying to do the same thing thanks to an unprecedented altcoin rally which is resulting in huge profitability (currently) for anyone mining altcoins on GPUs. This has caused a run on the GPU market and supply is unable to keep up.

The supply is so constrained that even used GPUs are being sold at up to 30% or more than the suggested retail price of the same item's price listed when it was brand new.

The rally was so intense that even at those GPU prices it is still fairly profitable to mine, and possibly the opportunity will continue. This is because hashrate lags price, and the lag for response to this rally will be prolonged because there simply aren't many GPUs available in the supply chain even, at this time. Stock available from the manufacturers takes months to reach retailers when the route includes transport by ship, for example.

The most profitable time to mine is before difficulty rises, so waiting for GPUs to return to stock will likely coincide with lower profitability.

So you have a few options, including the one where you bite the bullet and pay for the overpriced used units. Many retailer chains have inventory shown online, so you can check if they have any store locations near you with a decent GPU in stock. Some retailers might have a display/demo unit not included in their inventory count that they will sell (especially if the unit is an outdated series, like the AMD 480s now are.) You might even find a couple hours drive to another city might yield you the GPU you can't find locally. Also check Craigslist, as there might be some seller not realizing their "gaming" PC actually makes a decent mining PC.

If your problem with the AMD 580 you tried is simply related to the geth client, and your aim is to simply acquire Ether ($ETH) cheaply, you can mine many other GPU coins at near the same level of profitability and trade the proceeds for $ETH.

  • For Ethereum in particular and GPU mining in general, remember that if Ethereum hardforks to proof-of-stake (PoS) there are well over one million GPUs that become unemployed, or otherwise deployed to the remaining proof-of-work (PoW) altcoins, severely depressing profitability. That doesn't appear to be likely in the near term, however, as a hybrid PoW + PoS (which is a bogus approach, incidentally) is the current plan so as to placate existing miners with continued mining revenue so they don't rebel. – Stephen Gornick May 28 '17 at 0:21

The AMDs are definitely economical cards to go with, but like you said, they are hard to find right now.

I ended up purchasing NVIDIA 1080 TI's for my rigs. They were an excellent investment for a multitude of reasons:

  • They are in stock, and I wanted to start profiting from mining asap.
  • Their resale value is high, so I can still get a return on investment by selling them if I had to.
  • They have a high hash rate for other coins besides Ether. When Ether switches to Proof of Stake, I'm still going to be able to mine.

A lot of people are purchasing AMDs. When Ethereum isn't profitable anymore, they are going to flood the market. I'd purchase some NVIDIA cards before they sell out as well.

If you are interested in more information on how to build an Ethereum Rig, you can check out my article: How to Build an Ethereum Mining Rig

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