Litecoin mining – Radeon 7950 GPU alternative
If you are reading this post, then you probably already heard of Bitcoin. So what is Litecoin? Both Bitcoin and Litecoin is a digital currency or in the crypto world. It is known as crypto-currency because it uses cryptography to secure transactions. If Bitcoin is internet’s gold, Litecoin is the silver.
Litecoin uses a scrypt based algorithm, unlike Bitcoin’s SHA-256.The scrypt algorithm is more reliant on memory, not processing efficiency. That is the reason those specialized hardwares developed for Bitcoin mining will not work with Litecoin and making GPU mining more effective. At the moment, one of the most efficient card to mine Litecoin is AMD Radeon 7950 with its high hash per watt ratio. Radeon 7950 GPU are out of stock fast. I would list some of the best alternatives for those of you that are looking to build a mining rig.
Radeon 7950 alternatives
Top of the line
- MSI TF3 is the best option but alot of people are trying to sell them at a higher price due to the latest mining rush. Some goes for as high as $400-$500, so grab one if the price is reasonable. Do take note that the BE (Boost Edition) models are not the same card and will actually clock a slightly lower mining speed than the non-BE counterparts. It’s not necessarily a bad choice, but given the option, choose the non-BE model if possible.
- Gigabyte WF3 has the same speed as the MSI cards and i’ve been using it in my mining rig. Though there are few reports of blown VRMs on these cards, there is a 3-year warranty by Gigabyte, and the RMA process is rather easy eventhough it’ll take awhile. This one goes out of stock fast too.
- Sapphire Vapor-X is another good choice. It offers 99% of the speed of MSI and Gigabyte cards. This card is extremely low noise at least when compared with the other top mining GPUs and should be considered if your mining rig is located nearby. The Vapor-X is rather heavy compared to other brands with a solid construction. This card never gave me any problem before.
- Sapphire HD 7950 provides the same performance as the Vapor-X except the low noise. The price is a bit lower compared to the Vapor-X so it will still be a good choice if your mining rig is not located within ear shot since you will not be hearing it anyway.
Other good choices
- HIS 7950 IceQ received some good comments, and there are reports of a good hashrate 640+KHash/sec with undervolting. The single fan might be a disadvantage but this card’s performance is solid.
- PowerColor HD7950 is favourable among some miners. Plus it is rather low priced.
- Radeon R9 280X is probably a good choice considering it’s a re-badged 7970. With proper tweaking, this GPU can reach hashrate of above 700KHash/sec. Branding from MSI, Gigabyte and Sapphire are all great choices.
- Radeon 7970 is similar to the 280X with higher hashrate at a higher power consumption.
- Radeon 7990 is essentially two 7970 GPUs in a single card package. This card can go as high as 1300KHash/sec and the downside is the extreme high power consumption and massive heat. Not to forget a high start up cost of the card. However, if power consumption is not a problem and you want the best GPU with the best performance, then this is your card. Both MSI and Sapphire are good choices.
To be Avoided
- XFX is a no no among the mining community. So if you trust their instinct, then don’t go for anything by XFX. On the other hand, there are reports that some of the XFX R9 290 cards could be unlocked by flashing the BIOS to be converted to a R9 290X. So if you are lucky to get your hands on a R9 290 card that could be unlocked, you will be essentially paying a lot less for a R9 290X card.