Mining cryptocurrency is extremely competitive and can be a highly lucrative activity.
For these reasons, it has become increasingly more difficult for enthusiasts and beginners to mine with cheap hardware such as the average computer’s CPU or single graphics cards or GPUs.
Back in the early days of Bitcoin, miners used CPUs and GPUs to mine. But now, only ASICs or specialized chips can be used to mine the cryptocurrency. Meaning that GPUs are no longer competitive enough within the Bitcoin network.
If you have a gaming laptop with a single GPU, you may want to use the machine to mine crypto whenever you are not gaming.
This guide looks at some of the best pools that support mining with a single GPU. Mining pools are groups of individuals and institutions coming together and contributing their computing resources towards mining within a blockchain network.
Mining pools do not operate the same way. Some discourage single GPU miners by charging hefty pool fees to those with low withdrawals.
Others focus on mining large coins that may not be ideal for small miners. All in all, if you are starting in mining and you have a single GPU to dedicate towards this activity, there are pools that you may consider joining that offer favorable terms of mining.
Is it worth mining with a single GPU?
Yes, it is still worth mining with a single GPU. There are several reasons to participate in mining cryptocurrency, even with a single graphics card.
Before delving into these reasons, it is worth considering why mining is still carried out in the first place. Mining as it relates to cryptocurrency is the act of competing to create a new block in a blockchain.
Several computers are deployed on the network to try and solve complex mathematical problems, and the fastest to solve the problem gets to create the next block and a reward for their efforts.
This process helps beef up the network security and also introduces new coins into circulation. The reward for the computer that gets to create a new block is brand new coins.
The more the miners, the more secure the network. However, most blockchains are not as secure as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
They could be new networks recently launched or older but still require more miners to achieve adequate levels of security.
For instance, Ethereum Classic, the network has been attacked three times since its split from Ethereum. This shows that a low count of miners is a security risk. Such networks require more miners whether or not they use single or multiple graphics cards.
A less altruistic reason to start mining with your single GPU is that the activity is still profitable.
Cryptocurrencies are often criticized for being too volatile, and this is especially true for smaller coins than it is for large-cap coins such as Bitcoin.
The good news is that the small coins can be mined profitably with a single GPU within a mining pool or individually, depending on the coin.
Most of these coins tend to skyrocket in price during bull seasons. You can opt to mine these small coins and hodl them for the long term.
Read VPN for mining.
What Tokens can you mine with a single GPU?
Graphics cards are inherently different from one another based on the type of chipset embedded in them.
For this reason, GPUs may be optimized to perform differently. The two leading graphics manufacturers NVidia and AMD, also produce cards that are also different.
The difference between the graphics cards is important in this discussion because when it comes to mining coins, the mining (hashing) algorithm matters.
The mining algorithm for the coin you want to mine will dictate the GPU you will need to purchase or use.
However, most coins use similar mining algorithms, which means that most GPUs can mine a wide variety of coins.
This is the advantage of graphics cards as opposed to specialized ASICs used to mine Bitcoin.
A single GPU can mine different coins, and this way, you can shift tasks to mine only profitable coins. With an ASIC, you can only mine the coin that equipment is designed to mine.
With a single GPU, here are some of the coins you can mine in the market today:
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
A sister blockchain to the more popular Ethereum network. The two chains share a common history, but ETC split from ETH back in 201 following a difference in opinion within the Ethereum community.
Both ETH and ETC use the Ethash mining algorithm, meaning you can ideally use the same GPU to mine either, but it is much simpler to mine on ETC due to less competition.
Other coins using the Ethash mining algorithm include QuarkChain(QKC), Callisto (CLO), Metaverse (ETP), Expanse (EXP), and Etho (ETHO).
Beam is a privacy-centric decentralized finance (DeFi) platform running on top of two blockchain privacy protocols – MimbleWimble and LelantusMW.
