Effectiveness is all that miners seek when they need to decide which hardware they are going to pick up to mine new coins.
Using all hardware at disposal is also a part of this enterprise, and because of that, in this article, we are going to explore whether you can use a CPU and a GPU to mine at the same time, in the same computer.
Is it dangerous? Is it profitable? Keep reading to find out.
Can you mine with CPU and GPU at the same time?
Yes, this can be done. Since there are coins that can be mined with a CPU, you can use all the power at your disposal to mine coins if you have a rig with a strong cooling system to take care of the heat of both GPU and CPU.
Now, if you are using a personal computer to mine crypto coins, this is not a recommended activity.
Mining on a personal computer is already risky enough, mining with both GPU and CPU is even riskier as you can lose your entire system due to overheating.
Sure, you should always prevent your system from overheating, be it a personal computer or a mining rig.
But you shouldn’t mix personal matters and mining on the same system if you are going to exploit every possibility of mining.
Should you mine with CPU and GPU?
If you have a computer turned into a mining rig, that is, a system entirely dedicated to validating blocks and generating profit, then yes, you should. After all, there are profitable coins right now that can be mined with CPUs.
Part of that answer depends also on your CPU’s capacities. If it has enough hash power to make a profit, then go for it. If you are not sure, you can check your CPU’s hash power on NiceHash and you can make profitability calculations on sites such as CryptoCompare.
Some coins that can be mined with a CPU include:
What are the pros?
The biggest pro that one can immediately see in using both the GPU and CPU to mine is optimizing the use of your system.
That way, you put your entire rig to work and make a profit for yourself. Sure, CPUs don’t make as much money, but they can make a few dollars that are nice to have around.
What are the cons?
Mining with both CPU and GPU makes it likely that your system won’t last as much as it could otherwise. Sure, having the right hardware makes all the difference.
Even so, mining is known to shorten GPU and CPU life. That way, you need to calculate if you are going to make enough profit that allows you to replace your mining rig once in a while.
You will also raise your electricity costs, so be prepared to pay for it. Again, you need to properly calculate if mining with your CPU will genuinely make a profit rather than just consuming power.
How To Avoid Overheating?
This is one of the main concerns with mining rigs. Mining with both GPU and CPU makes this even more of a problem, as you are forcing both units to work at full force.
Alright, so first we have to define what counts as “overheating”. The ideal temperature for your mining rig should be between 60ºC and 70ºC.
If it goes up to 80ºC it is not too bad (but it is a sign you should improve your cooling system), but don’t let it get past this point.
If you are getting started in learning how to set a rig, then download some software to keep an eye on your temperature.
Any good software like that should tell you the temperature of your CPU and the temperature of your GPU, separately.
Now for some real tips:
Control your power usage on GPUs. Overclocking tools such as MSI Afterburner allow you to do this with your Nvidia or AMD card. On Nvidia, you can go as low as 60% power usage without losing too much performance.
The same is true for AMD at 80%. This reduces a bit of your hashing speed, but it preserves your hardware for a longer time.
Keep an open window if possible. And, of course, add a net to protect against insects.
Put a large fan (12in) in front of your rig to make hot air dissipate instead of accumulating around cards.
Put small fans (4.7in) in front or behind each GPU and/or CPU to dissipate the hot air.
If you use Alienware, check cooling pads for Alienware.
Air conditioning isn’t as effective as dissipating hot air and it also costs more than keeping fans on. So, go for fans and keep your room well ventilated.
Check thermal paste. GPUs don’t need to change thermal paste as frequently as laptops, but you should check anyway. If there is no more thermal paste on your card, apply some to prevent it from melting.
What is the best CPU for mining?
If you are going to take advantage of mining with CPU, getting the right CPU for that matters a lot.
If you know anything about CPUs, you probably already have a few models in mind when it comes to power for mining.
The CPU with the highest hash rate is the AMD EPYC 7502P (32-Core Processor / 64 / 2.50 GHz).
However, this is too expensive and there is no reason to get one of these just for mining.
It is best to get a CPU like this to handle multitasking when you are a professional that uses plenty of heavy software.
Then, in this section, we are going to recommend two powerful CPUs that reach enough a hash rate to make a few dollars monthly, but that is still within an acceptable price range.
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X (16-Core Processor/4.20 GHz)
This Ryzen 9 CPU has one of the highest hash rates among CPUs, but certainly, it is still low compared to any GPU in the market.
Its estimated hash rate is 13.6 kh/s, making around $30.81 monthly mining Monero.
Intel Xeon E5-2670 v3 (12-core Processor/2.30 GHz)
Intel Xeon series is a powerful series of processors that have a different function than the Core series. They are optimal for workstations and have a different approach to energy consumption.
The Intel Xeon E5-2670 v3 is already old, so you might find it secondhand and at a good price.
As for its mining capacities, it can achieve 11.4 kh/s, making up to $25.70 monthly in the Monero network.
As you can see, mining with a CPU is much less profitable than mining with GPU.
Getting an extremely powerful CPU just for mining isn’t much recommended, as you won’t get that money back with mining for a long time.
What is the best GPU for mining?
If you shouldn’t buy an expensive CPU just for mining because the profits aren’t expressive, buying a good GPU makes all the difference in your profits.
GPUs will make most calculations and validate plenty of blocks from your rig. Then, it pays off if you have money to invest in one or more good GPUs.
Nvidia RTX 3090
The top mining GPU right now is the Nvidia RTX 3090 with incredible 125Mh/s mining Ether.
Some GPUs just below it have only a little beyond half this hash rate, so this card is genuinely worth its price if you are going serious on mining.
Sure, it is expensive, so many beginners probably don’t want to spend more than $2000 on their first GPU to build a mining rig. Veterans, though, can quite see why this is a great investment.
It takes almost one year (around 322 days) for this graphics card to pay for itself solely on mining, but after that, you should make a monthly income of around $264 (mining ETH).
AMD RX 5700
In case you are looking for a middle ground mining GPU, the AMD RX 5700 might be what you were looking for.
Its price is attractive given the hash rate it achieves mining ETH. (there are more expensive GPUs with lesser hash rates)
You should expect to meet a hash rate of 56Mh/s with this GPU when mining Ether, and a monthly income worth around $118.
Given the average price of this GPU, this means it pays for itself in around 248 days.
In case you want to check other alternatives, check out Kryptex.
How to mine with CPU and GPU at the same time?
There isn’t really any trick left to teach in how to mine with GPU and CPU at the same time.
We already covered temperature control, pros, and cons, and then you basically have all you need to know. If you are looking to implement multiple GPUs, check our guide on how to do it.
All you have to do now is download a mining software for your GPU and one for your CPU and choose the right unit for each one. This shouldn’t present any trouble.
When you start mining, check your rig’s temperature and let the computer stay still.
Since you are using GPU and CPU to mine, this computer is now only a mining rig. If you need to use a personal computer, you should have another one.
Plenty of miners use both CPU and GPU for mining since this can bring extra results. However, you need to make sure your CPU handles mining without making you lose money.
CPU mining is a great way of mining by using everything that is at your disposal.