Although GPUs are better at mining the cryptocurrency as compared to CPUs, we cannot rule out the performance of a CPU in mining smaller cryptocurrencies like Monero, Zcash, Horizon, etc. Most mining software allow you to mine cryptocurrency using your CPU as well. Also, using just your CPU saves you a lot of power as compared to GPU mining.
And even if you are using a GPU mining rig, involving your CPU in the mining process will surely improve the overall hashrate, thus generating more coins. Monero is one of those coins that can be mined by utilizing just your processor.
But when it comes to CPU mining, there are a lot of factors you need to keep in mind. As you know GPU has hundreds of cores and their own dedicated ram to take care of the mining process. But in the case of a CPU, there are other resources that you need to take care of. The most important of all is the RAM, a CPU makes the most use of RAM for faster computing.
So, if you are into CPU mining, it’s important to have RAM with high speed and memory. Also, putting stress on your processor means more heat, therefore you’ll need a reliable cooling solution to take care of that heat. Stock coolers are not recommended at all when it comes to CPU mining. It’s better if you opt for water cooling instead of air cooling.
Lastly, it’s worth switching from your normal Windows operating system to Linux if you have made up your mind about CPU mining. Windows 7, 8, or 10 has a lot of processes running in the background even if you don’t have any application or program opened. These programs can affect the hashrate of a CPU, so it’s better to opt for Linux instead of Windows to use the most important processes only and eliminate the ones we don’t need.
Just like you need a powerful graphics card in mining, you’ll need to pick a powerful CPU for mining cryptocurrencies like Monero, Zcash, Horizon, etc. A CPU with more cores and a higher clock speed would be ideal for crypto mining in this case.
There’s a limit to the number of cores on a CPU, the maximum number we have right now is 64. And AMD Threadripper CPUs are crowned for having the most cores as compared to Intel.
|CPU||Cores/Threads||Boost Clock Speed||TDP||Estimated Hashrate|
|AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X||64/128||4.3 GHz||284W||52 KH/s|
|AMD Ryzen 9 3950X||16/32||4.7 GHz||105W||16 KH/s|
|Intel Core i9-10900K||10/20||5.3 GHz||125W||7 KH/s|
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600||6/12||4.2 GHz||65W||7.4 KH/s|
|AMD Ryzen 7 2700X||8/16||4.3 GHz||105W||6.1 KH/s|
List of the Best CPU for Mining Monero (XMR)
Here are the top choices from AMD and Intel when it comes to mining cryptocurrency:
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X – Best of All Monero Mining CPU
Cores/Threads: 64/128 | Base Clock Speed: 2.9 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 4.3 GHz | CPU Socket: TRX4 | TDP: 284W | Estimated Hashrate: 52 KH/s
Reasons to Consider
- Higher core count
- Overclocking potential
No doubt, workstation processors are the most powerful option for a CPU mining rig. And with the AMD Threadripper 3990X, you can expect performance at its peak with 64 cores and 128 threads. The monerobenchmarks have claimed to achieve over 60 KH/s hashrate with this CPU while mining Monero on the XMRig algorithm. This is something similar to what you achieve with a mid-range to the high-end graphics card.
To keep up with the pace of this high-end CPU, you’ll need to spend a bit more cash on high-speed DDR4 ram modules. Most miners agree that Gskill ram modules running at 3600 or 3800 MHz are ideal to maximize the performance of Threadripper 3990X.
This workstation CPU can let you earn a decent amount of XMR coins every month. The Threadripper 3990X is a beast, it crushes every task you throw on it. But at the same time, this is one of the most expensive CPUs for mining. So, if you are limited on a budget, there are other reliable CPUs for mining to get without putting a hole in your wallet.
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X – Best Value CPU for Mining Monero/Horizon/Zcash
Cores/Threads: 16/32 | Base Clock Speed: 3.5 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 4.7 GHz | CPU Socket: AM4 | TDP: 105W | Estimated Hashrate: 16 KH/s
Reasons to Consider
- Price to performance ratio
- Higher base clock speed
The Ryzen 9 CPUs have given a tough time to their Intel variants in terms of price and performance. Also, for a reasonable price, you get more cores on an AMD processor which means a lot in CPU mining. The Ryzen 9 3950X gives you the most value in crypto mining with its higher core count and a base clock speed of 3.5 GHz per core.
