On September 15, 2022, the Ethereum network switched to the Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm, and it is no longer possible to mine Ether cryptocurrency. The end of the era of mining on video cards has come.
In 2009, the first mining pool was launched, enthusiasts actively mined Bitcoin using video cards. In 2011, specialized mining devices based on FPGA logic arrays appeared, which overtook the most powerful GPUs twice. But mining on video cards remained the most popular, since it was available to most crypto enthusiasts.
In the spring of 2017, the profitability of mining increased significantly, and attention was paid to this. On the then most popular GeForce GTX 1060 video card, everybody could earn up to 5000 rubles /month.
Increased attention to such a way of earning as mining, in social networks, forums and even TV news, led to the fact that people began to buy video cards in the hope of a big profit soon. As a result, video card prices have skyrocketed. Some took out loans and used the money to build mining farms.
The excitement around mining is often compared to the gold rush. In the mining boom, AMD and NVIDIA companies made good money, rapidly increasing the production of video chips, as well as vendors who sold video cards on an industrial scale directly from factories.
Bitcoin in 2017 could no longer be mined on video cards, and then the attention of miners focused on the Ethereum coin. AMD graphics cards were particularly good at mining Ethereum: Radeon RX 470, Radeon RX 480 and Radeon RX Vega.
The majority in 2017 mined on Ethereum video cards and the slightly less profitable Zcash coin. But the most enterprising crypto enthusiasts also mined other altcoins that appeared en masse, which at first were of little interest to anyone, and therefore it was possible to get a big reward for mining them, and then, when the price rose, a big profit due to these awards. These were, for example, Ethereum Classic, Monero, Zcash, Litecoin, Ravencoin, Dogecoin, Ergo and others.
In 2017, even a regular home computer with a gaming video card brought a good profit and many gamers with a variety of video cards entered mining: from GeForce GTX 960 and Radeon HD 7870 to GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and Radeon R9 390. Someone was able not only to recoup the cost of the video card by mining, but also to sell it on time the price has increased several times.
At the beginning of 2018, after the sharp collapse of the bitcoin and altcoin exchange rate, the mining profitability fell to almost zero in a few months, and miners in a panic began to sell video cards on the secondary market, for which they did not give much, since supply exceeded demand.
In the fall of 2020, there was a new mining boom, but there was also a shortage of electronic components caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2017-2018, prices for low-power video cards almost did not grow, but in 2021 - early 2022, the situation with equipment prices was much worse. Some have started mining on gaming laptops, the price of which has also increased by one and a half to two times.
In 2020-2022, miners mainly mined Ethereum, other altcoins — to a lesser extent, despite regular reports that the network is about to switch to a different consensus algorithm.
On September 15, 2022, Ethereum transitioned, and this coin can no longer be mined. Huge mining capacities were distributed to other coins. The complexity has greatly increased, and the income no longer pays for the electricity spent on mining. So, we can say that September 15, 2022 put an end to mining on video cards. Whether the era will be revived is still unknown, but we must not forget what environmental damage is caused by mining on video cards: the total electricity consumption, according to experts, is comparable to the amount of energy consumed by an average European country.
If you are planning to purchase a video card, then keep in mind that prices have fallen now.
The best prices for video cards are on the secondary market. Cards previously used for mining may have a worn-out cooling system, but the price difference more than pays for the card maintenance.
However, if you want to have a guarantee, etc., then prices in stores have also fallen, although not so significantly. GeForce RTX 3050 is sold in Citylink for 26,990 rubles. In Full HD, the gaming GeForce RTX 3060 can be bought for 38,990 rubles. Powerful GeForce RTX 3070 costs a little more than 50,000 rubles.
Do not forget that scammers have become more active. A well-known type of fraud is when video cards from farms are cleaned and sold under the guise of new ones — this is a common practice in China.