6 Differences Between CPU and GPU Crypto Mining

What are the differences between CPU and GPU crypto mining? When it comes to crypto mining, the Central Processing Unit or CPU mining may come to your mind first.

Though it is the most commonly used option for problem solving or hashing, it is not the only one.

You can even go for GPU mining provided you know what it is all about and what is the difference between GPU mining and CPU mining. Not aware of it? Well, this article is all about it. Read on.

In today’s given scenario, the success and efficacy of any mining outfit essentially depend on the different types of super-charged GPUs to mine crypto coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even the almighty Dogecoin.

Mining has become more popular over the past few years because more and more people got into the crypto world in addition to the common forms of increasing crypto portfolios such as exchanging or purchasing them.

It is essential for the beginners in crypto mining especially to know the difference between CPU and GPU mining to make the right choice.

Knowing the differences between the two options and doing your due diligence apart from consulting with a few experts in the field will help you to avoid the common pitfalls in crypto mining.

6 Differences Between CPU and GPU Crypto Mining

Differences Between CPU and GPU Crypto Mining

Exciting as it may seem, crypto mining is not an easy task and it needs a dedicated set of skills and profound technical knowledge.

If you have that, you can make the best use of the unused computational resources that you have, irrespective of the hardware.

But which among CPU and GPU mining to choose for higher and better gains will depend on your knowledge.

Whether you are interested in CPU mining or GPU mining, these two approaches are significantly different. Check out Differences Between ASIC and GPU Crypto Mining.

Here is a detailed look at these differences apart from the basics. You will be better off if you know about these differences before you get started.

1. Speed

Since time is precious, and money, speed is the most significant factor considered by the miners to differentiate between CPU and GPU mining.

According to some test results, a CPU core using 128-bit SSE instruction can carry out four 32-bit instructions per clock. There is no significant difference in the speed of the CPU even if it uses an eight AVX or 256-bit SSE instruction.

On the other hand, a GPU mining rig can perform 3200 32-bit per instruction per clock. Therefore, the GPUs are 800 times faster than the CPUs in solving complex mathematical problems that are associated with crypto mining.

It will also be able to solve more blocks quickly because the GPUs usually do not have a broad set of instructions to follow like a CPU with a few cores.

2. Energy Efficiency

CPU and GPU mining can also be differentiated in terms of energy efficiency, a core metric. Once again, in this matter, the GPUs are more preferred by the miners. The improvement in the hardware makes them more energy efficient to ensure a more productive mining process.

In comparison, the CPUs seem to conserve less energy during mining operations. Therefore, the high power consumption and electricity bills may reduce your profits significantly.

3. Maintenance

The level of maintenance required for the CPUs is more in comparison to the GPUs. If you do not keep a close watch on your system on a regular basis, chances are high that your mining rig will give way pretty soon and frequently.

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In comparison, the GPUs need less maintenance and it is very much simple to maintain as well. This is because the GPUs undergo regular upgrades and therefore it protects the computer from experiencing any issues frequently while mining crypto coins.

4. Difficulty

When it comes to the mining process itself, it is quite simple to mine them using a GPU. Your computer will not crash even if you make the system work harder, provided all other necessities for it are fulfilled. Ideally, GPU mining is quite seamless.

On the other hand, it is quite difficult to mine crypto coins using a CPU. This is once again because the CPUs are not upgraded often and therefore when you ask it to do more, it will have to work harder which will generate a lot of heat in the process.

5. Working Process

When it comes to the working process, the CPU typically performs the job of an executive while mining crypto coins.

It can perform several tasks that are not related to crypto mining as well but for this specific purpose, it can solve all types of complex math problems by using its ALU or Arithmetic Logic Unit. And, it can switch tasks rapidly in comparison to the GPUs.

The GPU of the mining rig, on the other hand, performs more like a laborer and therefore it is different though it can also do the math.

These are good at doing repetitive tasks that are actually less executive work. However, the GPUs can solve a larger number of mathematical problems than the CPU since they come with a large number of ALUs.

6. A Few Other Differences

The GPUs are considered to be better than the CPUs when it comes to coin protocol optimization. There are several crypto coins that are optimized to make the most out of the CPU and GPU power both.

However, a few specific crypto coins can be mined by CPU only but you can mine quite a varied type of the crypto coins by using a GPU miner.

The earning rates for CPU and GPU also vary. This is because the earning rates of the CPU are affected by a lot of the same factors as GPU mining which acts better for the GPUs. These factors include hash rate, mining difficulty, and hardware maintenance, cooling efficiency and requirements and luck.

The CPUs usually have a lower hash power in comparison to the GPUs because ideally a CPU is a jack of all trades while the GPUs perform more specialized processes generally. Therefore, running too many programs at a time will result in ineffectual and slow mining using a CPU.

The hardware specialization of the GPUs is better and therefore the CPUs encounter some limitations. It is due to these hardware limitations that the CPUs need to rely on RAM of the motherboard and not on the VRAM for higher hash rates and its performance is affected when more apps and background processes are running simultaneously.

It also has fewer Arithmetic Logic Units which does not let the CPUs to solve a large number of mathematical problems while mining even if it has 12 cores and a hyperthreading ability.

