Mining Ethereum with Nvidia GPUs
Ethereum is considered by WhatToMine.com to be the benchmark alt coin. It is not always the most profitable cryptocurrency to mine, but with its enormous market cap volume between 25 and 30 billion US Dollars, it is as about steady and stable as alt coins come. It is also probably the most widely recognized and accepted cryptocurrency that isn't Bitcoin. The Ethereum World Computer project brings the potential for numerous digital products and services to be exchanged and even run from the peer-to-peer cloud, all fueled by Ethereum. This decentralized network of currency, products, services and computing/serving power has hardly been tapped yet, as hardly anyone is aware of it. These factors make Ethereum a very interesting crypto coin to experiment with.
Ethash is the one algorithm that Nvidia cards do not seem to have much advantage in mining. Counterintuitively, the GTX 1070 gets much higher hashrates than the more expensive GTX 1080. The 1070 even mines faster than RX 580s, though the new Vega series GPUs have been reported to get higher hashrates than 1070s. Vega cards are too new and overpriced at this point to tell where they will fall on the ROI scale. The low cost of other AMD based cards and their ability to mine Ethash coins like Ethereum at nearly the same hashrates as more expensive Nvidia cards would suggest that it is wisest to invest in the last two generations of AMD GPUs if you want to specialize in Ethereum and other Ethash cryptocoins. That being said, GTX 1070s are still able to out-hash RX 580s. GTX 1080s; not so much. They perform better than stock RX 580s, but modified 480s and 580s with BIOS tweaks and good undervolt settings will do better than the GTX 1080s, which can cost twice as much.
Claymore Dual Miner
As you can see above, I was able to dial Afterburner in on these Strix 1070 O8Gs to 90% power with the memory clock bumped up an additional 620 Mhz. Any more than that and I would crash to blue screen after a short period of time. Searching numerous crypto-mining message boards showed that Claymore is presently the fastest miner to use for mining Ethereum in Windows 10. It works for both Nvidia and AMD cards. It is also capable of dual mining an Ethash coin with another coin on a different algorithm without sacrificing much hashrate on the Ethash mining. The secondary coin usually gets a very small amount of performance as seemingly 90% or more of the power goes to the main coin. I will try to make a page soon specifically about dual mining to avoid this page becoming too long. You can find the latest releases for Claymore for Windows and Linux on Nanopool's Github.
I put the miner to work in Dwarfpool's Ethereum mining pool first as part of the dual mining experimentation. It is not the prettiest interface, but it worked and I was able to set my minimum payout to 0.05 Ether. I then tried Nanopool mining just Ethereum and was happy with the interface, though the minimum payout of 0.2 seems a little steep to me. If someone only had a couple of cards working in that pool, it could be quite a few days before the minimum payout is reached. You can check it out yourself at eth.nanopool.org
Ethereum Wallet and Mist
Before you start mining, you will need a wallet to mine your Ethereum into. There are a few choices, but the official Ethereum Wallet coupled to Mist is on the Ethereum Github. Ethereum has been around for a long time and has built quite a large blockchain over the years. In order to sync your node, you are most likely going to want a modern computer, preferably with a solid state hard drive to minimize the time it takes to catch up with the blockchain starting from scratch. Even then, it probably is not going to happen for you in less than a day.
I am a little short on time at the moment or I would go deeper into getting your wallet installed and sync'd up. I will try to get that added soon, but it is not difficult and the instructions on GitHub should suffice for sufficiently advanced users.