Bitcoin (BTC) Mining CPU vs. GPU: Technical Differences
Unlike exchange trading, BTC mining is a less profitable way of earning money. However, it has its advantages. In particular, it contains fewer risks and does not require much effort associated with constant monitoring of the rate and the need to close deals on time.
On the technical side, mining can be divided into three types, depending on the equipment:
- GPU mining, that is, mining on video cards;
- CPU mining, that is, mining on a processor;
- Mining on ASIC – special equipment created for the production of cryptocurrencies that work on specific algorithms.
Let’s consider the primary technical differences between the first two types of mining BTC coins.
Bitcoin (BTC) Mining CPU
CPU mining is the least profitable option for making money by mining coins. At the same time, to start mining on the processor, one computer is enough. Accordingly, the miner can save on the purchase of equipment for work.
Mining on a processor is much less energy-intensive than mining coins on a GPU or using ASICs. In many ways, this is why many developers deliberately create cryptocurrencies that are sharpened for the CPU.
Unfortunately, for mining on a processor to bring maximum income, you need to choose the most top-end CPUs in terms of technical characteristics. Working on outdated equipment may not even cover your electricity bills.
In the realities of 2021, mining on a processor should not be considered the primary source of income. Even on top-end equipment, CPU mining of cryptocurrency can bring no more than a few dollars a day, provided that it is connected to a cheap source of electricity.
CPU mining can be different. It all depends on the approach to work. There are several types of mining with a processor:
- Solo mining is earning coins on personal equipment without outside help.
- Pool mining is miners who share computing power to increase the chance of getting coins.
- Mining in multi pools is a particular server that provides the ability to mine several coins and quickly switch to another, considering the profitability.
- On someone else’s equipment, hidden mining and web mining are popular methods among scammers. But initially, with their help, for example, they were going to monetize content on sites or programs with the user’s permission.
To start mining on the CPU, you must:
- Review the specifications of your processor.
- Select the cryptocurrency you are interested in.
- Create a cryptocurrency wallet.
- Download the miner program and connect to the network.
To organize mining on a processor and choose the right equipment, you should pay attention to several technical characteristics:
- Kernels. Generally, the more cores a processor has, the better. A high score means the CPU can multitask efficiently. The choice should start with processors from 8 cores.
- Streams. CPU multithreading support improves processor performance. Also, as with kernels, the more threads a device has, the better.
- Speed. Efficient mining requires high hash rates. As a rule, the more GHz a CPU has, the better the level and the more competitive the miner’s equipment becomes.
Mining on a processor is one of the least profitable ways to make money from mining cryptocurrencies. It can be viewed exclusively as an additional source of income. At the same time, CPU mining is much easier than mining cryptocurrencies on a GPU or using ASICs.
Bitcoin (BTC) Mining GPU
Mining with graphics cards (GPUs) is an alternative way to mine cryptocurrencies.
The process of mining BTC is not as complicated as it seems at first glance. To mine Bitcoins, you need to acquire a suitable graphics card model and special software. You will also need to create a bitcoin wallet, which will receive funds.
It would help if you started preparing by choosing a wallet, which will receive the earned coins. Many wallets are designed to store access keys to Bitcoins:
- desktop (for PCs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS);
- mobile (for smartphones on Android, Windows Mobile, and iOS);
- hardware (special devices resembling a flash drive, they are expensive, but they provide the safest storage);
- web wallets (online services).
Choosing a video card is an essential preparatory stage. For mining, an AMD or Nvidia video card is suitable. Laptop hardware is not ideal for mining. It is better to choose a top-end graphics card from AMD, but models from the 5XXX series and above will do. Your future earnings will depend on the video card’s performance, so you shouldn’t save at this stage.
There are several main characteristics that you need to keep in mind when buying:
- Bit depth. Choose a card with a 256-bit bus. The mining speed at 128-bit is several times lower.
- The amount of video memory must be chosen at least 2 GB.
- Memory speed. The best option is a card with DDR 5 memory. They have the best ratio of processing power and power consumption.
- Overclocking capability. Competent overclocking will allow you to get 20 – 40% additional power.
- Cooling. It will extend the life of the card.
- Energy consumption is an essential factor. Sound cards consume more electricity. For mining to be profitable, you need your income to more than cover utility bills.
- Choosing software is the next step in preparation. Special programs allow you to use the capabilities of your computer and receive a reward for it. Many client programs are suitable for mining.
To get the best results, users can force the performance of the graphics card. It should be borne in mind that overclocking the GPU increases power consumption. Special programs are used to overclock the cards; utilities are also required to help monitor the performance and essential characteristics.
Overclocking consists of two stages: overclocking and system check. Detailed overclocking instructions can be found on the network for each video card model. With their help, the user can independently change the characteristics and increase productivity. All actions are reduced to the consistent setting of indicators. At the same time, it is essential to change the features and find the perfect balance gradually.
A mining farm is a computer to which several video cards are connected. A standard farm includes 4 – 6 or more GPUs, risers, processors, SDD disk, RAM, monitor emulator, power supply. The assembly is similar to the body of a regular PC. Still, it should be borne in mind that cards can get very hot during operation, so they need to be cooled. An open system is often created so that the enclosure does not obstruct air circulation. After assembly, the operating program and applications for mining coins are installed.
GPU mining has become quite popular due to several advantages:
- earnings do not require effort from the user. You need to configure the system once and then receive a stable passive income;
- the system is not susceptible to virus attacks;
- there are affiliate programs that increase income;
- you can withdraw any, even a tiny amount.
But this mining method has several disadvantages:
- the service life of the card is reduced;
- the computer must be constantly on;
- high cost of equipment and low return on investment.
The amount of income depends on the current rate of the cryptocurrency and the power of the equipment. According to experts, an average of 1 – 3 dollars can be earned per day. Subtract the cost of electricity, internet, and depreciation from income.