Graphical Processing Unit (GPU)

More commonly known as a graphics card, it is a computer chip that creates 3D images on computers, but has turned out to be efficient for mining cryptocurrencies.


More commonly known as a graphics card, it is a computer chip that creates 3D images on computers, but has turned out to be efficient for mining cryptocurrencies.

What Is a Graphical Processing Unit (GPU)?

A graphical processing unit is commonly known as a graphics card and is most widely used to process images and videos on computers. GPUs can also be used to mine cryptocurrencies. Mined coins use a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism. Bitcoin is the most popular example of a mined coin, although it is not mined with GPUs but ASICs. 

How Does GPU Mining Work?

GPU mining works just like mining Bitcoins with ASICs. Miners have to solve complex math functions, most commonly SHA-256 hash functions. This prevents double-spend of mined coins and secures the blockchain. When a miner has solved the hash, they get a mining reward. 

What Are GPU Mining Algorithms?

There are several GPU mining algorithms. 

SHA-256

SHA-256 is the most popular cryptographic hash function. Its product is a 2-byte (256-bit) signature for text strings. Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Terracoin (TRC) and Peercoin (PPC) are based on the SHA-256 algorithm.

Scrypt 

Litecoin (LTC) uses Scrypt as an alternative to SHA-256. It is less resource-intensive and the output is measured in kilohashes rather than in gigahashes. Scrypt also has a faster block generation time of only 2.5 minutes.

X11 

X11 is an energy-efficient mining algorithm that has its output measured in megahashes. Some of the cryptocurrencies that use the X11 algorithm are Dash (DASH), StartCoin (START), CannabisCoin (CANN) and XCurrency (XC).

Ethash

Ethash was the mining algorithm for Ethereum and is still the mining algorithm for its forks EthereumPoW and Ethereum Classic. 

Cryptocurrencies to Mine With GPUs

Ethereum used to be the most popular cryptocurrency that could be mined with GPUs. However, after its switch to proof-of-stake, this form of mining has become a lot less popular, which caused a crash in the prices of GPUs. The most popular coins to mine with GPUs are:

  • EthereumPoW

  • Ethereum Classic

  • Dash

  • Litecoin

You can learn more about GPU mining in our article What Is GPU Mining?