How does the RTX 2080 GPU stack up for cryptocurrency mining? Is it worth the upgrade? We use the Cudo Miner multi-miner to benchmark its performance against the GTX 1080 for four popular mining algorithms.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 is part of the new generation of Turing GPU-based cards that has been long-awaited by gamers due to sophisticated new features such as ray-tracing and deep learning super-sampling (DLSS). While this new state-of-the-art piece of gaming kit looks to give a significant performance boost to new AAA software titles capable of taking advantage of these new features, there has so far been no direct word from the manufacturer on how it might benefit crypto miners.
We got our hands on the RTX 2080 and put it through its paces on our desktop mining rig, comparing it with the trusty workhorse NVIDIA GTX 1080 to see how it stacks up against the older technology. Using several currently popular proof-of-work mining algorithms, we’ve compared the two in terms of raw mining output, as well as hashes per watt and revenue per watt. At-rest power consumption at the wall was also compared with consumption by several energy-intensive algorithms.
The RTX 2080’s revolutionary architecture comes at a fair increase in price – read on to find out if it’s worth the investment.
Our desktop mining rig is based around an Intel Core i7-5930K CPU and 32GB of memory. We’re running Windows 10 build 1083 and made use of NVIDIA’s release-day GeForce drivers (version 411.63) for the RTX 2080. These drivers seemed stable on our setup and we saw no unusual errors under the hood on our mining software.
All tests were conducted with beta version 0.5.1 of the Cudo Miner multi-coin crypto mining software. We focused on the proof-of-work algorithms Ethash, CryptoNight variant 1, Equihash, and Lyra2RE v2. Cudo Miner supports concurrent CPU+GPU mining, but we turned off CPU mining for these tests to ensure it didn’t interfere with our results for each GPU.
Analysing the results
Although both cards consume essentially the same amount of power when idle, the RTX 2080 draws a significantly larger amount of power under full load, with the worst case scenario of a 27% increase over the GTX 1080 when running Equihash.
The RTX 2080 boasts an average of 60% hashrate increase over the GTX 1080 across the four tested algorithms.
Based on launch-day market conditions, we found the Ethash-based Ethereum to be the best coin to mine on both cards. Over a projected month of mining, the RTX 2080 delivers $0.12 per watt, with the GTX 1080 coming in at $0.09 per watt. This translates to a monthly revenue of $17.91 for the RTX 2080 versus $10.23 for the GTX 1080, before electricity costs.
We also trialled the free ETHlargement Pill tool, which optimises memory structures on GDDR5X memory-based GPUs such as the GTX 1080 and claims to boost mining performance for Ethash-based coins like Ethereum. This gave our GTX 1080 setup a roughly 40% increase in output. We don’t know right now if similar tools may be released in the future that will similarly optimise newer generation cards such as the RTX 2080, but if so, this could result in further revenue boosts.
Both cards were tested in our rig with their factory settings unchanged for core clock, memory clock and supply voltages. Overclocking or voltage modding could change the performance for one or both cards, in which case the performance and efficiency gaps between the two may be different.
The RTX 2080 shows an increase in power and efficiency over the previous generation of cards, but is it worth putting down the extra cash? Right now, if you’re looking to get one just to boost your mining revenues, the answer would seem to be no.
Our tests have shown that although there is a slight increase in revenue, the incremental improvement over last generation’s tech is far outweighed by the high retail cost of the RTX 2080. In the future, it’s possible that new algorithms may take advantage of the new generation of AI-driven computational abilities, but right now there’s nothing in the crypto mining world that takes advantage of the full potential of NVIDIA’s new offering.
If you’re looking for a quick return on your investment, at the moment your best bet is still to try and get a good deal on the second-hand market for previous-generation cards such as the GTX 1080.
A bit about the miner
In this test, we used an early beta of our Cudo Miner cryptocurrency mining software. We’re gearing up for the launch of beta v2, which has a host of new features including the ability to choose which currency you earn.
If you want to be the first to try out v2, or want to give the version we used in this test a go, head over to our homepage.
We have performed this test on standard card settings and configurations as a direct comparison. Nothing has been overclocked or optimized specifically for mining. You would expect to increase hashrates according to the level overclocked.