Many people would be surprised to know that mining for cryptocurrency requires the use of a gaming computer’s graphics processing unit. However, without a graphics processing unit, it wouldn’t be possible.
Until mining came along, GPUs were used solely for accelerating the rendering of graphics on a screen. These units can process a lot of data simultaneously and quickly making them ideal for gaming, video editing, and machine learning.
Nowadays, however, they are used for all that and mining on top. GPU mining is using this gaming processing unit to solve complex math problems, validate new blocks, and verify transactions on the blockchain.
GPU Mining Algorithms
Different cryptocurrencies are on different blockchains and different mining algorithms are also used for different cryptocurrencies.
Since the hash differs depending on the type of blockchain, only some hashing algorithms support mining GPUs.
Also known as a cryptographic hash algorithm, SHA-256 functions on a 256-bit intermediate hash value and a 512-bit message block.
The X11 gets its name from the fact that the proof-of-work blockchains that run this algorithm run on a sequence of 11 hashing algorithms. This algorithm is the most energy-efficient and uses around 30% fewer watts. Dash, XCurrency, and StartCoin all use the X11 algorithm.
An anonymous programmer called ArtForz first created the Scrypt algorithm and is currently used by Litecoin. This algorithm is much faster than the SHA-256 and is highly resistant to large-scale attacks.
Ethereum is the most well-known crypto to use the Ethash algorithm and is the one that the algorithm was initially specifically created for. The creator, Vitalik Buterin, and the Ethereum team designed this algorithm to be ASIC-resistant.
Why Is GPU Not CPU Used for Mining?
In the beginning, anyone mining for Bitcoin had to use a CPU (central processing unit) in order to do so. However, with the passage of time came an increased interest in mining and demand, and therefore, miners need faster ways to mine and validate new blocks.
Because the demand became so great, a CPU was no longer powerful enough to get the job done. In fact, now, if you were to use a CPU to mine, you could spend your whole life doing it and not mine a single block.
Therefore, the faster, more powerful GPUs are needed to get the job done and keep up with the sheer number of people mining day in day out.
GPU Mining FAQs
Does Mining Damage the GPU?
Part of the process of mining is keeping your rig at the correct temperature and ensuring your GPU doesn’t overheat. If someone is careless with that aspect or doesn’t know what they’re doing, then it’s possible that the GPU will become damaged.
However, with the correct treatment, a GPU can be used for years for mining without issues.
Can You Use a Second-hand GPU for Mining?
If you want to save a few bucks, you can buy a second-hand GPU to mine and not experience any problems. Provided the previous owner took care of the graphics unit and sold it in working condition.
The most important part when buying second-hand is ensuring that the unit is a relatively recent model, otherwise, you may struggle to mine if your GPU is too out of date.
Can You Game and Mine at the Same Time?
You can but it’s not particularly recommended. Doing both at once could cause too much wear and tear on your GPU. If possible, you should use a separate device for gaming and mining.
What Is a Mining Pool?
A mining pool is a group of people who collectively agree to pool their resources and share the profits.
For example, have you ever split the cost of a bunch of lottery tickets with work colleagues or friends with the agreement that if one of the tickets wins you all share the prize? While you might have to share the prize, there is more chance of you winning in the first place. After all, it’s far better to share $1 million, than it is to keep 100% of nothing.
Well, a mining pool works in the same way. The group of miners will collectively use their resources to create more mining power. The more mining power you have, the higher the chance is that you will generate a block on the blockchain and therefore, receive the reward.
One of the best parts of joining a mining pool is that you don’t have to match other investors. The reward is divided relative to how much power each member contributed. This means you don’t have to be stinking rich or own a ton of resources in the first place. You simply take out proportional to what you put in.
Change Your Future with Mining Syndicate
If you would like any more information about starting or expanding your Bitcoin horizon; reach out to us at Mining Syndicate. Our mission is simple: Strengthen the Bitcoin network by enabling small-scale miners to affordably purchase and reliably host miners.
As a small miner, Chris became frustrated by the lack of hosting options available for miners with under 100 units. As luck would have it, he found a 2.5MW mining facility for sale right down the road, and thus, Mining Syndicate was born. Facilities #2 and #3 are already in the works.
Why is Mining Syndicate so successful? Because we have a team of people who are just like you, eager to be a part of the future of mining. If you would like more information about how you can be a part of Mining Syndicate, how our facility works, or the products we sell, you can reach out to us here.