A company known for building "computer heaters" is at it again, this time with a cryptocurrency mining machine that can earn virtual currencies such as Ethereum while simultaneously heating your home.
Called the QC-1, this is purportedly the world's first crypto-heater. It's essentially a mining PC inside a fanless anodized aluminum radiator with a wood grain finish on top. It's powered by an AMD Ryzen processor and two Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 graphics cards that together have a hash rate of 60 MH/s, according to Qarnot, the French company that produces it. "Make heating a source of revenue, not an expense!," Qarnot's tagline reads.
According to TechCrunch, Qarnot doesn't take a cut of whatever is mined. It's configured to mine Ethereum by default, but can be used for other cryptocurrencies as well. If sticking with Ethereum, Qarnot estimates users can mine around $120 worth of currency per month, which doesn't factor in the cost of electricity. The company also says the QC-1 can heat a 20 square-meter room.
The QC-1 is not exactly a bargain at €2,900 (~$3,580), and by extension, it's not a way to sidestep the high price of GPUs for gaming right now. Most prebuilt machines have been somewhat shielded from the price increases that have affected standalone cards, but the QC-1 is expensive in its own right. It also has limited value as a heater for anyone who doesn't live in a perpetually cold climate, and the timing (ie, right before the northern hemisphere enters the summer months) could have been better.
On a related note, profitability for cryptocurrency mining has taken a dive over the past couple of weeks, and the estimated $120 per month is currently 20 percent higher than what miners are actually making with two RX 580 cards. Hopefully that signals the end to the current mining craze, and with any luck GPU prices will start returning to normal.