The best laptops for Ethereum mining have discrete GPUs with at least 4GB of VRAM, a bulky chassis to make room for warm internals, and most importantly, highly effective cooling solutions. Mining may generate a considerable amount of heat that can cause thermal throttling, a drop in hash rates (the computational power per second used for mining), and most concerning of all, damaged components.
Laptops are typically compact, which thwarts heat dissipation. Although svelte, slim laptops are requested by gamers, they’re not recommended for cryptocurrency mining. For example, I wouldn’t recommend the Asus ROG Zephyrus M GU502 because it climbed to a piping hot temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit on our gaming heat test. Mining on it — and other laptops that are prone to overheating — could ruin your GPU. As mentioned, you’ll need a roomy laptop with excellent thermal performance.
Luckily for you, at Laptop Mag, we test all our gaming laptops’ thermals and measure their dimensions, so we can sift through all of our data sets and curate a list with the best laptops for cryptocurrency mining.
Crypto mining’s environmental impact
It’s important to point out that many politicians and environmentalists argue against cryptocurrency mining because of its potentially harmful impact on the environment. It’s an energy-intensive process and utilizes a significant amount of electricity. According to the Independent, the power required to support Bitcoin’s blockchain reportedly requires as much energy as the entire country of Argentina.
Ethereum is not as power-hungry as Bitcoin, but Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum’s founder) agrees that its blockchain could be more energy efficient. Ethereum is upgrading its machine-consensus protocol to a less energy-guzzling process called proof-of-stake (PoS). I don’t want to bore you to death with crypto jargon, so I’ll keep it simple. Ethereum currently uses a proof-of-work (PoW) protocol, which incentivizes miners to use top-of-the-line GPUs and output lots of energy. PoS, on the other hand, does not require high computational power, which eliminates the need for elite hardware. This is one of the main reasons why PoS Ethereum (known as Ethereum 2.0) will be more eco-friendly than its predecessor.
With Ethereum transitioning into a PoS protocol, don’t bother getting industry-leading GPUs. Don’t believe me? Here’s what GPU firm Jon Peddie Research said: “Ethereum […] will fork into version 2.0 very soon, making GPUs obsolete. A person would be very foolish to invest in a high-end, power-consuming GPU for crypto mining today.”
From a personal point of view, you should also consider whether an increased electricity bill is worth the ETH rewards. Look out for ETH 2.0 this year and check out our most energy-efficient crypto page.
What is the best laptop for Ethereum mining?
The best laptop for Ethereum mining is the 2020 Acer Nitro 5. According to our testing, the Nitro 5 is the only gaming laptop that managed to stay below 105 degrees Fahrenheit on our gaming heat test. On our non-gaming heat test, which involves playing a full HD video for 15 minutes, the Nitro 5 remained well below our 95-degree comfort threshold; its hottest temperature was a temperate 88 degrees.
The unit we analyzed for this heat test comes with a hexa-core Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM. Interestingly, if you peer into Nitro 5’s guts (the motherboard), Acer placed its dual fans on the top-left corner (fans are typically placed on opposite ends of the chassis), which some reviewers said might negatively affect cooling.
However, there’s a method to Acer’s madness. My theory is that Acer tested which area of the laptop generated the most heat; their analysis concluded that the upper-left corner is the hottest. As such, Acer uniquely set both fans in that location. This arrangement benefitted the Acer Nitro 5 because, as mentioned, it is the only gaming laptop we’ve tested that did not surpass 105 degrees on our gaming heat test. Another advantage the Nitro 5 has is its all-plastic body, which may make it look and feel cheap, but it will take longer to scorch compared to its metal counterparts.
The best laptops for Ethereum mining
The Acer Nitro 5 notched only 104.7 degrees on our gaming heat test, which is excellent compared to the other rigs we’ve tested. The average temperature of gaming laptops’ “hot spots” is a whopping 124.8 degrees. Whew! Thanks to Acer’s forward-thinking thermal engineering and all-plastic body, the Nitro 5 remained cool while its competitors could burn their owners’ fingers off. You can also control the fan speeds and enable cool boost via Acer’s NitroSense utility app. On top of that, the Nitro 5 has a one-inch thick chassis, giving it enough room to breathe.
The Nitro 5 is also reasonably priced for a gaming laptop at $1,029. It doesn’t have current-generation components, but as mentioned, Ethereum is transitioning into a proof-of-stake protocol, so investing in high-end hardware is no longer a requirement. Its battery life is more than seven hours, so you don’t need to keep the Nitro 5 plugged in all the time; you can give your outlet a break.
Check out our Acer Nitro 5 review.
For Ethereum miners who insist on getting an RTX 30-series laptop, the MSI GE76 Raider 10UH is their best bet. On our gaming test, the MSI GE76 Raider 10UH never surpassed 112 degrees. MSI said it packed the GE76 Raider 10UH with dedicated thermal solutions for the CPU and GPU with a new design: larger fans and heat pipes to ensure maximum performance under taxing activities.
