Some people have constantly asked the question if mining cryptocurrency can be done using gaming PCs? The answer to that question is Yes! It is possible.
We know that Cryptocurrency mining can be paralleled to mining gold or silver. The difference is that you do not need a shovel but a computer instead.
Before we dive deeper into mining cryptocurrency with a gaming PC, let’s take a step back and look at the basics.
How Do You Mine Cryptocurrency?
Mining simply centers around processing cryptocurrency transactions. Basically, it consists of solving difficult mathematical problems. These problems get increasingly difficult when new miners join the network.
Those who mine cryptocurrency are known as “miners.” Every block added to the blockchain by miners are expected to contain a PoW (Proof of Work). When you successfully calculate the hash in a specific way, before anyone else, you will be rewarded with some bitcoin for the effort. This is how miners earn.
To mine, a miner needs to have a fast and reliable machine. This will allow the miner to not only compete with other miners and solve complex math problems faster.
To solve these mathematical problems, miners require a great number of resources. This is because mining requires calculating a hash. This hash becomes increasingly difficult to calculate when new miners join the network. Additionally, miners need to account for the cooling and power supply in order to keep these machines running.
Now, How Do You Mine With A Gaming PC?
While it is possible to mine cryptocurrency with a gaming PC, prospective miners should also be aware that an ideal gaming PC is required for this job. What is most important is to have a good graphics card/s.
The more powerful graphics cards you have, the better it is suited for mining.
You can purchase good graphics cards from Nvidia or AMD. They have the most powerful graphics cards in the world. It is important to note that these graphics cards aren’t made for mining. But a powerful graphics card is able to calculate a hashing algorithm much faster than a regular one. If you want to buy a machine that is specifically designed for mining, buy an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit). These machines are much more efficient at mining than the most powerful gaming PC.
With cryptocurrency mining buzz, gamers are very interested in knowing how profitable it is going to be for their gaming PC. You can calculate your estimated profit using CryptoCompare. Input your hash power, power consumption, cost per kWh and pool fees. If you do not know how to find this information, you can learn here.
While gaming PCs that are considered to be high-end are expensive, people who have managed to get one can make use of it.
Not all cryptocurrencies can be mined profitably using a gaming PC. For example, if you try mining bitcoin, you are likely to make a loss. Total hash power of the bitcoin network is so high you won’t have a chance competing with other miners for the reward. But, there are certain cryptocurrencies that can be mined profitably using a gaming PC. Below are the top coins to mine with a gaming PC:
Ethereum is only second to bitcoin in terms of market cap. This is a platform where you can build DAPS (decentralized applications) with smart contracts. Ethereum’s goal is to build a world computer. If you are mining ETH, you are sharing this vision. If you want to build a decentralized application, you must first own some Ethereum as it will be used as fuel for the Ethereum network. New DAPS are being built on the Ethereum blockchain frequently. Which means, there is a natural tendency for this coin to surge. This is why Ethereum is number 1 on my list.
This is a privacy coin. It uses zk-snarks to encrypt transactions. Zcash is cryptographically anonymous. As to why you should mine Zcash, it is because privacy coins like ZEC will always have some use case scenarios in the real world. If you or a company wants to send or receive cryptocurrency anonymously, ZEC will work just fine.
This is another privacy coin that values anonymity very high. This coin is also ASIC resistant, which means, only GPUs and CPUs are able to mine it. If you have a powerful graphics card like Nvidia GTX 1080ti, this is your coin.
These coins I list are just my subjective opinion. These can become unprofitable to mine in the future. It is important to understand that, there is no such thing as the best coin to mine. You should mine the coin that is most profitable at the given moment. To find the most profitable coins, visit WhatToMine.
Building a Mining Rig to Mine
If you own a powerful gaming PC, you can mine with it. Or, you can build your own mining rig. You can buy an already assembled mining rig on eBay; but frankly, if you buy individual parts and assemble it yourself, you can save thousands of dollars. These are the parts essential for your mining rig:
- Graphics card/s
- Hard drive
- Power supply
- A case
Mining with an ASIC
An ASIC is the best equipment to mine any type of cryptocurrency. These are devices that are specifically built from scratch to produce hashes of a certain algorithm. They are quite useless for anything other than producing hashes.
ASIC consumes a lot of electricity and produces a lot of heat and noise. If you are serious about mining cryptocurrency, you can buy an ASIC. It is also required to buy a PSU (Power Supply Unit). An ASIC can’t just run plugging into the wall. A PSU will cost you around $300. You must also consider purchasing a cooling fan for your ASIC.
ASICs aren’t cheap. They go for around $1500. The best miner available right now is the Bitmain Antminer S15. It is capable of producing 28 TH/s. You can break-even with your investment usually with 1-2 months. But, please note that this can vary depending on the price and difficulty of the network. You can estimate your profit using a mining calculator. Input your hash rate, cost of electricity and pool fees to get an estimate. If you don’t know how to find this information, you can check out my guide here.
Additionally, you might want to look into cloud mining as an alternative. Learn more here.
To answer the question “Can you mine cryptocurrency with a gaming PC?” Yes. However, the profit you will be making is entirely dependent on how powerful your PC is, the coin you choose to mine and all the additional costs incurred in mining.