Why do crypto miners use expensive GPU than CPU? Over the years, the demand for cryptocurrencies has increased significantly and the advancement in technology has helped in crypto mining, a process that helps users to add new coins to their blocks.
Earlier, crypto mining was done on the home computers and was more of a hobby than a necessity.
However, the scenario has changed and people are looking for newer and better ways to mine crypto coins.
Then people turned towards CPU mining later on where the computers used the power of the Central processing Units in them.
And now, it is Graphics Processing Unit or GPU mining that is in vogue.
GPUs have been used for mining crypto for a long time because it has proved to be a more efficient piece of hardware than the CPUs which are notorious for high power consumption and limited processing speed.
Using GPUs for crypto mining can increase the output significantly and it will also offer multiple benefits in comparison to the use of CPUs.
One of the most significant benefits offered by the GPU is mining speed.
This specific property of the GPUs makes them highly efficient to perform multiple and repetitive computations, the primary job of crypto mining.
The GPUs come with a large number of ALU or Arithmetic Logic Units in them that helps them in doing such complex mathematical computations pretty quickly.
Therefore, unless you can afford to buy an expensive Application-Specific Integrated Circuit, the next best thing to use is a GPU to conduct mining operations.
To know more about it, read this article in its entirety.
Why Do Crypto Miners Use Expensive GPU Than CPU?
The simple answer to this question is that: GPUs are far more efficient and faster in comparison to the CPUs when it comes to mining crypto coins.
On the other hand, if you want to know the answer in depth, here are a few specific parameters in which the GPUs beat the CPUs and people favor GPU mining more than CPU Mining.
Typically, an average GPU can clock processing speeds of up to 3,200 32-bit instructions per clock as opposed to the speed of 4 32-bit instructions per clock of the CPUs, a clear 800 times more.
This means that the GPUs will be able to solve more blocks than the CPUs.
This is another metric that attracts people towards GPU mining more than CPU mining.
Energy consumption and depletion of natural power resources have been the primary concern of people with regards to crypto mining.
Being a better hardware, GPUs use less energy than the CPUs and therefore is the favored choice of the people for crypto mining operations.
The GPUs are usually upgraded much more frequently than the CPUs and therefore these can not only perform better but are also much easier to maintain than the CPUs and therefore you can make sure that your system is performing well and not getting damaged in the process.
And finally, it is much easier to mine crypto coins using a GPU rather than a CPU. This is because the CPUs tend to work harder, and slower, when you put extra workload on them.
It therefore becomes much more difficult to perform computing tasks. Moreover, it may also result in a total system crash if it gets hotter. On the other hand, mining crypto coins with the GPUs is virtually an effortless job.
So, now you have some pretty good reasons to choose GPU over CPU for conducting your crypto mining operations.
Moving on to the mining process of the GPUs, you will be better off if you start by knowing what crypto mining is all about.
The mining process essentially involves solving complex mathematical problems which are done primarily to verify and validate a transaction on the blockchain.
The participants are called miners and one who solves the puzzles first is rewarded with a portion of crypto coin that is associated with the mining process.
In short, crypto mining is a process that forms the backbone of the decentralized working process of crypto blockchain which can add only verified and legit currency.
In the mining process, the miners use their hardware to evaluate an unambiguous number.
This is called ‘nonce’ which is ideally an abbreviation of ‘Number only used once.’
There is a hash function such as SHA 256 plugged with the nonce that needs to be calculated.
The miner needs to do multiple calculations simultaneously to solve it quickly and correctly.
This is not an easy task because the miners do not know what the exact nonce is.
This is where the GPUs come into action which are known to perform complicated mathematical calculations to render video images and 3D shapes and graphics.
The job is made easy due to the several thousands of parallel processing cores present in the modern Graphics Processing Units.
The steps to follow for GPU mining are as follows:
- Get and install your GPU
- Download the crypto mining software
- Install it and start mining.
Simple! The process can be completed in minutes.
However, before you start mining your crypto coins, just make sure that you have created a crypto wallet and have decided on which particular crypto coin you wish to mine.
Is it Faster?
Yes, GPUs are much faster in comparison to CPUs when it comes to crypto mining and you may wonder why it is.
Well, as mentioned above, even the standard GPU is 800 times faster than a CPU.
Depending on the number of cores in the GPU as well as its brand and model, the speed can be even more.
Ideally, it is the internal components that make the GPUs much faster than the CPUs.
A CPU of a computer is more of an executive that is engaged in tasks that primarily involves making decisions.
These decisions are made on the basis of the instructions sent by the software.
In addition to that, the CPUs are also able to do different mathematical tasks with the help of the Arithmetic Logic Unit inside it and can also switch between different tasks on a minute’s notice.
Apart from the above, a CPU has to deal with several other jobs which add to the complexities and make it a bit slower than the GPUs. These are:
- Implementing boundaries and privilege levels between the operating system and the user programs
- Creating an illusion of virtual memory to the programs and
- Being backward compatible with legacy code.
On the other hand, a GPU is more of a laborer and therefore is different and more efficient than a CPU.
It can do math along with other tasks depending on the specific conditions but they are designed in such a way that they do less of executive tasks but more of mathematical computation and video processing jobs.
These jobs involve repetitive work, a lot of it, and therefore the GPUs come with much heavier video processors to make them more efficient, fast and able to switch tasks rapidly.
