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2021 has been great for PC games, seeing the release of hugely popular titles such as Hitman 3 and Ghostrunner, with the latest versions of established series like Far Cry (Far Cry 6) and Battlefield (Battlefield 2042) set to release before the year ends.
The release of the aforementioned PC games makes the need for a great graphics processing unit (GPU) for gamers even more pressing. A good GPU not only provides a richer gaming experience, it effectively takes some load off from the CPU and increases the overall performance of 3D applications and software you use.
In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the top 5 GPUs you should consider buying to make the most of current and upcoming PC titles. We’ll also discuss their crypto-mining capabilities, as GPUs have now started being used for mining due to their efficiency over CPUs.
GPUs for Crypto Mining and Gaming:
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
- AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
- Nvidia CMP 40HX
- AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
After introducing each GPU, we will explain:
- Which GPU is best for crypto mining
- Which GPU is best for gaming
1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
Starting at just $699, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 contains the new and improved Ampere architecture. Crafted with 54 billion transistors, the Ampere architecture is a technology that accelerates AI adoption. The architecture also brings upgraded tensor cores for Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), tapping into groundbreaking AI to boost frame rates while generating excellent, crisp game images.
By extending the power of tensor cores, Ampere architecture allows you plenty of room to crank up your gaming resolutions to the max for a stunning visual experience. The RTX 3080 brings 10GB of GDDR6X graphics RAM, 320-bit memory interface width, memory speed of 19,000 MHz and a maximum digital resolution of 7680×4320, allowing it to provide a splendid gaming experience while delivering a highly improved performance in comparison to its predecessor, the RTX 2080.
Furthermore, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 features ray tracing, simulating the physical behavior of light to bring real-time and cinematic-quality rendering to even the most visually intense games. The best thing about the ray tracing feature in this card is that due to DLSS technology’s video rendering techniques, it doesn’t sacrifice the frame rate while maintaining amazing video quality. It also introduces a new thermal-optimized design that promises 55% airflow, 30% more efficiency and the ability to be up to three times quieter during heated gaming sessions.
Although the RTX 3080 has limited potential for crypto mining, it is still one of the fastest GPUs for Ethereum mining, giving a baseline FE measurement of 85 MH/s. The performance can be further tuned to get around 93 MH/s, but it has to be noted that the processor can limit its mining performance unless modded with better thermal pads that lower memory temperatures.
2. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT is AMD’s comeback to the high-end GPU market. Powered by Navi 21 graphics processor, it sports Red Team’s RDNA 2 graphics architecture based on a 7nm manufacturing process, allowing it to bring very powerful performance to the table.
The card contains DirectX 12 Ultimate capability, guaranteeing support for ray tracing and variable-rate shading. With the Radeon RX 6800 XT, AMD has paired 16GB GDDR6 memory with a 256-bit memory interface, leading to smooth and high-quality gaming visuals at both 1080p and 4K. At $649, this kind of high video quality is truly astounding.
Radeon’s image sharpening technique allows the RX 6800 XT to employ a contrast-adaptive sharpening algorithm that enhances in-game visual clarity and brings out clear details without impacting the overall game performance.
The high-powered GPU also contains what Radeon refers to as the ‘Infinity Cache’, a massive bandwidth amplifier that allows the cache to be seen by the entire graphics core, allowing for faster rendering during gameplay while reducing the power consumption.
Additionally, the RX 6800 XT comes with a memory speed of 16,000 MHz and a Boost Clock of 2250 MHz. These clocks let gamers enjoy a seamless gaming experience at high FPS levels for the majority of games.
Like other top AMD graphic cards, the RX 6800 XT can be used to mine cryptocurrencies like Etherium, Beam, Expanse and Ubique, all at an amazing hash rate of 65 MH/s, with a power consumption of 135 watts. You can find its detailed mining hash rate details here.
3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090
The GeForce RTX 3090 claims to provide ‘the ultimate gaming experience.’ At a whopping $1500, you should fully expect it to. The ferocious GPU is stuffed with the same Ampere GA102 graphics processor as the GeForce RTX 3080, but it has more of everything – it contains 328 tensor cores, 82 ray tracing acceleration cores and 10,496 Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) cores.
These upgraded cores help with playing ray-traced games at 1440p and 4K resolution with utmost ease. The RTX 3090’s mammoth 24GB of GDDR6X memory capacity exceeds the typically recommended 16GB, which, combined with its memory speed of 19,500 MHz, allows for a blistering gaming experience like no other.
At the time of its release, the RTX 3090 was the world’s first graphics card that enables you to play and watch games at 8K HDR, although other GPUs have followed suit since. At this level of gameplay, the detail is so crisp and clear that you’ll be able to easily discern individual blades of grass. Additionally, distant game elements such as avatars’ skin wrinkles are instantly recognizable. It also contains Nvidia Reflex, a bouquet of technologies designed to analyze and reduce input lag and system latency for a phenomenal gaming experience.
The high memory of RTX 3090, combined with the 10,496 CUDA cores and an astounding hash rate of 121 MH/s also makes it a top option for crypto mining – you might easily make it to three digits each month, depending on your power consumption.
