Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Mining Performance Review
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The GTX 1080 series were released by Nvidia past year as an upgrade to the 980 series. Originally, those GPUs were meant to be used by gamers only, but the deficit of AMD mining GPUs made miners interested in the GTX 10x0xx series too. In this article I will dive as deep as possible into the possibilities those card offers for mining.
For those of you who are into Ethereum mining, I will start this article by anticipating that the GTX 1080/1080Ti is not good for this crypto coin. Hashrate-wise it can be configured to throw big numbers, but power-wise it will remain inefficient, as well as the high cost of the card makes it have high ROI.
That being said, the GTX 1080/1080Ti can be employed for mining other algorithms, which is something I will review here. While no one will recommend you to purchase a GTX 1080/1080Ti for mining purposes only, you can profit from it if you already have one or two in your gaming rig.
Nvidia GTX 1080 and 1080Ti Specs
GeForce GTX 1080Ti
- GPU Architecture: Pascal
- Frame Buffer: 11 GB GDDR5X
- Memory Speed: 11 Gbps
- Boost Clock: 1582 MHz
GeForce GTX 1080
- GPU Architecture: Pascal
- Frame Buffer: 8 GB GDDR5X
- Memory Speed: 10 Gbps
- Boost Clock – Relative: 1.4x
- Boost Clock – Actual 1733 MHz
Recommended Hardware for 6x GTX 1080 Mining Rig
- Motherboard: ASRock H81 PRO BTC, GIGABYTE GA-H110-D3A, Biostar TB250-BTC PRO
- CPU: Intel Celeron G1840 for ASRock H81 PRO BTC, Intel Celeron G3900 for Gigabyte H110-D3A & Biostar TB250-BTC PRO
- RAM: Kingston HyperX FURY 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 for ASRock H81 PRO BTC, Kingston Technology HyperX FURY 2400MHz DDR4 for Gigabyte H110-D3A & Biostar TB250-BTC PRO
- SSD: ADATA SU700 120GB
- PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA G3 80 Plus Gold 1000W
- Dual PSU Adapter: Add2PSU Multiple Power Supply Adapter
- USB Risers: USB Riser VER 008 PCI-E 16x to 1x 60cm USB 3.0 Extension Cable
- Power Button: 2 Pin SW PC Power Cable on/off Push Button ATX Computer Switch Wire 45cm
- Energy Meter: TP-Link HS110 Smart Plug w/ Energy Monitoring
- Frame: https://1stminingrig.com/product/aluminum-mining-rig-open-air-frame/
As you could notice, the GTX 1080 series use GDDRX memory, which seems to be the new VRAM standard for Nvidia high-end cards. While on paper GDDR5X is faster than its predecessor – the GDDR5 – it proved to perform worse for mining. Experts say that this is due to different clock timings and architectural nuances. Whatever is the case, it is certain that GPUs equipped with GDDR5X VRAM are not meant to be used for Ethereum. Some speculate that this issue could be fixed by modifying the BIOS, but no one could prove that yet.
Nvidia GTX 1080 Series Ethereum Hashrate
GTX 1080 Ti
On stock settings, the GTX 1080 Ti FE outputs 32.04 MH/s. This is a bit better than the GTX 1070 which starts at 26 MH/s and can be overclocked up to 31-32 MH/s. The tests were performed using Claymore’s Dual Ethereum GPU Miner 9.4 on Windows 10 v1703 (which is considered the best Windows 10 version for mining).
Power Draw: 250-285 W
Now, we can achieve up to 35 MH/s in Ethereum if we overclock it (memory clock +300 MHz), 37 Mh/s memory clock +750. The power draw becomes about 10% more, so it goes hand by hand with the increase of hashrate. It can be undervolted by lowering power limit to 80% / 85% either 75% depends on the GPU if it can handle it.
The GTX 1080 is about 40% slower, hashing only 20.35 Mh/s using the same setup. This means that it outperforms the GTX 980 eight times, with the 980 hashing only 2.95 MH/s. While that is a huge improvement indeed, it is still far from the AMD line, with the RX 480 outputting 24.86 MH/s on stock settings.
