GPU’s are only useful for mining Altcoins (for bitcoin mining, see ASICS).  AMD offers a wide range of GPU’s that you can easily integrate into your rig.  And with the newer drivers, they are easily detected on windows even with custom bios mods.  They usually offer the best price/hash ratio, and the new rx400 line are very power efficient.  There are reference designs (with a blower fan) and aftermarket designs (with dual or triple fans).  On top of that, some have different memory – hynix, samsung and elpida – which impacts mining performance.  Currently the best algorithms to mine with AMD gpu’s are Equihash (zcash) and Dagger-Hashimoto (Ethereum/Ethereum Classic).

    ***RX470/480 AND RX 570/580 give similar results and power usage when undervolted and clocked properly with bios mods***

  • 7950/7970/7990 and older.  These are very power hungry gpu’s from the litecoin/scrypt days, but have found a new life for mining with zcash.  There are various bios mods available and they are cheap to buy used.  The 7970 is for all intents and purposes the same GPU as the 280x.  For mods see here and here.  As usual flashing roms is at your own risk but can increase hashrate while at the same time reduce power consumption.
  • 270x/280/280x/290/290x.  These are newer version of the previous generation, but there are no major differences.  There is mod info here.
  • Nano/Fury/Fury X.  These are very expensive, top of the line gpu’s.  The Nano is a very small card, but very powerful and power efficient.  There are many bios mods for these.
  • R9 300 series.  Again these are re-branded gpu’s which offer some performance increase with better power consumption, but nothing game changing.  There are also bios mods for these.
  • RX 400 series.  These are incredibly power efficient.  I highly suggest to invest in the new rx series.  Don’t forget the 500 series will be coming out soon (and VEGA).  With bios mods, you can expect a 470 to hash at 27-28mh/s and a 480 to hash at 28/31 mh/s (ethereum) on average while using only 100-150watts.  There are many bios mods, some for reference and some for aftermarket units.

    Hashrates may vary according to bios mods (see how to section) and specific model.

  • Ethereum: Samsung memory may be best, but Hynix and Elpida all mine at decent speeds.  These are very average numbers.  Tweaking may improve them.  Watt values are indicative only, some people get extreme low wattage, but depending on your ASIC chip quality, you may not get the same result.  The Rx470/480 models can underclock the core clock without problem.  Boost the memory clock.
    • rx470 : 28-30 @ 100-125w
    • rx480: 29.5-31 @ 100-150w
    • r9 380: 20-24 @ 150-200w
    • r9 390: 28-32 @ 250w
  • ZCash:  Uses as much power as Ethereum or almost. (now ASIC)
    • 280x: 300 sols
    • 390: 410 sols
    • 380: 230 sols
    • 470/480: 255-300 sols
  • Monero:  Uses about 10-15% less power than ETH.  Depending on optimization, speed may go up +25%.
    • rx470: 950 hashes
    • rx480: 1000 hashes

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