When I first got my GPU mining for cryptocurrency I had a nagging question in the back of my head.

Should I be overclocking my mining rig to make more profit?

If you know a thing or two about mining you're probably laughing at this.

But if your somewhat a noob (like me) then I've just saved you a few $1000 this year.

I'm going to explain in this article why you should be undervolting your graphics card and overclocking.

Not only will this save you money in the long run but also prolong the life of your GPU for maximum resell value.

As an added bonus I've put together a list of the most common GPU's on the market and optimal settings for undervolting.


Intro to undervolting


As mentioned when I first got into mining cryptocurrencies (ethereum at the time) I had was questioning wether I should be overclocking my graphics card.

It's something I've never done before as I'm not a big gamer. I've dabbled with CPU overclocking back in the day but never a GPU, I wasn't even sure if it was possible.

After some research - which in all honesty was quite difficult I finally came to the conclusion that the consense in the mining community is that you should be unvervolting your GPU. This keeps the cost of electricity down.

In addition to unvervolting reducing the GPU clock speed and increasing the GDDR (GPU memory) speed is the best combination.

This will give you more hashes (a greater hash rate) at a lower cost of electricity usage. Of course, if you don't pay the electric bill and your parents/landlord don't care then this might not apply to yours.


Don't kill your card


Be warned though having a GPU on at full power, mining, 24/7 is going to reduce the life expectancy of your card. By reducing the power (undervolting) not only will you save electricity but also increase the life expectancy of your card.

As an added bonus the heat produced by your card will also drop. If you have 6 GPUs in your rig or more then heat is a problem and less of it is a good thing to have.

Further research and I managed to figure out every graphics card model has different undervolt settings. The go-to tool for undervolting Nvidia cards is MSI afterburner. This tool works with most modern graphics cards and it does not have to be an MSI model either.

Oooo I have a 1080ti

From my initial research, I managed to figure out what the optimal settings were for my Nvidia (Founders Edition) 1080ti were. However, there were variations to this and the card crashed out a number of times before I could get it to be stable.


AMD

The problem got worse when I got hold of some AMD cards, completely different settings were required and I a hard time finding the correct afterburner config. It turns out AMD cards use a utility called Wattman.

As such, I made your life easy with this guide. I've included the most common graphics cards on the market and they're under volt settings. If your card's not on the list please leave a comment at the bottom of the page so I can research it and include it for future website visitors to Mine 2 The Max.

Here's how I came up with the list:

Went to the Nicehash profitability calculator. This is a great tool even if you don't use Nicehash as you can plug in your card settings and get an expected daily price return.

GPU Profit Table - Excel

​From the calculator page I've taken the most common AMD & Nvidia cards and then in detail went and searched each card's MSI afterburner / Wattman settings. You can find all the cards listed further down on this page.

First, though I've included how to download and setup MSI afterburner. I don't have an AMD card so can't go into detail on the Wattman interface but will include the settings.


MSI Afterburner



MSI Afterburner runs best on Windows 10, I'll assume you are running this OS. You can download the tool from here.

When you install it and load it up for the first time you'll be presented with a screen similar to this:

MSI Afterburner Screenshot

The tool is actually pretty easy to use once you know what your doing.  The hard part is applying the correct settings (which we will get to).


1) This is the power limit. By default, this is usually set to 100%. Obvious as we are unvervoliting the card we'll be reducing this number.

2) Temp limit can be ignored.

3) Core Clock (Mhz) - this setting is how fast your GPU clock goes. Memory Clock (just under) is the memory speed of your graphics card. This number will be boosted considerably. For mining purposes, the faster the memory the better.

4) Fan speed - adjusting this will either keep your card cooler or warmer. I have mine set to under 50% as I like a quiet rig. I share the same room as my mining rig so having fans at full whack would drive me nuts. This setting is down to personal preference. Obviously the cooler your card the better for it. Anything above 85oC is asking for trouble.

