Is Laptop mining worth it? The Short answer is no. Unfortunately with the ROI period being double compared to a normal desktop GPU even with eBay prices taken into consideration it is not worth mining on a laptop. The price of these slimmer laptops and the other competitive hardware is just too much to justify the purchase.
Fastest ROI: Dell G5
Most Efficient Laptop: Gigabyte Aorus 15G
Most Profit per day: Gigabyte Aorus 15P
Laptop Performance and ROI Ranked:
Profit Per Day
Lenovo Legion 5
MSI GS 66 Stealth
Problems with Laptop Mining:
Heat dissipation. Because laptops were not designed to sustain 100% load for extremely long periods of time, the GPUs will get hot. This will cause degraded performance and hash rate but also cause the laptop to burn out faster. Another factor to take into consideration is the cooling on the memory modules. Most of the time these laptops only have a cooling solution designed for the CPU and the GPU dies themselves. This leaves the memory modules on their own with typically static air to try and cool them.
Electricity and battery life. Most laptop batteries do not have enough juice in them to mine for long periods of time. This means that the laptop must be plugged in all day, every day. This will cause extra strain on the ac adapter as well as the battery itself. If you decided to mine with laptops make sure you are checking up on the laptop as often as possible, and when the battery eventually expands, make sure you post a photo on r/spicypillows.
Cost of Laptops. Even with the current GPU shortage, buying a gaming laptop includes more than just the GPU. Inside of these laptops are powerful processors, solid state drives or even NVME drives, and a decent amount of Sodim Ram. This along with the transportability of a laptop drives the price up to more than a scalped GPU. With more risks involved than a regular desktop GPU, we recommend staying away from laptop mining.
Impact on the Environment. This is a hot topic that is covered by many people, but the truth is we are using more resources then the Earth can provide us. If we continue down this path there will be no way to sustain the growth of the human race. These laptop are not as efficient as normal desktop mining, because you can only use one GPU per laptop. Where a desktop computer can run anywhere between 19-2 graphics on the same motherboard. We can see this impact in the TDP I was able to grab from two of these mining laptops. The GPU consumed 79 watts in the MSI GS 66 Stealth laptop but the total system power at the wall was 160 watts. With the Gigabyte Aorus 15P the GPU was pulling 130 watts and the total system power at the wall was 180 watts. That is a fair amount of extra power usage that the CPU, RAM and drives take up. On a normal desktop this is less important because you can run more than one GPU.
How to Mine with a Laptop:
Cooling Solutions. If possible take off as many backplates as possible to allow for more airflow directly on the heat syncs. We want that heat to be removed from the laptop as fast as possible. Replacing the stock thermal paste with a higher quality thermal paste will also help decrease the temps. For optimal airflow close the screen to about a 45 degree angle and stand the laptop up using the screen. This will allow for the back of the laptop to face out into open air, instead of being pointed directly at the ground restricting airflow.
Electricity and battery life. A simple solution to prevent battery swelling is to remove the internal battery altogether. The only issue is there will be a impact on performance, you will see the hash rate drop off, however this might help keep the laptop cool as well. With less power being used, especially because you can't just load up MSI afterburner and decrease the power draw for the GPU. There are other work arounds to this like bios flashing the GPU or hard coding a power limit into the miner itself. There wasn't enough data on this for me to get accurate numbers or give recommendations. If more info is found this article will be updated.
Cost of Laptops. The only way to avoid this downfall is to avoid buying them altogether or find some used ones on eBay. Because of the hardware provided in these gaming laptops, they generally stand the test of time and will be expensive. Another factor to take into consideration is ware and tear caused by the previous owner. What if they already started mining on the laptop a year ago and the battery is already degraded, and the GPU was poorly taken care of. These are things to look out for and unfortunately there aren't any tell tale signs unless the GPU is already on its way out.
When Should I Mine With a Laptop:
If you already own a powerful laptop for monitoring your rigs or bought it for on the go gaming then you don't have much to lose. Lots of people buy gaming laptops to take over to a friends for a LAN party, but they hardly ever get used. So while you are not going to LAN parties its not a bad idea to boot it up and get some of that sweet ETH. If you are a graphic designer, or do Computer-aided design and have a powerful laptop, and not a mac book, then it might be worth turning it on during the night to earn some passive income. Just make sure you use a tool like battery info to make sure your battery isn't dying. It would be quite unfortunate if you were making an extra $1 a night mining only to find out you can't do your work portably on your laptop anymore because the battery cells died.
Going out of your way to create a laptop mining farm is not worth it. Even with the scalped prices of GPUs, laptops are not able to ROI faster and are even less efficient than a normal desktop mining rig. They will produce more E-Waste when they eventually die out, which they will die faster than a full sized GPU. They will also produce more waste when it comes to replacing the batteries. A desktop mining rights only requires a simple watch battery to store the Bios settings and the PSU even after 5 years of mining works just fine. There are plenty of companies that even give a 10 year warranty on the PSU's they sell, and the effects Lithium Ion mining have caused in 3rd world countries is not worth it. However if you happen to have a gaming laptop just sitting in the closet waiting to go to its next LAN, or a powerful work laptop. Then it would be worth mining on it.