Existing cryptocurrencies are based on open registry (blockchain) technology, which contains records of transactions. To protect against the entry of false information. Each block of data is signed with a cryptographic key – a hash. They are calculated by network participants – miners. For each block signature, they are rewarded by the system in the form of emitted coins.
Depending on which block or device is involved in calculating the block signature, there are three ways of crypto-mining:
- on the processor,
- on the video card,
- on an ASIC (a specialized integrated device).
In the early days of Bitcoin and Ethereum, CPU mining was probably the only way to make money. But as the difficulty of mining increased, the remuneration received was no longer enough even to pay for electricity. So miners switched to video cards, which allowed them to earn more cryptocurrencies while consuming less electricity. Then bitcoin mining moved to the next level – ASIC mining.
Types of cryptocurrencies for mining on CPUs
Any of the current cryptocurrencies whose algorithm provides a reward for calculating transaction signature keys. Bitcoin mining on a CPU is quite possible today, the only question is whether it will pay off. Even top-of-the-line CPUs give an extremely low bitcoin mining hash rate, which does not allow to earn in this way. Things are exactly the same with the popular “ether”.
It only makes sense to mine coins whose mining algorithms do not allow the use of ASIC, the complexity of the network is low enough to get a reward even for a low hash rate, and the price per coin is high to recoup the cost.
Two coins meet these requirements:
- Zcash (ZEC), based on the Equihash algorithm,
- Monero, based on the CryptoNight algorithm.
Given the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, at any time there may appear other currencies, which will be more profitable to mine on the CPU. But today the highest profitability is achieved with Cryptonight. Its advantage is lower power consumption while calculating hashes. However, you should not count on big profit.
Regardless of the chosen currency, mining on CPUs can only be seen as additional income while mining “crypto” on GPUs.
CPU performance table
Differences between GPUs and CPUs
For cryptocurrency mining, the only difference between a processor and a graphics card is performance. One core can process 4 or 8 operations per clock cycle. Even a 16-core CPU cannot match the performance of a video card with thousands of stream processors on its chip. So mining on a CPU will always be just another way to make money while the farm is running.
The only advantage of using AMD or Intel CPUs is their presence in any computer. Regardless of the number and cost of graphics cards, it is impossible to run a farm without a “proc” on the motherboard. Therefore, crypto mining with CPUs does not require additional investments. It is only necessary to run an additional application for mining.
The low performance of CPUs for mining is not the only disadvantage of using CPUs The problem is also in energy efficiency. Mining speed can be compensated by installing 2, 10 or more CPUs on a farm. But a modern video card, whose hash rate is 500-1000 times higher than that of a CPU, consumes only 5-10 times more power. Such low power efficiency makes independent use of CPUs in mining senseless.
Approximate profitability of mining on a processor
In order to estimate how profitable it is to mine on CPU, you can use online calculator of profitability of crypto-mining. You can find it on cryptocompare.com and many other thematic websites.
The top-end CPU for mining Intel i7-7700 produces 350 kH/s on the Cryptonight algorithm. At the current rate of Monero the monthly earnings will be $24.84, not including electricity costs. With that kind of input data it is not worth talking about a return on investment in a piece that costs more than $300. Cheaper processors have a lower hash rate for the same power consumption. This makes their use unprofitable.
A guide to mining on a CPU – Monero
It is better to consider the process of earning cryptocurrency on CP by the example of Monero. This coin today is the most profitable for this kind of mining.
To start mining the Monero cryptocurrency on a CPU, you will need:
- computer with Intel Core i7 (an older computer is also possible, but then you can not guarantee the profitability of the process),
- registered XMR-wallet a local Monero wallet or an account at a cryptocurrency exchange),
- pool account,
- configured miner program.
You need to use the computer you have. It is not worth investing money in mining on a CPU.
To mine cryptocurrency on the processor, you need to get a wallet in which the mined currency will be stored. You do not need to do this if the pool supports withdrawal of earned funds in fiat currency (in dollars) or in bitcoins (in this case you will need a bitcoin wallet).
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It is not necessary to install an official wallet program and synchronize it with the blockchain. You can do easier, using an exchange account in the corresponding cryptocurrency. To do this, you need to register on the exchange Poloniex, Exmo, Yobit or any other exchange that supports XMR-wallets.
If reliability and security are important to you, take the time to install the official XMR storage application, which can be downloaded from the official website. After installing it, you need to run bitmonerod file and wait for blockchain synchronization.
It is better to work in a pool, where the reward is distributed depending on the computing power involved. It is better to work in a pool, where the reward for the result is distributed depending on the computing power involved. To do this, you need to register on one of the leading resources:
They differ in the programs used, the size of the commission and the overall capacity of the pool.
The best program for Windows that even allows you to mine bitcoins on your CPU is Claymore’s CPU Miner. It supports both legacy i5 and better processors for mining.
But the choice of a particular program depends on the pool used. The site itself will select the version of the miner. For example, the Minergate pool provides CPU mining with its own application. The site offers a downloadable version for all popular operating systems.
To set up the application from Minergate, you need to specify the email address that was used to register for the pool when you launch it. After that you will be able to mine with the processor and the earned funds will be accumulated in your personal Minergate account.
With other programs it’s a bit more complicated. To configure the CPU miner at minexmr.com, you have to change the batch file to run it. To do this you need to:
- Press the Get Started button,
- find the name of the miner in the table,
- copy the sample code,
- open the bat file in the editor,
- to write the name of your wallet instead of YOUR_WALLET_ADDRESS,
- save the batik.
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This completes the configuration of the miner.
Overview of statistics
Despite the fact that CPU mining does not bring a lot of money, the current earnings are of interest to any user.
The results can be viewed in the personal cabinet of the pool. The current hash rate is displayed immediately after the start of extraction. other data is refined only after several hours of continuous extraction. This is how you can find out the current balance and the average hash rate.
What is more profitable to mine on the processor while mining on the video
To determine what to mine on the CPU, you can use the profitability calculator. The CPU can work with Equihash and Cryptonight algorithms without losing hashrate of video cards. There are several cryptocurrencies running on them, the rates of which can change dramatically even within a single day. In addition, the hash rate of the processor depends on the algorithm of operation.
Enter your processor data and check the returns on several leading coins. Based on the data you get, you can choose your target currency.
At the time of writing this article, it is better to mine Monero on CPUs. However, “Zikesh” (Zcash) brings not much less profit.
Is it profitable to mine on a processor
Mining on a CPU makes sense only when mining crypto with a powerful video card at the same time. In this case, the CPU still consumes some amount of energy. Getting even a few dollars a month, which a weak CPU can bring, is much more attractive than idle hardware.
Without the simultaneous operation of powerful video cards, mining on a CPU only makes sense on someone else’s equipment and with the payment of electricity from someone else’s pocket. For example, when an enterprise server is used for mining. However, this is not quite in line with the moral and legal standards.