5) This is the startup button for Windows. Any applied setting is supposed to kick in when the system reboots. however, in practice, I have had to manually go back into MSI afterburner. This button does not seem to work MSI! (at least for me anyway)

6) This table allows you to select which GPU you want to adjust settings for.

7) This is the save button, always remember to do this once you've found your optimal settings.

In addition to these settings, there's also a profiles tab that allows you to have different profile setup depending on what your system is doing. This I guess would be useful if you are switching between mining and another task. However, if you are mining 24.7 on the same rig you can forget about applying different profiles.

Remember the startup menu

As mentioned I could not get the Windows startup button to work for me. As a workaround, I created a shortcut to the MSI afterburner exe file. This by default is located in:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\MSI Afterburner\MSIAfterburner.exe"

Just place a shortcut to the exe in your startup folder - usually:

C:\Users\Scott\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

Replace Scott with your username 🙂

Let's get down to business. The settings I have found online. They will require some testing. Pay particular attention to your temperature settings. If for any reason you find that the temps are going to high or your card is crashing you may have to incrementally adjust these settings. Run your mining software and come back after 10 minutes to see how stable things are.

That's just a given when it comes to overclocking and undervolting.

You will have to tweak. Also whilst I've spent considerable time putting this together I would love some feedback on how you got on with these settings please leave a comment below.


Card 1 - Nvidia 1080ti


Using MSI Afterburner
Power limit: 80%
Core Clock: 150Mhz
Memory Clock: 750MHz
Source of settings: ​(My own settings - running 6 days no downtime)



Card 2 - Nvidia 1080


Using MSI Afterburner
Power limit: 70%
Core Clock: 400Mhz
Memory Clock: 700Mhz
Source of settings: Link


Card 3 - Nvidia 1070ti


Using MSI Afterburner
Power limit: 70%
Core Clock: 0
Memory Clock: 500Mhz
Source of settings: Link


Card 4 - AMD Vega 64


Using Wattman
Core Frequency: -10%
Memory Clock: 1025 MHz
Power Limit: -23%
Source of settings: Link model specific here


Card 5 - AMD RX 580


Using Trixx
GPU Clock: 1275
Mem Clock: 2300
GPU Voltage: -66mV
Source of settings: Link


Card 6 - Nvidia 1050ti


Using MSI Afterburner
Power limit: 85%
Core Clock: 100Mhz
Memory Clock: 500Mhz
Source of settings: Link


Card 7 - AMD RX 570


Using Claymore
-cclock 1112
-mclock 1950
-cvddc 860
-mvddc 900
Source of settings: Link


Card 8 - AMD Vega 56


Using Wattman
P0: 402mhz @ 800 mv P1: 692mhz @ xxx mv P2: 772mhz @ xxx mv P3: 842mhz @ xxx mv P4: 904mhz @ xxx mv P5: 1262mhz @ xxx mv P6: 1344mhz @ xxx mv P7: 1344mhz @ xxx mv
Source of setting: Link model specific here


Card 9 - AMD RX 550



Stock: 1043 Mhz CPU @ 700 mV + 1500 Mhz GDDR5 (275 H/s XMR)
Source of settings: Link



Card 10 - Nvidia Titan V


I could not find any undervolt settings for this card. I am guessing there's not a lot of miners that have purchased this GPU as it's $3k in price.


Afterthoughts


Looking at the original sources of these settings - it does seem to me that the AMD settings are somewhat more involved and take a lot more time to tweak.

This is great news for the geeks.

However, I personally want to set my mining rigs up as quick as possible with the minimal fuss.

Every day is another dollar and spending too much time on config settings could eat into other priority tasks.

That being said - if you are a running a professional mining operation and mean business then squeezing every ounce of profitability out of your graphics cards will definitely make a big difference to your bottom line on an economy of scale.

If anyone has a Titan V I would love to know what your settings are for this resource.


Thanks for reading!

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SCOTT MILLAR  //  IT Rockstars