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Now is a great time to shop for the best mining CPU for your cryptocurrency rig, but before you press that buy button, you should consider a few things.
There’s never been more competition between crypto miners since this most recent spike in interest for Bitcoin. Because of that, as well as a global pandemic, there’s been a limited supply of components and mining rigs, not to mention that there’s also a worldwide silicon shortage.
If you’re just starting out in cryptocurrency mining, remember that the GPU does the majority of the heavy lifting. But, there are a few protocols that make the most of a CPU’s processing power. For example, altcoins like Bytecoin and Zcash are more suited to CPU mining than the typical cryptocurrencies like Ether or Bitcoin.
With that said, it’s still potentially worth investing in hardware for mining cryptocurrency, whether you’re an enthusiast or a hardcore miner. So, add the best mining CPU to the best mining GPU and best mining motherboard you can find, pick that cryptocurrency you’re hoping to mine, and you might soon be earning back what you invested in your rig.
Just bear in mind that mining profitability is affected by a range of factors, from the cost of hardware, the price of energy and value of cryptocurrencies themselves, so there's no guarantee you'll turn a profit.
- If you'd prefer to purchase crypto, check out our list of the best Bitcoin exchanges (opens in new tab) and best Bitcoin wallets (opens in new tab) around
The best mining processors
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Having a 32 core, 64 thread processor for mining provides you a huge advantage, but most of all, the Threadripper 3970X's dump truck sized 144MB of cache makes it an incredible mining CPU for many cryptocurrencies. It's uber expensive, sure, but put it to work with its 19.9 kh/s according to Hashrates, and you could soon pay off the initial outlay for this fantastic processor. Plus, if ever you tire of mining, you'll still end up with one heck of a processor!
Read the full review: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
AMD's Ryzen line of processors has been a huge hit since its release, and these fantastic chips are also some of the best mining CPUs money can buy. The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X is a case in point: for a very compelling price you get a 16 core, 32 thread processor with 64MB of L3 cache. According to Hashrates, all of this multicore goodness translates to a more than respectable hashrate of 13.4 kh/s.
Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
While the processors we've mentioned above are great CPUs for mining in their own right, the Intel Pentium Gold G-6400 Desktop Processor is an excellent CPU for running a low-cost mining PC. This is because the initial outlay is low, and it's not a power-hungry CPU to run, so you won't rack up huge energy bills. By keeping to a low-cost mining CPU like the Intel Pentium Gold G-6400, you'll soon pay off the expenses and turn a profit quickly with its 1268.88 H/s hashrate according to BetterHash (opens in new tab).
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that with its mid-range chip, AMD offers more cores for less money when compared to Intel. While in year’s past this has equated to making compromises in other areas to keep the costs low, the Ryzen 5 3600X remains economical while offering solid performance. It makes it a strong choice for a mining CPU with a hashrate of 5.58 kh/s according to Hashrates.com.
Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
While the Threadripper 3970X is our pick of the best mining CPU, its little brother, the Threadripper 3960X is a worthy processor for mining as well, as it has the same amount of L3 cache. Despite being quite a bit cheaper, and having less cores and threads, the 3960X produces most of the hash rate as the more expensive 1970X. In some ways, the 3960X is a wiser investment for those looking for the best bang for the buck.(opens in new tab)
The Intel Core i9-10900X is an unlocked, overclockable deca-core processor from Intel, which makes it a great all-round CPU, and it's nice for mining as well. It won't bring the kind of impressive hash rates the Threadrippers of this world will, but it is a powerful processor for driving mining rigs that can do 5.48 kh/s according to Hashrates, and has good compatibility with some of the best mining motherboards on the market as well.
This is another great mining CPU for miners who are budget conscious and want a quick return on any hardware investments they make. You'll need to temper your expectations with what you want to get out of mining with a machine powered by an Intel Celeron G5905, but you'll find a solid performer that lets the GPUs do their jobs well.(opens in new tab)
If you're looking for a budget mining CPU from AMD, then the Ryzen 3 3100 is a brilliant choice, offering four cores compared to Intel's dual core budget CPUs of this price range, and a decent amount of L3 cache as well that gives it a Hashrate of 3063.00 H/s according to Betterhash. One of the best things about Ryzen 3 chips is that in the future you could swap it out for a more powerful Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 chip, so this could be the ideal CPU for people taking a tentative first step into the world of cryptocurrency mining.
Read the full review: AMD Ryzen 3 3100 (opens in new tab)
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- Make sure you have the best cryptocurrency mining software installed as well