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How to mine with a CPU

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CPU mining multiple cryptocurrencies

The profitability of mining in 2020 has been significantly reduced but mining continues to be a source of small income. The most popular cryptocurrencies are currently mined with video card rigs and ASICs.

However, there is another kind of mining, which is available to almost every owner of computing equipment – mining on a CPU. This article will help you figure out how to start mining on your processor and how profitable it is.

What is CPU mining

Mining on a CPU is the process of mining cryptocurrency by finding a hash using the power of a central processor (CPU) and assigning it to a block inside the cryptocurrency blockchain.

Initially, mining was launched on a central processor by the creator of Bitcoin – Satoshi Nakamoto. Back in the day, Satoshi managed to mine 1 mln. BTC, when Bitcoin cost only a few cents and mining was very efficient, even on a very average CPU.

What cryptocurrencies I can mine with CPU

In theory, mining on a processor is possible with cryptocurrencies supporting the following algorithms:

  • SHA-256 (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Syscoin, Peercoin, Namecoin, etc.)
  • X11 (Dash, Pura, etc.)
  • RandomX (Monero)
  • Ethash (Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Metaverse, Ubiq, etc.)
  • Scrypt (Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc.)
  • Equihash (Zcash, Komodo, etc.)

Mining coins on a CPU is beneficial if the network difficulty is low. CPU mining of such cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Zcash is almost useless even in a pool. With high energy costs, the return on CPU mining will be too low.

You can make a small income from mining on a processor with cryptocurrencies that have been specifically optimized for this. It seems that Monero based on the RandomX algorithm is the only viable option today.

Types of CPU mining

At the moment, there are several types of CPU mining:

  • Solo mining on a processor. Cryptocurrency is mined using your own PC resources;
  • Mining cryptocurrency in a pool. With this approach, several miners combine their powers to mine more efficiently.
  • Mining in a pool is more productive than solo mining because you have a higher chance to mine a block and get a reward.

How to choose a CPU for mining

The choice of processor for mining should be made taking into account the fact that for maximum performance you need a large amount of high-speed cache and support for AES instructions for cryptographic calculations. All modern processors have this support.

Processors for mining should be the most modern and effective. There are no specific models that are created specifically for mining. The performance of the processors during mining depends on:

  • frequency
  • number of cores 
  • The higher the value of these parameters, the higher the hashrate and the higher the potential profitability.

From a hashrate point of view, the best solution would be Xeon processors, which are considered the most productive today, but the price of these CPUs is quite high. Another good option is mining on Core i7 or the latest models of the AMD Radeon line.

Software for CPU mining

Choose reliable and popular mining programs and only download them from their official websites, otherwise, you may fall victim to malware which will siphon your computing power off to hackers.

Claymore’s CryptoNight CPU Miner

A decent mining client for the CryptoNight algorithm with a wide range of settings and no commission for the developer. The program provides everything needed for mining on a central processor.

XMRig miner

This mining client provides standard options for setting up mining on a central processor.
The program takes a commission of 5% from users by default, but it can be changed to 1%. In order for the program to work, you must provide it with administrator access. The XMRig miner also allows you to configure the number of threads for your processor, which allows you to mine more accurately.

How to calculate the profitability of mining on a processor

The profitability of mining depends on the performance of the computer, the difficulty of the network, the current cryptocurrency price, the software being used, the cost of electricity and the mining method. To understand how much you can earn by mining cryptocurrency on the processor, you can use special mining profitability calculators, which are easy to find on the Internet.

NiceHash – a famous mining pool that also provides a mining calculator for coins on 24 algorithms. Simple, intuitive and convenient.

My Crypto Buddy – calculator for cryptocurrency mining with the ability to calculate the difficulty of mining and commissions from large mining pools. All this data is provided to the user in an advanced report.

CryptoCompare – convenient and intuitive mining calculator. The interface has three fields:

  • hashrate for mining equipment
  • energy consumption 
  • the price of electricity

Once they’ve filled out these fields, users will get the necessary information on the profitability of mining in their situation.

Is it possible to mine Bitcoin with a CPU?

Theoretically, Bitcoin can be mined on a processor. But at present, the difficulty of Bitcoin mining has grown so much that even specialized equipment does not bring significant income and mining of Bitcoins on a CPU is only really carried out for academic purposes.

The profitability of mining Zcash on a processor

As in the case of Bitcoin, ZCash mining on a processor is theoretically possible, but it is useless and a waste of resources.

Dogecoin CPU mining profitability

Dogecoin (DOGE) is quite possible to mine if a user has several central processors on the level of the Intel CPU i9-9980XE and is connected to a mining pool.

Pros and Cons of CPU mining

Advantages:

  • You can make a small passive income with a powerful processor that allows you to mine cryptocurrency and work at the same time.
  • You can try to mine a not-so-popular coin in larger quantities. You have a chance to make a profit if it rises.

Disadvantages:

  • To make at least some profit, you need a really good CPU that supports multi-thread processing.
  • If your electricity is expensive, mining on most processors is unprofitable;
  • Even if you’ve purchased the most expensive and top-end processor, the mining of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other popular cryptocurrencies will be still unprofitable;
  • You need to monitor your CPU constantly while mining. There is a high chance that your motherboard will be damaged if your CPU breaks because of overheating.

Conclusion

It is extremely unprofitable to mine cryptocurrency on a processor, but you can use CPU mining in addition to GPU mining. Consider equipment wear, electricity consumption and other costs. For more productive mining, it is advised to join a pool. Pay attention to fees and select the most profitable mining pool for you in order to succeed.

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