You’ve made the decision to mine Ethereum. You’ve research Ethereum mining pools, know which mining software you’ll use, and then you went down the movie card selection rabbit fuckhole and klapper a magic number: 3GB. Mining Ethereum with a 3GB card such spil a GTX 1060 3GB can be far cheaper than an 8GB card like a GTX 1070. The price of a 1070 is just about twice that of the 1060 3GB. So, what gives?
A GTX 1060 with 3GB of RAM like this one can mine Ethereum just fine…
a 3GB GPU, the Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB
…but, so can this GTX 1070 with 8GB of RAM. Which should you choose?
an 8GB GPU, the Nvidia GTX 1070 8GB
Very first, know that you’re not alone. One of the most frequently asked questions by fresh Ethereum miners is if you can mine ether with a 3GB card. The brief response: Yes. The longer reaction: It’s complicated.
Proceed reading and wij’ll outline the pros and cons of mining ETH with Trio GB GPUs.
For those fresh to Ethereum mining
3GB of what?
For those new-to-mining and rekentuig hardware, when talking about a Three GB, Four GB, 8 GB or any GB movie card, what is actually being referenced is how much movie RAM the graphics card has. This can be a limitation for miners which is why this question is asked so often. To understand why it is a limitation, let’s dig a bit deeper into Ethereum mining and something called the DAG.
Ethereum mining at a (very) high level
When mining Ethereum, or any other cryptocurrency for that matter, the movie card, or GPU, or graphics processing unit, is doing the mighty lifting. The work being done can be simply explained spil guessing the reaction to a puzzle. The more computing power the mining rekentuig has the quicker it can guess, and hopefully find the onberispelijk reaction. When it does, it is awarded ter ether.
While this work may sound trivial, it’s more involved than our simpleton explanation, but not by all that much. And, believe it or not, this so-called mining is integral to how Ethereum and most other cryptocurrencies work. What’s significant to know for our purposes is that mathematical puzzles are being solved to make Ethereum a secure and reliable network.
The last lump of the puzzle wij need to talk about is the DAG. DAG stands for Directed Acyclic Graph. If that doesn’t instantaneously mean anything to you don’t worry. It doesn’t to most, and wij’re willing to be most miners indeed don’t know what it is. Our explanation once again will fall far on the elementary side.
The DAG can be thought of spil a necessary lump of the puzzles being solved. Ter solving a puzzle when mining, parts of the DAG are referenced and used te calculating answers. To permit a miner’s GPU ter a movie card to provide solutions spil prompt spil possible, the DAG is stored te the cards movie ram.
DAG hardware limitation
Putting everything above together you may be about to ask, “well, what is the size of the DAG then?” If so, you’re on track to why Three is a critical number when considering movie RAM te movie cards for a mining equipment.
Ethereum’s DAG size
Ethereum’s DAG embarked out at 1GB. It increases at harshly .73GB each year. Ethereum’s DAG size is, spil you likely may have guessed by now, approaching 3GB. The date when the DAG will be larger than 3GB is a moving target due to a diversity of factors. It’s safe to say that the DAG will eclipse Trio GB some time ter the 2nd half of 2018. And, when it does, those 3GB cards will have lost their capability to mine ETH.
The DAG will simply no longer be able to be held ter the Three GB of movie ram on those cards.
You can mine Ethereum with 3GB cards today
So, the effortless reaction is that yes, today you can mine Ethereum using movie cards with Three GB of movie ram. There will come a tomorrow some time te the 2nd half of 2018, however, when you won’t.
Should you buy 3GB cards to mine ether or not?
Maybe. That might verrassing you, but there are a few reasons why kitting out an Ethereum mining equipment with Trio GB cards might not be a bad way to go. Here’s why:
- 3GB cards are significantly cheaper than Four, 6 or 8GB cards
- Ethereum’s DAG won’t rise overheen 3GB for almost a year
- 3GB cards will be able to mine scores of other coins with DAG sizes of 3GB and below
Do the math
Eventually, be sure you understand the vertoning tradeoff inbetween a 3GB or higher mining equipment. Yes, a 1060 GTX 3GB can mine ether, but so can a 1070GTX 8GB. Both cards will work, but knowing which is the best for your situation requires due diligence. A good device to leverage is What to Mine. Get familiar with the cost of mining equipment components, spectacle and price of electro-stimulation to figure out ROI for your unique situation.
Now build that mining equipment – 3GB cards or otherwise!
Wij hope wij’ve armed you with enough information to make a good decision on the mining cards for your Ethereum equipment. If you’re still fighting, leave a comment below and wij’ll do our best to help!