Mining cryptocurrencies with powerful computer rigs is pretty hot right now, as cryptocurrencies’ prices are either already sky-high (Bitcoin), or poised to take off and make invested miners a literal fortune (Litecoin, fingers crossed), giving people a lot of motivation to get involved.
The big question on the minds of enthusiasts looking to get started (or old hands looking to maximise their hashing power), then, is which graphics card is best for mining these valuable resources.
Until recently, that was AMD’s Vega 64 card, but then rival card-maker NVIDIA released its next-gen Volta-based Titan V card in early December, and blew AMD’s numbers out the water.
So just how powerful is the Titan V compared to AMD’s VEGA 64? Techradar says its new Volta-based architecture offers 110 teraflops of processing power, making it “around twice as fast” when it comes to mining Ethereum. They tested the card out in a rig powered by AMD’s gargantuan 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processor and 64GB of DDR4 RAM, managing a hash rate of 77MH/s when overclocked and 70MH/s at stock speeds, compared to the Vega 64’s hash rate of 30.9MH/s.
That performance is likely down to NVIDIA’s new Volta architecture, and the fact that they packed in 5120 CUDA cores, gave it a base clock of 1200MHz (which boosts to 1455MHz under load), and 12GB of HBM2 memory. That’s a lot of processing power right there.
That’s a lot of money
But don’t get too excited just yet: the Geforce Titan V is a $2 999 card (that’s R40k in South African terms), compared to the Vega 64’s “mere” $888/R12000 cost. Also, the Titan V is not yet available at retail, and the Vega 64 keeps selling out as miners snap them up the second they hit store shelves.
Despite being billed as a “consumer card” since it sports the Titan branding, the Titan V was specifically designed to handle tasks like AI, machine learning, cryptocurrency mining, and other scientific endeavours.
And yes, it can also be used to play games, in case you’re wondering, outperforming the previous-gen performance king – the $699 GTX1080Ti – by a modest margin. Not enough to justify the price difference, however, in this gamer’s opinion.
And there you have it: the new champion of cryptocurrency mining is a R40 000 beast from NVIDIA that also games like a champ.