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The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to CPU Mining

7 mins
Updated by Maria Petrova
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When it comes to cryptocurrency mining, many believe it can only be done with a graphics card (GPU). While that used to be the case, due to the power behind such a device, there are other ways to get involved. One such way is CPU mining. In this guide, we’ll go over the basics of CPU mining and describe how you can get involved.

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What is CPU mining?

As you may know, mining is the act of allocating computer power to solve complex algorithms. In doing so, a miner is validating a block of transactions and committing it to the blockchain ledger. They’re then rewarded in cryptocurrency for doing so.

Usually, this process is done via harnessing the power of a GPU, as mentioned. However, it’s also possible to mine with your CPU – but only for specific digital assets.

That said, only the first miner to solve the algorithm

Why doesn’t CPU mining always work?

While you can certainly leverage CPU mining in the DeFi realm, it won’t be profitable on networks that are more ‘difficult’ to mine. This means it could take a long time to potentially earn a reward, incurring significant electricity costs in the process.

blockchain network web3 crypto hand

However, as blockchain networks develop and block rewards become rarer, the difficulty increases as well. When bitcoin was new, it was entirely possible to mine with a CPU, for instance. That is no longer the case at all. You’ll need the dedicated power of a GPU to do so optimally.

Interestingly there are a few cryptocurrencies optimized to work with a CPU. The popular privacy coin, Monero, is one such token. That said, you’re not going to generate nearly as much as you would with a GPU.

Also, keep in mind that because of ASIC GPUs – essentially dedicated GPUs for mining – some cryptocurrencies are altering their hashing algorithm to favor CPU mining instead. You can view a list of cryptocurrencies to mine on StormGain.

Do you need a good CPU?

Absolutely! If you’re considering CPU mining, investing in the best processor available is essential. We’ll break down what to look for in a quality CPU for mining. The right processor can significantly impact your mining efficiency, power consumption, and overall profitability. Key factors include processing speed, number of cores, and energy efficiency.

Factors to consider when CPU mining

Aside from choosing one of the less difficult cryptocurrencies to CPU mine, there are a few factors to consider when deciding on a CPU itself:

  • Cores: A higher number of cores enhances your mining experience. More cores allow for efficient multitasking, with an 8-core processor being a good starting point.
  • Threads: Utilize threading with AMD or Intel CPUs to split core numbers further, increasing speed and smoothness. Typically, a processor can thread up to twice its core count, e.g., a 4-core processor can generate up to 8 threads.
  • Speed: For effective mining, a high hashrate is crucial. Choose a CPU with a competitive frequency (measured in GHz) to increase your hashrate and stay ahead in mining.
  • Overall performance: A CPU underperforming in cores, threads, or speed could lead to financial losses, as electricity costs might exceed mining profits. Invest in a robust CPU.
  • Usage considerations: Avoid using laptops for CPU mining, regardless of the processor quality. Laptops can’t handle the intensive heat and power draw of mining. Instead, use a desktop with an adequate power supply and the mentioned factors.

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Is CPU mining profitable?

CPU mining can be profitable within the crypto community, depending on the project you pick and if you have the proper parts. That said, know that CPU mining is only somewhat profitable.

How to start CPU mining

Now that you’re aware of what makes a good CPU for mining, it’s time to start the process itself. Here are a few ways to CPU mine.

Solo mining

You can mine by yourself, but this is not recommended. As mentioned, you have to be the first to solve a block’s algorithm to receive a reward. Solo mining puts you up against all sorts of powerful machines – many of which are going to beat your CPU.

Do not try this unless you absolutely know what you’re doing.

Mining pool

A mining pool is one of the more popular ways to participate in both CPU and GPU mining. Basically, you enter a pool with hundreds of other miners, all working to solve one block. With all of that power harnessed together, the chances are much higher of being the first to do so. From there, the reward is divided out among all participants based on their contribution.

Examples of mining pools for CPU mining include Nanopool for various assets or MineXMR for Monero specifically. Keep in mind that pools do take a percentage fee of any profits as well.

Cryptocurrencies that support CPU mining

Let’s dive into the best cryptocurrencies for beginner CPU miners in the DeFi space.


Monero Hashrate November 2022-2023: 2miners
Monero Hashrate November 2022-2023: 2miners

As mentioned, Monero is a very popular privacy coin. It’s better than most assets for CPU mining, as the project has a built-in resistance to ASIC miners. This means you’ll be up against much less competition when Monero mining when compared to other assets like bitcoin.


Dogecoin (DOGE) price

With the asset’s growing popularity, Dogecoin is a project to keep your eye on when it comes to CPU mining. It’s much less difficult of a cryptocurrency than Bitcoin or Ethereum. That said, with such extra attention, there might be an extra push in user’s mining. This means you’d be competing against users with GPUs and ASICs that are very difficult to compete with.

“Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool.”

Elon Musk: X


Electroneum is a relatively long-standing cryptocurrency with an interesting promise – the ability to process payments on a blockchain-based mobile app. What should appeal to miners, however, is its ASIC-resistant nature. That means your CPU will have much less competition to go up against. Also, the platform has recently launched a freelancing platform which is putting it back into the blockchain conversation.

Should you mine crypto?

You’re now much more educated on the process of CPU mining. It’s certainly a viable option for anyone with a desktop, but it’s not necessarily the best way to go about it. This type of mining is certainly more geared toward miners on a budget, but only with the right cryptocurrency project.

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Frequently asked questions

How many cores do I need for CPU mining?

What is the difference between GPU and CPU mining?

Is CPU or GPU mining better?

What is an ASIC Miner?

How much RAM do I need for CPU mining?

How can I increase hash rate in CPU mining?

Which factors should you consider when choosing CPU for mining?

Are there any risks of CPU mining?

Which is the best coin to mine on CPU?

Top crypto projects in the US | May 2024



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Max Moeller
Max is a cryptocurrency journalist with an affinity for games and emerging technology. After leaving school to start a writing career, he wrote his first article on blockchain and fell down the rabbit hole. Since starting in 2017, Max has worked with multiple blockchain startups and crypto enthusiast spaces, doing his best to educate the world on the nascent technology. Max has been published in various blockchain and crypto related magazines before settling down at BeInCrypto to focus on...