Beam launched in 2018 and has since become a miner favorite using a slightly modified version of the Equihash mining algorithm called BeamHashIII.
Other networks using the Equihash mining algorithm include AION, Zero (ZER), Vidulum (VDL), and Zclassic (ZCL).
Ravencoin was created in 2017 and launched on mainnet in 2018. The network is based on a derivative fork of Bitcoin with some modifications, including coin supply, mining algorithm, and block time.
As opposed to Bitcoin, which uses the SHA-256 mining algorithm, Ravencoin uses KAWPOW, previously called X16R. KAWPOW is a slightly modified version of ProgPoW, based on the Ethash algorithm used by Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
This means that RVN shares mining GPU with Ethash coins.
Things to consider when choosing a pool:
As mentioned in the early sections, mining with a single GPU may prove difficult when using some mining pools over others.
For this reason, you need to pick your mining pool carefully.
Some of the considerations for a mining pool include:
- Coins supported – this is the number of coins or networks the pool mines. This may be important because you may want to shift between mining various coins, and the more coins a pool supports, the easier it is to repurpose your single GPU to maximize profits.
- Geographical location – ideally, the best mining pool should be the one that has its servers closest to your geographical location. If you live within the Asian continent, for instance, you will need to connect to a server located in Asia. Even within regions like the United States, a pool may be operating more than one server. Choose the one closest to you. Read Mining Pools For Australia.
- Pool fees (commissions) – mining pools charge a percentage of the returns from their pool members. The typical fee is around 1% but some charge higher and others lower.
Best Mining Pool For Single GPU
Now that you understand some of the factors to consider when choosing a mining pool, here are some of the best pools to use with your single GPU rig:
Despite being named after Ether, the Ethereum network’s native crypto asset, Ethermine supports a few other coins, which are Ethereum Classic (ETC), ZCash (ZEC), Ravencoin (RVN), and BEAM.
The mining pool contributes about 20% of the Ethereum hash rate and close to 40% on the Ethereum Classic network.
With a single GPU, you may want to mine the other coins RVN or BEAM. It has two servers in the US and one each in Europe and Asia.
To join Ethermine, simply download one of the recommended mining software on each respective coin’s page. Install it to your mining rig and configure it using the miner settings provided.
2miners mining pool supports about 18 coins in total, including ETC, ETH, SEC, RVN, GRIN, BEAM, and Monero (XMR). It operates servers in three regions, namely the US, Asia, and Europe.
With a single GPU, you might have to avoid mining the large-cap coins such as ETH or XMR and instead focusing on the smaller ones such as RVN, BEAM, Metaverse, or Callisto.
To join 2miners, the process is similar to joining Ethermine. Download the recommended mining software available on the respective pages on the 2miners website, then install and configure using the settings provided.
Nanopool is another major Ethereum and Ethereum Classic mining pool. However, it does support other coins such as ZCash, XMR, RVN, Coinflux (CFX), and ERGO. For a single GPU miner, stick with the small-cap coins RVN, CFX, or ERGO.
The pool operates seven servers, two of which are based in the US, two in Europe, one in Japan, Australia, and one in the broader Asia region.
To join Nanopool, download the correct hardware drivers, configure your computer to mine, download the mining software, and configure the mining settings on your mining software.
Finally, you can locate your mining account on the website by using the coin’s wallet address.
Mining cryptocurrency is getting increasingly more competitive, and some of the more established coins may be too big to mine using a single GPU. However, there is still a place for single GPU miners.
Smaller coins need you and so do the newer coins launched every single day. As we highlighted above, most of these smaller coins may prove to be more profitable to mine than their larger and more established counterparts.
Additionally, if you mine for the long term and focus on maximizing your returns, you will soon enough be able to increase your graphics cards within your mining rig and mine more coins.
It all depends on the pool you choose to join and the coins you choose to mine. So choose wisely and always do extensive research, becoming committing to investing in any network.