The advantages of GPU mining also are notably different and include its better ability in complex computation, better resale value, upgradability, and easy sourcing.

On the other hand, the advantages of CPU mining include educational support which makes it a good start point for the beginners in mining. There is also no need for any special hardware for CPU mining.

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Also, when it comes to the disadvantages, there are a few significant ones. As for GPU mining, the demerits include high power requirements and larger in size. As for the CPUs, the disadvantages are electricity costs and constant wear and tear.

Which is Better – CPU or GPU Crypto Mining?

CPU mining is quite common but it faces solid competition from GPU devices. Going through the differences between the two in this article, you must be aware by now that GPU mining is much better and more efficient than CPU mining in terms of making hash calculations.

However, it will not harm you if you dive deeper into it to make the right choice between CPU and GPU mining eventually. Remember, it is not the hashing power you are up to. Instead, it is all about which will help in more profitable crypto mining.

Both CPU and GPU crypto mining are more efficient in comparison to the other common methods followed.

In fact, the process of mining crypto coins has improved dramatically due to the advent of CPU and GPU mining and more and more people are expressing their interest in it of late.

Ideally, GPU mining is considered to be a better option in comparison to the CPU mining process simply due to the efficiency and speed of the GPUs or Graphic Processing Units which is much more than the CPUs or Central Processing Units.

The GPUs also come with a much higher processing power, especially the latest models, which can be as high as 800 times more than that of a standard CPU in some cases.

Also, GPUs tend to mine crypto coins better and it is also considered to be much safer for long term use.

However, at this point it is important to know that a Graphics Processing Unit typically works towards better digital rendering into your computer.

The CPU, on the other hand, is that specific component of your computer that normally interprets the commands given by the hardware and executes them with the help of the software.

Therefore, as far as the mining potential of a rig is concerned, both the CPU and the GPU as well are vital.

It is the competence and speed of these components that determine how effective the mining equipment is in performing similar computational and other tasks repeatedly.

Though GPU mining is supposed to be safe for using a system for the long term, the primary concern regarding your system should be the overheating issue.

Since CPU or the GPU is the vital component for mining, operating in an unsafe environment and high temperatures can cause immediate failure of the system on the whole. Sometimes, it may even cause permanent damage to your mining rig.

In such situations, if the drivers are extraneous and smart, you should not fret too much on the issue. The worst that can happen is a blue screen.

The drivers will be capable enough to do whatever that is necessary to prevent your computer from a complete meltdown or shutdown.

However, the problem with the CPUs is that these do not come with such advanced drivers and moreover these are seldom upgraded as frequently as a GPU.

Therefore, if you intend to go for CPU mining, it is your sole responsibility to protect the brain of your computer from being scrambled.

If you do not know the ways, here are a few expert tips to safely mine crypto coins using a CPU:

  • Check the temperature of the CPU directly in the BIOS and keep it low, typically under 80°C
  • Keep the background and other simultaneous apps to the minimum and do not surf the internet or play games or watch YouTube movies while mining so that the CPU does not need to work harder and thereby generate more heat
  • Keep your computer free from dust and dirt and perform spring cleaning once in a while in order to ensure that there is no drop in its performance and
  • Keep a close watch on the cooling system and especially on the CPU and GPU fans so that the optimal temperature level is maintained inside the PC and even consider installing an extra cooling system for that matter.
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If you are using your laptop, mine with care and caution. Though the modern laptops are extremely powerful to work quite well as a mining rig, there is one disadvantage that these laptops cannot overcome in comparison to a desktop: cramped for space.

Therefore, with no extra room for fans and cooling components, the laptops may become excessively hot very quickly. If you do not stay in an extremely cool region, using a laptop for CPU mining can be risky and less productive.

If you want to mine with CPU, there are a few things that you should always keep in mind. These are:

  • Create a crypto wallet before you start mining depending on the type of crypto coin that you want to mine
  • Choose the best type of crypto coin to mine because specific coins such as DOGE, Monero, Komodo and others through CPU can take a lot of time and
  • Download suitable crypto mining software so that the mining process is significantly expedited.

The process to follow while using a GPU for crypto mining is the same to get a higher hash rate. However, make sure that you are okay with the investment required for it.

Now to choose the right one between CPU and GPU mining, here are a few additional considerations that you should make.

Firstly, know your purpose for mining the crypto coins. If you are looking to make some serious amount of money from it, GPU mining, and even ASIC mining for that matter, will be the best option for you.

It will be much quicker and more efficient with better mining capabilities. On the other hand, if it is just for fun sake or out of curiosity, CPU mining is good to go with.

However, do not consider the CPU to be obsolete for crypto mining. Though the GPUs provide exceptionally high processing power, the CPUs are also quite good.

However, please do consider the high phone bills and the time taken to mine the coins. If you are not okay with these, avoid CPU mining.

Though expensive, getting a GPU miner will not cost you a fortune, provided you do it right and know the exact ways in which you can break even quickly.


The crypto mining landscape has changed radically over the last couple of years and today users look for alternative options for mining crypto coins. Knowing the differences in using a CPU or GPU will help you in navigating this complex field.