Power Draw: ~180 – 216 W (stock – OC, respectively)
We can conclude that the GTX 1080 Ti does not have the same VRAM timing issues the 1080 has; therefore it performs notably better on Ethereum. However, the differences end there – most miners will still agree that either GPU is not profitable for ETH because of their elevated price and power consumption.
It is worth mentioning that Nicehash provides us with even lower hashrate. Another important note is that the GTX 1080 might hash up to 23 MH/s if you run it on Linux rather than Windows 10. Looks like Win 10 still got driver compatibility issues with new Nvidia cards, even though they are not as bad as they used to be a year ago.
GTX 1080 Series Non-ETH Hashrate
On stock settings, the 1080 Ti outputs 740 Sol’s with a power draw of 285 W. This can be further improved by reducing the power target by about 75% – 80%. While this will drop the hashrate to about 600 Sol’s, the power draw will be reduced to 150 W, which will notably increase power/hashrate ratio. Depending on the price of ZCash and how much you pay per KW of electricity, underpowering your card might be the best solution.
Overclocking them might get you up to 775 Sol’s, but the power draw increase might not be worth it, depending on the cost of the coin, electricity cost at your place and the card edition.
The 1080, on the other hand, goes about 500 Sol’s on stock.
Thanks to Cryptomining blog, we know how the GTX 1080 performs on other algorithms. By ‘overclocked’ we mean Power Limit + 20%, , Memory Clock + 125 MHz and Core Clock + 240 MHz.
Once again, it is worth mentioning that overclocking is not always the way to go. Depending on your card manufacturer and batch, it will react differently to overclocking. However, these numbers can be considered a decent baseline – while overcocking and underpowering will certainly lead to better results, do not expect those to be better than 10-20% (the average performance boost is 12%).
As for today, I haven’t found any magical clock/power target setting that would make either the 1080 or the 1080Ti have notably higher hashrate or notably lower power draw. Obviously, there is difference between OC and non-OC hashrate, but it is the same as you would expect from any other GPU.
It is also worth mentioning that Neoscrypt performance went form 265 KH/s to 985 KH/s once the ccMiner 1.7.6-r10 came out.
The GTX 1080 series were around since June 2016. If you’re looking for reviews of the card on the web, it is important to check the date of any review you find. Until some months ago, it was almost impossible to run a GTX 1080 on Windows 10 for mining. People would get extremely low hashrates on their 1080’s, sometimes as low as 4-5 MH/s for Ethereum. This was partially solved by the latest Windows 10 updates, though.
Also, the elevated power draw of the GPUs makes the cards hot. No wonder why most 1080 editions come with two or even three fans. You might experience heat issues if you install all your 1080/1080Ti together on one single MoBo. In order to avoid that, you might want to use risers. This will allow you to keep the cards apart from each other, thus making heat dissipation more effective.
Finally, the GTX 1080 Founders Edition has rather low TDP (+20% increase limit), with power consumption limit of 216W. It is expected for third-party GTX 1080s have somewhat higher TDP, however opinions differ.
GTX 1080/1080 Ti Price
Price-wise, the GTX 1080 and 1080 Ti are rather expensive. They do outperform the 1070 and 1060 when it comes to gaming, but as you already noticed, they don’t do really well when it comes to mining.
What numbers can we expect?
The GTX 1080 Ti Reference Founders Edition hovers around the $ 700 price mark. For the same price, you can but the PNY variation which comes with higher overclocking potential than the FE.
Clock-wise (no pun intended), the FE features 1,480MHz and 1,582MHz base and boost clocks, respectively, while the PNY comes with 1,531MHz base clock and 1,645MHz boost clock. Those extra 63 MHz might actually notably affect hashrate.
Now, the situation with the GTX 1080 is a bit more complicated since most of those GPUs are already sold. Most shops will either tell you that they ran out of stock or offer you the GPU for $ 800+. The only place where I found a GTX 1080 with its original price tag is Best Buy – they offer you the Nvidia Founders Edition for $ 550.
GTX 1080 and 1080Ti Best Prices
If you’re assembling a rig from zero, then I will recommend you to check other cheaper GPUs for that purpose. You can either try to get some GTX 1070s, or wait for Nvidia and AMD to release their mining GPUs. Whatever is the case, the 1080 series are only justified to be used for mining if you already have one on your gaming PC and want to make an extra buck with it.