Salad, Leveraging Your Gaming PC to Actually Make You Money

Guest Post by Q.

My gaming rig is a part of me. This is true for any gamer who has spent valuable time and money to put together a system that can deliver those sweet 3 figure frames and display their games as smooth as butter. However, other responsibilities in life gnaw at our time and we have to leave the comfort of our cozy gaming chairs to fulfill them.

Gaming rigs are powerful machines and the GPUs inside them are some of the world’s most complex processors. It’s a shame that such powerful hardware sits idly in our rooms for many hours every day while we are at work or out with friends.
What if we could leverage this immense computing power to work for us and let it pay for our next Steam title? That’s the idea behind Salad.io, a new startup that borrows the processing power of your GPU in exchange for rewards. I thought it was genius and decided to give it a shot.

Getting Started

Heading over to the salad.io website, the home page is pretty clean and minimalistic. There’s some basic info on what Salad is and how it works. Basically, it will use your GPU to verify blockchain transactions, essentially making it a miner.

The download was pretty speedy as it was only a 90MB file. This software is still in its alpha phase so the final file size might be slightly larger.

Running It for the First Time

Installing it and signing up was a breeze. It gave me the option to sign up with either my Twitch account or an email address. I was met by a screen with an 8bit vegetable on the left and a scrollable list of rewards to choose from. The range of rewards is quite extensive. Here are some of the options available:

  • Steam gift cards worth $5, $20, $50 and $100
  • Amazon gift cards worth $1, $2.50, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100
  • Xbox, PlayStation Store, Nintendo EShop, Google Play, and Blizzard gift cards
  • Netflix and Hulu gift cards
  • Plenty of games from $0.40 (Overfall) up to $46 (GTA V + Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack)
  • Sweet gaming hardware such as the Logitech G430 headset ($37) all the way up to an Nvidia RTX 280 TI ($999) and everything in between (Mechanical keyboards, gaming mice, etc.)
  • Donating to charities such as RED (fighting aids), Shatterproof (helping families struggling with addiction), Animal Welfare, and a host of other charities from $0.05 up to $20

Personally, I’ll probably go for Steam gift cards. I bought Rocket League for my nephews on PS4 and really enjoyed playing it with them. Now I want it on my PC too! Alternatively, I’ll save up for a new gaming mouse as mine is pretty outdated.

My Experience with Salad

As soon as I clicked the start button, my current balance started adding up (at approximately 0.00001 per second). Even though it was slow, the fact that I was leveraging my hardware to make money passively gave me a sense of accomplishment. My system runs on the Nvidia GTX 1050 4GB which isn’t the fastest GPU out there. It shows that my system will make $0.023124/hour. Currently, all machines earn at the same rate but in the future, faster GPUs will earn more depending on how much processing power it uses.

There’s also an Alpha tester bonus of $5.00 once you reach 720 XP. I earned an additional $1 for a quick survey on the Discord channel. That’s why my account shows that I have made $6.35 instead of just $0.35.

Some Changes I Would like to See in the Future

I had to thoroughly scan the page to find the start button. Optimally, it should be front and center so it’s easier to locate. I also didn’t realize that the diagonal white bar on the left was a scroller for the rewards carousel.

The software is still in its Alpha phase but there are a few changes that should be given priority:

  1. Give the option to maximize and resize the window. It’s mildly infuriating trying to use it side by side with another app.
  2. The filters for the rewards don’t work yet. I feel like the devs can fix this pretty effortlessly and for an app focused on rewards, the rewards section needs to be fully functional as soon as possible.
  3. I would like an option to withdraw the money made via PayPal. This gives the user complete flexibility to use their money the way they wish.

Final Thoughts

I think the idea behind this software is genius. The execution is pretty clean, and with a few kinks worked out, Salad.io has the potential to be immensely successful. Modern GPUs can withstand a heavy workload 24/7 so running Salad.io shouldn’t pose a risk to the health of your beloved gaming rig. The minimum requirement is that your GPU should have at least 4GB of VRAM.

After letting it run for 11 hours, I made $0.23. That’s not a ton of money and I have yet to calculate if I’m making any money after paying my electricity bill on it. However, the idea that in a few days, I’ll be able to buy Rocket League from the money that my gaming rig has generated is certainly enticing.