Crypto mining is the most attractive area of the crypto industry, and everyone wants to jump into it. But what’s stopping them is the fear that crypto mining with GPU may damage their expensive GPUs. The question arises, does crypto mining really damage GPU?
Let’s find out through this article.
Before heading to the truth, you must know how crypto mining works so you know what impacts it can have on graphic cards.
How Does Crypto Mining Work?
If you have recently learned that you can use your GPU for cryptocurrency mining, at the same time, you are new to the crypto industry; then crypto mining can be a confusing topic for you. But we have got your back!
Crypto mining is a process in which miners verify and add transactions to the blockchain ledger. In other words, miners gain coins for solving complex computational problems related to transactions on the blockchain network. Computers do these calculations and get paid for doing them.
For example, if you are mining Bitcoin, to solve each problem successfully, you can earn 6.25 Bitcoins (as of 2022 until 2024). However, not every miner who solves the problem gets paid for their efforts but only those meeting two specific conditions, which are as follows.
1. A miner that first successfully solves the problem.
2. A miner that verifies ~1 MB worth of Bitcoin transactions.
How are GPUs used for cryptocurrency mining?
Cryptocurrency mining is rewarding, but it is power-thirsty.
In the early days, CPUs were used for crypto mining, and people could easily mine crypto using their desktop computers. Over time, with the popularity of cryptocurrency, its adoption increased, and the entire network became complex.
Today the entire crypto network has become so complex that it is nearly impossible to mine crypto using CPUs, as they are slow. Now it requires powerful computers. So, miners have switched to GPUs, which are much faster than CPUs and can quickly solve complex computational problems in a given clock cycle.
Though GPUs are expensive, the more powerful they are, the more the chances of winning crypto mining rewards.
Can cryptocurrency mining damage your graphics card?
Can mining degrade your PC or a graphics card? The simple answer to this question is crypto mining does and does not affect your graphic card. Because the amount of damage it can have on a graphics card depends on how you use it for mining. Using the right settings, you do not have to worry about anything.
Let’s further understand how mining affects a graphic card.
Like every electrical component, a graphic card draws power during its operations. Most of this power is dissipated as heat, and when the graphic card is under heavy load, the components can be heated up more than usual, affecting the overall system.
Similarly, Crypto mining using GPU involves graphic cards to perform calculations by making it work at its maximum continuously. So, GPUs kept running under heavy loads tend to heat up quickly, and if their temperature goes above 80°C or 90°C, it can cause damage to GPU, affecting its overall lifespan.
Moreover, if your GPU is constantly heated up, even at a safe temperature, it can increase tax on the system.
In addition to this, every GPU has a limited lifespan of an average of 3-5 years. You will need to replace it, no matter how you use it.
Another thing you should know is overclocking your GPU for other demanding tasks, such as heavy games and 3D rendering, can also wear out your GPU, causing irreparable damage.
Miners Believe Mining is Less Harmful to GPUs Than Gaming
Some miners suggest that crypto mining does not harm your GPU as playing the latest AAA game. It is because, in the case of mining, GPU attains high temperature and tends to remain at that temperature consistently with a consistent, evenly distributed workload. But gaming involves thermal spikes. Depending on workload, GPU tends to fluctuate between rapid cooling and rapid heating cycles. For instance, GPU’s temperature can go up to 80°C and suddenly drop back to 50°C.
So, miners believe that constant heating up of GPU is less harmful than its random and rapid cooling and heating up.
Researchers Say Mining and Gaming Have Almost the Same Effect On GPU
You can watch the video produced by researchers from UFD Tech in which they experimented using two different GPUs, one used for mining for two years and the other used for gaming off and on.
They concluded that there was only a little difference between them in terms of their performance. It is because it depends on how long your graphic card is mining. Even running 24/7 for a few years should not affect its performance as its average life span is 3-5 years.
Or one can say mining does not damage the graphic card but does affect its longevity.
Another YouTube channel posted a video in which they compared performance by playing games on a new RTX 2080 Ti vs. an RTX 2080 Ti used for mining for one and a half years.
They found out there was only a small performance drop on the mining GPU due to its overheating in the past year.
How To Take Care of Your Graphics Card?
Though crypto mining affects the average lifespan of GPU, you can increase its longevity by taking care of a few things. Here are a few tips to make your graphic card run longer and make more money.
1. Use the Right Settings
Before setting up your PC for mining, it is always recommended to learn how to do things properly. Experts say you can protect your graphic cards by keeping the temperature relatively low if you do the proper settings.
Though crypto mining can be exciting if you do things nicely after learning them properly, the entire mining process can also be rewarding while making your hardware work longer for you.
Experts say you can protect your graphic cards by keeping the temperature relatively low if you do the proper settings.
2. Dust the System Regularly and Keep it Clean
If dust is clogging up your system, it can prevent fans from working correctly, and heat will be trapped, which will eventually overheat the system.
