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Maxwell will bring Nvidia back into the cryptomining game

The GTX 750 Ti isn’t the fastest card on the block with its kh/s rate, but it offers a very competitive price-performance ratio.


The AMD Radeon R9 290X has been a sellout success, but not necessarily because of enthusiasm from gamers. Because of the way AMD designs its shaders — more simple shaders that run at a low frequency clock versus Nvidia’s layout of preferring less but more complex shaders — the card’s architecture is better geared towards cracking the SCRYPT algorithm used by Litecoin. But while AMD isn’t in much danger of losing the pure-performance Litecoin mining throne anytime soon, Nvidia’s new Maxwell-based cards may present a threat to AMD’s market hegemony based upon their price-performance ratio.

According to tests done by various publications across the web, the Maxwell-powered 750 Ti can mine at 242 KH/s and this number jumps to 263 KH/s when the latest version of CUDAminer is used. This doesn’t come close to the Radeon R9 290X’s 1002 KH/s, or the Quadro K6000’s 485 KH/s but consider this: a 750 Ti comes in with an average price of $140 and a power draw of 60W. In comparison, the undisputed king of the mining world — the R9 290X — comes in at around $700 and can require up to a 600W power supply. A performance king, but at a sizeable cost. A mining rig with six 750 Tis should have a respectable hash rate of around 1578 kh/s, but will consume much less power leading to a better price-performance ratio considering the six cards would only cost $900 (slightly more than one R9 290X).

Keep in mind that Nvidia’s high-end Maxwell cards, which will likely occupy the 800-series, are coming in a few weeks and will likely be Nvidia’s answer to the R9 290X as far as mining goes.

But this is all dependent on Litecoin remaining profitable, and the exchange market liquid. Bitcoin is too mature a cryptocurrency to be profitable for miners without the use of an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), and no other cryptocurrency (yet) comes close to matching the exchange liquidity of Litecoin. But Litecoin hasn’t had its “Mt. Gox moment” yet, and it is questionable as to whether it will be as resilient as Bitcoin when that moment comes.

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