4. Nvidia CMP 40HX
CMP 40HX by Nvidia is a professional crypto mining focused graphic card. Based on Turing architecture, Nvidia’s CMP 40HX comes equipped with the TU106 graphics processor, 2304 shading units and 256-bit bus width. The Turing architecture allows the card to function effectively with its 12 nm chipset.
With an introductory price of $699, the classy GPU features 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM and operates at a frequency of 1470 MHz, with a memory speed of 14 Gbps. Additionally, it features 144 texture mapping units and 64 render output units (ROPs). The card also contains DirectX Ultimate capability, leading to incredible graphics performance through variable rate shading for gaming.
The CMP 30HX is optimized for Etherium crypto-mining performance. The card allows a fully open, airflow-optimized bracket and is configured to allow high mining efficiency. Its extremely durable ball bearings can withstand years of intense use, and remain virtually silent while spinning under load. The powerhouse is rated at 185 watts and adheres to a 36 MH/s hash rate. However, ASUS’s internal testing performance of eight CMP 40HX prototypes was revealed through an image by VideoCardz, and the cards were each pumping out over 43 MH/s, leading to even greater promise over the crypto mining performance of the CMP 40HX.
5. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is a high-end GPU built on the 7nm process and based on Navi 10 graphics processor. At just $450, it provides amazing value for money as well. AMD has paired the card with 8GB GDDR6 memory connected using a 256-bit interface, with a memory speed of 14 Gbps.
The RX 5700 XT’s RDNA architecture allows incredible visual effects combined with reduced latency levels to make for a very responsive gaming experience. Its Displayport 1.4 data and audio connection supports up to 8K resolution at 60 Hz or 5K at 120 Hz, allowing a truly immersive experience.
When it comes to crypto mining, the RX 5700 XT is right up there among the best. It has an average mining hash rate of 54 MH/s, which is truly astounding for its price range. It is a great option for mining a variety of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Monero and Ravencoin, among others.
The beast is equipped with a cooling system with an aluminum radiator, copper tubes and dispersion blades, designed specifically to increase airflow efficiency. This system allows it to maintain its performance consistency to a great extent during mining, withstanding high amounts of heat.
Which GPU to buy in 2021?
Since we have discussed all GPUs with regard to gaming as well as mining capabilities, we’ll divide this section into two parts, looking at both these factors.
Which GPU should you buy for crypto mining?
All the aforementioned GPUs contain strong mining capabilities in general. However, when they are pitted against each other, some major differences come to the fore.
Although Nividia’s CMP 40HX is designed specifically for mining and has its strong points, it’s ultimately a low-end mining option by Nvidia, especially keeping in mind that the 50HX and upcoming 90HX blow it away in almost all aspects.
The Nvidia RTX 3080, Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 5700 are all strong contenders in their own right, with good hash rate levels and processing speeds. However, miners typically seek to mine for very long durations, and the possibility of the cards heating up is very real. There is a high probability that you’ll need to wait for a very long period of time to realize a good ROI with these options, if at all.
That leaves the Nvidia RTX 3090 as the last GPU standing. Its incredibly high 24GB memory, coupled with the jaw-dropping hash rate of over 120 MH/s, make it an ideal option for miners, even for the longest durations. Yes, it is priced significantly higher than the other GPUs discussed in the article, but the main thing to keep in mind here is that if your priority is crypto mining, there genuinely is no better option than the RTX 3090.
It’s understandable if you want to forego the powerhouse for less costly options in terms of gaming, but when it comes to mining, you should cough up more cash and get your hands on the RTX 3090. You’ll have the best possible shot at recouping your investment a few months down the line, so go for it!
Nvidia also hinted on limiting graphic cards capability for mining to keep the availability of its top hardware for gaming users.
Which GPU should you buy for gaming?
The CMP 40HX is made primarily for mining, so we’ll not consider it here. Moreover, although the RX 5700 XT has good enough gaming specs, its primary strength also lies in the mining department. All the other three among Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080, GeForce RTX 3090 and AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT pack a real punch in terms of overall gaming performance, but when it comes to choosing which one to go for, various factors come into consideration.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 graphic card is the clear winner when it comes to gaming, but there is a caveat – at $1500, it’s priced way higher than the other two. If you are a deep-pocketed enthusiast who doesn’t mind spending exuberantly for the absolute best performance possible – both gaming and general – then it’s the GPU to go for. But if price is your concern, you should narrow the options down to the other two.
Even though Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is priced $50 higher than AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, its Ampere architecture brings more to the table in terms of performance improvements than the latter’s RDNA 2 architecture. Furthermore, RTX 3080’s DLSS technology significantly improves the image resolution of games with minimal impact on the FPS rate. As such, RX 6800 XT doesn’t offer a direct counterpart to DLSS.
From the 10-game DirectX Ray Tracing benchmark comparison at 1440p resolution above, we can see that RTX 3080 holds an edge over RX 6800 XT in all but two games – Godfall and Dirt 5. The overall average of 61.5 FPS across the 10 games is better than RX 6800Xt’s 45.8.
For all these reasons, you should shell out a little more cash and go with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 – the extra $50 shouldn’t be a reason to give up its impressive features and slightly better overall gaming performance.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to let us know in the Hackernoon Community.
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