Monero’s mining algorithm uses a Proof of Work system called CryptoNight. It was designed to be efficient with the harware of the casual user.
The algorithm reduces the performance gap, in turn reducing the efficiency gap between GPUs and CPUs for mining. ASICs are not practical for mining Monero.
If you want the most from your money, buying as many cheap CPUs is your best bet.
As we have seen with other popular cryptocurrencies such as Zcash, Ethereum, Dash, Decred, Litecoin, ZenCash and Bitcoin, mining profitability is always directly related with hash rate and power consumption.
Sapphire RX 580
Hash rate: 670 H/s | TDP: 185W | Memory: 8GB
Although not too exciting in of itself, the Sapphire RX 580 performs surprisingly well for a budget-oriented GPU. A single card manages around 670 H/s. Mining with six of these cards will show a hash rate of around 4094 H/s. Taking its price into consideration, the Sapphire RX 580 may be the best card on this list in terms of price-per-performance. If you’re getting into mining primarily as a hobby, this is the perfect GPU for you. If you ever get bored of mining Monero or just want to switch to another currency for whatever reason, repurposing this card to mine something else is a very simple task, as this card performs well across the board for many different cryptocurrencies.
Nvidia GTX 1080ti
Hash rate: 1000 H/s | TDP: 160W | Memory: 11GB
Being Nvidia’s most prized consumer-grade graphics card to date, the Nvidia GTX 1080ti is certainly one of the most competent GPUs for mining. With it, you’ll see a hash rate of around 1000 H/s. The price-per-performance, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Although the RX Vega 56 offers better value for the price, it comes with a heftier price tag. The GTX 1080ti also doesn’t give very satisfying results when paired with another of the same card in a multi-GPU rig.
AMD HD 7990
A fan-favorite from AMD, the HD 7990 is among the best performing AMD cards for mining Monero. Although this card is much older than AMD’s recent RX series cards, it still manages to pull its weight better than most GPUs on the market, including many newer alternatives by AMD. With it, you’ll be managing a hash rate of around 1100 H/s, which is a noticeable improvement over the GTX 1080ti. Even during the recent unpredictability of the GPU market due to global shortages, the AMD HD 7990 manages to be much cheaper than other GPUs, including the GTX 1080ti, making it a perfect choice.
AMD RX Vega 56
Hash rate: 1800 H/s | TDP: 110W to 160W | Memory: 8GB
You may recall this card making headlines last year as AMD made a refreshing move to enter the high-end GPU market. Although things didn’t pan out for AMD in the gaming market as many consumers had hoped, it has certainly made its way into the hearts of hardcore cryptocurrency miners for it’s superior performance in relation to much of the competition.
With a hash rate of around 1800 H/s, it blows away the AMD HD 7990 and GTX 1080ti. That is not to say, however, that it doesn’t come with a burdensome price tag. The RX Vega 56 will costs you more than the GPUs listed before it, but with the power it packs, who’s complaining? If you’re planning on building a multi-GPU rig, this card performs surprisingly well as it combines it’s effort with a twin. Two RX Vega 56 GPUs will return a hash rate of around 3600H/s, which is incredibly impressive.
Sapphire Radeon Pro Duo
Hash rate: 1600 H/s | TDP: 300W | Memory: 8GB
Being the most capable card on this list, the Sapphire Radeon Pro Duo will not disappoint. With a hash rate of around 1600 H/s, it is an absolute joy to mine with. Unfortunately, with great power comes great price tags. This card is as expensive as it is powerful and is likely to empty your wallet. If you’re a professional miner who wants to get the absolute most out of your rig, this is the card for you.