There is a chance that cryptocurrency miners may have found a new type of coin to mine with their suddenly useless GPUs — and it’s even spurring GPU purchases and a new line of motherboards based on an old chipset. Aleo is a new cryptocurrency currently in the testnet 3 phase; however, it’s reportedly very close to its main net launch and has garnered interest from cryptocurrency miners.
According to a recent tweet (opens in new tab) from the official Aleo account, there are currently up to 14,000 nodes mining the coin. In addition, there are 20 million proofs per second, representing a 1000X improvement over the testnet 2 phase. However, unlike other cryptocurrencies, Aleo doesn’t rely solely on the best graphics cards — you can also mine Aleo with a processor because part of the algorithm depends on processor performance, so it has a role in the mining process. As such, miners will need to find the best combination of processor and graphics card.
The Aleo GitHub page (opens in new tab) shows that the minimum recommendation for an Aleo miner consists of a processor with 16 cores, 16GB of memory, 128GB of storage, and a network connection with upload and download speeds of 10 Mbps. The developers recommend a processor with 32 cores and 32GB of memory but don’t mention whether clock speeds or the total number of cores has the biggest impact. If it’s the latter, then there’s no need to pick up one of the best CPUs on the market. However, the page does highlight that competitive miners will probably want more firepower than the recommended hardware.
Since Aleo is still in the testnet stage, the optimal processor and graphics card combination remains a mystery. However, according to Twitterer I_Leak_VN (opens in new tab), the most popular configuration among the current mining community consists of Intel’s discontinued Xeon E5 processors and Nvidia’s last-gen GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards. The tipster shared a small table of the alleged graphics card mining power for Aleo, but the source of the list is unknown so take it with a pinch of salt. However, we suspect it’s likely from community feedback. Cheap options, like the GeForce GTX 1660 Super, deliver around 170M, whereas more expensive options, like the GeForce RTX 3090 or GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, cross the 1,000M threshold. However, the GeForce RTX 3080, which offers 940M, appears to be popular.
Aleo Graphics Card Mining Power
|GeForce RTX 3090
|GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
|GeForce RTX 3080
|GeForce RTX 3070
|GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
|GeForce RTX 3060
|GeForce GTX 1660 Super
When it comes to the processor, Intel’s old Xeon E5 chips make sense since they sell for a bargain on second-hand markets. As a result, it’s an excellent way for miners to get access to many cores (up to 18) for cheap. Additionally, Xeon E5 processors are scalable, allowing miners to create 2S configurations.
The most popular cryptocurrencies lean primarily toward graphics card power, and miners often use dirt-cheap options, like Celeron or Pentium processors, for their mining rigs. So while the graphics card is still vital for Aleo, the number of processor cores appears to help somewhat.
Chinese motherboard vendor Shenzhen AngXun Technology has taken the opportunity to launch new LGA2011 motherboards for mining Aleo. According to a report from Minernav (opens in new tab), Shenzhen AngXun Technology has cooked up three X99 motherboards. The E5-ALEO-IDC houses up to two Xeon E5 processors, 512GB of memory, and six graphics cards. Meanwhile, the X99-6PLUS-V2.0 shares similar characteristics but only supports up to 256GB of memory. Finally, the X98-ETH-V1.0 is for more demanding miners. The motherboard still supports up to two Xeon E5 chips and 256GB of memory but flaunts spacing for eight graphics cards.
Aleo uses a different algorithm than Ethereum, so it’s not like Ethereum miners can just fire up their existing mining machines for Aleo. We still expect the graphics card to hold more importance for Aleo mining, but Ethereum miners will likely have to adapt their hardware to Aleo.
As with any cryptocurrency, there’s no guarantee that Aleo will flourish. Chia coin was the big talk last year, and it escalated to a hard drive shortage. Hard drive manufacturers, including Western Digital and Seagate, were happy to increase hard drive production to tend to the needs of miners farming Chia coins. The hype eventually died, and the Chia coin never took off. Nowadays, one Chia coin is worth around $31. Can Aleo be the next Ethereum or Bitcoin? That seems unlikely today, given the state of the crypto market, but only time will tell.