Brief History of Mining Rig Technology
Mining effectively means utilizing the highest computational power for the lowest cost. Originally miners leveraged the CPU, but then realized the GPU was more effective. GPUs have high computational power but have a high upfront cost and use a lot of energy to operate. Eventually new specialized mining rigs were devised using field programmable gate array (FPGA) processors. However the latest and best option is the application specific integrated circuit.
Application specific integrated circuit rigs mine at unparalleled speed while using much less power than other types of rigs. An ASIC rig is hardware specifically designed to mine blocks. Mining becomes more competitive and difficult with time, and ASICs are the only way to farm effectively. Ethereum cannot be mined using an ASIC, and intentionally requires a GPU. There are Bitcoin specific ASICs and Litecoin specific ASICs available.
|ASIC Miner Block Erupter USB Bitcoin 333 MH/s BTC||Check Price|
|Antminer S5 very good hashing rate +Power Supply INCLUDED||Check Price|
|Dualminer Litecoin Bitcoin USB Asic Miner||Check Price|
|ASICMiner Block Erupter USB 330MH/s Sapphire Miner||Check Price|
ASICs and Ethereum
Ethereum is ASIC resistant by design. In order to establish trust, mining should be difficult and distributed. You will not be able to mine ethereum without a GPU rig for the foreseeable future. Other cryptocurrencies are not as discriminating, so you can use an ASIC rig for Bitcoin or LiteCoin effectively, though you need a device specific to the coin you wish to mine.
Best Way to Get Ethereum
Building a rig costs hundreds of dollars upfront and has a high monthly cost in the form of an increased energy bill. The fastest and easiest way is to buy ethereum through an exchange. You will get $10 of ether for free when you buy $100 or more at Coinbase.