Crypto mining is well known for using a lot of graphics cards and burning them out quickly. Many people have warehouses full of graphics cards running at their highest and fastest performance levels when they think of mining cryptocurrencies, but many people do it in a smaller build at home.
If you’re considering using your GPU to mine crypto, consider whether it’s worth the strain on the device and the cost of electricity compared to what it will do.
How does crypto mining work?
For those who are not very familiar with cryptocurrencies, it can be a confusing topic to understand. However, it is critical to understand how the process affects a graphics card.
If you decide to mine Bitcoin, for example, your GPU, and any other graphics cards connected to the system and commissioned for this purpose, work to generate hash chains by solving problems related to transactions carried out on the network. In short, your computer does calculations and you get paid to do them.
When your GPU does hard work like mining, it generates heat. Heat is the problem many miners face when trying to maintain their hardware. Usually, your graphics card gets a chance to cool down between games or when running lower priority programs.
However, your GPU and CPU will put a lot of effort into mining crypto, which is one of the reasons it’s important choose the right components.
When you mine crypto, your card is running on very high settings almost all the time. You don’t get a chance to cool down and work at a slower pace. Of course, this can increase the strain on your hardware.
Why do people use GPUs for crypto mining?
People use graphics cards for mining instead of CPUs because they can do more work in a given clock cycle. Although they may cost more, the sheer volume of work they can do is far more than makes up for the difference in cost. They are designed to do a lot of hard work, and that really shines during crypto mining.
The faster the work is done, the more cryptocurrencies a given system can mine. Since it can take a long time to earn crypto during this process, having the most efficient method possible is essential. If you don’t, you’re probably not making as much money as you’d need to maintain the system.
Crypto mining and GPU damage
There are two major ways that crypto mining can harm your GPU. These are heat and uptime.
Heat and GPU
Most graphics cards get very hot when working hard. If you keep track of your temperatures, you will see that generate heat up to and over 80 degrees centigrade.
This is a very high temperature and while it may be safe for the GPU, the heat still increases its wear. At a specific temperature that can damage the unit, it will actually shut down to protect itself.
However, running it at a safe high temperature for a long time can still warp the drive, damage internal parts, and dry out the thermal paste. these eventually cause GPU death – although no graphics card will last forever.
Uptime and GPU
Another issue you may run into when mining crypto is how much the graphics card is being used. It’s not like showing your desktop background. When you leave it in use, crypto mining works at a fast speed at all times. All hardware will eventually die and graphics cards are no exception.
The more you use something, the more wear and tear you put on it. So it can feel like your GPU dies sooner when you use it for mining crypto instead of gaming or everyday computing.
Uptime is actually a bigger issue for GPUs used to mine crypto than heat. You can reduce the heat by adjusting the graphics card settings. However, many miners prefer to keep their cards active as much as possible to maximize their crypto payouts.
How to protect your GPU during crypto mining
You can do things to protect your GPU and extend its lifespan while mining crypto. Doing this could help you make more money in the long run, as your GPUs will last longer and you won’t have to buy expensive replacements.
Use the correct settings
When setting up your computer for mining, don’t jump right in before learning how to do it. Experienced crypto miners say that it can keep the temperature relatively low with the right settings instead of reaching the maximum temperatures it is capable of. This should help keep it functional for longer.
Crypto mining is a complex world to enter. Don’t start without learning everything you can before joining a mining pool. You may be able to protect more of your investment that way.
Replace your thermal paste
All GPUs have thermal pads or paste to help keep your components cool. These act as a lubricant and as a way to move heat away from sensitive parts.
The longer you use a graphics card, the more likely it is that the thermal paste has dried out. You might notice that the temperatures on a GPU they appear more often when it is necessary to replace the paste or the pads.
If you are mining and the GPU is regularly active, keep a close eye on temperatures so you know when to replace thermal paste or pads.
You don’t want your graphics card to get covered in dust or dirt. Instead, you want the fans to be free of any debris and the card to be clean. Dust can not only clog the fans and prevent them from working properly, but it can also increase the heat of the card.
If your system is dusty somewhere, be sure to open and dust it regularly. Do not leave it in its components.
You should also keep your system in a relatively cool place so that you don’t have to work against the ambient temperature of the room to keep the GPU warm.
Reduce power limit
If you limit the power the GPU can consume, you keep it cooler. Each graphics card has related software that you can use to adjust the amount of power it draws, its clock speed, and its maximum temperature. Doing this can help it last longer.
Drop the power limit down to 70 or 80 percent of maximum and see what kind of difference it makes to your temps. You might be surprised how much the coolest stuff can work. You can also set a maximum temperature or reduce the voltage. It may not be extracted as efficiently, but
Track your temperatures
Track your GPU temperatures to catch problems before they become real problems. If you notice that its temperature is rising, you can check if it is dirty or need new thermal paste Better sooner than later.
Get used to having monitoring software that reports your GPU temperatures on screen. Get a clear idea of the standard temperature to know if it changes.
Make good use of cooling
Consider using a higher end air cooler that can move more air. You can also look for an all-in-one or custom liquid cooler. These can keep you cooler than standard fans alone.
Make sure you are using good fan management in your case and that you have plenty of places for cool air to come in and hot air to go out.
How long will a 24/7 Mining GPU last?
A graphics card can last for years, even if it runs all day, every day. The most important thing to remember is that temperature control will make a big difference. A card that runs all day at 65 degrees Celsius and a card that runs all day at 80 degrees Celsius will be different after a few years.
Is GPU mining still profitable?
You probably won’t earn much if you use your gaming PC’s GPU to mine cryptocurrencies. Many people participate in groups where all of their cards work together to try to get the job done and then share the reward.
However, a single GPU in a large cluster won’t be as profitable either. It may not even cover your electricity cost. It is essential to know how much you can earn and how much mining will cost you before you start.
Can mining on a laptop damage it?
The high heat and constant work that it takes to make a profit with crypto mining will not suit your laptop and will certainly shorten its lifespan. Laptops don’t have the same heat sinks and thermal options as desktops.
You probably shouldn’t be using your laptop to mine cryptocurrencies. It’s not worth the risk of your hardware compared to the small amount of money you could make using a laptop.