Therefore, if your PC is dusty somewhere, open it up and clean it properly. In fact, if you live in an area with increased dust, clean the system regularly and don’t let the dust leave on the component. Make sure no sediment may cause unnecessary friction degrading the GPU.
Replace the fans if these are not in good condition or not rotating correctly.
3. Reduce the Power Limit to Keep GPU Cooler
If GPU consistently works at the maximum power limit, it can increase its temperature, affecting its lifespan. If you control the power your GPU can draw, you can keep it cooler and ultimately help it last longer.
The optimum power limit for a GPU is 70 to 80 percent. Do such tweaks and see how it works without compromising on mining efficiency. You will be surprised to see how long it can stay cool.
Some GPUs allow adjusting their power consumption limits. If not, you can use a third-party software, such as MSI Afterburner, to reduce your GPU’s power consumption.
4. Keep Your Graphic Card Well-Ventilated
Make sure to keep your PC in a well-ventilated space. If the place is relatively cooler, it will not have to work against the room temperature and will perform smoothly.
Moreover, also try to keep the GPU well-ventilated to prevent overheating. If you are using multiple cards, make you each card has enough space in between for its own proper airflow.
5. Make Sure Drivers are Up to Date
Things can be choppy if your system’s drivers are not updated. So, always ensure your PC is working with up-to-date drivers.
6. Do not overclock your GPU
Though overclocking gives a better hash rate, it puts much pressure on the system. You can adjust your overclocking tool to find the best settings for your graphics card.
How to Avoid GPU Overheating?
Besides taking good care of your GPU, you must know how to avoid GPU overheating because heat is the real enemy of the system.
Here are some ways to avoid overheating of GPU.
1. Beat the Heat with Better Heat Management
GPUs are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations. If your system is unable to remove the amount of heat it is generating, it can melt down the entire system. Effective heat management techniques are the best and only way to protect your PC and GPU.
Keep Track of Temperature Through Software to Detect Overheating in-time.
It can be tricky to tell if the PC is overheating by looking at it or through other physical signs such as burning smells. Therefore, the best method is to keep track of temperature so you can catch the problem before it is too late.
To do this, you can use the following apps to track the temperature and diagnose overheating:
- Real Temp
Regular temperature monitoring can help you identify temperature problems before they can cause any severe damage to GPU.
2. Replace the Thermal Paste
GPUs have thermal paste or pads which act as a lubricant to help their components cool by moving away heat.
This paste can be dried up over time. After which, you will start noticing that the temperature rises more often. At this point, you need to change the paste or pads of your GPU.
Keep track of temperature and paste so you can replace the paste in time.
3. Consider Using Additional Cooling Option
You can also use a higher-end air cooler to make good use of cooling. An All-in-one or custom liquid cooler can be your option to move cooler air through the system compared to GPU fans alone.
In this case, ensure there are many places for hot air to go out and cool air to come in.
4. Achieve Lower Temperature by Overclocking and Undervolting
Overclocking is increasing your GPU’s clock rate so it can run at a higher speed than it was designed, improving the system’s overall performance. While undervolting is reducing the voltage consumption of the GPU.
By combining overclocking and undervolting, GPUs can run faster with less power consumption, keeping the temperature relatively lower during mining. In other words, your GPU will run for longer with stable performance.
However, to do this, you will need highly specialized software, and you must do everything correctly.
Should I use Second-hand GPU for Mining?
Many miners opt to use second-hand GPU for mining. If you are also thinking of doing the same, you must know how a GPU was previously used. For this, you must see the uptime of the GPU.
Uptime and GPU
Uptime is how long a GPU is being used without any problem.
If you consistently use your GPU for mining, working at its maximum speed all the time, it will eventually die. It means your GPU will die sooner if you use it for mining.
In that case, if you are buying a second-hand GPU that was previously used for mining for a long time, it will not be that rewarding because this GPU is near death.
Crypto mining is rewarding, but you must take care of your GPUs if you want to get maximum profits. Otherwise, your GPUs will wear out sooner than their average life span.
Follow the directions mentioned in this article to take care of your graphic card and increase its longevity.
Can overclocking damage GPU?
Overclocking increases the overall performance of the GPU. But overclocking can also damage a GPU if the clock speed is increased to extreme limits. Therefore, it is always recommended to stay within limits.
Is there a cryptocurrency I can mine with just one GPU and computer?
There is no limit on the number of GPUs you must have to mine any cryptocurrency. You can start mining any cryptocurrency, even with one GPU. However, mining crypto using just one GPU is not that profitable.
How much can I earn with 1 GPU used for mining?
You can expect an excellent daily income with the latest generation GPU. According to WhatToMine, a website tracking crypto mining profitability, one can expect to earn as much as $7 per day with one Nvidia RTX 3080.
Which is the easiest crypto to mine using GPU?
Monero is one of the easiest cryptocurrencies to mine using GPU.
Which is the most profitable crypto to mine using GPU?
We hope you found this guide helpful. Don’t forget to leave your comments in the comment section. Stay tuned for more valuable content!