Why GPU are better than CPU for mining?

Back September 01,2022

Usually when people think of mining, the first thing that comes to their mind is a large rig with multiple GPUS running all day long. It is not common knowledge that you can also perform mining using the CPU. When compared to GPU mining, CPU mining is a more intricate process and requires more time but is possible.

How is CPU Mining different?

The central processing unit or also known as the CPU acts like the brains of a computer. It enables the computer to perform logic processing and decision making. Back when bitcoin was introduced you could mine 100 coins a day with just your CPU, now this is an impossible task. Before moving towards CPU mining, it is important to understand what mining is.

Mining is a process that is based on validating and adding transactions on the blockchain. Miners either verify an existing transaction or create a new one by releasing coins. In other words, they process a block of code that ensures that the blockchain continues to run. As a reward for using their computer, the miner gets to earn the currency they are mining on. This is because these tasks require extensive processing power, electricity and hardware.

Ever since crypto currency has become mainstream, countless people have tried their hand at mining, a business that was only restricted to professional cryptographers earlier. However, with this rising popularity, mining has become more difficult than ever and requires very high performance hardware. Large numbers of transactions are occurring on the blockchain that need to be processed within a blink of an eye and CPUs do not have the power to perform repeated mathematical calculations. This is majorly the reason why now you can not mine using your CPU only.

Even if you were to try mining with the CPU, the reward earned i.e, the amount of coin mined would be extremely low while the cost incurred to mine that coin would be extremely high. However, there are some coins/ tokens that can be mined through CPU mining such as Monero which is optimized to work with the processor but then again, the reward generated would be very low compared to a GPU.

Protocol Optimization

Coins on the blockchain are designed in various manners, therefore are optimized accordingly. Some coins can only be mined using a GPU whereas others require a combination of both CPU and GPU.

CPU mining in general is affected by four main factors;

  1. Speed
    When compared to a GPU, CPUs can only process a limited amount of instructions. A GPU on the other hand, through its multiprocessors, processes the instructions at a much higher rate. Hence, the hashrate of a GPU is drastically higher when compared to a CPU.
  2. Energy Efficiency
    There are no two ways about energy efficiency. CPUs are far less efficient in comparison to GPUs. Inefficient energy consumption and dissipation of heat energy not only leads to poor performance but also affects the health of the components in the long run.
  3. Difficulty levels
    As discussed earlier, CPUs can not handle complex instructions well when compared to GPUs. As more and more currencies are mined, the block chain is becoming more populated leading to more transactions which require more computational power. GPUs outperform CPUs in this regard.
  4. Maintenance
    CPUs are difficult to maintain when compared to GPUs. They are also difficult to upgrade and require care.

Lower Hash Power

A CPU is like the brains of the computer and is assigned with multiple tasks at a time. This means that there are always tasks running in the background. Whereas, for a GPU it’s not the same. It would only perform the tasks that are assigned to it and no background running.

Therefore, there is less computational power available to perform mining while using a CPU leading to a lower hash rate. Hence, GPUs perform better.

CPU Vs. GPU: Overview

As mentioned above, a CPU does not even come close to what a GPU can do. This is because of many reasons such as a high hashrate, more processing power and increased energy efficiency to name a few.

Is it better to mine with GPU or CPU?

For a final verdict, GPU mining is always better because of all the reasons mentioned above. GPUs offer a much higher yield in comparison to CPU and you would not have to worry about high operating costs. However, GPUs have become expensive over the years and investing in the right one would determine the amount of profit you can generate.

Miners often stack up GPUs or pool in with other miners to compete with large mining firms.

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