Mining is tough on GPU and boards. They are pushed to their limits, and it all adds up. In pursuit of profit, crypto miners will run multiple cards on a single motherboard, and crank the power limit right up on individual cards. This isn’t fatal, but when you mine cryptocurrency you are running a GPU under full load for a prolonged time. It stands to reason that they aren’t going to last as long.
Do you want to know exactly how long your mining hardware will last before it needs to be replaced? It’s hard to put a best before date on a GPU. These are tough, high-end components built to withstand the constant heating and cooling of intensive video gaming and graphics rendering.
If you are looking for a ballpark figure, you should assume at least 3 years of life out of a GPU. 5 years would be a fairly average lifespan. Even 10 years isn’t unheard of.
There are GPUs out there that like cryptocurrency are approaching their second decade of operation.
There are small alterations you can make to try get more life out of your card. If you live somewhere with expensive electricity, mining at 100% might cost you more than finding what is commonly referred to as the sweet spot.
Hashing speed does not scale linearly with TDP (Thermal Design Power). What does this mean? You can run your cards as fast as they will go, but any profits will likely be cancelled out by the additional electricity it cost to run the cards at maximum power draw. You can compromise, miss out on a few cents profit and tweak each card’s power limit for longevity.
Wear and Tear Is Not Your Mining Hardware’s Biggest Concern
If you are replacing parts on your rig, or upgrading your computer, it’s more likely that you did it because of an increasing difficulty than a malfunctioning part.
For something to have value there need to be scarcity. Most cryptocurrencies have a capped total supply. There will never be more than 21 million bitcoins and currencies like Ethereum become harder to mine over time. This is part of what gives the currency value but it has a secondary consequence for mining hardware.
Look at the difficulty increase in mining an Ethereum block over the last couple of years.
During this time, the average hashrate of Ethereum network has increased since December from ~125492GH/s to ~203394GH/s. Ethereum hobby mining is drawing to a close as the difficulty prices new entrants out. This increase in difficulty has made plenty of GPUs ineffective for mining Ethereum in recent times.
ASICs Have The Final Say In How Long Mining Hardware Lasts
Your chance of getting the block reward and profiting from mining is proportional to how much of the network hashing power you have. Sounds complicated but think about it like this. If there a 2 GPUs mining and you have one of them, you would expect to mine half of all the blocks in the network. You would get half the mining rewards, and life would be good.
What happens is the other miner has an ASICs that is 4xs more efficient than your GPU? You would only get 20% of the block reward.
ASICs are tailor built machines, designed to mine a single cryptocurrency incredibly well. One ASICs might be 100xs more efficient than a GPU mining rig and popular cryptocurrencies have farms of ASICs in a network. You need more hashing power to compete in a network with ASICs. Recently, ASICs have been released for Ethereum and large companies like Bitmain are constantly working on releasing faster and more efficient ASICs.
These machines are often what will decide how long your mining hardware will last before it need to be replaced.
This is why Blockbase lets you choose which cryptocurrency to mine daily. You can stay ahead of ASICs development and mine coins that aren’t oversaturated with big money and corporate interests. Better yet, you have the flexibility to mine whatever coin is most profitable and our experienced technicians will set it all up for you.