Nvidia adds Performance with Maxwell for Cryptocurrency Mining
Something very interesting cropped up recently in the world of cryptocurrency mining, and no, it is not about MtGox. The media was flooded with Gox news since the demise of the once Magic The Gathering trading card exchange website converted to Bitcoin exchange. Let’s shift our attention back to cryptocurrency mining.
It has been a known fact in the mining world that AMD-based GPUs outperform their Nvidia competition. However, with the continued development of cudaMiner application, Nvidia cards have been gaining performance in Scrypt mining. The new version released (2014-02-18) includes support for the new Maxwell architecture that was released last month. This will be the biggest performance change on mining with Nvidia cards that we have ever seen.
The new Maxwell architecture is introduced on the GeForce GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti. Interestingly, the new Maxwell architecture is focused on optimization for better performance per watt. So, this basically means that, for miners apart from getting a better hashrate with the new release of cudaMiner that supports the Maxwell architecture, it will also do so with a lower power consumption. That is what the cryptocurrency miners are very interested in. Maxwell cards exhibit a 35% peak performance boost per core and twice the performance per watt. That’s a considerable factor given the high energy consumption for mining operations and high electricity bills to consider.
GeForce GTX 750 Ti with an MSRP of $150 have a power consumption of just about 60W. This card with the Maxwell architecture will hash at around 265KHash/sec without overlock using cudaMiner. After overclocking, the hashrate will jump to almost 300KHash/sec. Furthermore, it runs quieter and cooler than its AMD counterpart. On the other hand, the AMD R7 260X which costs $139.99 will hash around 255KHash/sec and consumes almost 130W of power. With the performance per watt in consideration, the new Nvidia card is twice as efficient as an AMD card.
If you have followed our guide on building your own mining rig with AMD cards, the same could easily be applied to building a rig using Nvidia’s new Maxwell architecture.
GeForce GTX 750 Ti mining rig (1.8MHash/sec)
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 – $137
- Processor: AMD Sempron 145 Processor – $39
- RAM: 4GB Corsair DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 2GB) – $50
- Hard drive: 250GB WD SATA hard drive – $40
- GPUs: 6 x Gigabyte GTX 750 Ti GDDR5-2GB – $960
- Power supply: Corsair Builder Series CX500 – $50
- Riser Cable: 3 x PCI-e Riser 16X to 1X – $18
Since coin mining is GPU intensive, the CPU speed is negligible and we have chosen one of the cheapest CPU in the market. The motherboard is the cheapest there is that supports 6 PCI-e ports. If you have been mining with AMD cards, you would have noticed that we got away with a rather cheap power supply unit, as the GTX 750 Ti consumes much less power than AMD cards. With a mining rig that costs $1,300, the six GTX 750 Ti cards would hash at around 1.8MHash/sec.
From now onwards, the performance of Maxwell-based cards should be improving as cudaMiner is developed further to improve the Maxwell kernel. This would also mean that when Nvidia’s high-end Maxwell cards start appearing later this year, the cryptocurrency community would witness a new era of hardware battle.