As compared to the AMD Threadripper 3990X, this CPU has a hashrate of 16 to 17 KH/s in Monero mining. But it saves you a lot of cash that you might end up buying premium end hardware to power it up.
The Threadripper CPUs use the TRX4 socket motherboard which is expensive and increases your overall cost for setting up a CPU mining rig. But in the case of Ryzen 9 3950X, your old AM4 socket motherboard could be enough to hold this CPU.
After all, it’s all about maximizing your mining profit by investing a little amount of money. No matter if you want to mine Monero or any other cryptocurrency like Aeon, Zcash, BTT, or Horizon, this CPU has enough power to earn your decent income at the end of every month.
But keep one thing in mind, you will need to invest in a high-end CPU cooler to take care of high temps on this CPU. 16 cores clocked at 3.5 GHz will generate more heat, so we recommend you to go with a high-end AIO cooling solution for this CPU.
Intel Core i9-10900K – Reliable XMR Miner CPU
Cores/Threads: 10/20 | Base Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 5.3 GHz | CPU Socket: LGA 1200 | TDP: 125W | Estimated Hashrate: 7.4 KH/s
Reasons to Consider
- Excellent single-core performance
- More headroom for overclocking
- Intel Turbo Boost
The performance of Core i9 10900K in mining Monero is far less than that of both the above AMD CPUs on the list. But this processor comes at half the price of an AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, which leaves it at 10 cores and 20 threads only. Even with fewer cores, this CPU shines in single-core performance at a clock speed of 3.7 GHz.
Though it has a higher base clock speed, the thing it lacks is the number of cores. The above two AMD CPUs, the Threadripper 3990X and Ryzen 9 3950X are more efficient in mining Monero due to their higher number of cores. But in the case of i9 10900K, we have just 10 cores to deal with the mining operation.
But for gaming and other tasks, this might the most powerful CPU to have right now. So, if you have a restricted budget, and you need a CPU that can earn you a few XMR coins, this might be the processor for you.
All in all, the Core i9 10900K gives more per-core performance as compared to high-end AMD CPUs. With a hashrate of 6 to 7 KH/s, you can earn somewhere under $100 every month.
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 – Best Bang for the Buck Processor for Crypto Mining
Cores/Threads: 6/12 | Base Clock Speed: 3.6 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 4.2 GHz | CPU Socket: AM4 | TDP: 65W | Estimated Hashrate: 7.4 KH/s
Reasons to Consider
- Excellent multi-core performance
- AM4 socket compatible
- Comes with a reliable CPU cooler
The AMD Ryzen 3600 has been one of the top-rated CPUs from AMD so far. Not only does it come at an affordable price, but it also delivers optimal performance in tasks that depend upon multiple cores. With that being said, you can rely on the performance of this processor in mining Monero, Zcash, Horizon, etc.
In terms of hashrate performance, it is similar to that of an Intel Core i9 10900K CPU. With a 7.4 KH/s hashrate on XMRig algorithm, the Ryzen 5 3600 is an ideal choice without putting a hole in your wallet. But at the same time, you cannot expect huge mining profits out of this CPU. Even, if you pair the Ryzen 5 3600 with a low-latency RAM, it’s hard to make over a hundred bucks.
Obviously, this CPU is a no match for Ryzen 9 3950X and Threadripper 3990X which are powerful contenders in CPU mining. But if we compare this CPU with Core i9 10900K which has 10 cores, then Ryzen 5 3600 gives you more value at a far less price.
On top of all, right out of the box get Wraith Stealth Cooler from AMD that saves you a few more bucks on buying an aftermarket cooler for this CPU. Also, this CPU has a TDP of 65W, which means it consumes less power in a mining rig, saving you a few more bucks on your energy bills as well.
