GPUs And ASICs – A Never Ending Battle For Mining Supremacy

Since Bitcoin’s inception in 2009, cryptocurrency mining has been popular both for average enthusiasts and hardcore fanatics.

In the early days there was no such thing as an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), which are more commonly known as ASIC chips. Mining was first done with regular Central Processing Units (CPUs), which meant PC enthusiasts with the best hardware had a head start mining Bitcoin.

According to an article by University of Washington Professor Michael Bedford Taylor, a little over a year later in 2010, people around the world were given the code to begin mining Bitcoin with Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), which sparked the beginning of many a nerd’s love affair with mining the preeminent cryptocurrency.

It didn’t take long for hobbyists to start building rigs, with graphics cards suspended over a motherboard, connected with PCIE extension cables. This led the way to a plethora of different adaptations, as miners looked to increase their hashing power.

The party was spoiled somewhat with the development of ASIC miners, which entered the market in 2013 with more powerful chips constantly being developed that completely outperformed their GPU cousins.

Nevertheless, enthusiasts have continued to build mining rigs with the top graphics cards. This has been a boon for GPU manufacturers Nvidia and AMD over the past few years.

Mining – in layman’s terms

Mining is the process in which transactions are recorded and immutably stored on the Bitcoin Blockchain. For a more in-depth explanation of the process, you can read our essential guide here.

This process is done by computers, which firstly take Bitcoin transactions and bundle them into a block. Once the block reaches its maximum capacity (1MB in the case of Bitcoin), the block is then ready to be added to the Blockchain.

In order to do this, a miner, using either GPUs or ASIC miners, must solve a complex Proof of Work cryptographic algorithm in order to add the block to the…

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