Recently we were forced to retire 5 of our GPU’s from our mining project. The DAG for Ethereum had increased to a point where the 4GB cards would no longer support the algorithm. This came to light in December. We found that at each DAG Epoch the rig would shut down but upon restart it would mine again at an ever decreasing hash rate. As predicted, once mid-January hit the 4GB cards were basically useless. It was costing the same to run as far as power consumption but the hashrate was decreasing at each restart. We decided that our best bet was to run them until they dropped and then put them up for sale.
Some prospective buyers thought that because they had been used for mining they were past their prime and that I should reduce my asking price. I did not agree. If the card is not overclocked to extremes and the cooling controlled then there should be no issue. In fact if you have a faulty GPU it is more likely it will crap out in the first few weeks or months than it is to crap out after several months of Ethereum mining. 99% of the problems I have found with electronics tend to boil down to connections and power supplies rather than actual onboard failures. This became even more evident when our most recent malfunction with our mining rig (which indicated a fault with two GPU’s) turned out to be the power connections that supplied them. These connections were virtually melted. When I replaced the connections and reconfigured the system I found that the GPU’s were in perfect working order!
Ethereum is undergoing a change that is going to make it less desirable for the average person to mine. Ethereum 2.0 has adopted Proof of Stake rather than Proof of Work. This will greatly reduce the power requirements, as Proof of Stake can be done on a laptop, however it also requires that the validator “stakes” 32 ETH, (approximately $72,00CAD as of this post). This takes hobby mining out of the hands of your Average Joe. Though not necessary yet, some other proposed changes to Ethereum mining will take the incentives away from average miners as well.
My partners and I had decided we would sell the 4GB GPUs and then put that money toward a new set of GPU’s that could be used for mining, however, as these new concerns have come to light I am wondering that as a small scale operation we should not just sell the hardware and put the money into buying Ethereum, Bitcoin or any of the other cryptos available and exit from mining all together.
It is kind of sad. I enjoy the technical aspects of mining. Running the rig in the basement keeps it warm during the winter and how many people can say they own a heater that actually PAYS ME to keep to the house warm?