What is the difference between ASIC and GPU mining?

ASIC = Application-specific integrated circuit

GPU = Graphic processing unit

There are currently many debates regarding ASIC mining (Bitcoin) vs GPU mining (Ethereum, Zcash etc). At Leetpro we like to stay on the forefront of cryptocurrency trends. We have done extensive research in the current market and have come to several conclusions.

 

ASIC mining in short

A bitcoin machine solves a complex algorithm and receives a reward in the form of a small fraction of bitcoin. The machine is specially built for this purpose and this purpose alone.

 

GPU mining in short

A graphics card solves a complex algorithm and receives a reward in the form of the current cryptocurrency it is mining. There are many different types of GPU mining currencies. Computers are the main mining machine in GPU mining.

Why we currently choose GPU

Resale value

Graphics cards are already being bought and sold second hand globally. This market is huge locally and internationally and easy to reach via advertising. The key here is to use your graphics card until you have recovered your initial investment and made some profit while there is still some warranty left on your card. This would be the perfect time to sell. If the profitability is still sufficient there is no need to upgrade. The usual warranty on a graphics card is about three years. ASIC miners have a warranty of about three months. They are harder to resell as they tend to be more expensive and fall within a niche market.

 

Multi-purpose

GPU miners are normal computers. As we write this blog, we are also mining. However, we do sell custom rigs that are built to the extreme and harness the graphics cards’ computing powers to keep costs to a minimum. In contrast, ASIC miners are built only to mine bitcoin and you cannot use it as a desktop computer.

Energy efficient

We have found that GPU mining’s power usage is way lower than that of ASIC miners. Saving power saves money. We have also had success running our rig on a solar-power system. We wouldn’t advise you to acquire a solar-power system for this purpose only as they are expensive, but if you already have one it could probably be utilised. Mining off the grid is possible.

Noise pollution

ASIC miners tend to be loud as a result of the large fan that has to run constantly in order to keep the machine cool. There are many videos regarding this problem on the web. GPU miners also have fans but to a much smaller scale and won’t make more noise than a gaming computer.

 

Upgrade-ability

To upgrade a GPU miner involves upgrading your graphics card. To upgrade a graphics card is easy and usually, you need not buy an entire new computer. To upgrade an ASIC miner you need to buy a new machine completely. Unless you are upgrading on an enormous scale, upgrading your gaming PC with a new graphics card will then also increase your mining capabilities at the same time. Win-win situation.

 

Return on investment is faster

Since graphics cards are more affordable than ASIC miners, your return on investment is faster. Do the maths.

 

 The cool factor

An impressive graphics card or two just look so beautiful in a custom PC box. In contrast, ASIC miners could be painted, but the warranty would probably expire immediately. They are not cool.

 

Disclaimer

This information is based on current findings. We constantly research cryptocurrencies and will keep you posted as we come across our findings. In the past ASIC miners were more profitable but times have changed and competition has grown. These are based on our findings for 2016 thus far.