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X – Cheap CPU for Monero Mining Rig
Cores/Threads: 8/16 | Base Clock Speed: 3.7 GHz | Boost Clock Speed: 4.3 GHz | CPU Socket: AM4 | TDP: 105W | Estimated Hashrate: 6.1 KH/s
Reasons to Consider
- Ideal for overclocking to get most performance
- Reasonably priced
- Includes CPU cooler with RGB lighting
The Ryzen 7 2700X packs two more extra cores as compared to the Ryzen 5 3600. However, the Ryzen 7 2700X costs less as compared to the Ryzen 5 3600 CPU. While mining Monero, you can expect this processor to yield a hashrate of 6.1 KH/s on XMRig.
With eight cores clocked at 3.7 GHz, you can expect ideal performance out of this CPU even in other general computing tasks. By overclocking the Ryzen 7 2700X, you can expect a little bit of increase in the hashrate. Software optimization also plays a great role in improving your hashrate, so you should get knowledge of doing that as well.
If you are a fan of RGB lighting in a mining rig, then right out of the box you get your hands on an RGB-enabled Wraith CPU cooler. This is one of the most durable and reliable stock CPU coolers to cool down AMD CPUs even if you overclock them for better performance.
To know how much profits you can earn with a Ryzen 7 2700X, go over to NiceHash and put the cost of your electricity (kWh) on the table.
Finally, these were some of the best processors for mining Monero and other smaller cryptocurrencies. Workstation CPUs yield higher hashrates as compared to mainstream CPUs. However, you need to invest a bit more money in buying other hardware (RAM, CPU Cooler) that can keep up with the pace of those high-end workstation processors.
Mainstream processors come with less hashrate, but these save you a lot of money when setting up a Monero mining rig. If you have any questions about setting up a CPU mining rig for Monero, Zcash, Horizon, then let us know in the comment section.
What Factors Make a GPU Better at Mining
There are certain things you need to look for when buying a CPU for mining cryptocurrency.
It would be better if you opt for a CPU that comes with more cores and threads. Mining applications are designed such that they utilize every single core left on your CPU. Therefore, a CPU with multiple cores will result in faster mining.
Buying a CPU with plentiful cores isn’t enough for mining, you’ll need to look for a higher clock speed on each core as well. The single-core performance of a CPU also matters in boosting the mining process.
It would be better to go with CPUs that come with at least a 2.8 GHz clock speed on each core. Also, you can overclock your CPU to get the most out of it. However, in mining, we’ll never advise you to overclock your CPU unless you have a reliable cooling solution.
Crypto mining puts a lot of stress on your CPU, which then results in a lot of heat. And to take care of this heat, you’ll need a good CPU cooler. You can either pick between an air CPU cooler or a liquid CPU cooler. If you are mining for long hours, then it’s worth going with liquid coolers to take care of rising temperatures on your CPU.
If you want to put less strain on your electricity bills, then it’s essential to pick components that consume less power inside your mining rig. Overall, the CPU and GPU are responsible for consuming the most power of your rig. One way around is to opt for a low TDP CPU that consumes very less power. Going after low TDP components in a mining rig will cut a lot of numbers from your electricity bill.
Is it worth mining Monero with CPU?
Yes, if you are using a mining software that uses a CPU for mining Monero, then it’s really worth investing in a reliable CPU. However, keep in mind that you cannot just rely on the power of the CPU in this case, you will still need a decent GPU to power up the mining process.
Is CPU or GPU better for mining Monero?
Although GPU mining is way better than CPU mining, you have to take into consideration both the CPU and GPU for mining Monero. You can also rely on just the CPU if you want, however, this will slow down the mining process. Therefore, the combined efforts of CPU and GPU will yield faster results as a whole in mining.
Will the CPUs on this list help with other cryptocurrency mining?
Yes, you can use these CPUs for mining any cryptocurrency. But keep in mind that only smaller crypto tokens are better if you are mining with a CPU. Some cryptocurrencies need you to have powerful graphics cards for faster mining. So, don’t rely just on your CPU if you are going after top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, etc.
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