My Graphics Cards Now Pay My Rent

We truly live in interesting times

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Photo by Dimitris Chapsoulas on Unsplash

The obvious drawbacks

  • GPU prices are insane right now, it makes absolutely no sense to buy a graphics card of any kind that you don’t plan on using. My RTX 3090 now costs 400€ more than when I bought it last year — if you can even get it.
  • If I had not paid off the device through other means it would take much longer to break even and start paying for my bills instead.
  • The price fluctuates a lot so you never really know what’s to be expected. I could have always mined ETH at yesteryear’s prices and profited greatly if I held onto it from then till now — but there were also times when it was a clear loss instead of a massive profit. So it’s a leap of faith in the idea of crypto as a whole.

How to mine crypto for home users

Most people consider Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to be synonymous — but it actually makes no sense to mine Bitcoin with your home computer. Those are now mostly secured by servers that are purpose-built for this kind of calculation.

  • Or you go with the turn-key solution of downloading nicehash, registering an account and pressing a single button that magically does everything for you. With the caveats of taking a percentage of your earnings and the fact that they were hacked once and thousands of coins were stolen. But if you transfer your earnings to your own wallet (like everyone should) then this can not happen to you.

Configuring your GPU for maximum earnings, lower temps and power consumption

This step is the most important part of the whole operation, it drastically increases your earnings while at the same time dropping your power consumption. It also keeps your temperatures low and your card’s longevity intact and all it takes is a one-time configuration in a tool called MSI Afterburner.

  • +1125 memory clock
  • Power limit set to 90%

Takeaway: If you have a powerful GPU it is currently well worth it to use it for mining

It is worth reiterating how crazy expensive the prices have gotten not just due to the current Bitcoin boom but in general: I paid 1600€ for my RTX 3090 which was already crazy and now the same card trades for over 2000€ and is still mostly sold out due to scalpers and high demand. My old 2070 Super is worth more on ebay now than what I paid for it — if I had not bent off part of the frame to make it fit in my case it would make sense for me to sell it and buy crypto from the proceeds.

Programmer by day, creative writer by night. Find me at https://codingtofreedom.com

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