CPU Mining: What to mine and how profitable is it?

Cryptocurrency mining has become a gold mine for many people who are not versed in trading or investing, so as the number of coins increases and the complexity of algorithms increases, more and more computing power of various devices is involved in its mining. And if graphics cards (and recently ASICs) hold an honorable place on the “throne” of the industry, mining on one processor has been forgotten by many and is nothing more than history. Why is the CPU less used for mining coins and is it worth doing now?

Why does the CPU lose to the GPU?

Mining cryptocurrencies on a processor is not profitable due to the technical characteristics that distinguish a CPU from a GPU (video card). The fact is that a CPU core can process 4 to 8 32-bit operations per clock cycle, if we take into account that on modern processors with 8-16 cores, at first glance we get quite decent numbers – 128 operations per cycle. But even a not very powerful video card can handle several thousand 32-bit operations in the same cycle, which means it is thousands of times more efficient in calculations when mining.

The CPU's low efficiency is caused by the fact that they are designed to work with large tasks, but switch between them extremely slowly, unlike video cards, whose thousands of microkernels process millions of polygons, giving a decent picture on a modern shooter. Mining is, in essence, enumerating millions of combinations to choose the one that meets the algorithm's requirements, and the GPU performs the fetch much faster than the central one.

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What and what to mine: cryptocurrencies and promising processors

If we talk about which processor for mining is the most efficient, then it is worth noting:

  1. Xeon series – highly specialized processors used to support the operation of servers. They are distinguished by a large number of cores and a high clock frequency, showing relatively low electricity consumption during mining. The price of these devices, however, is adequate, and special motherboards are needed, which are also not cheap.
  2. Intelcore models – starting from i5 (which gradually takes on “junk” status) and higher. The advantage of intellectuals is that they are widely available and, if necessary, can be easily resold or used for other purposes.

It is extremely difficult to name the best processor for mining, as there are few professionals who work with CPUs and, therefore, there are very few reviews about this type of mining. You can only focus on CPU computing power – the higher the clock rate and the more cores, the better.

Theoretically, all the same coins can be mined on the processor and on the graphics card, but the CPU works more efficiently with the algorithm Cryptonightbased on:

  • Coin;
  • electronics;
  • Bytecoin;
  • ZEC;
  • Dogecoin;
  • and several other lesser-known coins.

Read too: Mobile mining: a profitable business or a myth?

The profitability of mining these coins on the processor is guaranteed, firstly, by Cryptonight's best optimization for CPU computing, and secondly, by the extremely high consumption of graphics cards and ASICs when working with this algorithm. The competition and complexity of the algorithms of these coins are not that high due to the reluctance of professional miners to send their megahashes for mining, for example Bytecoin, due to its low cost and high mining costs. It is much more profitable to mine Ethereum or Bitcoin Cash.

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Coins based on the Cryptonight algorithm are considered “dark” and are often used on the darknet to buy prohibited goods and services, so it is possible that its developers have deliberately made ASIC mining unprofitable in order to protect the network from mining dependency. and the rapid growth in algorithm complexity.

CPU mining profitability

The profitability of mining, like mining with a graphics card, depends not only on the power of the equipment, but also on the cryptocurrency rate, as well as the cost of maintenance and electricity. According to various estimates, a good intelcore i7 tier mining processor can bring the owner from US $ 30 to US $ 50 per month with continuous operation and keeping the current rate of the most CPU-friendly coins.

Access to “big money” is closed to processor owners due to the impossibility of extracting TOP coins, such as Ethereum or Bitcoin. Its algorithm is poorly processed by the processor and as a result the hash rate is extremely low. Also, while CPUs run more reliably than graphics cards (and wear out slower), they consume a lot of electricity, soThe money earned is barely enough to pay the electricity bills.


Processor mining in 2018 is not up to date due to the technical characteristics of the CPU and its relatively low performance when processing transactions. Although the CPU consumes less electricity while mining than graphics cards, its power consumption does not make up for the meager income the miner receives. It is profitable to mine cryptocurrency on one processor only if you have access to a large number of processors and a cheap source of electricity. This activity can be recommended for beginners only and for informational purposes.

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