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Is GPU Mining Still Profitable?

With the cryptocurrency market inconsistencies and the mining process becoming more complex, investors are now focused on efficient mining using more powerful and efficient miners. 

Most crypto investors have turned to the highly efficient application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners, which begs the question. Are GPUs becoming obsolete in crypto mining? Is GPU mining still profitable? Let’s dive right into it to find out. 

GPUs In Crypto Mining


In GPU mining, miners use specialized computer hardware known as the graphics card or the graphics processing unit (GPU). With this hardware, they can verify transactions on a blockchain network like Bitcoin’s and earn rewards once they successfully solve complex mathematical computations. 

By mining using multiple GPUs, miners increase the overall computing power of their mining setup, which in turn increases their chances of being the first to verify a block successfully. But on the downside, this consumes large amounts of power and generates much heat. Therefore, miners still have to invest in specialized cooling infrastructure.

Unlike ASICs, which are designed specifically for mining specific crypto like Bitcoin, GPUs are more adaptable and can mine different coins. This flexibility has been attractive to most miners who want to mine more than one coin, especially in the early days of altcoins. However, several factors have emerged that have impacted the profitability of GPU mining. 

Mining Difficulty

Bitcoin, the largest and most mined crypto, is designed to adjust the network’s mining difficulty whenever there are too many nodes. By adjusting the mining difficulty, the network maintains its block generation rate of ten minutes per block. Additionally, the block rewards follow an algorithm known as halving, which cuts the block rewards in half every four years. This algorithm affects mining profitability massively, and the next one is set to happen in April 2024, reducing the rewards from the current 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC. With these adjustments in the mining difficult, it means your GPU miners may not keep the pace, unless more miners are deployed to increase your mining power.

Hashrate and Mining Efficiency

The hash rate is the measure of your mining equipment’s processing power. It is measured in hashes per second (H/S) and varies depending on the type of equipment used. Therefore, depending on your miners’ power, the hash rate can be expressed from kilo hashes per second (KH/s) to exa hashes per second (EH/s).

Originally, Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) came to ease the increasing complexity of crypto mining. The first Bitcoin mining with GPU happened in October 2010 to leverage GPU’s parallel processing power, enabling them to compute the cryptographic puzzles faster and more efficiently. 

Their primary advantage is their ability to run multiple operations in parallel, and miners can even use multi-GPU miners to run concurrently. With most modern GPUs, you have up to 2000 times the hashing power delivered by a 20 kilohashes CPU miner. However, as the mining complexity adjusts, GPU miners prove less efficient in handling the networks’ increasing demands. 

Miner Power Consumption

Miner power consumption represents the electricity each mining rig consumes. It is measured in watts (W), and each miner has its power consumption capacity. The amount is usually indicated for each miner, so you can always know how much power a miner will require when you purchase the miner. While the value may seem negligible for one miner, it adds up to considerable power when you have tens or hundreds of miners. Remember, the more miners you have, the bigger your hashing power, and the better placed you are to mine more BTC. But that’s where the problem comes in for GPUs. While ASIC generally has higher power requirements, you can achieve a higher computing power with just a few miners. However, despite GPUs having lower power requirements, miners must deploy many miners, making the setup’s power consumption even higher than with ASICs. 

Power Prices

Electricity remains the most critical factor for Bitcoin miners. Bitcoin mining is known to be energy-intensive, making power bills the biggest expense for miners. Consequently, miners must know the amount they pay per kilo-watt as it will directly impact mining costs and profitability. Most Bitcoin mining colocation services even make power their primary costing model so miners can always compare the rates to minimize costs. 

Generally, GPU miners are known to consume less power than their ASIC counterparts. However, the need to deploy more GPU miners to achieve higher computing power means more power is required to run the miners and the cooling infrastructure. Ultimately, these increased costs reduce the efficiency and profitability of the mining setup. 

Cryptocurrency Value

On the Bitcoin network, every miner who successfully verifies a block receives rewards in Bitcoin. As a result, the price of Bitcoin at any time dictates how much the miners will receive. For instance, Bitcoin is trading at around $70,000, up from the lows of $40,000 in less than a month. With the block reward still at 6.25 BTC, miners now earn about $437,500 per block, up from $250,000. Therefore, for you to mine Bitcoin with GPUs profitably, the value of Bitcoin should be more than the total cost incurred in the mining process while considering the initial cost of the mining rigs.

So, Can You Make Profits with GPUs?

According to Bitcoin mining experts, miners using GPUs may not mine profitably in 2024 or any time in the near future. Speaking in an earlier podcast, EZ Blockchain’s CEO Sergii Gerasymovych talked about mining equipment and efficiency in mining, noting that older equipment have very slim chances of operating profitably. Notably, GPU miners fall in this category.

GPU miners are the second miner types after CPU, which makes them pretty basic compared to modern mining equipment like ASICs. Therefore, most miners who still have GPU miners acquired them years ago, probably after the 2021 bull run that skyrocketed miner prices. Sergii notes that such miners bought the equipment when prices were at the top, and they are yet to profit from them.

For a long time now, even the most efficient miners have been struggling to remain afloat, with a couple of them shutting down their operations. Most of them have been exploring alternative solutions like using renewable energy and hosted mining. They need to maximize their operational efficiency in terms of power consumption and output, which is difficult to achieve with GPU miners. 

Will the Rising Crypto Prices Help?


The crypto market has shown positive signs for the better part of Q1 of 2024. The industry has fully rebounded from a year-long crypto winter and even set a new ATH after crossing the 70k mark. Most miners are now in a better place, but it’s difficult to tell how long this will last. Miners using GPUs could also see some positive change, but they may still not break even. 

The sudden rush in the general crypto prices comes from the anticipation of the upcoming Bitcoin halving event, which will hurt miner rewards. Even though Bitcoin prices have doubled, the halving will cut the mining rewards in half, taking back miners to where they were in December 2023. Even the most efficient investors could still be left struggling to remain operational with near-zero profits. Operational efficiency will be more critical than ever before in the mining industry, and that’s quite changing to achieve with GPU miners.

“I think that those market participants who do not have equipment higher than a hundred tera hash per second will not make money within the 6 months after halving, unless, of course, Bitcoin price goes up,” Sergii notes.

Should GPU Miners Turn to Alt Coins?

One of the aspects that made GPU miners attractive to miners is their ability to adjust and mine more than one crypto coin. As a result, investors can always shift to other coins they deem more profitable. Bitcoin has received much criticism and is termed as highly energy-intensive. Therefore, Some investors may opt to mine other coins, like Ethereum and Ravecoin, with alternative and less energy-intensive consensus algorithms that GPU miners can handle more comfortably.

However, Bitcoin remains the most valuable cryptocurrency, so most investors will always choose Bitcoin over altcoins. It has the highest market capitalization and a relatively high trading volume compared to most altcoins and is still the best crypto coin to mine when you have the right setup. Besides, it has a massive influence on the crypto industry, and with its reward reduction design embedded in its codebase, the crypto has vast potential.

Summing Up

Crypto mining will still be profitable in 2024, but only if you have the right mining setup. With the dynamic nature of the cryptocurrency space and crypto mining, a GPU miner is unlikely to be among the ingredients of a profitable mining setup. Most miners acknowledge the rapid technological advancement in the fast-paced crypto industry and have been quick to adjust to more powerful miners like ASICs.

Some miners may still be in business with GPUs and making some profits amid the skyrocketing crypto prices, but their miners may not be profitable in the long run. Besides, the crypto space fluctuates with huge margins, and no one knows when the current crypto bubble will burst.  

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