Why did I buy one of these cards:
Due to a recent article that Tom's Hardware put out, I purchased some 1060 6GB cards to mine Ethereum with. The article estimated that at an average price of $293 per card and an average performance of 25MH/S the card would ROI in about 166 days. Due to the current situation of the GPU and Crypto market, this card has the fastest ROI. So naturally I went onto OfferUp to find some good deals. I stumbled across three 1060 6GB cards I would purchase but with the Asus 1060 there were some modifications necessary to increase the performance and make the card more stable.
The Major Problem:
From the photo above we can observe no thermal pads placed onto the vrms. This is a major issue when you are mining ETH due to the algorithm mostly using the memory. It is crucial to keep these temps low to gain performance, but most importantly to extend the life of the card. It would be a shame if the card were to fizzle out before it hit ROI or even just after. With the stock cooling solution I was able to get ~20MH/S with +50 on the vrms and +50 on the core clock. Anything above this would cause artifacting and lead to a crash or reboot. Core temps were sitting around 69°C but due to the age of the card, there are no thermal sensors for the vrms.
The gap between the vrms and the stock heat sync was somewhere around 3.5mm-4.0mm, and I figured this out by adding thermal pads. The thermal pads were too thick to provide adequate heat exchanged between the vrms and the heat sync and made the problem worse. I had some of these small heat syncs I ordered off Amazon for another card that was having issues. The dimensions of these are: 8.8mmx8.8mmx5mm. So they won't cover the entire chip and are slightly too tall to fit underneath the stock heat sync. So I sanded down both the top and the bottom, to remove thermal tape, which gave me just enough room to fit them with thermal paste.
Cost of Card: $256
MH/S Before Mod: 20
ROI Before Mod: 226 Days (After Power Cost)
MH/S After Mod: 23
ROI After Mod: 192 Days (After Power Cost)
34 day faster ROI
After 1 Month of Mining:
With overclock settings of +175 on the mem and +99 on the core clock, I have had only 1 crash and no Invalid shares. The cpu temps, even though I used Thermal Grizzly paste, are sticking around 65c. I will be addressing this later with a backplate solution.
Testing was done using NB miner on the ethermine pool. Results may very based on memory type, however in this case the card does have Hynix memory which is known to have poor performance on older gen cards.