Another significant aspect that makes the GPUs much more efficient and faster than the CPUs is that these come with much more ALUs in them.
This enables them to do a large amount of heavy and more complex mathematical calculations than the CPUs.
Typically, the CPUs have to deal with a large instruction set and for that there are only a few cores available.
The GPUs, on the other hand, sometimes have thousands of shading units in them which makes them faster than a few cores of the CPUs along with a much simpler math instruction set that optimizes its performance during crypto mining.
Moreover, the Arithmetic Logic Unit of a GPU is divided into groups which share management.
Since in the mining process the ALUs do all the tasks, more of these will better the hash output.
This means that the members of an ALU group cannot be put into doing separate jobs.
They either work all together and in perfect tandem with each other on a single task with almost similar variations or do not work at all.
Ideally, the GPUs try out different hashes repetitively, which is all about Bitcoin mining, by changing only one nonce or number in every attempt for the data that is being hashed.
Remember, in Bitcoin mining, approximately 1000 simple mathematical steps are required to perform altogether by the ALU while trying a single SHA 256 hash.
In a nutshell, it can be said that Bitcoin mining does not involve any major decision making process apart from ‘Is it a valid block’ or ‘Is it not.’
Such limited workload is wonderfully handled by the GPUs rather than the CPUs while mining crypto coins.
You may note at this point that the GPUs manufactured by AMD are more favored by the crypto miners than those manufactured by Nvidia, its competitor.
This is because the AMD GPUs have a lot more simple shaders or ALUs in its VLIW design as opposed to the Nvidia models.
This means that it will use up less square millimeters of die space per ALU.
You can therefore pack in more of them to increase its clock speed and performance by at least two to three times.
Also, the mining algorithm of the AMD GPUs is based on SHA 256.
This enables it to make the best use of the 32-bit integer right rotate operation and it can be employed as a single hardware instruction BIT_ALIGN_INT.
The Nvidia GPUs however will need as many as 3 distinct hardware instructions including 2 shifts and 1 add for that matter.
This particular difference gives the AMD GPUs a 1.7x advantage on their performance.
In simple math, it is about 1900 instructions as against 3250 instructions to carry out the SHA 256 compression function.
With all these advantages and differences in the design, the AMD GPUs can perform three to five times faster than the Nvidia GPUs while mining Bitcoin.
Can GPU Mining Damage Computer?
Since you will need to keep your computer running for a long time, if not all the time, to mine crypto coins, you may quite naturally wonder whether GPU mining will damage your system.
Fortunately, GPU mining will neither degrade your system nor the GPU itself.
You may know that electronic components such as a computer typically fail due to the mechanical hardware underlying but you should not mix it up with electronic degradation.
And, computer parts are more robust and do not degrade like any other mechanical parts.
It is all related to maintenance and usage of your computer.
If both are done just as it is required, it will surely extend the life of your computer unless it degrades naturally and eventually.
Therefore, you can breathe a sigh of relief even though the crypto mining process will put your GPU and system in a lot more stress than playing any Triple A-rated game.
However, make it a point that you do not use those cheap, used GPUs that have flooded the market if you do not want to end up being a remorseful investor.
This will surely degrade your GPU as well as your system pretty quickly.
Remember, if done properly, GPU mining will never degrade your computer more than the usual wear and tear.
Tips to Avoid GPU Overheating
In order to make your system perform just as you want while GPU mining, you will need to make sure that heat does not build up inside it.
There are lots of ways in which you can ensure that.
Fan maintenance is one of the most significant and effective ways to prevent your system from getting overheated while GPU mining.
This will increase the mileage which, if low, will be actually more dangerous to your PC resulting in its degradation than GPU mining.
The auxiliary fans that are attached to the GPUs may degrade faster when you use your system for a long time.
In order to reduce its degradation process, which is inevitable, clean these fans often. This will prevent it from damaging the GPU.
If there is no dirt or sediments on the blades, it will not cause any friction unnecessarily and reduce the speed during rotation.
You can even replace these fans easily as and when you feel necessary.
Ensure proper heat management of your system because heat buildup will result in failing of your machine and also reduce productivity.
This includes investing in and using an exceptionally good cooling system. This will eliminate the chances of fluctuations in temperature.
There are also several other aspects of heat management to look into but first you should know the factors that may cause system failure.
- Improperly managed overclocking
- Insufficient airflow
- Ineffective cooling
- Outdated drivers and
- Dirty components in it.
Make sure that you install and use your GPU mining equipment in a cool, large, and well-ventilated room. This will ensure proper airflow and cooling.
In addition to that, you should also diagnose any issues that may cause overheating of your machine to make sure that your system runs perfectly for years to come.
This may be very hard to say simply by looking at the machine from the outside.
Remember, there may not be any physical sign of overheating shown by the system until it is already too late, such as the smell of something burning inside.
Therefore, you will need to know the early warning signs.
Luckily, you will get a lot of programs online that will help you to keep a proper tab on the internal temperature of your GPU mining rig such as:
- HWMonitor and
- Real Temp
Also make sure that you maintain a cleaning and maintenance schedule on a regular basis.
This will ensure that you do not miss out on anything that may lead to an overheating issue in your system.
And, mine responsibly staying away from those crazy overclock speeds.
GPU mining can be a very productive option rather than CPU mining. However, there are a few things to know to keep it that way. Hope, this article has done a good job to educate you about it and to keep the mining hash calculations better.