PCPOWERPLAY - - Contents -

An in­ter­est­ing devel­op­ment has arisen in the cryp­tocur­rency world. Lower end GTX 1060 cards with 3GB of VRAM could soon flood the se­cond­hand mar­ket and be­come avail­able in stores once again due to, of all things, a re­cent Win­dows up­date.

ASIC re­sis­tant cryp­tocur­ren­cies like the pop­u­lar Ethereum use lots of VRAM, and the amount of VRAM re­quired grows over time as the dif­fi­culty in min­ing them in­creases. Cur­rently Ethereum re­quires a bit over 2.3GB of VRAM, which is well un­der the 3GB limit of the cheap­est GTX 1060’s. How­ever, Win­dows also needs to re­serve some VRAM for it­self for OS GUI op­er­a­tions ( and this is pre­sum­ing you’re not do­ing any­thing else on the sys­tem that might also use VRAM). A re­cent Win­dows 10 up­date sees Win­dows re­serve more than 660MB for it­self, push­ing it over 3GB to­tal, ef­fec­tively ru­in­ing the min­ing ef­fi­ciency of that card in Win­dows 10.

Linux and Win­dows Server OSs re­main un­af­fected so there is a lit­tle life still there for these cards, but their time is run­ning out. N ow min­ers hunt­ing for max­i­mum ef­fi­ciency will pre­sum­ably be look­ing for the next best card in the form of the 4GB RX 570.

Low-end cards like the GTX 1060 are grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity with crypto min­ers

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