Yes! Mining cryptocurrency with a GPU can damage your GPU. With the buzz of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, graphics cards have gained a new wave of sales from people who buy graphics cards for the sole purpose of mining. This resulted in increased prices for graphics cards; however, in this bear market, prices have come down. If you are wondering if this is a good time to buy graphics cards, read through this article. I will show you how mining cryptocurrency can harm your GPU.
If you have a high-end PC, you may be wondering if it is a good idea to start mining. After all, mining can be profitable, so why not use it in spare time to make you some money. If you are serious about mining or have extra graphics cards lying around, you may choose to plug these into your mining rig for additional hash power. Hooking up multiple graphics cards can be tricky sometimes.
Most of the miners just set up their rig once, join a pool, start mining and just leave it there. What they forget to do is monitor their rigs. There are so many things that can go wrong with your hardware. Monitoring is a crucial part of the mining process.
- One common way a mining rig can fail is due to overheating. When your computer overheats, some components can fail. To prevent this from happening, your rig must have good airflow with open case design. Having bigger fans can keep your rig cool. Adding side panel cooling can be effective as well. To monitor the temperature of your rig, you can use a program like Hwmonitor if you are using Windows and Monit for Mac.
- If you tweak your hardware to work a full load and fans at maximum speed, sometimes it can short circuit. This happens because you are pushing the limits of your hardware. When this happens, you will usually see smokes and computer flashes. At this point, you will have to replace hardware. This is why you should decrease the workload.
- Additionally, you may want to invest a little bit more on a good PSU (Power Supply Unit). When mining results in a disaster, it is not always the GPU’s fault. Some cheap PSUs cannot operate continuously at full loads. This is why you should always stick to major brands and well-reviewed PSUs when buying one. You can check out some of the best PSUs here.
- Mining cryptocurrency can also affect the longevity of your GPU fans. Although fans are designed to work extensively, using them continuously for a long time can wear it down. Longevity of these fans depend highly on the manufacturer and model of your card, but using them continuously for a long time is never a good idea.
- Similarly, your graphics cards can fail when you run at full loads continuously. Although this takes a long time to happen, running at full loads always results in failure. The longevity of the card depends on the manufacturer.
What About CPU? Is Mining Cryptocurrency Bad for Your CPU?
Yes. CPU is no exception. There are some coins that can be mined with a CPU. If you are mining with a CPU, please read through. Just like the GPU, mining cryptocurrency can harm your CPU. The biggest danger to the CPU is the heat it produces when mining. When the temperature changes, there is a tendency of matter to change in volume, shape, and area. In this case its the components in CPU. This is referred to as “thermal expansion”. Thermal expansion can damage your CPU and GPU. This is why cooling is a necessity. Always monitor your computer’s temperature especially when mining.
Another way mining is bad for the CPU is because CPUs can wear out quickly. When CPUs are doing something less intensive, CPU decreases the clock speed to consume less power and therefore less heat. When CPU does something intensive, CPU increases clock speed to work faster. To work faster, the CPU needs more electricity. More work CPU has, more quickly the components of CPU wears down.
But generally, this is not an issue for almost any modern PC. CPUs in modern PCs have quite good longevity. But nevertheless, this is something you should know about.
What to Mine with a GPU/CPU?
I assume your goal of mining is to make money. If you want to mine with a CPU, your options are limited. These are the coins that can be mined with a CPU.
You may choose to mine with a GPU, but before you start mining, you must always use a mining calculator to estimate the profit/loss you will be making. In this bear market, mining is not profitable for the majority of GPUs. Please note that there is no such thing as “most profitable coin to mine with a GPU”. The most profitable coin to mine is the coin most profitable at the given moment.
Mining with an ASIC
ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) are devices that are built from the ground up to hash a specific algorithm. These devices are powerful than almost any GPU/CPU out there. In terms of efficiency, ASICs are capable of hashing at relatively low consumption of electricity. The hashing power is measured in hashes. A GPU usually hashes in the mega hash range but an ASIC hashes in Tera hash range. If you plan on buying an ASIC, now may be a good time to buy one. Prices of ASICs have come down in this bear market. You can shop for the latest ASICs here.
Please use a mining calculator before you buy an ASIC. You can estimate the break-even time for your investment.
Alternate Ways to Mine Cryptocurrency
As you are well aware that mining with a GPU, CPU or ASIC requires you to monitor temperature, cooling among various other things. This could be quite challenging if you are not tech savvy. This is where cloud mining comes in. You essentially pay someone else to mine cryptocurrency for you. This is not always profitable as these services charge maintenance fees and electricity fees. But, at times when bitcoin price is high, it can be profitable.
Please be aware of scams associated with cloud mining services. Anyone can set up a website and pose as a legitimate cloud mining service. I’ve been using Genesis-Mining and Eobot for a couple of years now. I can genuinely say that these 2 are legitimate. Before you start investing in cloud mining, always read their reviews.
Now you know how mining cryptocurrency can harm your GPU and CPU. Among other dangers, the biggest danger to your mining rig is from overheating. This is the most common way a GPU/CPU is affected. But, if you are monitoring the heat and maintaining your mining rig properly, mining can be a profitable venture.