You can use Dragon Center to change between different four pre-set performance profiles: Extreme Performance, Balance, Silent and Super Battery. As a cherry on top, the GE76 Raider 10UH is chunky, which we welcome in the Ethereum mining world. It’s 1.1 inches thick and weighs a whopping 6.4 pounds. Some downsides are that the GE76 Raider 10UH is pricey and its internals are overkill for Ethereum 2.0
Check out our MSI GE76 Raider 10UH review.
“A Gateway?!” you may be thinking. Yes, a Gateway. I, too, never thought I’d be recommending a Gateway laptop in 2021, but here we are. The Gateway brand, a Walmart exclusive, came back to life and surprisingly landed on our list of the best laptops for Ethereum mining.
The Creator Series 15 — packed with a Core i5-10300H CPU, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM — climbed to only 108.5 degrees on our gaming heat test. This Gateway rig is our the second-coolest discrete GPU laptop to date. It’s also very affordable with a sub-$1,000 price point. My only concern with the Gateway Creator Series 15 is its slim chassis. It’s 0.8 inches thick, which may be attractive to content creators who use this laptop, but it’s a weak spot for Ethereum mining.
Check out our Gateway Creator Series 15 review.
Despite the Blade 15 Advanced being slim and lightweight for a gaming laptop, Razer managed to keep it cool under pressure. According to our heat test, the hottest location on the Blade 15 Advanced didn’t surpass 114 degrees, which is well below our 125-degree average. Razer boasts that it uses cutting-edge materials for its vapor-chamber cooling technology. It efficiently dissipates heat through evaporation and condensation of an internal fluid, which helps the Blade 15 Advanced remain temperate with a thin profile.
Still, a roomy chassis is preferred for Ethereum mining laptops, so keep that in mind. The Blade 15 Advanced we tested — equipped with an Intel Core i7-10875H, 32GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU with 16GB of VRAM — is overkill for the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 protocol. It’s also quite pricey; it’s nearly $3,000.
Check out our Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model review.
The Lenovo Legion 5 — packed with an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU — is one of the most affordable gaming rigs you can purchase. Ethereum is running on the proof-of-work protocol, so the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU might not offer satisfactory hash-rate speeds to earn decent ETH rewards. However, with the Ethereum 2.0 protocol underway, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti should be sufficient with its 6GB of VRAM.
On our gaming test, the hottest location on the Lenovo Legion 5 didn’t exceed 116 degrees, hovering below our 125-degree average. The Legion 5’s battery life is also impressive; it lasted 7 hours and 13 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test.
Check out our Lenovo Legion 5 (2020) review.
How to choose the best Ethereum mining laptop for you
Choosing the best Ethereum mining laptop is easier than shopping for a gaming rig. You don’t have to be concerned about bells and whistles like high refresh-rate displays, per-key RGB lighting and ray tracing. Your main concern should be choosing a system that mitigates the possibility of your internals getting cooked. Laptops are typically not recommended for cryptocurrency mining due to their compact profiles, but some companies have brilliant cooling solutions that keep the chassis temperate under pressure.
Other than choosing a laptop with excellent thermals, you should also consider purchasing a system with a roomy chassis. A laptop with 0.6 inches of thickness may be attractive for gamers and creative professionals who prefer a svelte powerhouse, but for Ethereum miners, who cares about appearance? The chunkier, the better as a larger chassis is a first line of defense against toasty components; search for laptops that are 0.9 inches thick or more.
As it stands now, the more powerful your GPU is, the more ETH you can earn each month. Better performing GPUs beget speedier hash rates. However, as PoW Ethereum transitions into Ethereum 2.0, you don’t need to invest in industry-leading hardware. As long as your GPU has a minimum of 4GB of VRAM, you should be fine. You should also consider battery life. If it only lasts one hour on a charge, you’ll have to keep it tethered to an outlet, constantly feeding it electricity.
How we test for the best Ethereum mining laptops
There is one crucial factor we inspected in order to curate this best Ethereum mining laptops list: heat. We have two benchmarks for heat: non-gaming and gaming. Although Ethereum mining isn’t as taxing on a system as a triple-A, graphics-intensive title (especially as we transition to ETH 2.0), we decided to look at our gaming heat temperatures to see which laptops perform best under pressure.
On our gaming heat test, we put our laptops through five loops of the Metro: Exodus benchmark on the system’s native resolution using the Extreme preset. On the sixth run, we use an infrared thermometer to measure the rig’s touchpad, G/H keys (center of keyboard) and underside. Finally, we do a whole sweep of the laptop to discover its hottest location.
To test a laptop’s endurance, we employ the Laptop Mag Battery test, which surfs the web at 150 nits of brightness until the system runs out of power. Finally, we analyze the laptop’s dimensions to see if it’s roomy enough to endure hours and hours of mining.
Why trust Laptop Mag
Laptop Mag has been testing and reviewing laptops for over 20 years. We test over 150 models annually, subjecting them to a series of rigorous benchmarks that exposes how they would operate in the real world. The author of this best page has experience with mining Ethereum on laptops.