The days when it was possible to mine Bitcoin using an ordinary home PC were irretrievably gone. Now mining has become a process requiring special hardware and software. Let’s see what kind of equipment it is, who is producing it and what is better to use now for mining.
It was possible to mine for quite a long time on ordinary home computers but then the evolution of the equipment began to involve the use of video cards for this: in calculating the hash function for closing the CPU unit is not particularly effective, unlike the GPU.
To increase the income from mining with the help of standard components, Rigs were begun to be assembled – powerful computers with several video cards specifically for cryptocurrencies mining. Because of this, the demand for graphics chips has greatly increased — and that’s when major players, manufacturers of graphics chips, drew attention to the mining market.
Advanced Micro Devices is one of the old-timers in the microprocessor market. Now, the company is among the largest manufacturers of processors (both central and graphics) and chipsets for motherboards.
The so-called red Radeon video cards from the AMD RX480 and RX580 series are widely used for mining: in terms of price and characteristics, they are optimal for this. AMD also cares about the support of its devices, constantly releasing software that allows you to manage mining processes more effectively.
In 2018, many computer hardware manufacturers — ASROCK, MSI, ASUS, Sapphire, Rajintek, Biostar and TUL – presented ready-made mining solutions based on chips from AMD. They are focused on various mining needs and differ in their characteristics.
Although AMD had previously stated that it was not focusing on the sale of mining equipment in its commercial activities, recently the importance of blockchain technology has been emphasized on their official resources. It can be concluded that AMD is not going to leave the market.
NVIDIA Corporation is almost 30 years younger than AMD but has already won back a significant market share of graphics processors and chipsets.
The most popular mining cards of NVIDIA were and remain the GeForce GTX: 1050Ti, 1060, 1070, 1080, 1080Ti. There are new versions: 2060, 2070, 2080, 2080Ti. And the company has released special chips for mining graphics cards: P-104-100, P-106-100. Their video cards, by the way, are called green because of the color contrast with AMD.
However, in general, in the mining area, NVIDIA’s business was not rosy. Red AMD video cards have higher power, although green ones consume less power.
High expectations of the company from the mining sphere did not materialize. Due to the long-term decline in the crypto-market, sales of mining equipment have not reached the projected figures. The shares sank, and as a result, the company announced the termination of the production of special mining lines.
Of course, the rest of NVIDIA’s video cards remain in the market, and miners can buy them, but it seems that the victory in the battle of the red and green seems to be for the red.
Intel is probably the most famous manufacturer of computer processors. Their equipment was previously used exclusively for CPU mining. For example, the company developed mining chips for 21 Inc. (later 21 Inc. was renamed into Earn.com and sold to Coinbase).
But lately, this type of mining is not the most popular: classic cryptocurrencies are mined on GPU and ASIC. Those coins that can be mined on the CPU are not so profitable and popular. And the complexity of computing top-end cryptocurrency is constantly growing, which means that we need more computing power. And the increase in the price of electricity, which is consumed in abundance by a powerful processor, has not been canceled.
But the company decided to go the other way and made a real breakthrough: last year, Intel received a patent for a mining device that combines a hardware accelerator of mining, a processor and special software. This patent is issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office only under strict requirements: equipment is an invention, has novelty and industrial applicability.
Thus, Intel will present an innovative device that can change mining as such. This accelerator will allow a 35% increase in power when searching for a hash. It combines a hardware device and a software upgrade for computing hashes. This method can work in conjunction with the ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit — in general, it is a chip specialized for solving a specific problem, in this case — for mining), with FPGA, CPU, and even with SoCs network protocols.